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e-Gorgias (Issue 56, August/September 2012)


Issue 56
August/September 2012
Reading Time: 10 minutes

August is here, and before we know it, back-to-school will be in full swing. We have so much to catch you up on and a real treat in store for you, so be sure to read on for the latest Gorgias scoop.

Gorgias Back-To-School Sale

Swing into autumn with Gorgias's exciting Back-To-School Sale! From now through September 15, enjoy all Gorgias titles at an amazing 30% off. Simply add items to your cart, and the discount will apply automatically when you check out. Please note that select books are exempt from the sale.

I am pleased to announce that George Kiraz's long-awaited Syriac Orthography (A Grammar of the Syriac Language, Volume 1) is now in press. If that wasn't exciting enough news, you're in store for a treat: for a limited time, we will be offering the Syriac Orthography at a bargain 65% off pre-publication discount on top of any BiblioPerks™ discount (originally $247, now $60.61). Please click here for more information - but don't miss out, so hurry!

We are very close to reaching our 100th subscriber for our amazing, limited-time only 50%-off Antioch Bible deal. The Antioch Bible is a fresh new idiomatic English translation based on the Aramaic text of the Syriac Peshitta. Only the first 100 individual subscribers will be able to lock the price of all future volumes at half off the list price (orig. $150/volume, now $75/volume with subscription discount). Hurry and subscribe now!

July was a whirlwind of conferences. We just got back from attending quite a few in Europe: the Syriac Symposium & Christian Arabic Conference in Valletta, Malta, the Society of Biblical Literature-International Meeting in Amsterdam, and the ARAM Society Conference in London. Please see our Conferences section for a report-back from GP Editor Melonie Schmierer.

Finally, If you haven't done so already, don't forget to order your copy of The Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage. At just $98 for scholars, students, and individuals, it's a great bargain, so order today!

Happy reading,

Christine Kiraz



  • Recently Released
  • Coming Soon
  • From the Acquisitions Desk
  • GP News
  • GP Reviews
  • Conferences



Below is a select list of recent releases. For the complete list, please visit our Just Published page.


The Gospel of Matthew According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation
By Jeff Childers

ISBN 978-1-4632-0174-6
Cloth, $150 (BiblioPerks™ $105.00)

This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshiṭta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars. Childers has translated the Peshiṭta of Matthew, while Kiraz has prepared the Syriac text in the west Syriac script, fully vocalized and pointed. The translation and the Syriac text are presented on facing pages so that both can be studied together. All readers are catered for: those wanting to read the text in English, those wanting to improve their grasp of Syriac by reading the original language along with a translation, and those wanting to focus on a fully vocalized Syriac text.

The Book of Isaiah According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation
By Gillian Greenberg

ISBN 978-1-4632-0155-5
Cloth, $150 (BiblioPerks™ $105.00)

This volume is the first in a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshitta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars. Greenberg and Walter have produced an annotated translation of the Peshitta version of the Book of Isaiah, while Kiraz and Bali have edited the Peshitta text. The English translation and the Syriac text are shown on facing pages so that both can be studied together.

Ars Christiana: In Memoriam Michail F. Murianov (21.XI.1928 - 6.VI.1995)
By Roman Krivko

ISBN 978-1-4632-0185-2
Hardback, $403.91 (BiblioPerks™ $282.74)

The volume is dedicated to various topics, which are directly or indirectly pertinent to the European Christian tradition, both Eastern and Western. Special attention is paid to the Byzantine hagiography and hymnography, taking into account their Slavonic versions. Several studies are dedicated to the Church Slavonic/Old Russian lexicography.

The Syntax of Neo-Aramaic: The Jewish Dialect of Zakho
By Eran Cohen

ISBN 978-1-60724-048-8
Hardback, $172 (BiblioPerks™ $120.40)

This monograph is dedicated to the description of the larger units operating in the Jewish Neo-Aramaic dialect of Zakho: what they are, how they work, what their interrelations are like, etc.

A 16th Century Italo-Byzantine Cross
By Sheila Campbell

ISBN 978-1-4632-0163-0
Hardback, $165.295 (BiblioPerks™ $115.71)

The contributors have tried to reconstruct the mingling of two cultures, Greek and Italian, in sixteenth century Venice. This is shown through the medium of a single intricately carved wooden cross, executed by a Greek carver, with adaptations suitable to a member of the Latin church. Who was it made for and why? It is one example of a type which was created for personal use rather than liturgical.

Issues in Luke-Acts
By Sean Adams

ISBN 978-1-60724-160-7
Paperback, $95.225 (BiblioPerks™ $66.66)

This volume provides an introduction and engagement with the major critical issues in the study of Luke-Acts, from standard historical-critical questions, to theological themes and issues, to its reception history.

Antitheodicy, Atheodicy and Jewish Mysticism in Holocaust Theology
By Daniel Garner

ISBN 978-1-4632-0176-0
Hardback, $181.285 (BiblioPerks™ $126.90)

Engaging Holocaust theology by critiquing Zachary Braiterman's idea of antitheodicy, Garner develops the complementary idea of 'atheodicy'. This helps in understanding the Holocaust theologies of K.Shapira, E.Fackenheim, A.Cohen and M.Raphael, whilst also helping to explain their appeals to Jewish mysticism.

From Ugarit to Nabataea
By George Kiraz

ISBN 978-1-4632-0180-7
Hardback, $191.035 (BiblioPerks™ $133.72)

From Ugarit to Nabataea is a collection of articles on the texts and cultures of various Near and Middle Eastern societies. They include discussion of the religious beliefs, iconography, epigraphy, architecture and language of these societies.



Here is a select list of forthcoming publications. Click here for a complete list.


A Facsimile Edition of the Peshiṭto Old Testament Based on Codex Ambrosianus (7a1)
This volume provides a facsimile of one of the oldest manuscripts of the standard Syriac translation of the Bible, Codex Ambrosianus (7a1).
ISBN 978-1-61143-114-8, Hardback, $265.72 (BiblioPerks™ $186.00)

A Treatise on the Use of the Tenses in Hebrew
This is an exhaustive work on the nature and force of the tenses in Hebrew, with a plenitude of examples. Digressions and appendices on other topics.
ISBN 978-1-61143-286-2, Hardback, $193.57 (BiblioPerks™ $135.50)

The Sentences of the Syriac Menander
This book shows that a document claiming to have been composed by the Greek author of the New Comedy, Menander, is actually a piece of Jewish Wisdom Literature composed in Syriac and preserved in Christian monastic circles.
ISBN 978-1-61143-488-0, Hardback, $165.1 (BiblioPerks™ $115.57)

A Comparative Dialectical Study of Genitive Constructions in Aramaic Translations of Exodus
The purpose of this book is to "mine the gold" in multiple Aramaic translations of the biblical book of Exodus. The pages within reveal important similarities and differences between five Aramaic dialects in the use of genitive constructions.
ISBN 978-1-61143-002-8, Hardback, $218.75 (BiblioPerks™ $153.13)

Studies in the Historical Syntax of Aramaic
This book reviews syntactic change in Aramaic, from its first attestation to its modern dialects. It concentrates on adverbial subordination, nominal modifiers and direct speech marking, and establishes that historical syntax is a viable tool for Semitic subgrouping and dialectology.
ISBN 978-1-59333-645-5, Hardback, $175 (BiblioPerks™ $122.50)

Foundations for Syriac Lexicography V
This volume is the fifth published colloquia of the International Syriac Language Project (ISLP). In this volume, editors Jonathan Loopstra and Michael Sokoloff present papers from an international team of authors working to develop contemporary, interdisciplinary approaches to linguistics and lexicography.
ISBN 978-1-61719-027-8, Hardback, $157.3 (BiblioPerks™ $110.11)



This month I’d like to make mention of a number of monographs that will be available in print soon.

The first is Notables, Merchants, and Shaykhs of Southern Iran and Its Ports: Politics and Trade of the Persian Gulf Region, AD 1728-1789 by Thomas Ricks.

The book investigates the social, cultural and maritime history of 18th-early 19th century Southern Iran and the Persian Gulf littoral in terms of the Persian, Arab, Armenian, Jewish, Indian, and African merchants, mariners and sea captains who lived and died in the turbulent ports and waters of the western Indian Ocean basin. This "uncertain frontier" between a revitalized Ottoman Empire to the west and an emergant British India to the east became a testing grounds for the independent, local and regional country trading communities of the Gulf. Generally assumed to be a period of land and seascape "anarchy" and "piracy", the 18th century port and maritime peoples resolved differences by marriage and economic alliances, aided each other against "foreign" powers such as the British and Dutch merchants, and adapted their trade and mercantile skills to the emerging 19th-century age of global power.

The specific focus of the book is on the history of the merchants and sea captains of the southern Iranian ports of Bandar Abbas and Bandar Lingeh, and the Peninsular ports of Ras al-Khayma and Masqat with passing references to the middle and northern Gulf ports and trade. The study is based on the English East India Company factory records and gazetteers, Persian and Arabic port, local and regional histories, and, European and Middle Eastern traveler accounts as the study as a "test trench" into this critical historical watershed of Gulf and Indian Ocean basin history prior to the period of British formalization of colonial rule from Bombay to Zanzibar, from Aden and to Basra.

The second title is The Sentences of the Syriac Menander by David Monaco.

The Sentences of the Syriac Menander appears in two Syriac manuscripts in the British Library, a full version in one codex, and a far shorter version, only a small fraction thereof, in another. This book presents a commentary on the text in its complete version focusing on parallels from both Jewish tradition and the Greco-Roman world, showing that the text is not, as it claims, the work of the Greek author Menander, but rather a work of Jewish Wisdom Literature composed in Syriac, possibly in the ancient city of Edessa itself, and preserved within Christian monastic circles.

The third book is Romans, Allies, and the Struggle for the Roman Citizenship by Seth Kendall.

Between 91 and 77 BCE a series of wars were fought in Italy which left the Roman commonwealth in shambles and ultimately brought about its collapse. Traditionally, studies of these conflicts – and their leaders – have tended to focus on events and individuals separately, although there is a thread which binds them all together: all of these wars in some way involved efforts on the part of Rome’s non-citizen Italian Allies first to obtain the rights of Roman citizenship, and then to enhance and preserve those rights once acquired. By re-examining the turbulent decade of the 80s BCE from the perspective of the Italians, their struggle for the citizenship, and the Roman reaction to it, there emerges a greater understanding of a period which otherwise appears to be a disjointed collection of random, violent episodes.

This volume attempts to provide such a survey. It first examines the nature of the problem by ascertaining why it is the Italian Allies wanted the citizenship. Next, it narrates how Rome’s reluctance to give it led to a war so devastating that Rome extended a form of partial citizenship to secure peace. The Allies were not content with this for long, however, and their dissatisfaction was used by Roman politicians to further their own ends; this use will also be explored, as will the resulting violence which culminated in a full-fledged civil war on whose battlefields the Italians played a large part and which shook – and eventually destroyed – the foundations of the Roman Republic.

Happy reading Gorgiasians,

Katie Stott, Acquisitions Editor


Notables, Merchants, and Shaykhs of Southern Iran and Its Ports By Thomas Ricks
Unlike the traditional 18th and early 19th century historical narratives, the present work focuses on the trade and politics of local merchants and port rulers as a way of understanding the continued stability of Persian, Arab, Armenian, Jewish and Indian communities during a period frequently described as one of "anarchy" and "piracy."
ISBN 978-1-59333-957-9, Hardback, $160 (BiblioPerks™ $112.00)

The Sentences of the Syriac Menander By David Monaco
This book shows that a document claiming to have been composed by the Greek author of the New Comedy, Menander, is actually a piece of Jewish Wisdom Literature composed in Syriac and preserved in Christian monastic circles.
ISBN 978-1-61143-488-0, Hardback, $165.1 (BiblioPerks™ $115.57)

Romans, Allies, and the Struggle for the Roman Citizenship By Seth Kendall
This work describes the quest of Rome’s Italian Allies to gain citizenship in the Republic, the reasons why they sought it, the often violent measures they took to acquire it, and the impact this quest had on the Roman state.
ISBN 978-1-61143-487-3, Hardback, $272.35 (BiblioPerks™ $190.65)



George Kiraz's Syriac Orthography (A Grammar of the Syriac Language, Volume 1) is now in press. For a limited time, we will be offering the Syriac Orthography at a bargain 65% off pre-publication discount

on top of any BiblioPerks™ discount (originally $247, now $60.61). To get the discount, add the product to your cart, then enter the coupon code 01-turrasmamlla. Please click here for more information - but don't miss out, so hurry!


Check out the Gorgias Press Facebook fan page!


Thanks to you, we now have over 500 fans! Already many have won free books through our Gorgias Trivia games and have seen updates on the weekly best sellers. Our wonderful Gorgias staff, from Mary Ann, Phoebe, to Hoda and of course George have been updating the Gorgias Press Facebook fan page, daily. So if you are on Facebook, be sure to become a fan of Gorgias and discover special deals, offers and prizes before anyone else!

  Syriac Orthography (A Grammar of the Syriac Language, Volume 1)
By George Kiraz

ISBN 978-1-4632-0183-8, Cloth, $247 (Sale Price $222.30)

This volume, the first in a comprehensive grammar of the Syriac language, is a thematic presentation of orthography in the Syriac grammatical tradition, bringing the study of Syriac writing closer to modern linguistic accounts of writing systems.



Review of Applebaum's The Rabbis’ King-Parables in the Journal for the Study of Judaism The Journal for the Study of Judaism (Vol. 43, p. 380-381) published a review of Alan Applebaum's The Rabbis’ King-Parables: Midrash from the Third-Century Roman Empire by Eric Ottenheijm of Utrecht University who concludes:

[Alan Appelbaum's] study is reflective of a methodological watershed in the study of rabbinic narratives ... [He] succeeds in showing the necessity to employ Roman sources and material culture to comment on details in the fictive narratives. This approach should be extended to synoptic parables (king parables are discussed in an appendix) and 2nd c. rabbis. Thus, [Applebaum]’s well written book shows promising ways for studying the mesmerizing literature called parables.
The Rabbis' King-Parables
By Alan Appelbaum

ISBN 978-1-61719-159-6
Hardback, $166.25 (BiblioPerks™ $149.63)

The Rabbis' King-Parables: Midrash From the Third-Century Roman Empire examines the ancient Rabbis at work using parables about kings; parables that reflect the Rabbis' ideas about the relationship of humanity to God and also provide information about the Roman Empire.


Gorgias Press will be exhibiting at the conferences and meetings listed below, offering a special discount to conference attendees for not just the books on display but all items in our current catalog. In addition, our editors will also be present at these meetings should you have a manuscript proposal which you would like to discuss with us.



Summer Conference Report-Back from GP Editor Melonie Schmierer.

Above: Sebastian Kiraz displaying at SBL International in Amsterdam. As usual, GP author and friend Andreas Juckel always helps out.

July is always a busy month for academic conferences, and in this last month Gorgias Press displayed books at 5 conferences in Europe. The Seminar for Arabian Studies, held at the British Museum in London, ran from 13-15 July, on the archaeology, epigraphy, ethnography, language, history and art of the Arabian Peninsula, this year with a special session on the role of museums in Arabia. This was followed by two conferences in Malta, attended by George and Sebastian Kiraz, as well as myself. The 11th Symposium Syriacum (16th–18th July) and the 9th Conference on Christian Arabic Studies (19th–21st July) were held at the University of Malta in Valletta, Malta. Delegates enjoyed warm sunshine and picturesque city streets, afternoon trips arranged by the conference organizers, and leisurely evening meals in true Mediterranean style. On the evening of Sunday 15th July, delegates were invited to attend an opening Divine Liturgy celebrated by the Syriac Catholic Patriarch Mar Ignatius Younan at the nearby church Notre Dame de Damas (Our Lady of Damascus, named after an old Melkite icon brought to the church from Damascus). After the day’s sessions on Tuesday 17th July, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the same church by the Archbishop of Istanbul, Mor Philoxenos Yusuf Çetin. From Malta, George and Sebastian left for Amsterdam, where they displayed books at SBL’s International Meeting from 22nd–26th July; assisting them was Michael Suroyo. I returned to Britain, finishing a month of conferences with ARAM’s superb 34th International Conference on The Idumeans and the Nabataeans from 24th–27th July at the Oriental Institute at the University of Oxford.



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