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e-Gorgias (Issue 68, September 2013)


Issue 68
September 2013
Reading Time: 10 minutes


As the summer comes to a close, Gorgias Press is gearing up for the beginning of another academic year. We are working hard to provide the books you will need for your scholarly endeavors. Read on to discover what we have been up to this summer, including a marriage within our staff.

Also, as a special goodbye to a departing staff member, our Enthusiast of the Month section features Hoda Mitwally (our former Editorial and Acquisitions Assistant). She will be missed, but Gorgias Press wishes her luck in her future endeavors!

If you haven't already, sign up for a subscription to the Antioch Bible now 50%-off for a limited-time only (originally $150/volume, now $75/volume with subscription discount). Please note that the 50% discount applies only to subscribers to the series and not to the individual books. Hurry and subscribe now!

Happy reading!


  • Recently Released
  • Coming Soon
  • From the Acquisitions Desk
  • Enthusiast of the Month: Hoda Mitwally


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

In the Arms of Biblical Women
Edited by John T. Greene & Mishael M. Caspi; Contribution by Zohar Hadromi-Allouche , Jay Harold Ellens, Alisa Meyuhas Ginio & Naomi Graetz

ISBN 978-1-4632-0231-6
 Hardback, $150 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $135.00)

The less-discussed character in the Bible is the woman: two talking animals therein have sometimes received more page space. This volume shines the light of close scrutiny in the less-trodden direction and focuses on biblical and allied women, or on the feminine side of Creation. Biblical women are compared to mythical characters from the wider Middle East or from contemporary literature, and feminist/womanist perspectives are discussed alongside traditional and theological perspectives.


The New Syriac Primer, 2nd Edition
By George Anton Kiraz

ISBN 978-1-59333-325-6
 Paperback, $48 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $43.20)

A truly useful introduction to the Syriac language is a rare find. This practical initiation to the study of this ancient language of the Christian church speaks with clarity and authority. A fruitful integration of scholarly introduction and practical application, this primer is more than a simple grammar or syntactic introduction to the language. Written in a style designed for beginners, Kiraz avoids technical language and strives for a reader-friendly inductive approach. Readings from actual Syriac texts allow the student to experience the language first hand and the basics of the grammar of the language are ably explained. The book comes with downloadable material so that readers may listen to all reading sentences and text passages in the book.


The Coming of the Impassible God: Tracing a Dilemma in Christian Theology
By Joseph M. Hallman

ISBN 978-1-59333-792-6
 Hardback, $60 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $54.00)

This book describes the development of the Christian understanding of God from the second to the eighth century as witnessed by major theologians who gradually realized that the Incarnate Word made flesh was not the God of the philosophers. They helped construct the great dogmas of the Christological councils. Beginning with the Apologists and ending with Maximus Confessor, the theological tradition overcame the notion of impassible deity in favor of the humble God of Christian faith, the Word made flesh.


The History, Poetry, and Genealogy of the Yemen
By Elise W. Crosby

ISBN 978-1-59333-394-2
 Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $89.10)

The History, Poetry, and Genealogy of the Yemen is the earliest known history of pre-Islamic Yemen. Attributed to the South Arabian historian ‘Abid b. Sharya al-Jurhumi, it recounts in prose and poetry six saga cycles of ancient personages and events of the Yemen. Here, two sagas, the dispersion of Sam’s descendants from Babel to the Yemen, and the destruction of the tribes of ‘Ad and Thamud, are translated with complete annotation. The tales of Luqman b. ‘Ad and his seven vultures, Sulayman and Bilqis, the Himyarite kings, and Tasm and Jadis are given in full synopses.


The Small Temple
By Sara Karz Reid

ISBN 978-1-4632-0234-7
 Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $89.10)

Excavation of the Small Temple of Petra, Jordan has revealed a Roman building likely dedicated to the imperial cult. Constructed in the wake of Roman annexation of Nabataea in 106 CE, the temple would have helped to solidify Roman control. Reid systematically examines the evidence used to support the identification of the Small Temple as an imperial cult building through the discussion of its prominent use of marble, a material with Roman imperial associations and almost entirely monopolized by the bureaucracy of the Roman Empire. The analysis of architectural evidence, as well as the placement of the Small Temple within the city, also support this identification.


Terms for Eternity: Aiônios and Aïdios in Classical and Christian Texts
By Ilaria L. E. Ramelli & David Konstan

ISBN 978-1-61143-970-0
 Hardback, $48 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $43.20)

What is truly timeless? This book explores two ancient Greek terms for eternity, aiônios and aïdios. It traces these terms from their earliest occurrence in Pre-Socratic philosophy and Plato and through their interaction with Jewish thought and down into the patristic fathers, where they play a crucial role in debates over eternal punishment vs. universal salvation.


Facing an Empire
By Guido Guarducci

ISBN 978-1-4632-0146-3
 Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $89.10)

Recent archaeological discoveries within the Upper Tigris region in Southeastern Turkey offer a unique opportunity to understand the dynamics of the Assyrian Empire borderlands. Within a few years most of the region will be irreversibly submerged, due to the construction of the Ilisu dam, the biggest hydroelectric power plant project in Turkey. It is of paramount importance to understand and record as much data as possible about the local communities and the foreign connections that flowered in this area.


The Petra Pool-Complex: A Hellenistic Paradeisos in the Nabataean Capital
By Leigh-Ann Bedal

ISBN 978-1-59333-120-7
 Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $89.10)

Excavations in the Lower Market in Petra (Jordan), capital of the ancient kingdom of Nabsataea, uncovered the remnants of a monumental pool-complex at the heart of the ancient city. It played an important role in the socio-political life of Petra during the Nabataean and Roman periods. The mere presence of a paradeidos in Petra symbolized the Nabataean king's power and helped to legitimize his place among contemporary rulers. The paradeisos is an example of a gratuitous display of conspicuous consumption, a symbol of the flourishing status of Petra during its Classical era.



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

Reflections on Lexicography Edited by Richard A. Taylor & Craig Morrison
Colloquia of the International Syriac Language Project. These essays offer a probing analysis of selected lexical tools and methods for working with ancient Syriac, Hebrew, and Greek sources, as well as offering reflections on methodological concerns for lexicographical tools of the future.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0229-3, Hardback, $150 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $135.00)

The Struggle for 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 involved efforts on the part of Rome’s non-citizen Italian allies to obtain the rights of Roman citizenship. This is a survey of the allies' quest for citizenship in the Republic, the reasons it was sought, 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, $150 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $135.00)

Zum Feuerkultus bei den Mongolen By N. N. Poppe
The fire cult of the Mongols, the names and images of the fire-god, the origins of the cult in Buddhism, its mythic connections, and its festivals.
ISBN 978-1-61143-859-8, Paperback, $22.4 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $20.16)

Codex Syro-Hexaplaris Ambrosianus Edited with an Introduction by Antonio Maria Ceriani
Offered here is a facsimile of the manuscript of the Old Testament in the Ambrosian Library in Milan, in the Syriac translation of Origen's Hexapla.
ISBN 978-1-61143-113-1, Hardback, $233.74 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $210.37)


The next two volumes of the third series of Texts and Studies will go to press in the next few weeks. HF Van Rooy’s edition of The East Syriac Psalm Headings (volume 8 in the series) presents a new critical edition, making use of previously unpublished manuscripts and including a detailed discussion of the headings. Volume 9 in the series is a collected volume of Jan Joosten’s articles on The Language and Textual History of the Syriac Bible, from the the Old Testament Peshitta and its relationship to other translations of the Hebrew Bible to the Syriac Gospels and the Western Aramaic elements found therein.

The Antioch Bible — our new book-by-book English translation of the Peshitta accompanied by the Syriac text — is progressing well and ahead of schedule. Deuteronomy, translated by Carmel McCarthy, is now in production and will be followed by Luke (Jeff Childers) and Acts (Robert Kitchen).

The next title in the series Perspectives on Philosophy and Religious Thought will go to press next month. John Stephens’ monograph, The Dreams and Visions of Aelius Aristides, studies the second-century follower of Asclepius who wrote a first-hand account of his experiences in the cult. Stephens examines the socio-historical and psychological factors affecting Aristides’ religiosity and finds him much less neurotic and eccentric than has been previously supposed.

To see the full list of titles in different series, visit our series page.

Melonie Schmierer-Lee

Acquisitions Editor

The East Syriac Psalm Headings By HF Van Rooy
The Psalm Headings remain one of the most difficult and puzzling pieces of the Hebrew Bible. The present study looks at how these titles were treated in the East Syriac traditions. This volume gives a history of research and presents a new critical edition based on previously unpublished manuscripts. The Psalm headings in the East Syriac tradition reflect the exegesis of the Antiochene school, especially Diodore of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia. The headings contain a summary of Theodore's exegesis which had an important influence on the work of Syriac interpreters such as Ishodad of Merv and Bar Hebraeus.
ISBN 978-1-61143-867-3, Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $85.50)

The Dreams and Visions of Aelius Aristides By John Stephens
An analysis of the religious experiences of the Greco-Roman sophist, Aelius Aristides. As a member of the cult of Asclepius, Aristides recorded his nocturnal dreams, waking visions and spiritual healings in a diary entitled the Sacred Tales. A study of this diary sheds light on the spiritual environment of the Roman world in the first and second century CE.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0232-3, Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $85.50)

Language and Textual History of the Syriac Bible By Jan Joosten
The Syriac Bible is a fascinating field to which too little research has been devoted. In the present volume, Jan Joosten gathers a number of pilot studies, published in various journals and collective volumes, shedding light on the Syriac Old Testament, New Testament, and the relation between them. A number of studies advance the claim that the Old Syriac and Peshitta gospels preserve echoes of an Aramaic gospel tradition that gives independent access to the earliest, oral traditions on the life and teaching of Jesus.
ISBN 978-1-61143-891-8, Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $85.50)

Deuteronomy According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation English Translation by Carmel McCarthy; Text Prepared by George Anton Kiraz
This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshitta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars.
ISBN 978-1-61143-930-4, Hardback, $150 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $135.00)


Congratulations to former employees, Baroum Mrad (technical editorial intern) and Erin Shields (customer service), who were married last month. Erin's mother and sister are current employees of Gorgias as well, so it was truly a Gorgias family event!

We are pleased to announce the publication of the second edition printing of The New Syriac Primer. This new version is revised with errors corrected, has a new cover design, and has been reformatted to 301 pages to make it easier to carry. The Primer is an important pedagogical tool for teaching Syriac to introductory students, and would be perfect for a Syriac course during the upcoming academic year.

The Lamentations volume of the Antioch Bible was delayed at the printer for reasons beyond our control, and we apologize to those of you who were charged for the volume and have not yet received it. It will be on its way shortly. We thank you for your continued patience, and assure you that it will be worth the wait!


Gorgias Enthusiast of the Month: Hoda Mitwally

In 2009, Hoda stumbled across Gorgias Press by chance when she was assigned Drower's Folktales of Iraq for a course; the rest, as they say, is history. Like most of the GP team, Hoda is a graduate of Rutgers University, where she earned her B.A. in History and Middle Eastern Studies in 2011. At GP, she handled a number of editorial tasks, acquired new books, and attended conferences; she was responsible for creating and curating a new series, Munaqashat: Gorgias Studies in the Modern Middle East.

After nearly four years at Gorgias and much time spent pondering a future in academia, Hoda is moving onto an entirely different career path. She will begin studying for her JD at the City University of New York School of Law in August, and hopes to focus her future work within the realms of international human rights or civil rights/liberties.

"It is rare, yet refreshing, to find a publisher dedicated to nurturing scholarship as Gorgias Press," said Hoda. "Having worked here since I was an undergraduate student, I can attest to the unique exposure that Gorgias provided me in exploring the world of academic publishing. I will miss the colleagues, authors, and scholars I have been so privileged to work with over the years, but I will be a Gorgias friend and enthusiast for life!"

Check out Hoda's favorite Gorgias books below!

Drower’s Folk-Tales of Iraq
  By Jorunn Buckley

ISBN 978-1-59333-360-7
 Hardback, $139 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $125.10)

 A collection of folktales from Iraq, dating from the 1930s, found in the archives of the famous English Lady E. S. Drower (1879–1972), who was novelist, folklorist, specialist on the Mandaeans, and writer of travel accounts. New tales edited by Jorunn Buckley form a second volume of Drower’s Folktales. The stories—carrying recognizable Near Eastern folk-tale features—feature monsters and heroes, maidens and fairies and they give a vivid picture of a now extinct oral folktale tradition. This Gorgias Press edition includes previously unpublished tales in addition to those of the 1931 edition.


Revolt in Palestine in the Eighteenth Century
  By Ahmad Hasan Joudah

ISBN 978-1-4632-0002-2
 Hardback, $177.97 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $160.17)

 In the turbulent atmosphere of the eighteenth century when the Ottoman Empire was enfeebled, local leaders far from Istanbul took matters into their own hands. At first, these leaders only regulated local trade and tax collection, but soon, leaders like Shaykh Zahir al-‘Umar — a district tax collector in Palestine— saw opportunities to amass great wealth and power while providing autonomous government and safer roads to their local followers. A gripping and fascinating read, Ahmad Joudah’s biography of Shaykh Zahir is crucial for scholars seeking to contextualize developments in modern Palestinian history within the politics of the late Ottoman Empire.


A History of the Syrian Community of Grand Rapids, 1890-1945
  By James F. Goode

ISBN 978-1-61719-028-5
 Hardback, $163.15 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $146.84)

 Provides the first history of the old Syrian community of Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1890-1945, focusing on the slow process of ethnic acculturation during which community members developed a hybrid culture. Unlike some Middle Eastern immigrant groups, these Syrians were able to maintain their identity by establishing their own churches, which still exist today. At every opportunity this group is situated within the larger historical context, the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the French Mandate in Syria, the Progressive Movement, the Americanization program of the 1920s, the Great Depression and the two world wars.


Approaches to the History of the Interpretation of the Qur’ān
  Edited by Andrew Rippin

ISBN 978-1-60724-046-4
 Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $89.10)

 In recent years, the Qur’ān has come to the forefront of scholarly investigations in Islamic studies. However, the traditional interpretation of the book, commonly termed tafsīr, remains a vast, virtually untapped field of investigation. Many Muslims tend to ignore the material, seeing it as a storehouse of traditional restraints, and scholars frequently gloss over its importance as a historical record of the Muslim community, not appreciating the depth and breadth of the literature. The essays gathered here expose and explore various aspects of the field of tafsīr, and their potential for scholarly research.


Notables, Merchants, and Shaykhs of Southern Iran and Its Ports
  By Thomas M. Ricks

ISBN 978-1-59333-957-9
 Hardback, $196.69 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $177.02)

 This book investigates the socio-cultural and maritime history of 18th century – early 19th-century Southern Iran and the Persian Gulf in terms of the merchants, mariners and captains who lived and died in the turbulent waters of the western Indian Ocean. 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 communities of the Gulf. Generally assumed to be a period of anarchy, the 18th-century maritime peoples resolved differences by marriage, forged alliances, and adapted their mercantile skills to the emerging age of global power.



Gorgias Press will be exhibiting at the conferences and meetings listed below, offering a special discount to conference attendees for not just the books in display, but for 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.



Gorgias Press
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Fax. +1 732-885-8908