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e-Gorgias (Issue 69, October 2013)


Issue 69
October 2013
Reading Time: 10 minutes


Autumn is in full swing - the perfect season for reading (new) books outside. Gorgias Press would love to be your source for Autumn's reading material. Our annual sale is the perfect time to stock up - check out the News section for more details regarding the sale.

We regret to say that our Enthusiast of the Month section has been replaced, this month, by an In Memoriam section, dedicating this issue to Mishael Caspi, who died of a heart attack in late August. Mishael edited a number of books with Gorgias Press, and he was a lovely man who will be missed.

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
  • In Memoriam: Mishael Caspi
  • Reviews
  • Conferences


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

Iran as Imagined Nation
Revised Edition: By Mostafa Vaziri

ISBN 978-1-4632-0227-9
 Paperback, $39.5 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $35.55)

A critical study of how Iranian nationalism, itself largely influenced by Orientalist scholarship first undertaken by the European Orientalists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, has shaped modern conceptions of Iran and Iranian identity, as well as narratives of Iranian history, leading to the adoption of a broad nationalist construction of identity to suit Iranian political and ideological circumstances. This book argues that such a broad-brushed approach and the term “Iranian” could not have applied to the large multiethnic, multilingual, and multicultural populations in the vast territory of Iran over so many distinct historical periods.


The Dreams and Visions of Aelius Aristides
By John Stephens

ISBN 978-1-4632-0232-3
 Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

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.


Journal of Language Relationship

ISBN 978-1-4632-0233-0
 Paperback, $60 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $54.00)

The Journal of Language Relationship is an international periodical publication devoted to the issues of comparative linguistics and the history of the human language. The Journal contains articles written in English and Russian, as well as scientific reviews, discussions and reports from international linguistic conferences and seminars.


The Struggle for Roman Citizenship
By Seth Kendall

ISBN 978-1-61143-487-3
 Hardback, $150 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $135.00)

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.


Color-Terms in Social and Cultural Context in Ancient Rome
By Rachael B. Goldman

ISBN 978-1-61143-914-4
 Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

Romans attached nuanced implications to color-terms which went beyond their literal meaning, using these terms as a form of cultural assessment, defining their social values and order. By analyzing the use and color words in specific contexts, we can gain greater insight into the Roman mind.


The East Syriac Psalm Headings
By HF Van Rooy

ISBN 978-1-61143-867-3
 Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

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.



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

Keter Shem Tov Edited by Shani Tzoref & Ian Young
This eclectic collection contains 16 articles on a variety of topics within Qumran Studies from a conference held in memory of the late Professor Alan Crown. Essays cover the impact of the Qumran discoveries on the study of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament to the study of the scrolls themselves and the community organizations presupposed in them, focusing as well on topics as diverse as sexuality, scribal practice and the attitude to the Temple in the scrolls.
ISBN 978-1-61143-866-6, Hardback, $150 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $135.00)

An East Syrian Manuscript of the Syriac 'Masora' Dated to 899 CE Volume 1: Prepared by Jonathan Loopstra
The unique manuscript of the East Syrian “Syriac Masora” is essential for any study of early Syriac vocalization, accentuation, and punctuation. This volume presents a facsimile reproduction of this “masoretic” manuscript along with an introduction and a comprehensive scriptural index.
ISBN 978-1-61143-896-3, Hardback, $262.6 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $236.34)

Syriac Literature By Rubens Duval; Translated by Olivier Holmey
A new English translation of R. Duval, La Littérature Syriaque (Paris, 1907).
ISBN 978-1-61143-962-5, Hardback, $217.75 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $195.98)

Engraved on Stone By Rony Feingold
Cylinder seals were important instruments in the Ancient Near East, and were used in Mesopotamia from the beginning of the third millennium BCE to the fifth century BCE. This volume presents an analysis of 1000 cylinder seals (including 70 that are not yet published) from the Old Babylonian period, including the Isin and Larsa dynasties, and uses this analysis as well as data from written texts of the period to answer questions relating to the seal cutters and the production of the seals.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0167-8, 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)


We are pleased to announce that the first volume in our new series Perspectives on Society and Culture is now in production. This series focuses on aspects of community, family life, legal traditions, and economic affairs, investigating aspects of daily life and sectors of society less visible than others in the historical record. The inaugural volume in the series will be Dora Zsom's monograph Conversos in the Responsa of Sephardic Halakhic Authorities in the 15th Century. This volume brings together all the responsa on conversos written between 1391 and 1492, and Zsom discusses their significance for our knowledge of marriage, divorce, dietary laws, death, inheritance, and return to Judaism for the converso communities in question.

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) and Luke (translated by Jeff Childers) are now at the printers, and Acts (translated by Robert Kitchen) is currently in production.

The third series of Texts and Studies previously lacked the first volume, which was originally published elsewhere, but we have now acquired the rights to publish volume 3.1. Our reprint of Studies in the Early Text of the Gospels and Acts, edited by D.G.K. Taylor, is now in production.

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

Melonie Schmierer-Lee

Acquisitions Editor

Conversos in the Responsa of Sephardic Halakhic Authorities in the 15th Century By Dora Zsom
Conversos in the Responsa of Sephardic Halakhic Authorities in the 15th Century
ISBN 978-1-4632-0239-2, Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $85.50)

Deuteronomy According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation Deuteronomy: English Translation by Carmel McCarthy; Text Prepared by George Anton Kiraz & Joseph Bali
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)

The Gospel of Luke According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation Luke: English Translation by Jeff W. Childers; Text Prepared by George Anton Kiraz
This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshi?ta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars. Childers has translated the Peshi?ta of Luke, 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.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0241-5, Hardback, $150 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $135.00)

Studies in the Early Text of the Gospels and Acts Edited by David G.K. Taylor
Eleven papers from the First Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, examining aspects of the Textus Receptus, the ‘Pre-Johannine Text’ of the Gospel, the ratings system in the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament and the application of probability theory to textual transmission, as well as surveys of non-continuous papyrus witnesses to the New Testament and the Dura-Europos Gospel Harmony, alongside studies of variation in the form of the Beatitudes and the location of Emmaus.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0242-2, Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $85.50)


Our annual sale has begun. All Gorgias BiblioPerks™ titles are on sale for 40% off the list price. and every tenth order placed through our website will receive an additional discount of 80% from their websale subtotal. In addition, if your order does not receive the 80% discount we will send you a 30% off coupon* to be used on future orders. If you have been compiling your wish list in anticipation of this sale, now is the time to cash in for even bigger savings!

The sale will end on midnight, December 31, 2013 US Eastern Standard Time. All purchases made through this online sale are final, so no returns or cancellations will be honored.

If you are unsure which books to purchase, click here to see our latest catalog.

*The 30% discount coupon supplied can only be redeemed in 2014, and will apply to the original list price. It cannot be combined with other offers, coupons, sales, or discounts. To redeem your coupon, please email your order to Coupon use will be subject to verification of the web purchase during the 2013 Annual Sale.

The next volume of The Antioch Bible — our new book-by-book English translation of the Peshitta accompanied by the Syriac text — has been sent to the printer. Deuteronomy, translated by Carmel McCarthy, is an exciting addition!


In Memoriam: Mishael Caspi

By John T. Greene

Mishael Maswari Caspi, retired professor of Religion and Middle East Civilization at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, passed away suddenly on Sunday, August 4, 2013 at his home in Haifa, Israel. Misha was born on December 20, 1932 in the village of Nahliel, near Hadera, Israel. He was laid to rest in the nearby Garden of Eden cemetery of Kibbutz Ein HaKarmel.

Misha was a man of many talents. From the age of fourteen he began to work in a rock quarry, and at seventeen he started military service, serving as a scout in a unit providing security for border kibbutzim. From 1952–1954, Misha trained as a teacher, and in 1960 he gained his BA in Bible Studies and Semitic Languages from the Hebrew University. From 1961–1964 he served as founding director of the Hebrew Teacher Training College in Rio DeJaneiro, Brazil. Upon returning to Israel, Misha taught high school near Tel-Aviv.

In 1969 Misha received an invitation to teach Hebrew and Middle East Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz. Simultaneously, he studied toward and received a Master Degree in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Clara. Continuing with both work and advanced study, in 1972 Misha received a doctorate in Middle East Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. He was a faculty member of the Board of Studies in Religion, and later Board of the Studies of Literature for twenty-five years. For several years during the same period of time he served as Director of the Study Abroad Program for U.C. Berkeley in Jerusalem. Misha retired from the University of California system in 1994 and accepted a position at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine as a professor of religion. There he served until a second retirement in 2007.

Since 2005, Professor Caspi partnered with Professor John T. Greene, Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at Michigan State University, in co-convening the International Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting's Seminar in Biblical Characters in Three Traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), and co-editing the volumes of the Seminar's proceedings. The Seminar recently completed its 9th annual meeting, which took place in St. Andrews, Scotland (July 7–11, 2013).

Misha is survived by Gila, his wife of fifty-seven years, and their son Avshalom (Terrie), a professor at Duke University. He also leaves behind a host of distraught colleagues and friends.

Misha was the author and editor of numerous books and articles, including works on poetry, of which he was most proud:

  • 1991 Weavers of the Songs: Oral Poetry of Arab Women in Israel and the West Bank, co-authored with J.A. Blessing, Colorado Springs, Colorado: Three Continents Press.
  • 1985 Daughters of Yemen: Oral Poetry of Jewish Women in Yemen, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

His ten most recent books, a fraction of the total, are listed below:

  • 2013 In the Arms of Biblical Women; co-editor and contributor with John T. Greene; Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press.
  • 2012 Portraits of a King Favored By God; co-editor and contributor with John T. Greene; Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press.
  • 2012 Job of Uz; co-editor and contributor with John T. Greene; Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press.
  • 2013 Red Pomegranates: Love, Beauty, and Deceit: Arabic Poetry About, For, and by Women; with John T. Greene and Muhammed Jiyad; Berlin: Klaus-Schwarz-Verlag.
  • 2012 The Interpretation of Korah’s Rebellion in Three Religious Traditions—Jewish, Christian, Islam: A Study in Comparative Reception History; with John T. Greene; Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press.
  • 2011 Parables and Fables as Distinctive Jewish Literary Genres; with John T. Greene; Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press.
  • 2011 Eve: The Unbearable Flaming Fire; co-editor and contributor with John T. Greene; Piscataway, New Jersey: Gorgias Press.
  • 2011 Problems in Translating Texts About Jesus; co-editor and contributor with John T. Greene; Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press.
  • 2011 How Jonah is Interpreted in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; co-editor and contributor with John T. Greene; Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press.
  • 2009 The Legend of Elijah in Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Literature. Lewiston, NY: The Edwin Mellen Press.

In the Arms of Biblical Women
  Edited by John T. Greene & Mishael M. Caspi

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.


Portraits of a King Favored by God
  Edited by Mishael M. Caspi & John T. Greene

ISBN 978-1-61143-405-7
 Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $89.10)

 David the king, when studied against the backdrop of existing material cultural remains from the ancient Middle East, scarcely seems to have been there. Excavations in Jerusalem have turned up nothing concrete about his existence. The literature concerning him is fraught with problems and generally takes on a legendary-mythological character. Even the meaning of his name is unclear. If he is mentioned at all by his contemporary monarchs against whom he would have fought it is only obliquely or only intimated by omissions or partial spellings in context. This volume attempts to advance scholarship addressing these concerns.


Job of Uz
  Edited by Mishael M. Caspi & John T. Greene

ISBN 978-1-61143-420-0
 Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $89.10)

 Job finds himself in a situation similar to one experienced by everyone at some point in his or her life. He wants answers to questions concerning what has happened to him, since he lived his life according to the traditional wisdom and rules of conduct, asking what has gone wrong and why. The Book of Job raises fundamental questions of both the actions and expectations of humans and deities, and asks whether a clear understanding can be reached between them. The contributing essays to this anthology help advance and sharpen both the questions and the responses to that question.


Eve: The Unbearable Flaming Fire
  Edited by Mishael M. Caspi & John T. Greene

ISBN 978-1-4632-0160-9
 Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $89.10)

 This anthology on Eve brings together an international group of scholars to discuss how this character has been interpreted by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In a time when the history of women is being reassessed, it is natural that women look to the paradigmatic female figure. This treatment of Eve covers her wide range of roles as mother of our race, victim, stooge, wife, companion, independent thinker, and “helper”. A venerated figure by many modern feminists and a denigrated figure by those who blame her for original sin, no reader will leave these pages indifferent to the first woman.



An excerpt from a review of Williams' Bishop Lists: Formation of Apostolic Succession of Bishops in Ecclesiastical Crises at

[I had been searching for] at least ONE cogent book on Church history, to explain how the house churches were morphed into a claim of ecclesiatical hiearchy, beginning mid second century. Having looked in all the 'conventional' places and at the conventional historical authors like Eusebius, Gibbon and Schaff in Google search, I stumbled onto this gem. It has changed my life...[The conventional Church History authors] provide much detail, but for all that you never get a sense of INTEGRATED FLOW, but rather only of events. [In Bishop Lists you get a hands-on sense of what happened [in the second century]...It's a GRIPPING READ. He focuses on the 'bishop list' rhetorical device used by the Church fathers, and then traces out the cultural, historical, etymological, Bible-doctrinal, [and] logical development of the 'apostolic succession' idea in early Church, starting at Temple Destruction (roughly). He looks at the provenance not only from the Christian ideas, but from the Jewish ideas, and deftly weaves in [many factors].

Bishop Lists: Formation of Apostolic Succession of Bishops in Ecclesiastical Crises
  By Robert Lee Williams

ISBN 1-59333-194-0
 Hardback, $123.75 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $111.38)

 Early lists of bishops, identified by Walter Bauer as "literary propaganda," mark critical points in the development of the doctrine of the apostolic succession of bishops. This study delves into the political struggles surrounding the lists and the doctrine they served to define. Ecclesiastical politics in each case reflects the threat to the bishop's authority and clarifies the meaning of apostolic succession in the Church's development. This social history approach, examining the function of the literature within its historical circumstances, reveals how theology developed from politics. The development is as gripping politically as it is illuminating theologically.



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.



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