You have no items in your shopping cart.

e-Gorgias (Issue 70, November/December 2013)


Issue 70
November/December 2013
Reading Time: 10 minutes

The holiday season is upon us and it has been a busy few months! Gorgias Press exhibited at a number of conferences (see the "Conferences" section for more details). We were especially excited for these conferences this year, as a result of our cover redesign process - more details about that in the "News" section.

Our annual sale is in full swing, ending December 31, and it is the perfect time to stock up - check out the News section for more details regarding the sale. Our News section also contains information regarding the Gorgias Book Grant, a program offering outstanding graduate students grants in the form of Gorgias Press publications.

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: Philip Forness
  • Conferences

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

Syriac Literature
By Rubens Duval

ISBN 978-1-61143-962-5
 Hardback, $110 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $99.00)

Despite having been written over a century ago, the 3rd edition of Rubens Duval's History of Syriac Literature remains one of the best - and most readable - introductions to Syriac literature. This edition provides the first English translation of the work, translated by Olivier Holmey.


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

ISBN 978-1-61143-930-4
 Cloth, $150 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $135.00)

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.


The Gospel of Luke According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation
English Translation by Jeff W. Childers; Text Prepared by George Anton Kiraz

ISBN 978-1-4632-0241-5
 Cloth, $150 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $135.00)

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.

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

Romans and Corinthians 1/2 According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation Romans–Corinthians: English Translation by Daniel King; 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 978-1-61143-963-2, Cloth, $150 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $135.00)

A Short Introduction to the Tiberian Masoretic Bible and its Reading Tradition Second Edition: By Geoffrey Khan
This book is intended to provide a quick introductory overview of the Tiberian Masoretic tradition of the Hebrew Bible and its background. It was this tradition that produced the great Masoretic codices of the Middle Ages, which form the basis of modern printed editions of the Hebrew Bible. Particular prominence is given to the multi-layered nature of the Masoretic tradition. The volume contains a section describing the Tiberian reading tradition, which is essential for a correct understanding of the vocalization system.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0246-0, Paperback, $39 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $35.10)

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)

This month I’m pleased to announce the acquisition of volumes on Sasanian late antiquity, the geo-politics of Syro-Mesopotamia, Syriac Christianity, and the Aramaic mnemonics of the Leningrad Codex.

David Marcus’s Scribal Wit: Aramaic Mnemonics in the Leningrad Codex will form volume 10 in the series Texts and Studies. He analyses 74 of these Masoretic notes, which are placed side by side with the Hebrew verses they represent. The Sasanian Empire was home to many religious communities, and Geoffrey Herman has brought together a collection of 8 articles dealing with the interaction of minority religious communities with the majority religion, Zoroastrianism. Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians: Religious Dynamics in a Sasanian Context is volume 17 in the series Judaism in Context.

Syriac Christians have made significant and formative contributions to societies around the world. The second volume in the series Pro Oriente, Syriac Christianity in the Middle East and India: Contributions and Challenges, edited by Dietmar Winkler, examines these contributions in the fields of culture, education and civil society, and addresses the challenges of living and professing the Christian faith as a minority in a multi-religious and pluralistic society, giving special attention to religious freedom and personal status, as well as the issue of emigration.

Finally, Adam Miglio’s Tribe and State: The Dynamics of International Politics and the Reign of Zimri-Lim explores how the society of ancient Syro-Mesopotamia structured, constrained and empowered domestic and international politics of the ancient state centered at Mari, offering a new explanation for the sudden end of Zimri-Lim’s reign at the hands of Hammu-rabi of Babylon. The volume is the 8th to appear in the series Gorgias Studies in the Ancient Near East.

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

Melonie Schmierer-Lee

Acquisitions Editor

Scribal Wit By David Marcus
This book presents a detailed analysis of the Aramaic mnemonics, those short witty sentences written in Aramaic as memory aids in the margins of one of the oldest extant biblical Hebrew manuscripts, the Leningrad Codex (1008 CE). The material is presented in clear, user-friendly charts. Each mnemonic is set alongside the Hebrew verses it represents. This book demonstrates the ingenuity of the Masoretes in their grand endeavor to preserve the text of the Hebrew Bible precisely in the form that it had reached them.
ISBN 978-1-61143-904-5, Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $85.50)

Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians Edited by Geoffrey Herman
This volume explores the contacts between Jews and Christians within the broader religious and cultural context of the Sasanian Empire. It collects the proceedings of a workshop that took place on March 17-18th, 2010, in Bochum.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0250-7, Hardback, $188.5 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $169.65)

Syriac Christianity in the Middle East and India Edited by Dietmar W. Winkler
This volume acknowledges the contributions of Syriac Christians in the fields of culture, education and civil society throughout the history in the Middle East and India, and examines the challenges of living and professing the Christian faith as a minority in a multi-religious and pluralistic society, giving special attention to religious freedom and personal status.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0247-7, Hardback, $165.1 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $148.59)

Tribe and State By Adam E. Miglio
This book analyzes Zimri-Lim’s interactions with sovereigns from the Habur and with Yamut-bal and Numha tribal polities. It describes how Zimri-Lim’s disproportionate dependence on tribal connections left him vulnerable when these alliances began to falter in his tenth regnal year.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0249-1, Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $85.50)

Annual Sale

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. Or, go with one (or both) of our Black Friday/Cyber Monday bestsellers: The Texts and Translations of the Chronicle of Michael the Great and Brief Introduction to the Semitic Languages.

*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.

Other News

We are in the midst of redesigning many of our covers, so be prepared for an updated look! In fact, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce to you Kelly Silar, who designs many of our book covers, posters, flyers, advertisements, brochures, and other print media. The picture on the left is of her participation in an exhibit titled "Allusion/Illusion," as part of a Portfolio Development Class at Raritan Valley Community College. Her piece is called “Reflection.” It is a self-portrait about the illusion of imagination. The viewer is meant to look into the picture to see the landscape inside. The closer one is the more one sees, representing the idea that the closer one is to a person, the more of their imagination that person shares.

We are now accepting applications for the 2013 Gorgias Book Grant in any subject area that Gorgias publishes in. Eligible candidates must be enrolled in a graduate program (Master's or Ph.D.) in an accredited university or an institution of learning in the field of the grant, and must have the equivalent of a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The application deadline is January 31, 2014; winners will be announced in March 2013. For more information on how to apply, please visit our Book Grants page.

Two volumes (Deuteronomy and Luke) of the Antioch Bible (our book-by-book English translation of the Peshitta accompanied by the Syriac text) have recently been released, and another volume has been sent to the printer: Romans and Corinthians 1/2, translated by Daniel King, is an exciting addition!

Enthusiast of the Month: Philip Forness

Philip Forness grew up near Milwaukee, WI, studied theology and Classics in Valparaiso, IN, and now lives with his wife and daughter in Princeton, NJ. He began studying Syriac as a Master of Divinity student at Princeton Theological Seminary, and remained at the seminary to study with Kathleen McVey in the PhD program. He has broad interests in the history of Christianity from the earliest church to the ecumenical movements of the twentieth century. Late antique Syriac Christianity has provided a welcome setting for exploring the questions that drive his research. His dissertation will focus on the letters and homilies of Jacob of Sarug, and will contribute to broader conversations on late antique homilies and on the role of biblical exegesis in doctrinal disputes.

"Gorgias Press is unparalleled for its commitment to promoting Syriac Studies by making it accessible to students through translations, introductory works, and reference materials."

Check out Philip's favorite Gorgias books below!

Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on the Veil on Moses’ Face
  Fascicle 1: Translation and Introduction by Sebastian P. Brock

ISBN 978-1-59333-644-8
 Paperback, $35 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $31.50)

 This edition of Mar Jacob of Sarug's (d. 521) homily on the Veil of Moses asks the what the veil means. Jacob finds the hermeneutical key in Paul’s exegesis of Gen. 2:24 – that the man and the woman becoming one symbolizes Christ and the Church. The bride must wear a veil until such time as her bridegroom comes to remove it at their marriage ceremony. The volume constitutes a fascicle of The Metrical Homilies of Mar Jacob of Sarug, which, when complete, will contain the original Syriac text of Jacob's surviving sermons, fully vocalized, alongside an annotated English translation.


The History of the Holy Mar Ma‘in
  Fascicle 1: By Sebastian P. Brock

ISBN 978-1-59333-222-8
 Paperback, $63.8 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $57.42)

 The History of Holy Mar Ma‘in of Sinjar tells the story of a Sasanian general during the time of Shapur II (309-79) who suffered persecution after his conversion to Christianity. In this volume, the first in this new series from Gorgias Press, Sebastian P. Brock provides the first edition ever of the Syriac text of the History of Ma‘in as well as the first full translation of it. This volume also includes a basic guide to the whole corpus of Persian Martyr Acts as well as useful indices to these numerous texts.


An Introduction to Syriac Studies
  By Sebastian P. Brock

ISBN 1-59333-349-8
 Paperback, $38 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $34.20)

 This Introduction aims to provide basic guidance to important areas of Syriac studies. The relevance of Syriac studies to a variety of other fields is explored. A brief orientation to the history of Syriac literature is offered, and Syriac is set within the context of the other Aramaic dialects. A thorough discussion on important tools (Instrumenta Studiorum) is presented; topics include grammars, dictionaries, the Bible in Syriac, histories of Syriac literature, bibliographical aids and relevant series, periodicals, and encyclopedias. This Introduction should prove useful both for the student beginning Syriac studies and for scholars working in adjacent fields.


Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage
  Edited by Sebastian P. Brock, Aaron Michael Butts, George Anton Kiraz & Lucas Van Rompay

ISBN 978-1-59333-714-8
 Hardback, $160 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $144.00)

 The Gorgias Encyclopedic Dictionary of the Syriac Heritage (GEDSH) is the first major encyclopedia-type reference work devoted exclusively to Syriac Christianity, both as a field of scholarly inquiry and as the inheritance of Syriac Christians today. In more than 600 entries it covers the Syriac heritage from its beginnings in the first centuries of the Common Era up to the present day. Special attention is given to authors, literary works, scholars, and locations that are associated with the Classical Syriac tradition. Within this tradition, the diversity of Syriac Christianity is highlighted as well as Syriac Christianity’s broader literary and historical contexts, with major entries devoted to Greek and Arabic authors and more general themes, such as Syriac Christianity’s contacts with Judaism and Islam, and with Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Georgian Christianities.

It has been a busy few months of conferences!

In October, Gorgias Press attended the 2013 MESA conference in New Orleans (held October 10-13) and showcased a number of series. The following series were particularly well received: Gorgias Islamic Studies and Munaqashat: Gorgias Studies in the Modern Middle East.

In November, we exhibited at the annual American Schools of Oriental Research and Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting conferences, both held in Baltimore. At ASOR, our bestseller's were Jill Katz's The Archaeology of Cult in Middle Bronze Age Canaan and Zena Kamash's Archaeologies of Water in the Roman Near East.

Here is a note from our Marketing and Editorial Assistant, Jeffrey Haines, about SBL:

"This year the conference attracted about 10,000 participants, and although many larger presses were in attendance, we managed to garner significant interest thanks to our new, eye-catching posters (designed by our own Kelly Silar). As might be expected from a Biblical Studies crowd, there was a lot of interest in our Biblical Intersections Series as well as our newly redesigned books in Gorgias Ugaritic Studies.

It was also a pleasure to see a number of people finding their way into Syriac studies. We had a great deal of interest in The New Syriac Primer and Sokoloff's massive Syriac Lexicon, one of the most comprehensive Syriac dictionaries available. As always, familiar faces dropped by to pick up our many offerings from the Texts from Christian Late Antiquity Series and the Eastern Christian Studies Series.

In other conference-related news, we began talks with companies who may be able to make e-books more widely available to our readers. Logos, one of the premier electronic resources for the Bible, is considering incorporating some of our Syriac texts from the Bible and patristic studies. We are simultaneously making plans with Professor’s Choice to expand our partnership.

Thanks to all those who stopped by our booth – especially old friends – and to a few who accompanied us on a memorable night to eat Baltimore crabs. Until next year!"

We hope you will be able to join us this month in Boston for the Association for Jewish Studies 45th Annual Conference from December 15-17, 2013.

The Archaeology of Cult in Middle Bronze Age Canaan
  By Jill Katz

ISBN 978-1-59333-791-9
 Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $89.10)

 What was Canaanite religion like during the Middle Bronze Age, at the time of the of the biblical patriarchs? This volume presents a theoretical model for identifying ritual behavior in the archaeological record, providing a test case using the rich material culture and structures that have been unearthed at the biblical city of Gerar (Tel Haror, Israel).


Archaeologies of Water in the Roman Near East
  By Zena Kamash

ISBN 978-1-61143-421-7
 Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $89.10)

 Water is one of the most benign, and destructive, powers in the lives of all people, in particular in arid areas such as the Near East. This book provides an alternative way of thinking about the Roman Near East by exploring how its inhabitants managed and lived with their water supplies, especially in the wake of the Roman conquest. Through geographical, hydrological, and anthropological perspectives, this study aims to see how water can inform us about the nature of Roman Imperialism, the Roman economy, change and transformation in Late Antiquity.


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.


A Syriac Lexicon
  By Michael Sokoloff

ISBN 978-1-60724-620-6
 Hardback, $149.5 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $134.55)

 The second edition of Carl Brockelmann’s Lexicon Syriacum, published in 1928, is a highly reputable Syriac dictionary. However, its Latin language and the ordering of words according to triliteral Semitic roots make its use difficult for most students and scholars. This revised edition by Sokoloff renders meanings in English, arranges words alphabetically, and includes many useful tools on a CD.

Gorgias Press
954 River Rd., Piscataway, NJ 08854 USA
Tel. +1 732-885-8900
Fax. +1 732-885-8908