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e-Gorgias (Issue 74, April 2014)


Issue 74
April 2014
Reading Time: 10 minutes

The past month has been a hectic one for our small press. Since the last issue of e-Gorgias, the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch, Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of blessed memory, has passed away, and a successor named in his place (see our In Memoriam and News sections for more details). We at Gorgias extend our congratulations to our Syriac Orthodox readers and look forward to the reign of the 123rd Patriarch of Antioch and all the East.

Of course, we have big news from the press itself too. Along with several recent titles, we have been busy preparing a slew of new books on Early Christianity, which we plan to release in time for the annual meeting of the North American Patristics Society in May.

Don’t miss our deal on the Antioch Bible!

Happy reading!


  • Recently Released
  • Coming Soon
  • From the Acquisitions Desk
  • In Memoriam
  • News
  • Conferences

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

Righteous Giving to the Poor: Tzedakah ("Charity") in Classical Rabbinic Judaism
By Rivka Ulmer & Moshe Ulmer

ISBN 978-1-4632-0261-3
 Paperback, $65 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $58.50)

Moral insights and comments about Tzedakah ("Charity") are found throughout the vast body of rabbinic literature. This book attempts to present a survey of the rabbinic sources concerning Tzedakah and to provide the reader with an analysis of the system of Tzedakah as created and understood by the Rabbis.


Astronomie et cosmographie syriaques
Introduits et annotés par Emilie Villey & Henri Hugonnard-Roche

ISBN 978-1-4632-0235-4
 Hardback, $60 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $54.00)

Cette série s’ouvre par la réédition d’articles de François Nau, publiés entre 1896 et 1910 dans la Revue de l’Orient chrétien et le Journal asiatique. L’œuvre de François Nau au service de la culture syriaque est immense et toujours consultée, tant il s’est consacré à la publication de textes qui n’ont souvent pas encore été repris ailleurs. Il a donc semblé utile de les republier dans une série de volumes thématiques, qui couvriront tous les champs de la culture syriaque.


Bardaisan of Edessa
Introduction by Jan Willem Drijvers; By H.J.W. Drijvers

ISBN 978-1-4632-0188-3
 Hardback, $90 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $81.00)

In this volume, a reprint of his 1966 monograph, H. J. W. Drijvers investigates the life and teachings of Bardaisan of Edessa, determining his place in the religious and cultural life of Edessa in the second half of the second century of the common era.


Reforming Ottoman Governance
By Fuat Andic & Suphan Andic

ISBN 978-1-4632-0236-1
 Hardback, $169 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $152.10)

The book is the history of reform attempts in the Ottoman Empire and the internal and external difficulties in implementing them. Imperialist aggression towards the Empire and bloody janissary revolts hampered the reforms, and although some successes in governance were achieved, there were many failures, and these contributed to the demise of the Empire at the end of the First World War.


Moses Bar Kepha: Commentary on Myron
Translation and Introduction by Baby Varghese

ISBN 978-1-4632-0214-9
 Paperback, $44.72 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $40.25)

Moses bar Kepha: Commentary on Myron is an important witness to the history of the West Syriac Liturgy. Fr.Baby Varghese has translated the Syriac text into English for the first time.


Jacob of Sarug's Homily on the Creation of Adam and the Resurrection of the Dead
Fascicle 32: Translation and Introduction by Edward G. Mathews Jr.

ISBN 978-1-4632-0264-4
 Paperback, $41.6 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $37.44)

Mêmrâ 72 is a meditation on the fall of Adam and its consequences, subjecting all creation to corruption. God’s mercy, however, will restore everything to a spiritual, incorruptible state that will exist eternally in the unending light of Christ.


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

The Armenian Prayers (?????) attributed to Ephrem the Syrian Edited and Translated by Edward G. Mathews Jr.
Armenian text of the Prayers attributed to Ephrem the Syrian, with the first-ever translation into a western language. Utilizing a highly developed poetic rhythm, the author manifests a profound spirituality laying his own emptiness before the inexhaustible Mercy of God.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0262-0, Paperback, $40 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $36.00)

Insiders versus Outsiders Edited by Jacobus (Kobus) Kok & John Anthony Dunne
Christianity as a movement developed within the already established, but volatile Jewish movement/religion, expressing a profound sense of inclusivism illustrated in the transcendence of social boundaries. In this book the dynamic reality of creating and transcending boundaries and the relationship between insiders and outsiders are explored by way of reflecting on mission and ethos.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0257-6, Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $85.50)

An East Syrian Manuscript of the Syriac 'Masora' Dated to 899 CE Volume 1: Prepared by Jonathan Loopstra
This 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. An introduction and comprehensive scriptural indices will be included in a forthcoming volume.
ISBN 978-1-61143-896-3, Hardback, $262.6 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $236.34)

An Introduction to Early Christianity By Pau Figueras
A general introduction to the origin and development of Christianity, from its Jewish background in the land of Israel up to its contribution to the thought and art of medieval Europe.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0238-5, Paperback, $48 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $43.20)

This month we’re pleased to announce the forthcoming publication of several books in the fields of Syriac and Eastern Christianity:

Adam McCollum’s translation of two of Jacob of Sarug’s Homilies on Jesus’ Temptation (Hom. 82 and 126) will be the 33rd Jacob of Sarug fascicle in the series Texts from Christian Late Antiquity. In these two homilies, Jacob reflects on the Temptation of Jesus as a combat between Satan and Jesus, the latter emerging as the humble victor.

The Book of Steps, a collection of 30 sermons written in the late fourth century, describes the struggle of a Christian community prior to the advent of monasticism to live a life faithfully committed to the pursuit of perfection. The first two volumes in this 3-part series (containing the English text translated by Robert A. Kitchen and Martien F. G. Parmentier, alongside the fully vocalised Syriac text on facing pages) went to press in 2009 and 2011, but in May The Syriac Book of Steps 3 will be available – the final fascicle, containing memre 21-30.

At the request of Diodorus, bishop of Tyre, Epiphanius of Salamis produced a comprehensive treatise on the stones in the High Priest's breastplate, which is the oldest Christian book on gemstones. Aside from excerpts, it is almost entirely lost in the Greek original, but a complete Armenian translation has survived. Felix Albrecht and Arthur Manukyan have translated this Armenian version into German in the forthcoming volume Epiphianus von Salamis De Duodecium gemmis rationales Über die zwölf Steine im hohepriesterlichen Brustschild nach dem Codex Vaticanus Borgianus Armenus 31 herausgegeben und übersetzt. It contains the first Western translation of the text, annotated, with German and English introductions to the work.

Finally, Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies volume 16, will be available in May. To see the full list of titles in different series, visit our series page.

Melonie Schmierer-Lee

Acquisitions Editor

Jacob of Sarug’s Homilies on Jesus' Temptation Fascicle 33: Edited and Translated by Adam Carter McCollum
This volume presents, with introduction and annotations, two metrical homilies (Bedjan nos. 82, 126) of Jacob of Sarug in which he reflects on the Temptation of Jesus as combat between Satan and Jesus, the latter emerging as the humble victor.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0285-9, Paperback, $49.4 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $44.46)

The Syriac Book of Steps 3 Translation and Introduction by Robert A. Kitchen & Martien F. G. Parmentier
The Syriac Book of Steps collects 30 sermons by a late 4th century anonymous author in the Persian Empire. The author details the spiritual life, highlighting the duties and problems of two ranks of committed Christians, the Upright and the Perfect.
ISBN 978-1-59333-981-4, Paperback, $61 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $54.90)

Epiphanius von Salamis By Felix Albrecht & Arthur Manukyan
At the request of Diodorus, bishop of Tyre, Epiphanius of Salamis produced this exegetical treatise on the gemstones in the High Priest's breastplate. The oldest Christian work on gemstones, the the author deals with the stones according to their appearance and their medical benefit as well as their attribution to the twelve tribes based on Christian exegesis. Only extracts of this work are preserved in Greek. This volume provides the important – but hereto unconsidered – Armenian text with a German translation and commentarial annotations, as well as an English introduction.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0279-8, Hardback, $161.2 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $145.08)

Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies (volume 16) Volume 16: General Editor George A. Kiraz
Widely regarded as a premier journal dedicated to the study of Syriac, Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies was established in 1998 as a venue devoted exclusively to the discipline. An organ of Beth Mardutho, the Syriac Institute, the journal appears semi-annually and will be printed in annual editions. A peer-reviewed journal, Hugoye is a respected academic source for up-to-date information about the state of Syriac studies and for discovering what is going on in the field. Contributors include some of the most respected names in the world of Syriac today.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0280-4, Paperback, $75 (Gorgias BiblioPerks™ $67.50)

In Memoriam: Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas

We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Patriarch Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas of blessed memory, the spiritual leader of the Syriac Orthodox Church. Mor Ignatius will be remembered as an educator and shepherd as well as a driving force behind the modern ecumenical movement. (Photo courtesy of Joseph Bali, pictured here with the late Patriarch).

Born in Mosul, Iraq, in 1933, Mor Ignatius was orphaned at the young age of twelve. He entered Ephrem Theological Seminary shortly thereafter to dedicate his life to God, and was ordained a monk in 1954, at the age of 21.

Over the next two and a half decades, His Holiness distinguished himself in the service of the Church and quickly advanced to positions of increasing responsibility. In 1963, he attended the Second Vatican Council as an observer, and was subsequently ordained Metropolitan. Later, he oversaw the dioceses of Baghdad, Basra and Australia, establishing many new churches and anointing many new priests.

After the death of his predecessor, Patriarch Mor Ya’qub III, Mor Ignatius succeeded to the chair of St. Peter as the 122nd Patriarch of Antioch and all the East as Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas. Right away, Mor Ignatius began to improve long-standing problems in leadership and infrastructure. One of his more notable projects was constructing a new central seminary in the suburbs of Damascus in order to improve clergy education. Over the course of his time as Patriarch, he also revitalized the clergy by ordaining over fifty new bishops and archbishops.

Mor Ignatius was also well-known for his ecumenical work. Not only did he strengthen the ties within the Oriental Orthodox family of churches, but in 1984 he signed a historic agreement with the Catholic Church for intercommunion. His Holiness was also elected to the presidency of the World Council of Churches multiple times.

After a reign of over thirty-three years, Mor Ignatius Zakka I Iwas passed away March 21, 2014 in Kiel, Germany. He will be greatly missed.

News: Gorgias Author Elected New Syriac Patriarch

Gorgias is delighted to announce that one of its authors has been elected Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church! Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim, now Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, is the 123rd Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, and the author of Symbols of the Cross in the Writings of the Early Syriac Fathers (Gorgias Press, 2004). His book traces the imagery of the cross through five major Syriac Fathers: Ephrem, Aphrahat, Jacob of Sarug, Philoxenos of Mabbug, and Narsai.

(photo courtesy of Joseph Bali, pictured right with the new Patriarch. Dayroyo Bali is also a Gorgias author and has contributed to six volumes of the Antioch Bible).

Born in Syria in 1965, Mor Ignatius became a monk and a priest in 1985, during which time he pursued academic studies in Ireland, Syria, and the United States. In 1996, he was appointed the archbishop of the Eastern Diocese of the United States and took up residence in Teaneck, NJ.

As more and more Syriac Christians began to find a home in America, Mor Ignatius worked to create a culture where they could sustain and grow their faith. During his time as archbishop, Mor Ignatius helped to establish eleven new parishes, ranged from New York to Indiana to Texas, where Syriac Orthodox families could participate in the holy liturgy. Additionally, he made the young people of the Church a priority, strengthening organizations such as the Syriac Orthodox Scouts, organizing annual retreats, and personally getting involved with their lives.

Mor Ignatius has expressed his desire to shepherd his flock from Damascus, and will be elevated there in the coming month.

Symbols of the Cross in the Writings of the Early Syriac Fathers
  By Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim

ISBN 1-59333-230-0
 Hardback, $48 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $43.20)

 The book takes the reader on a journey of cross symbolism. Karim covers topics from the paradise of Eden to the Crucifixion and Golgotha. He discusses the cross as a symbol of historical, sacramental, and eschatological events.


Sale Reminder

If you haven’t purchased anything from our Early Christianity Sale, it’s not too late! Order now to get 30% off our titles in Early Christian Studies!

The sale includes series such as Gorgias Eastern Christian Studies, Texts from Christian Late Antiquity, Persian Martyr Acts, and Gorgias Dissertations in Early Christianity and Patristics, along with select individual titles. Now is your chance to get that book you’ve had your eye on!

Upcoming Conferences: North American Patristics Society, May 22-24

Look for us at the annual meeting of the North American Patristics Society in Chicago, May 22-24! It will be a great opportunity for you to check out some of our new releases, and we'll be offering an incredible 40% off discount!


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Fax. +1 732-885-8908