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e-Gorgias (Issue 92, October 2015)


Issue 92
October 2015
Reading Time: 10 minutes
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October has been an unexpectedly exciting month here at Gorgias. Not only have we been busy with the upcoming conferences and the holiday sale, but we also prepared our annual catalog, which is available for download here. Plus, thanks to a generous donor and some courageous monks, Gorgias books were able to be sent to Syria to help educate the clergy there. We have more on all of these stories below under News.

Our guest for Author's Corner this month also has an interesting story. Jorunn Buckley, a professor and Gorgias author, shares a little bit about her work advocating on behalf of the Mandaeans, a beleaguered Middle Eastern community.

Finally, our annual sale continues with a special deal on books on the Ancient Near East. This week only, enter NEAREAST for an additional 10% discount. More details below!*

If you would like to unsubscribe from e-Gorgias, the link can be found at the top and bottom of this newsletter (or, if you want to introduce a friend to e-Gorgias, they can subscribe here.)

Happy reading!

Jeff Haines, Marketing Assistant

*In order to qualify for the holiday sale, you must log into your Gorgias account and place the order with a credit card through our website. Please note that there are some titles that will not be marked down; these items will be marked with a star on your shopping cart. Please check prices carefully before placing your online order as all purchases are final -- no cancellations or returns will be accepted.

  • Recently Released
  • Coming Soon
  • From the Acquisitions Desk
  • News
  • Author's Corner: Jorunn Buckley
  • Reviews
  • Conferences


For the complete list of recent releases, please visit our Just Published page.

"Behold! My Servant"
By Stéphane A. Beaulieu

ISBN 978-1-4632-0559-1
Hardback, $208 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $124.80)

Scholars have long debated the identity of the servant in the first servant poem of Isaiah. This present volume provides a fresh reinvestigation of the identity of the servant in Isaiah 42:1-9 and its role among the other servant poems, also examining other relevant “servant” passages in Isaiah—particularly in Second Isaiah. The result reveals a thorough linguistic, intratextual, and thematic framework for interpreting the identity and role of this servant.

Divine Motive in the Hebrew Bible
By J. Michael Thigpen

ISBN 978-1-4632-0532-4
Hardback, $125 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $75)

This study begins with a comprehensive survey and analysis of divine motive in the Hebrew Bible. Building on the survey it explores divine motive in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, which contain 25% of the divine motive statements in the Hebrew canon.

"It’s better to hear the rebuke of the wise than the song of fools" (Qoh 7:5)
Edited by W. David Nelson & Rivka Ulmer

ISBN 978-1-4632-0560-7
Hardback, $169 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $101.40)

This volume contains selected proceedings of the Midrash Section sessions convened during the 2012-2014 meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature. It is comprised of contributions by leading and emerging scholars that share a common focus on Rabbinic biblical interpretation as it intersects with a range of biblical texts and associated fields of study, including: Jewish legal literature; Hellenistic Judaism; post-biblical interpretation; biblical commentary; liturgical studies; and, cultural studies.

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

Classical Syriac Phonology By Ebbe Egede Knudsen
This book provides a description of Classical Syriac phonology based on fully vocalized biblical texts and the detailed comments by medieval Syriac grammarians. In addition to a description of Syriac consonants and vowels (including vowel quantity and stress), there are chapters on the compararive Semitic background of Syriac phonology and the grammatical features of the pre-classical inscriptions, and comparison with both eastern and western varieties of Jewish Aramaic. The modern dialect of Turoyo is also examined, and two appendices discuss the traditional pronunciation of West Syriac and the pronunciation of Modern Literary Syriac, and offer a sketch of Turoyo phonology.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0525-6, Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $59.40)

An Anthology of Syriac Writers from Qatar in the Seventh Century Edited by Mario Kozah, Abdulrahim Abu-Husayn, Saif Shaheen Al-Murikhi & Haya Al Thani
The Syriac writers of Qatar have not received the scholarly attention that they deserve in the last half century. This anthology seeks to redress such an underdevelopment by providing new material in English translation with accompanying Syriac and Garshuni editions to encourage further research in the sub-field of Beth Qatraye studies. It includes the work of some of the most prominent scholars in this field.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0547-8, Hardback, $110 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $66.00)

How Do We Want the Past to Be? Edited by Maria Gabriella Micale & Davide Nadali
How Do We Want the Past to Be? The question is not purely rhetoric: rather, it points out the importance of how archaeologists deal with the interpretation and visualization of the past that they excavate and study. The essays in this book offer a contribution to the current debate on archaeology and the contemporary methodological approaches to the study of ancient Near Eastern architecture.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0544-7, Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $59.40)

The Epistle of the Number by Ibn al-Aḥdab By Ilana Wartenberg
The first edition of The Epistle of the Number, composed in Syracuse, Sicily, at the end of the 14th century. It is the first known Hebrew treatise to include extensive algebraic theories and procedures, exposing novel mathematical vocabulary, and enhancing our understanding of the linguistic mechanisms which helped create scientific vocabulary in medieval Hebrew.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0417-4, Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $57.00)


We have recently acquired several new books in cultural heritage and early Christianity. For cultural heritage, we are already preparing the second volume in our new interdisciplinary series, Regenerating Practices in Archaeology and Heritage. This new volume, edited by Gemma Tully and Mal Ridges, will be called Collaborative Heritage Management and will bring together experts in archaeology, anthropology, urban planning, human geography, cultural resources management, and museology to discuss how minority cultures have recently made strides in taking over the representation and management of their heritage. Collaborative Heritage Management will be of great interest to academics who are looking to combine their efforts with those of local communities.

In early Christianity, we are continuing our Texts from Christian Late Antiquity series with two new books, Jacob of Sarug’s Homilies on the Solitaries, translated by Morgan Reed and Colby Scott, and Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on the Lord’s Prayer, translated by Morgan Reed. Jacob of Sarug’s Homilies on the Solitaries uses the temptation in the wilderness to encourage Syriac ascetics who have dedicated themselves to a life of consecrated singleness, while Jacob of Sarug’s Homily on the Lord’s Prayer uses the Lord’s Prayer as a tool to teach the overarching narrative of the Bible and how it applies to the spiritual life.

Finally, a new volume of the Antioch Bible will be entering production. Hebrews and the Minor Catholic Epistles, translated by Daniel King and J. Edward Walters, will complete the New Testament according to the Syriac Peshitta.

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

Melonie Schmierer-Lee

Acquisitions Editor

Collaborative Heritage Management Edited by Gemma Tully & Mal Ridges
In this volume, practitioners within archaeology, anthropology, urban planning, human geography, cultural resource management (CRM) and museology push the boundaries of traditional cultural and natural heritage management and reflect how heritage discourse is being increasingly re-theorised in term of experience.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0570-6, Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $59.40)

Jacob of Sarug's Homilies on the Solitaries Edited and Translated by Morgan Reed & Colby A. Scott
Jacob of Sarug's pastoral concern and rhetorical acumen have appropriately earned him the title “the lyre of the Holy Spirit”. This volume presents Jacob's admonitions to those living a life of consecrated singleness to God.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0562-1, Paperback, $48.5 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $29.10)

Jacob of Sarug's Homily on the Lord's Prayer Edited and Translated by Morgan Reed
Jacob of Sarug's pastoral concern and rhetorical acumen have earned him the title “the lyre of the Holy Spirit”. This volume presents both a text and translation of Jacob’s exposition of a passage central to Christian liturgy and piety.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0561-4, Paperback, $48.5 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $29.10)

Hebrews and the Minor Catholic Epistles According to the Syriac Peshitta Version with English Translation Hebrews and the Minor Catholic Epistles: English Translation by Daniel King & J. Edward Walters; 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.
ISBN 978-1-4632-0556-0, Cloth, $150 (Subscribe for $75/volume!)


Correction to previous edition

Please note: in the review section of Issue 91, we incorrectly listed one reviewer as "Robert Moreland." The correct name is "Robert Morehouse." You can read more about Dr. Morehouse and his work here. We apologize for the error.

This Week Only: Ancient Near East Books 50% Off

As our last October special, we're giving you an extra 10% off of our selection of Ancient Near East books.* Popular titles include books on archaeology, Assyria, Ugarit, and the relationship between the ancient Near East and Israel. We've created a list for you below.

In order to claim your discount, add the book to your shopping cart and enter "NEAREAST" in the field for the coupon code. The code will expire on 11/05/15 as we prepare the next special deal.

*In order to qualify for the discount, you must log into your Gorgias account and place the order with a credit card through our website. Please note that there are some titles that will not be marked down; these items will be marked with a star on your shopping cart. Please check prices carefully before placing your online order as all purchases are final -- no cancellations or returns will be accepted.

Gorgias 2016 Annual Catalog Now Available

Our new catalog will be arriving in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, you can download a copy online! Click here or find it on our homepage (and forward it to your favorite librarian).

Gorgias Books Cross into Syria

Thanks to a generous purchase from Dr. Khalid Dinno, Gorgias was able to send thousands of dollars' worth of Gorgias books to Syria. After several weeks, the books crossed over safely to the library of St. Ephrem Theological Seminary, near the village of Ma'arat Saydnaya, and are pictured here at their arrival at the monastery.


When asked about the reason for his donation, Dr. Dinno commented:

"This was a modest contribution that followed similar others that I was happy to make to Mor Aphrem Theological Seminary over the past decade. These contributions reflect my deep conviction in the importance of advancing the education of the clergy, which our church history has shown beyond doubt, was a key factor in the revival, indeed the renaissance that the Syrian Orthodox Church witnessed in the twentieth century."

"As for me, I will dwell at Mizpah …": The Tell en-Nasbeh Excavations after 85 Years
Edited by Jeffrey R. Zorn & Aaron J. Brody

ISBN 978-1-4632-0416-7
Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $47.50)

Collected essays on aspects of daily life at the Israelite site of Tell en-Nasbeh (biblical Mizpah of Benjamin). These include: trade and economy, death and burial, metals, cooking, water management, curation of the site’s materials, and a site bibliography.

Tribe and State
By Adam E. Miglio

ISBN 978-1-4632-0249-1
Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $47.50)

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.

A Comprehensive Grammar to Hammurabi’s Stele
By M. E. J. Richardson

ISBN 978-1-4632-0284-2
Paperback, $65 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $32.50)

This complete grammar of Code of Hammurabi is formally arranged and can be the basis for learning the rest of Akkadian grammar. Students of Biblical Hebrew or Arabic will find it a most convenient introduction to this sister language. The cuneiform text has been set out in columns opposite a phonetic transcription, thus enabling the comprehensive set of citations illustrating various points of Akkadian grammar to be easily checked within their wider linguistic context. This book, when used in conjunction with the author’s previous book “Hammurabi’s Laws”, makes it possible for a student to learn to read and understand the whole text of Hammurabi’s Stele.

Engraved on Stone
By Rony Feingold

ISBN 978-1-4632-0167-8
Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $47.50)

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.

Keter Shem Tov
Edited by Shani Tzoref & Ian Young

ISBN 978-1-61143-866-6
Hardback, $150 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $75.00)

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.

Lesser Deities in the Ugaritic Texts and the Hebrew Bible
By Sang Youl Cho

ISBN 978-1-59333-820-6
Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $47.50)

A comparative work on the nature and various roles of the lesser deities, the so-called angels, in the Ugaritic texts and the Hebrew Bible. Sang Youl Cho insists on the necessity for a comparative study between the two religious literatures from Ugarit and ancient Israel. The present study is interested in their membership in the heavenly council, their kinship among the deities, and their roles such as messengers, warriors, mediators, or servants, which have numerous similarities in the Ugaritic texts and the Old Testament.

I Deal Death and Give Life
By Shaul Bar

ISBN 978-1-60724-328-1
Paperback, $166.25 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $83.13)

Is death the end of the human journey, or is there continuity after death? What happens to body and soul after death? Were Israelites worshiping the dead? What is the source of mourning practices? This book explores this multifaceted topic as related in the Bible.

The Archaeology of Palestine and the Bible
By William Foxwell Albright

ISBN 978-1-59333-665-3
Hardback, $123.75 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $61.88)

One of the perennial touchstones in the field of archaeology in the ancient Near East, Albright’s work has been endlessly utilized. With a freshness apposite to its position among the pioneering works of a new discipline, this contribution laid the groundwork for countless future studies. Albright deftly describes how ancient Palestine was discovered, his famous excavation of Tell Beit Mirsim, and the relevance of archaeology for understanding the Bible. In setting the stage for what follows in the archaeological drama in Israel and throughout the Middle East, this work justly deserves a place in the Gorgias Classic Archaeological Reprints.

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

ISBN 978-1-59333-791-9
Hardback, $99 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $49.50)

What was Canaanite religion like during the Middle Bronze Age, at the time 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).

Nineveh and Its Remains
Vol. 1–Vol. 2: By Austen Henry Layard

ISBN 1-59333-128-2
Hardback, $163 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $81.50)

This book describes the discovery of Assyrian sites in Nineveh by interspersing journeys and descriptions of people and places with accounts of archaeological discoveries. Layard's romantic view of the countryside and people blends with his rediscovery of Assyria.

Our Distinguished Author this monthis Jorunn Buckley, Professor Emerita at Bowdoin College. Dr. Buckley is known for her work on the Mandaeans, one of the disappearing people groups in the Middle East, and has published two previous academic volumes with Gorgias: Drower's Folk-Tales of Iraq, which includes previously unpublished folk tales, and The Great Stem of Souls, a study on Mandaean history through colophons.

We asked Dr. Buckley about her current research, and she wrote the following:

"The Mandaeans constitute the last existing Near Eastern Gnostic group surviving from late antiquity, and the people and their religion are currently in danger of extinction. In 1995 I became a certified Expert Witness for Mandaeans for the U. S. Dept. of Justice, and for the past twenty years, I have been working for Iraqi and Iranian Mandaean asylum seekers. My activism on behalf of Mandaean asylum-seekers extends internationally.

"I recently wrote a book about my work on behalf of the Mandaeans: John the Baptist’s People in Limbo: Persecuted by Islam, Ignored by Others. This book does not relate directly to any of my other published books on the Mandaeans. It is not strictly academic, but it does describe how a traditionally trained academic (a historian of religions) can work as a political activist, and how in my case this is only possible because I am already an established scholar in a specific field. The book is written from a first person perspective and is narrative in form, at times dramatic, and dense with politics, testimonies, and descriptions of court settings. Because it contains highly sensitive information, the book is not in the public domain, and is available only through me."

If interested, you can reach Dr. Buckley at In addition to our weekly discount, enter the code MANDAIC for an extra 10% discount on our Mandaic Studies books.


Drower’s Folk-Tales of Iraq
By Jorunn Buckley

ISBN 978-1-59333-360-7
Hardback, $139 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $69.50)

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.

The Great Stem of Souls
By Jorunn Buckley

ISBN 978-1-59333-621-9
Hardback, $204.49 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $102.25)

Mandaean priests, representatives of a religious heritage that can be traced back to Late Antique Mesopotamia, still copy their ancient literature by hand. The Great Stem of Souls is a study of the colophons – postscripts at the end of each text – that are appended to most Mandaean documents. A study of the contents of the colophons provides a framework for reconstructing Mandaean history.


We recently received a positive review of "YHWH Fights for Them!" The Divine Warrior in the Exodus Narrative by Charlie Trimm. Benjamin Giffone, of LCC International University, writes:

"[A] significant value of this study is its numerous references (especially in the footnotes) to ancient Near Eastern imagery and terminology. . . Trimm has provided scholars, teachers, and advanced students of Exodus a stimulating and careful literary study of the biblical text."

Benjamin D. Giffone, review of Charlie Trimm, “YHWH Fights for Them!”: The Divine Warrior in the Exodus Narrative, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2015).


"YHWH Fights for Them!"
By Charlie Trimm

ISBN 978-1-4632-0271-2
Hardback, $95 (Gorgias BiblioPerks $57.00)

The divine warrior is an important motif in the Old Testament, leading many to study profitably the motif in its most prominent manifestations in poetic texts. This study builds on that foundation by examining the divine warrior in detail in the exodus narrative to construct a broader picture of the motif in the Old Testament.


Drop by our booth at the American Schools for Oriental Research or Booth 1410 at the Society of Biblical Literature/American Academy of Religion Conference in Atlanta next month! It's a great place to leaf through our books in person and take advantage of our steep conference discounts. We'll also have our new catalogs at the table.

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