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The 'Ascetical Homilies' of St Isaac the Syrian


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#21 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 01:04 AM

Is the HTM translation thought to be sound? I have that and it reads well enough though I obviously can't know about its accuracy.

#22 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 02:31 PM

Is the HTM translation thought to be sound? I have that and it reads well enough though I obviously can't know about its accuracy.


Overall the translation seems to be accepted as the best available to date in English.

Part of this comes from HTM having worked with Syriac versions. These help clear up evident mistakes/lack of clarity in the older Greek versions from which the Orthodox used to work (eg older Russian versions used the Greek).

In Christ- Fr Raphael

#23 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 01:22 PM

I asked at the monastery here this weekend, and they have no copies left.

#24 Stuart Dunn

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 03:43 AM

Someone blessed me immensely today by giving me half of the Ascetical Homilies as pdf's on a CD! They're giving me the rest of them tomorrow.


Would you be willing to post those on a service like www.yousendit.com?

Edited by Stuart Dunn, 26 February 2008 - 03:46 AM.
fixed hyperlink


#25 Father David Moser

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 04:12 AM

Someone blessed me immensely today by giving me half of the Ascetical Homilies as pdf's on a CD! They're giving me the rest of them tomorrow.


Would you be willing to post those on a service like www.yousendit.com?


I can't say much about one person giving another a copy of a book, but it does strike me as a gross violation of copyright, and possibly even theft, to post an e-copy of a book on such a website without the publisher's permission.

Fr David Moser

#26 Stuart Dunn

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 01:57 AM

In my opinion, which counts for nothing, it is the same as loaning a book to a friend (I know no friends with a copy) or checking it out of the library (I checked all local libraries both public and academic). This is only because this book is not being published anymore, and may or may not ever be published again. If one were to go around making copies and selling them, then I agree that is theft. However, the publisher letting this book be unavailable to the public (I know scores of people who have called or wrote them asking them to republish it.) if they can afford it is greater theft in my opinion. It is robbing people of an invaluable treasure.

#27 Mourad Mankarios

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 02:18 AM

In my opinion, which counts for nothing, it is the same as loaning a book to a friend (I know no friends with a copy) or checking it out of the library (I checked all local libraries both public and academic). This is only because this book is not being published anymore, and may or may not ever be published again. If one were to go around making copies and selling them, then I agree that is theft. However, the publisher letting this book be unavailable to the public (I know scores of people who have called or wrote them asking them to republish it.) if they can afford it is greater theft in my opinion. It is robbing people of an invaluable treasure.


Stuart I can understand your frustration. An alternative would simply be to settle for the Wensinck translation which I hear is also very good and is available in the link that I provided earlier. The price is also extremely small compared to the length of the text. So I'd recommend getting the Wensinck translation along with Part 2 of the homilies, translated by Sebastian Brock and available at Nektarios Press.

#28 Max Percy

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 02:21 AM

Here, for fun, is the relevant statute:

Title 17 of the United States Code, Chapter 1, § 108. Limitations on exclusive rights: Reproduction by libraries and archives41

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this title and notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement of copyright for a library or archives, or any of its employees acting within the scope of their employment, to reproduce no more than one copy or phonorecord of a work, except as provided in subsections (b) and ©, or to distribute such copy or phonorecord, under the conditions specified by this section, if —

(1) the reproduction or distribution is made without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage;

(2) the collections of the library or archives are (i) open to the public, or (ii) available not only to researchers affiliated with the library or archives or with the institution of which it is a part, but also to other persons doing research in a specialized field; and

(3) the reproduction or distribution of the work includes a notice of copyright that appears on the copy or phonorecord that is reproduced under the provisions of this section, or includes a legend stating that the work may be protected by copyright if no such notice can be found on the copy or phonorecord that is reproduced under the provisions of this section.

(b) The rights of reproduction and distribution under this section apply to three copies or phonorecords of an unpublished work duplicated solely for purposes of preservation and security or for deposit for research use in another library or archives of the type described by clause (2) of subsection (a), if —

(1) the copy or phonorecord reproduced is currently in the collections of the library or archives; and

(2) any such copy or phonorecord that is reproduced in digital format is not otherwise distributed in that format and is not made available to the public in that format outside the premises of the library or archives.

© The right of reproduction under this section applies to three copies or phonorecords of a published work duplicated solely for the purpose of replacement of a copy or phonorecord that is damaged, deteriorating, lost, or stolen, or if the existing format in which the work is stored has become obsolete, if —

(1) the library or archives has, after a reasonable effort, determined that an unused replacement cannot be obtained at a fair price; and

(2) any such copy or phonorecord that is reproduced in digital format is not made available to the public in that format outside the premises of the library or archives in lawful possession of such copy.

For purposes of this subsection, a format shall be considered obsolete if the machine or device necessary to render perceptible a work stored in that format is no longer manufactured or is no longer reasonably available in the commercial marketplace.

(d) The rights of reproduction and distribution under this section apply to a copy, made from the collection of a library or archives where the user makes his or her request or from that of another library or archives, of no more than one article or other contribution to a copyrighted collection or periodical issue, or to a copy or phonorecord of a small part of any other copyrighted work, if —

(1) the copy or phonorecord becomes the property of the user, and the library or archives has had no notice that the copy or phonorecord would be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research; and

(2) the library or archives displays prominently, at the place where orders are accepted, and includes on its order form, a warning of copyright in accordance with requirements that the Register of Copyrights shall prescribe by regulation.

(e) The rights of reproduction and distribution under this section apply to the entire work, or to a substantial part of it, made from the collection of a library or archives where the user makes his or her request or from that of another library or archives, if the library or archives has first determined, on the basis of a reasonable investigation, that a copy or phonorecord of the copyrighted work cannot be obtained at a fair price, if —

(1) the copy or phonorecord becomes the property of the user, and the library or archives has had no notice that the copy or phonorecord would be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research; and

(2) the library or archives displays prominently, at the place where orders are accepted, and includes on its order form, a warning of copyright in accordance with requirements that the Register of Copyrights shall prescribe by regulation.

(f) Nothing in this section —

(1) shall be construed to impose liability for copyright infringement upon a library or archives or its employees for the unsupervised use of reproducing equipment located on its premises: Provided, That such equipment displays a notice that the making of a copy may be subject to the copyright law;

(2) excuses a person who uses such reproducing equipment or who requests a copy or phonorecord under subsection (d) from liability for copyright infringement for any such act, or for any later use of such copy or phonorecord, if it exceeds fair use as provided by section 107;

(3) shall be construed to limit the reproduction and distribution by lending of a limited number of copies and excerpts by a library or archives of an audiovisual news program, subject to clauses (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (a); or

(4) in any way affects the right of fair use as provided by section 107, or any contractual obligations assumed at any time by the library or archives when it obtained a copy or phonorecord of a work in its collections.

(g) The rights of reproduction and distribution under this section extend to the isolated and unrelated reproduction or distribution of a single copy or phonorecord of the same material on separate occasions, but do not extend to cases where the library or archives, or its employee —

(1) is aware or has substantial reason to believe that it is engaging in the related or concerted reproduction or distribution of multiple copies or phonorecords of the same material, whether made on one occasion or over a period of time, and whether intended for aggregate use by one or more individuals or for separate use by the individual members of a group; or

(2) engages in the systematic reproduction or distribution of single or multiple copies or phonorecords of material described in subsection (d): Provided, That nothing in this clause prevents a library or archives from participating in interlibrary arrangements that do not have, as their purpose or effect, that the library or archives receiving such copies or phonorecords for distribution does so in such aggregate quantities as to substitute for a subscription to or purchase of such work.

(h)(1) For purposes of this section, during the last 20 years of any term of copyright of a published work, a library or archives, including a nonprofit educational institution that functions as such, may reproduce, distribute, display, or perform in facsimile or digital form a copy or phonorecord of such work, or portions thereof, for purposes of preservation, scholarship, or research, if such library or archives has first determined, on the basis of a reasonable investigation, that none of the conditions set forth in subparagraphs (A), (B), and © of paragraph (2) apply.

(2) No reproduction, distribution, display, or performance is authorized under this subsection if —

(A) the work is subject to normal commercial exploitation;

(B) a copy or phonorecord of the work can be obtained at a reasonable price; or

© the copyright owner or its agent provides notice pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Register of Copyrights that either of the conditions set forth in subparagraphs (A) and (B) applies.

(3) The exemption provided in this subsection does not apply to any subsequent uses by users other than such library or archives.

(i) The rights of reproduction and distribution under this section do not apply to a musical work, a pictorial, graphic or sculptural work, or a motion picture or other audiovisual work other than an audiovisual work dealing with news, except that no such limitation shall apply with respect to rights granted by subsections (b), ©, and (h), or with respect to pictorial or graphic works published as illustrations, diagrams, or similar adjuncts to works of which copies are reproduced or distributed in accordance with subsections (d) and (e).

#29 Max Percy

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 02:42 AM

Sorry, I meant to include § 107.as well

§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use40

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include —

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use40

#30 Stuart Dunn

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 03:48 AM

Stuart I can understand your frustration. An alternative would simply be to settle for the Wensinck translation which I hear is also very good and is available in the link that I provided earlier. The price is also extremely small compared to the length of the text. So I'd recommend getting the Wensinck translation along with Part 2 of the homilies, translated by Sebastian Brock and available at Nektarios Press.


I did purchase Wensinck's copy and received it in the mail yesterday. I merely wanted to compare how major the differences in translation were. Just was making a point. If I did receive a PDF copy of a work that was no longer being published, I wouldn't feel guilty (Sorry) merely because I am not taking money out of their pockets. If they did reprint it, I would most definitely buy a copy. However, since it is currently unpublished, and I doubt St. Isaac wrote his homilies for profit (I know when purchasing the book we are paying for time, effort, translation, materials, etc.) then it is no different to me than borrowing a hard copy from a friend (which can also be construed as illegal I think).

#31 Father David Moser

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 05:37 AM

Sorry, I meant to include § 107.as well

§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use40

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.


And this is exactly my point - posting an e-copy of an in-demand book which is slated for re-release on a site where anyone can download for free does indeed affect the "potential market for or value of the copyrighted work".

Fr David Moser

#32 Max Percy

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 01:33 PM

And this is exactly my point - posting an e-copy of an in-demand book which is slated for re-release on a site where anyone can download for free does indeed affect the "potential market for or value of the copyrighted work".

Fr David Moser


However Fr., it is my reading of the statute that :

"Except as otherwise provided in this title and notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement of copyright for a library or archives, or any of its employees acting within the scope of their employment, to reproduce no more than one copy or phonorecord of a work, except as provided in subsections (b) and ©, or to distribute such copy or phonorecord, under the conditions specified by this section, if —

(1) the reproduction or distribution is made without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage;

(2) the collections of the library or archives are (i) open to the public, or (ii) available not only to researchers affiliated with the library or archives or with the institution of which it is a part, but also to other persons doing research in a specialized field; and ...

(d) The rights of reproduction and distribution under this section apply to a copy, made from the collection of a library or archives where the user makes his or her request or from that of another library or archives, of no more than one article or other contribution to a copyrighted collection or periodical issue, or to a copy or phonorecord of a small part of any other copyrighted work, if —

(1) the copy or phonorecord becomes the property of the user, and the library or archives has had no notice that the copy or phonorecord would be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research;

(Bold is added for emphasis and the statute abridged for clarity)

It does not appear to me that making a single copy for "private study, scholarship, or research" constitutes a violation, but it would not take much to know alot more about this than I do.

#33 Stuart Dunn

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 02:14 PM

The site I listed is just a way to share large files (100 MB some sites allow larger files) among friends/peers since most emails support 10-20 MB maximum attachments. It also deletes the selection after a week or so I think. Basically, it is like borrowing a book from a friend. Because only the person who was emailed about the file knows where to access it. So it would not affect the potential market. Sorry to be argumentative.

#34 Silouan Howard

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 10:25 PM

Someone blessed me immensely today by giving me half of the Ascetical Homilies as pdf's on a CD! They're giving me the rest of them tomorrow.


[tongue in cheek]

Well Im glad you feel so blessed, Andrew, for taking the book that Mark brought for me, and I have STILL yet to get any of these so-called copies! :) And, yes, I will be telling Fr. Seraphim about this!!

#35 Mourad Mankarios

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 12:13 PM

Ok, here's a link to some copies of the Holy Transfiguration version of the Ascetical Homilies. Just scroll down the page and you'll find three reasonably priced copies.

http://www.bookfinde...557&mode=direct

#36 Aidan Kimel

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 12:38 AM

Ok, here's a link to some copies of the Holy Transfiguration version of the Ascetical Homilies. Just scroll down the page and you'll find three reasonably priced copies.

http://www.bookfinde...557&mode=direct


LOL. As reasonable as $47.92 may be for this volume, it is still too much if it purchases nothing. Please note that the $998.50 is the "best price" for available copies. :-) For the life of me, I can't imagine paying a thousand dollars even for St Isaac's homilies.

#37 Father Anthony

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 01:05 AM

LOL. As reasonable as $47.92 may be for this volume, it is still too much if it purchases nothing. Please note that the $998.50 is the "best price" for available copies. :-) For the life of me, I can't imagine paying a thousand dollars even for St Isaac's homilies.


Father Alvin,

If you meet me half way of that price, I will part with my copy of the Ascetical Homilies. :)

In IC XC,
Father Anthony+

#38 Mourad Mankarios

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 02:57 AM

Sorry people my mistake, I should've been more thorough.

#39 Christophoros

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 10:59 AM

Holy Transfiguration Monastery's online store is now selling spiralbound photocopies of The Ascetical Homilies of St. Isaac the Syrian for $80 plus shipping.

http://www.thehtm.org/catalog/

#40 Norman Turner

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 11:39 AM

Does anyone have a copy they'd be willing to sell or if not one they'd scan? I'd pay for the time. I tried contacting the Holy Transfiguration Monastery several times to see if they have any used editions or if they are considering reprinting it, but I have received no response. Thanks.


In Toronto, if all fails, you may appear at your public library and for $10 they will initiate in interlibrary search for you. They can even search in another country if necessary. Often universities have a copy which they will loan to your nearby (reputable) library.

The loan is usually for 7-10 days. If the loan is only for in-library use, you will have to copy (Xerox) it there. Cost may be 15 cents per page. However, you may be able to shrink your loan & get 2 pages for that price.

If the loan allows you to take the book out of the library, you can taken it to Staples (Business Depot) and copy it for about 7 cents per copy. Of course, if a scanner is available (your own of Staples), you can scan it.

Usually, when only one copy is made for personal, research use, there is no infringement on the copyrite.

May the Lord bless you in your search.

Norman Turner

Edited by Norman Turner, 19 June 2008 - 12:44 PM.
grammatical error





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