Tag: Medieval Middle East


Pre-Islamic Arabia, with Valentina Grasso

A conversation with Valentina Grasso on Arabia before Islam. This used to be known primarily from preserved Arabic poetry, but the picture is now filling in from inscriptions and contemporary texts. There were competing kingdoms, tribal coalitions, and foreign empires with a stake in trade routes. There were pagans, Jews, and Christians, as well as generic or “cautious” monotheists. The cultural background of the Quran has never been known in such richness and complexity.

Features Podcast

The Persian Art of Persuasion

How to convince a Prince? In this episode of the Medieval Grad Podcast, Faraz Alidina talks to Lucie Laumonier about his work on Persian literature. Faraz researches more specifically the works of a poet named Attar, who lived in Iran in the late twelfth and early thirteenth century. Attar mastered the art of rhetoric and persuasion through the telling of fables, in the manner of the stories of the One Thousand and One Nights.