96. Pre-Islamic Arabia, with Valentina Grasso
A conversation with Valentina Grasso (Bard College) 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 Koran has never been known in such richness and complexity. The conversation is based on Valentina's recent book, Pre-Islamic Arabia: Societies, Politics, Cults, and Identities during Late Antiquity (Cambridge 2023).
It is Free