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Collective offers course on Lebanon, Jordan




(MENAFN - Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA))

São Paulo – Collective Lente Cultural is offering the course Lebanon and Jordan: The Age of Commercial Civilizations. Spanning three lessons, it will be taught by professor Plinio Freire Gomes on May 13, 15 and 17, from 7:30 pm to 10 pm at Espaço Lente Cultural, São Paulo. Enrolments are open.

The lessons will cover commercial civilizations in Beirut, Byblos, Sidon, Tyre, Baalbek (Lebanon) and Petra (Jordan) during the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age, around 1,200 BC. That period saw the region's economy thrive in an unprecedented way. Pictured above, a camel in Petra, Jordan.

According to Gomes, activities like farming, shepherding and handicraft created more and more surplus production, and that wealth created demand for luxury items, which almost always had to be brought from very far away. The combination of those factors greatly accelerated trade, and as a result, what formerly were regionwide-only routes expanded rapidly.

'First the merchants conquered the oceans. New shipbuilding techniques created vessels that set out at regular intervals between Crete and Egypt, or between the Greek Islands in the Aegean Sea, Asia Minor and Syria. Soon thereafter, around the year 1,000 BC, another crucial innovation broadened the possibilities for trade even further. In the northern portion of the Arabian Peninsula, somewhere between what is now Saudi Arabia and Jordan, Bedouin tribes learned to domesticate a clumsy, but tenacious quadruped – the camel,' Gomes told ANBA via email during a trip to Tehran, Iran.

The historian stressed that until this day, the animal is called safinat al-sahra (Arabic for desert ship). Caravans came and went, loaded up with goods, across what once had been impenetrable areas,' he said.

The notion of circulation that came with the domestication of camels redefined economic reality. 'The need to connect far-removed manufacturing and consumption prompted the emergence of cultures which specialized in negotiating. Peoples like the Phoenicians and Nabataeans were unrivaled in the art of buying and selling, establishing bona fide commercial civilizations,' concluded the professor.

Plinio Freire Gomes holds a master's in History from the University of São Paulo and is the author of O Herege vai ao Paraíso (Companhia das Letras). He has taught at Masp, Mam, Casa do Saber, Centro Universitário Maria Antonia and the Institute of Arab Culture. Gomes is a founding member of the Lente Cultural collective. He currently teaches conferences and courses on Art History, with an emphasis on the Greek, Roman and Renaissance periods, but his primary field of work is Islamic culture.

Enrolment for the course is available on the Lente Cultural website . Seats are limited.

Quick facts

Lebanon and Jordan: The Age of Commercial Civilizations
Professor Plinio Freire GomesMay 13, 15, 17
Mon, Wed, Fri, 7:30 pm-10 pm
Espaço Lente Cultural
Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima, 1690, conj. 41
São Paulo
Full 3-class course: BRL 255.00
Single class: BRL 95.00
Enrolments open

Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

Mint Images/AFP

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Collective offers course on Lebanon, Jordan

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