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Stunning Middle East, by Jean-Pierre Filiu: the opium of the peoples


ESSAY - The major role of drugs in the history of the Middle East, from Antiquity to the present day. Masterful.

In the beginning was drunkenness… You can't put this book down once you've started reading it, the subject is so fascinating and remarkably treated.

Or how the relationship with drugs whose names are familiar to us, such as hashish or opium, could mark the history of these countries which are both so close and so distant to us, such as Turkey, Egypt , Lebanon, Syria or Iran.

Professor at Science Po and specialist in the Arab world, Jean-Pierre Filiu goes back in time to an Antiquity which was not unaware of the existence of cannabis but confined it to medicinal use, particularly in Egypt at the time of the pharaohs.

It also evokes the role of certain plants such as ephedra which, in Persia, could be used to make liturgical drinks during the rituals of the Zoroastrian religion.

It will be necessary to wait for the Middle Ages so that hashish begins to become commonplace and becomes this "

grass of the poor

" which would compete with wine, which is much more expensive.

Read alsoDemokratia, by Paul Cartledge: democracy, a long history


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Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2023-01-25

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