Greek Influence on Jordan Strikes Jan Term Class Members
rode camels in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia, swam in the
Dead Sea and walked in the paths of biblical characters during a
Jan Term interdisciplinary study of Jordan.
it to be a land of "underappreciated biblical sites, archaeological
wonders, beautiful towns, great food and nice people," according
to sophomore Matt Rich of Fayetteville, Tenn.
led by four professors, traveled to the region to study classics,
world religions, history and geography. And even the professors
to understand modern Jordanian and Palestinian nationalism, but
wound up learning just as much about geography and classical history
from my fellow profs and local experts," said history professor
as faculty leaders were department chairs Randy Todd, classics;
Dennis Sansom, religion, and Greg Jeane, geography. Their studies
took them to the Jordanian cities of Amman, Aqaba and Petra; to
Damascus, Syria, and to such sites as Machaerus, one of King Herod's
palaces, and Mt. Nebo, where Moses viewed the Promised Land.
was visiting the Jordanian Parliament, where the Samford contingent
received media coverage as the first American college student group
to meet with Hon. Abdulhadi Majali, speaker of the House of Representatives.
was everywhere," said Rich. "Being able to read the real
inscriptions was incredible. The class gave me a much more real
picture of Greek and Roman life, and a far deeper curiosity and
fascination with ancient life, especially in relation to the New
Gargis of Knoxville, Tenn., was struck with how the Islamic religion
goes hand in hand with Jordan's culture.
church and state are two different references," she said. "To
the Muslims, it cannot be separated."
Each of the
13 students did individual reading and preparation according to
their area of independent study, but all benefited from shared experiences
and lectures by the four professors.