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The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Omar Khayyám
By: (1048-1131)

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (Persian: رباعیات عمر خیام) is the title that Edward Fitz-Gerald gave to his translation of a selection of poems, originally written in Persian and of which there are about a thousand, attributed to Omar Khayyám (1048–1131), a Persian poet, mathematician and astronomer. A Persian ruba'i is a two-line stanza with two parts (or hemis-techs) per line, hence the word "Rubáiyát" (derived from the Arabic root word for "four"), meaning "quatrains".

First Page:


By Omar Khayyam

Rendered into English Verse by Edward Fitzgerald


Introduction. First Edition. Fifth Edition. Notes.


Omar Khayyam, The Astronomer Poet of Persia.

Omar Khayyam was born at Naishapur in Khorassan in the latter half of our Eleventh, and died within the First Quarter of our Twelfth Century. The Slender Story of his Life is curiously twined about that of two other very considerable Figures in their Time and Country: one of whom tells the Story of all Three. This was Nizam ul Mulk, Vizier to Alp Arslan the Son, and Malik Shah the Grandson, of Toghrul Beg the Tartar, who had wrested Persia from the feeble Successor of Mahmud the Great, and founded that Seljukian Dynasty which finally roused Europe into the Crusades. This Nizam ul Mulk, in his Wasiyat or Testament which he wrote and left as a Memorial for future Statesmen relates the following, as quoted in the Calcutta Review, No. 59, from Mirkhond's History of the Assassins.

"'One of the greatest of the wise men of Khorassan was the Imam Mowaffak of Naishapur, a man highly honored and reverenced, may God rejoice his soul; his illustrious years exceeded eighty five, and it was the universal belief that every boy who read the Koran or studied the traditions in his presence, would assuredly attain to honor and happiness... Continue reading book >>

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