The Wine of Wisdom


THE WINE OF WISDOM -The Life-Poetry and Philosophy of Omar Khayyām

THE WINE OF WISDOM The Life- Poetry and Philosophy of Omar Khayyām


Loved by the free-spirited, hated by his orthodox peers; a stranger in both his homeland and the West: the complexities and contradictions surrounding the life of Umar Khayyām are reconstructed for the first time in this authoritative new book. The intoxicating message of Khayyām’s famous Rubā‘iyyat created an image of exotic Orientalism in the West but, as the author Mehdi Aminrazavi reveals, Khayyām’s achievements went far beyond the intoxicating message within these verse. Philosopher, mathematician, scientist and mystic– his many different identities are examined here in detail, creating a coherent picture of this complex and often misunderstood figure.

Engagingly written, this comprehensive study draws on a host of sources, placing Khayyām within the context of his own time, and exploring, through his philosophy and poetry, his lifelong preoccupation with such timeless themes as life and death, faith and reason, freewill and fate. Aminrazavi offers fresh insights, not only into the Rubā‘iyyat, but also into Khayyām’s lasting influence on Western literature from Mark Twain to T. S. Eliot, and his role in the creation of the Orientalist tradition.

With original renderings of Khayyām’s key philosophical works, and a full version of FitzGerald’s famous translation, this new biography will prove fascinating for general readers, while scholars and students will find this significant new contribution to the field of Persian Studies essential reading.


Dr. Mehdi Aminrazavi


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