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February 13 , 2011

Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam - The Original Classic Edition


Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam by Omar Khayyam - The Original Classic Edition

Finally available, a high quality book of the original classic edition.

This is a new and freshly published edition of this culturally important work, which is now, at last, again available to you.

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In A.D. 1090, he seized the castle of Alamut, in the province of Rudbar, which lies in the mountainous tract south of the Caspian Sea; and it was from this mountain home he obtained that evil celebrity among the Crusaders as the OLD MAN OF THE MOUNTAINS, and spread terror through the Mohammedan world; and it is yet disputed where the word Assassin, which they have left in the language of modern Europe as their dark memorial, is derived from the hashish, or opiate of hemp-leaves (the Indian bhang), with which they maddened themselves to the sullen pitch of oriental desperation, or from the name of the founder of the dynasty, whom we have seen in his quiet collegiate days, at Naishapur.

...Omar, more desperate, or more careless of any so complicated System as resulted in nothing but hopeless Necessity, flung his own Genius and Learning with a bitter or humorous jest into the general Ruin which their insufficient glimpses only served to reveal; and, pretending sensual pleasure, as the serious purpose of Life, only diverted himself with speculative problems of Deity, Destiny, Matter and Spirit, Good and Evil, and other such questions, easier to start than to run down, and the pursuit of which becomes a very weary sport at last!

...And this, I think, especially distinguishes Omar (I cannot help calling him by his-no, not Christian-familiar name) from all other Persian Poets: That, whereas with them the Poet is lost in his Song, the Man in Allegory and Abstraction; we seem to have the Man-the Bon-homme-Omar himself, with all his Humours and Passions, as frankly before us as if we were really at Table with him, after the Wine had gone round.

...On the other hand, as there is far more historical certainty of his being a Philosopher, of scientific Insight and Ability far beyond that of the Age and Country he lived in; of such moderate worldly Ambition as becomes a Philosopher, and such moderate wants as rarely satisfy a Debauchee; other readers may be content to believe with me that, while the Wine Omar celebrates is simply the Juice of the Grape, he braggd more than he drank of it, in very defiance perhaps of that Spiritual Wine which left its Votaries sunk in Hypocrisy or Disgust.

...[ A note to Quatrain 234 admits that, however clear the mystical meaning of such Images must be to Europeans, they are not quoted without rougissant even by laymen in Persia-Quant aux termes de tendresse qui commencent ce quatrain, comme tant dautres dans ce recueil, nos lecteurs, habitues maintenant a 1etrangete des expressions si souvent employees par Kheyam pour rendre ses pensees sur lamour divin, et a la singularite des images trop orientales, dune sensualite quelquefois revoltante, nauront pas de peine a se persuader quil sagit de la Divinite, bien que cette conviction soit vivement discutee par les moullahs musulmans, et meme par beaucoup de laiques, qui rougissent veritablement dune pareille licence de leur compatriote a 1egard des choses spirituelles.]

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