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The Wine of Wisdom: A brand new biography of Omar Khayyam, the author of the Rubaiyyat


Oneworld Publications are delighted to announce the publication of The Wine of Wisdom, a brand new biography of Omar Khayyam, the author of the Rubaiyyat.

By Mehdi Aminrazavi
ISBN 1-85168-355-0
Hardback / 404pp / 225 mm x 146mm
24.99 / $34.95
May 05 (
UK and US)
order from

This book is the first to reconstruct in the English language the life, works, philosophy, science, and poetry of this figure unparalleled in the annals of Islamic intellectual thought.


Drawing on the most authoritative sources available, some of them translated into English for the first time, Aminrazavi investigates the distinct, sometimes contradictory, interpretations of Khayyam proposed by the field of Khayyam studies, each of which, according to Aminrazavi, captures the spirit of but one aspect of Khayyam's multidimensional personality. He debunks the picture of Khayyam as a agnostic-hedonist, as presented by his illustrious translator Edward FitzGerald, by pointing out the religious context of his philosophical and scientific writings. He also explores Khayyam's endorsement of the Sufi path, his relationship with Islam, his alleged membership of a Persian nationalist movement, and his scientific, mathematical and astronomical work. Aminrazavi devotes a significant portion of the book to Khayyam in the West, including Khayyam's lasting influence on Western literature from Mark Twain to T. S. Eliot and his role in the creation of the Orientalist tradition.


Featuring original renderings of Khayyam's key philosophical works, and a full version of Fitzgerald's famous translation of the Ruba'iyyat, this new biography presents a Khayyam as a major thinker whose complex views transcend faith and reason.


MEHDI AMINRAZAVI is Associate Professor in the Department of Classics, Philosophy and Religion at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia. He is an expert in Islamic thought and medieval philosophy, and has edited or authored several books in these areas, including an Anthology of Philosophy in Persia (with S. H. Nasr, Oxford University Press, 1999). He is the recipient of numerous prizes and honours for both his research and his teaching, and is a member of the editorial board for several journals. Dr. Aminrazavi's preoccupation with the legacy of Omar Khayyam dates from his childhood visits to Nayshabur, where he heard for the first time the powerful message in the poetry being recited around the poet's tomb.  


Available from all good bookstores or direct from the publisher.
Contact for further information.


... Payvand News - 8/15/05 ... --

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