Khayyam has been the subject of speculation on the part of literary critics ever since Edward Fitzgerald published his own version of the Rubaiyat in 1859. This edition represented the first opportunity to study in English the work of Khayyam by a Persian scholar.
There is no conclusive evidence to prove which of the many quatrains attributed to Khayyam are authentic. Ali Dashti therefore constructs a likeness of the poet from references found in the works of writers of his day or immediately after, and from Khayyam’s own works on philosophy, mathematics and astronomy, of which the authenticity is not questioned. Khayyam emerges as a widely read and broad-minded scholar, immersed in his own studies, cautious and moderate, averse to committing himself on controversial questions. Using this portrait Dashti draws up a list of some hundred quatrains which are in keeping with Khayyam’s character.
Selling point: An elegant and accurate translation which throws light on the nature of Khayyam’s religious and philosophical beliefs.

chapter |1 pages

In search of omar khayyam

chapter |7 pages


chapter |2 pages


chapter |17 pages


chapter |1 pages

Note on transliteration

chapter |2 pages

Preface to the persian second edition

part |2 pages

Part One: In search of khayyam

chapter 1|9 pages

Khayyam as poet

chapter 2|12 pages

Khayyam as seen by his contemporaries

chapter 3|7 pages

Meanness or common sense?

chapter 4|6 pages

Hero or martyr?

chapter 5|3 pages

A dispute with a prince

chapter 6|16 pages

Khayyam from his own writings

chapter 7|13 pages

Khayyam and sufism

chapter 8|8 pages

Khayyam and isma'ilism

part |2 pages

Part Two: In search of the quatrains

chapter 1|20 pages

The key quatrains

chapter 2|3 pages

The axis of life and death

chapter 3|9 pages

Khayyam's literary style

chapter 4|14 pages

Khayyam and his imitators

chapter 5|12 pages

Khayyam's wine-poetry

chapter 6|18 pages

Khayyam as seen by the west

chapter 7|15 pages

The selected quatrains

chapter 8|7 pages

Some khayyam-like quatrains

part |2 pages

Part Three: Random thoughts