Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám

This exquisitely decorated manuscript from the 18th century contains the Persian poet's quatrains, i.e. four lined poems, on the art of enjoying life.

The manuscript has shelfmark: O Nova 42

Fol. 129v-130r Title and first poems


Omar Khayyám lived in Persia between 1048-1131 A.D. He was a mathematician and worked as an astronomer for the Sultan of Samarkand, but he also devoted his time to philosophy and poetry. His poetical masterpiece, the Rubáiyát, became well-known in the West thanks to Edward Fitzgerald's free interpretation.

Fol. 161v-162r


Every time the reader opens the manuscript he is presented with four thought provoking poems, each consisting of four lines and framed in four squares.

Fol. 192v-193r with the name of the copyist


The manuscript, which is written in Persian, was purchased in Constantinople by the Swedish Legation Secretary, Albrecht Elof Ihre, who brought it home with him on his return to Sweden in 1825.