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Corresponding quatrains

March 3, 2015

ColeEver since the early days, there has been an urge to find out more about the original sources of Omar Khayyám’s rubáiyát.  Research by orientalists resulted in a number of studies into, and editions of early texts. These studies often contain tables of corresponding quatrains from various sources, notably by Heron-Allen, Christensen, Rempis, Arberry, Csillik and Tirtha to mention only a few.

For a long time I have been looking for a way to merge these separate tables into a sort of meta-table, that would enable the user to find all the variants of one specific quatrain. It would be a task beyond my (limited) capacities to list all known or published translations of the rubáiyát, but one could start with the quatrains that that are dealt with in the studies refered to. But even that is an immense task, as there are numerous sources that are never published or exist only in non-western languages.

What I have finally come up with recently is a website, Concordances of the Rubáiyát,  that presents the quatrains from the Bodleian manuscript, in the persian version as edited by Edward Heron-Allen (2nd ed. 1898). Each quatrain is accompanied by a number of translations from various authors whose work is in the public domain, and a listing of references to copyrighted translations. Apart from that the website has a couple of (sortable) tables, taken from the editions by Anet, Arberry, Heron-Allen, Thompson and Tirtha (with more to follow soon), and a selection of quatrains from the translations in question, that have a relation to the quatrains in the Bodleian manuscript.

The project is still in progress, a number of mistakes is inevitable but I would be very happy to be notified and to receive comments and suggestions.

Go to Concordances of the Rubáiyát

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2015 9:47 am

    Many congratulations, Jos, on your new Concordance website. It is a fantastic piece of work and it will be a wonderful research resource for all of us who have looked at different editions of the Rubaiyat and wondered how they should be related. Thank you for sharing this work with the wider world. We look forward to seeing how the website develops in the future.

  2. March 4, 2015 10:26 am

    Thank you. Of course this is only a beginning. It would be nice when the referential data of every quatrain could be retrieved from an online database, in stead of using one-dimensional html-files that I had to apply, due to my lack of knowledge and skills in that field. Anyway, it is something and who knows there is an Omarianan to help us further in a more professional way.

  3. March 4, 2015 6:09 pm

    Wow, Jos!!! What a tremendously stimulating tool you have created. Work in progress? Of course. But what a very impressive start. Bravo!

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