Bill Martin 1927-2024

[Image fom Sandra Mason]

Recently the sad news arrived of the death of William Henry ‘Bill’ Martin, beloved husband of Sandra Mason, both prominent authors and researchers in the field of Khayyám studies today.
Bill was a great enthusiast for the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám and a collector of editions of the rubáiyát ever since his teen years. Throughout his life he propagated and promoted the philosophy and wisdom in the verses of the old Persian ‘hakim’. He was joint author of many works on the Rubáiyát, books, articles, lectures and much more. We only mention the important study The Art of Omar Khayyam (2007), and the analysis of FitzGerald’s letters in The Man Behind the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám (2016).

Together with Sandra he joined meetings of the Dutch Omar Khayyám Society on several occasions, such as exhibitions and conferences, and contributed to the blog of the Dutch Club. Although Bill always stood somewhat in the background, his knowledge of and his love for the Rubáiyát has contributed to a steadily growing interest in the work of the old Astronomer-Poet of Persia. With Bill Martin we have lost one of the prominent members of the world of Rubáiyát enthusiasts.

As a more personal note: we, my wife and I, first met Bill and Sandra in 2002 and we have been in contact ever since. We learned to know Bill as a very gentle and nice person, always interested in our doings and well-being. The last time we met was June 2023, when he, despite his illness, still remained the remarkable person he has always been to us. What struck us too was how close Bill and Sandra were to each other, and we remember Sandra having said once: when Bill can’t go, I’ll go neither.

The John Roger Paas Collection

Edward FitzGerald’s „Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám“ and Related Materials.The John Roger Paas Collection. Edited by John Roger Paas. Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz Verlag, 2023. 1184 pages, 3 parts. Part 1+2: Text, XXII, 872 pages; Part 3: Plates, 312 pages.

This catalog describes the private collection of Rubáiyát-related books and materials, covering more than 7,000 items. Part I lists the versions of the Rubáiyát, Part II shows references to the Rubáiyát, Part III describes the Rubáiyát in popular culture whereas Part IV includes related FitzGerald items. All this is recorded in three beautifully edited, large volumes. Volume III is an absolute eye-catcher showing over 2,000 book covers in colour.
What makes this catalog absolutely unique is the enormous amount of editions and publications, described in detail, but even more so the records of the individual versions issued by the commercial publishers like Crowell, Barse and Hopkins, Hurst and Company, Collins, Macmillan, Harrap and many more.
Besides that, there is a wealth of bi(bli)ographic information on publishers, translators, artists, which makes this work an indispensable instrument for the serious study of the translations, editions and reference material of the Rubáiyát.

“In the Fire of Spring”

March 23 a conference will be held entitled ”In the Fire of Spring: Omar Khayyam on Love, Hersey, and Resurrection“.

The conference is devoted to Khayyām’s philosophy, his ideas on heresy and resurrection, while also paying ample attention to his textual history and his modern appreciation.

The conference will be organized by Utrecht University, more specific by The ERC Advanced Project Beyond Sharia: The Role of Sufism in Shaping Islam.
The event will be held in Utrecht, Drift 21, Sweelinckzaal (room 0.05). Postal code: 3512 BR

Click here to see the programme of the conference.

First Women Illustrators of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Edward FitzGerald’s translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is one of the most famous and most illustrated collections of poetry. From 1899 to 1929, thirteen women each revealed their personal visions of the verses using line-drawings, photographs and paintings.

This and other work revealing the amazing talent of each artist is presented in 13 short and relaxing YouTube videos by Danton H. O’Day on his DantonCanada YouTube Channel (

See the individual artist video links:

Blanche McManus (2:35)—McManus was the first woman to illustrate the Rubaiyat. She published two books with different sets of Illustrations.

Florence Lundborg (1:50)— Using art deco style images, Lundborg illustrated the second Rubaiyat by a woman.

Jessie M. King (1:40)—A multi-talented artist, King did four, line drawings to present a gentle vision of selected verses.

Adelaide Hanscom (2:43)—Hanscom was a photographic trailblazer producing the first US book illustrated with photographs and the first book featuring male nudes.

Evelyn Stuart Hardy (1:28)—A prolific artist, Hardy used exquisite Persian-themed paintings coupled with simple line drawings to interpret the verses.

Marie Préaud Webb (1:36)—Webb illustrated many books using line drawings. For the Rubaiyat, Webb did four full page drawing reflecting the Persian era and locale.

Alice Edith Ross (1:16)—A painter who left little historical evidence, Ross produced dynamic paintings reflect the life & times of Omar’s Rubaiyat.

Isabel Hawxhurst Hall (1:33)—Hall produced an impressive Rubaiyat illustrated with 18 charcoal images that reflected the Egyptian popularity at the time.

Mabel Eardley-Wilmot (1:27)— Using 38 unique, often manipulated, images, Wilmot was the 2nd photographer to illustrate the Rubaiyat.

Doris M. Palmer (1:18)—Palmer painted 12 full-page vivid watercolours, that reflect the Middle Eastern locale and era, to illustrate the Rubaiyat

Anne Harriet Fish (1:52)—An extremely multitalented artist, FISH did 19 Rubaiyat illustrations ranging from brightly coloured to sombre providing a unique interpretation of the content of the verses.

Hope Weston (1:17)—Weston’s 8 unique and compelling images not only provide an exciting view of the poetry they also required an explanatory forward to set the stage.

Cecil Gwendolen Trew (1:50)—An historically well documented and talented artist, Trew produced 25 monochrome illustrations bringing the poetry and its Middle Eastern location to life.

Professor Hans (J.T.P.) de Bruijn, 1931-2023

A few days ago, we received the sad news of the passing of Prof. Dr. J.T.P. (Hans) de Bruijn, emeritus professor New Persian Language and Culture.

Hans de Bruijn was a member of the Nederlands Omar Khayyám Genootschap since 1997, and he barely missed one of the biannual meetings of the club. Even more than that he nearly always presented a paper on a wide range of Omarian subjects.

At first De Bruijn was somewhat reticent regarding the weight and importance assigned to Khayyám. It didn’t stop him however from exploring untrodden fields in Dutch Khayyám reception, always in the broader context of Persian poetry and culture in general. Proof of this wider perspective is his translation of a selection of quatrains older than those translated by E. FitzGerald, together with quatrains from other Persian poets, and an extensive epilogue on the ruba’i, its origins and aftermath, and Khayyám’s appreciation in Dutch poetry: De ware zin heeft niemand nog verstaan. (Amsterdam, Bulaaq, 2009). Preceeding this volume was Een karavaan  uit Perzië, an extensive anthology of classical Persian poetry (Amsterdam, Bulaaq, 2002). In 2020 a selection of De Bruijn’s essays and articles was published as Pearls of meaning : studies on art, poetry, sufism and history of Iranian studies in Europe. (Leiden, 2020)

De Bruijn also contributed significantly to the Yearbooks of the Dutch Society, to conferences and a to number of exhibitions in 2001 and 2009.

Hans was a kind, generous person, always interested and full of mild and subtle humor.

Asghar Seyed-Gohrab, presiding the Dutch Society, wrote an In Memoriam on his Beyond Sharia weblog, acknowledging De Bruijn’s academic contributions to the field of Persian culture and Islamic literatures.

A Rubáiyát library

The Rubáiyát Library Catalogue is a new free online database of editions and translations of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.

The catalogue can be used to search for translators, contributors (editors, artists etc.), publishers, as well as language, media type and so on. There is also a range of browsing options. There is no login required.

The contents of the Library database are taken mainly from existing bibliographies and other bibliographic sources. New titles are added regularly and can be browsed under ‘Newly added titles’. As of to date the database contains some 1.500 titles.

Omar Khayyam’s Secret

Omar Khayyam’s Secret: Hermeneutics of the Robaiyat in Quantum Sociological Imagination is the title of a twelve-book series in which the transdisciplinary sociologist Mohammad H. Tamdgidi shares the results of his decades-long research on Omar Khayyam. Tamdgidi’s purpose has been to find definitive answers to the many puzzles still surrounding Khayyam, especially regarding the existence, nature, and purpose of the Robaiyat in his life and works. To explore the questions posed, he advances a new hermeneutic method of textual analysis, informed by what he calls the quantum sociological imagination, to gather and study all the attributed philosophical, religious, scientific, and literary writings of Khayyam.

Four volumes have been published until now:

  • Book 1: New Khayyami Studies. Quantumizing the Newtonian Structures of C. Wright Mills’s Sociological Imagination for A New Hermeneutic Method.
    ISBN-13: 9781640980020 (hard cover)
    ISBN-13: 9781640980037 (soft cover)
  • Book 2: Book 2: Khayyami Millennium: Reporting the Discovery and the Reconfirmation of the True Dates of Birth and Passing of Omar Khayyam (AD 1021-1123)
    ISBN-13: 9781640980068 (hard cover)
    ISBN-13: 9781640980075 (soft cover)
  • Book 3: Khayyami Astronomy: How Omar Khayyam’s Newly Discovered True Birth Date Horoscope Reveals the Origins of His Pen Name and Independently Confirms His Authorship of the Robaiyat.
    ISBN-13: 9781640980143 (hard cover)
    ISBN-13: 9781640980150 (soft cover)
  • Book 4: Khayyami Philosophy: The Ontological Structures of the Robaiyat in Omar Khayyam’s Last Written Keepsake Treatise on the Science of the Universals of Existence.
    SBN-13: 9781640980181 (hard cover)
    ISBN-13: 9781640980198 (soft cover)

In volume 3, chapter VII, Tamdgidi translates and discusses fifty representative quatrains that in his view offer “intersectional illustration in their meaning of the findings of this study so far”. Numbers are added to (almost) each of these quatrains indicating corresponding quatrains in other sources, such as Avery (1979), Hedayat (1925), Dashti (1966), Tirtha (1941), Whinfield (1883) and FitzGerald. 

For more information see: OKCIR

The Confluence of wisdom …

The Confluence of Wisdom Along the Silk Road. Omar Khayyam’s Transformative Poetry. Mostafa Vaziri. [S.l.] : Vernon Press, 2021. 208 p. ISBN: 9781648893162.

For centuries along the vibrant cultural corridor of the Silk Road of Central Asia, philosophers and thinkers from Hellenic, Chinese and Indian traditions debated existential issues. Out of this stimulating milieu, the iconic poet-mathematician Omar Khayyam emerged in the eleventh century, advancing a transformative intercultural philosophy in his poetic work, the Rubaiyat.
Vaziri traces the themes of Khayyam’s Rubaiyat back to the highly influential philosophical traditions of the Silk Road and uncovers fascinating parallels in original works by Heraclitus, Zhuangzi (Daoism), Nagarjuna (Mahayana Buddhism), and the Upanishads. In addition, Vaziri’s elegant translation and unique classification of the verses of the Rubaiyat reveal an existential roadmap laid out by Khayyam.
In this pioneering volume, Vaziri not only fuses the multiple disciplines of literature, philosophy, culture, history and medicine but also takes the approach of the Rubaiyat to a new level, presenting it as a source of wisdom therapy that stands the test of time in the face of doubt and confusion, offering a platform for self-restoration.


  • List of Figures
  • Prelude
  • Part I: Interwoven Philosophies of Life
  • Chapter 1 A Nexus of Wisdom on the Silk Road
  • Chapter 2 Life is Like a River: Heraclitus and Khayyam
  • Chapter 3 The Liberated Drunkard: Daoism and Wine in the Rubaiyat
  • Chapter 4 Self-Rule, Joy and Emptiness: The Bedrock of the Buddhist and Khayyamian Paths
  • Chapter 5 The Immortal Clay: An Echo of the Chandogya Upanishad in Khayyam’s Allegory
  • Part II: Therapeutic Approach: Four Essays
  • Chapter 6 Poetry-Philosophy as Medicine: A Historical Background
  • Chapter 7 The Entrapped Mind and Psychosomatic Alarms
  • Chapter 8 Wisdom Therapy and Khayyam’s Poetry
  • Chapter 9 Khayyamian Thought as a Psychological Alternative
  • Conclusion
  • Part III: The Quatrains
  • Chapter 10 The Flow of the Rubaiyat: New Translation and Classification
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Omar Khayyâm. Quatrains á odeur de vin et de rose

Omar Khayyâm. Quatrains á odeur de vin et de rose. Variations de Patrick Reumaux. Paris, Éditions Emmanuelle Collas, 2021. 92 p.; 19 x 12,5 cm. ISBN: 978-2-490155-27-9.


Le mystère de la création, p. 7
La douleur de la vie, p. 15
Prescrit de toute éternité, p. 21
La roue du temps, p. 27
La matière environnante, p. 37
Advienne que pourra, p. 45
Rien, p. 57
Cueillons l’instant, p. 63
Comment ne pas être persan, p. 79
Omar Khayyâm et ses rubaiyat, p. 89