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12 votes
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What's the "Tower of Darkness" in the Rubaiyat referring to?

TL;DR: FitzGerald made it up. Why? We don't know. As I expected, the translations of Rubaiyat are all over the place when it comes to sticking to the original text. First, I came across an analysis ...
Gallifreyan's user avatar
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9 votes
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Was FitzGerald the first to collect the poems of the Rubaiyat together?

It can depend on how you read the word "collected", and also how genuine you believe FitzGerald's version - with its omissions and insertions - to be. 11th century - 12th century The Rubaiyat had ...
gef05's user avatar
  • 306
7 votes
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Meaning of Rumi's quote "Lo, for I to myself am unknown, now in God's name what must I do?"

I think there's actually a deeper meaning to this quotation. It touches upon the crucial link between identity and morality. In essence, Rumi is saying, how can I know what to do if I don't know who I ...
Wallace's user avatar
  • 356
7 votes
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What does "rushy bed" mean in this context?

Reeds (typha, or reedmace) and rushes (bulrush) are often confused, although they belong to different botanical families. In particular, typha (reedmace) is often misnamed as bulrush. Since both ...
Mick's user avatar
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6 votes
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What is the Persian story that Rabindranath Tagore summarises in a letter from June 1894?

This story is "The History of Chec Chahabeddin," first printed in an anonymous 1708 volume called Turkish Tales. The full title of the book reads: Turkiſh Tales; Conſiſting of ſeveral ...
verbose's user avatar
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6 votes
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Rumi's "In a slaughterhouse of love..." meaning

در مسلخ عشق جز نکو را نکشند In love slaughterhouse, they not kill except the good ones روبه صفتان زشت خو را نکشند They will not kill the ill-natured vulpines گر عاشق صادقی ز کشتن ...
Ali Rezayi's user avatar
6 votes

Rumi quotation on how dancing is not painless

I don't know any Persian, but this web page has the Persian text: و اما شعر مولاناي عظيم الشان رقص ان نبود كه هر زمان برخيزي بي درد چو گرد از ميان برخيزي رقص ان باشد كز دو جهان برخيزي دل پاره كني ...
Peter Shor's user avatar
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4 votes
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Retrieving Beckman (1982) rendering of the Zoroastrian Avesta

Gary Beckman is a scholar of Near Eastern Religion at the University of Michigan, and among his other works, he has translated an account of a battle between the Hittite storm god Tarhunna and a ...
verbose's user avatar
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4 votes
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In what literature does Rumi say "You are the Soul of the Soul of the Universe. And your name is Love?"

This is a translation of the tenth couplet of this poem from the Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi: تو جان جان جهانی و نام تو عشق است     هر آنک از تو پری یافت بر علو گردد And it translates something like ...
ksadjad's user avatar
  • 176
4 votes

Why was My Uncle Napoleon banned in Iran?

Here are some excerpts from Azar Nafisi's introduction to a new edition of the novel (published, and slightly edited, on The Guardian's website, 5/13/2006) that may indicate why it was banned by the ...
Shokhet's user avatar
  • 5,980
3 votes

Why did "Some Answered Questions" get re-translated?

Evidently the authors felt that the original translation lacked nuance. Over the years following the initial publication, in 1908, of this greatly treasured volume that records the explanations given ...
Valorum's user avatar
  • 4,763
3 votes

In what literature does Rumi say "You are the Soul of the Soul of the Universe. And your name is Love?"

First off, please be aware that Rumi's poetry is very often very poorly translated from the original Persian; the original meaning is often totally changed or lost in the English version. I found a ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 73.5k
3 votes

Why did Avicenna write his medical textbook in verse?

The phrase "his textbook on medicine" in this question about Avicenna is a bit misleading, since Avicenna wrote more than one treatise on medicine: The Canon of Medicine / al-Qānūn fī al-Ṭibb, which ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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3 votes

What is original Persian poem of Rumi for "The garden of the world has no limits, except in your mind"?

TL;DR: This is a bad translation of a line from ghazal 332 in the Diwan-e Shams-e Tabrizi. A more accurate translation would be, “the house of love has no limits”. This was hard to track down, ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
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3 votes

Did Rumi actually say "Silence is the language of God; all else is poor translation"?

It was saint john of the cross who wrote, "silence is the first language of God," and the contemporary Christian mystic, Father Thomas Keating, who added, "all else is a poor ...
Fred LaMotte's user avatar
2 votes

What is a Pehliva?

We, in Turkey, use the word 'Pehlivan' as a synonym of 'wrestlers' (we do not use 'Pehliva' but phonetically it must be the singular form of 'Pehlivan') and metaphorically for 'valiant', 'brave', '...
Batuhan Tas's user avatar
2 votes

What is "the seventh sphere"?

This is a partial answer, not definitive as I haven't been able to get my hands on a full unabridged translation of the original text of Ferdowsi's Shahnameh. Firstly, let's note that the era being ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 73.5k
1 vote
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What do the cypress, rose, and wild herb symbolise in this description of Feridoun's rule?

The cypress was the most popular tree for Persian gardens. Roses also have a long history. Therefore, giving the cypress and the rose lets the poet avoid using a generic "tree" and "...
Mary's user avatar
  • 6,055
1 vote
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Earliest known manuscripts of the Shahnameh?

If Wikipedia can be trusted, the oldest surviving manuscript is the Florence Shahnameh, dating from 1217 CE, "200 years after the final completion of the epic poem in 1010". This manuscript ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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1 vote

Which part of the Shahnameh is the work of Daqiqi?

there are approximately 1000 verses. in the version that you're mentioning it will be start of 16. isfendiyar, until Now when Arjasp learned that the might of Isfendiyar was fettered... if you can ...
ksadjad's user avatar
  • 176
1 vote

What is original Persian text of Rumi for the following English translation?

I hope you are doing well. This is full text of this poem from the book three of Masnavi آن شنیدی تو که در هندوستان دید دانایی گروهی دوستان گرسنه مانده شده بی‌برگ و عور می‌رسیدند از ...
Ali Rezayi's user avatar
1 vote

Which original Persian poem of Rumi does this refer to?

This is the original text: من دوست داشتم تو را در سکوت دوست بدارم ، زیرا هیچ انکار نمی شود. من دوست داشتم تو را در تنهایی دوست داشته باشم ، زیرا در آن تنهایی فقط به من تعلق داری. بوسه هایی را که به تو ...
Hossein's user avatar
  • 19
1 vote

Symbolism in "The Jewel of the Secret Treasury"?

The "jewel of the secret treasury" strikes me as the heart, and the "seal" and "key" refer to the heart being preserved for the lover and loved, while the "pearls" refer to the loving glances between. ...
auden's user avatar
  • 4,742

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