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Polyglot editions from Iran

'Bois du vin ..."

This section is an accompaniment to "Bois du vin. English, French and German Translations in Persian Polyglot Editions of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám" by Jos Coumans, in Persica , vol. 26, (2017-2018), pp. 103-163. DOI: 10.2143/PERS.26.0.3286869.


Many recent editions of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, published in Iran, have more than one translation, sometimes up to thirty or more. Usually they contain the English translation by Edward FitzGerald, accompanied by a text in Persian and translations in French, German, Spanish, Russian, Urdu and so on. However, it is seldom clear who these translators are, as their names are usually not mentioned. In this article I have tried to identify these quatrains: who was the translator and from which edition were the quatrains selected. Nineteen editions, published in Iran between 1955 and 2016 were examined. The analyses are restricted to translations in English, French and German.


The outline is as follows:
After an introduction nineteen editions are analyzed: a short description is given for each volume, the translation and its translator that was identified and the number of quatrains selected with a reference number to the original edition from which the text was selected. The article is concluded with comments and some statistical data.

To support the analysis a number of (sortable) tables is presented in this section with more details for each translation or version.

Also a list of errata is added.

More details

To the textual analysis of the editions discussed tables are added to show the distribution of the quatrains in the various translations and languages.

The numbering
In each table the first column, called Index, shows a continuous numbering, applied by the present author. The other column headers show the names of the translators, their various versions or the publishers' names when the quatrains haven't been published elsewhere. When no translator had been identified the header reads 'NN'.

'Orphan' quatrains
A number of quatrains remain unidentified as no translator or translation could be found, and some quatrains have not been published elsewhere. These quatrains are called 'orphan quatrains', and they are shown in the section The 'orphan' quatrains. A separate Orphans' table shows in which of the polyglot editions these quatrains appear.

The quatrains are identified by a capital E (English), F (French) or G(German) followed by a number. Besides that, each quatrain has a code that shows in which edition it was published. This code consists of a Roman numeral that refers to the edition in which the quatrain is printed, followed by an Arabic numeral from the Index to show its location. For example:

E 1
A jug I bought from a potter
The jug came to talk all secrets:
"A king was I with the golden tablet
Now a jug I come to every common drunkard"
XIV-3 (edition nr. XIV, third quatrain)
XV-52 (edition nr. XV, fifty-second quatrain)