Greek Themes in the Poems of the Twelfth Century

MOHA Research Center organized the lecture entitled “Greek themes in the poems of the twelfth century Persian author Nezami of Ganja”, of Christine van Ruymbeke, that took place at the Grande Salle of Imaret.

This presentation examined the artistic and intellectual achievement of the twelfth-century Persian author Nezami of Ganja, probably one of the most intelligent figures in the history of literature. His talent as a poet is undisputed and recognised by anyone who has been in contact with his oeuvre mainly consisting of a collection of six long poems collectively called the Khamsa, the Quintet. In this presentation it was given to the audience the opportunity to enjoy this compelling artist’s version of the story of Alexander and how the episodes are used to present a philosophical theory that originates in Greek philosophers, translated and reworked by scholars in the Middle Eastern Islamic empires.

The lecture was prefaced by the Cultural Counsellor of the Cultural Center of the Embassy of the IR Republic of Iran in Greece, Dr Mohammad Hossein Mozaffari.

Moderator: Dr Evangelos Venetis, Expert in Iran and Islam studies.

After the speech a discussion took place between the audience and the speaker in parallel greek translation.

About the speaker: Dr Christine van Ruymbeke is Soudavar Senior Lecturer in Persian at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies in Cambridge (UK). She obtained her PhD in Persian studies at the Brussels University (Belgium). Her research focusses on two main fields within the classical (or pre-modern) Persian literature, with a first special focus on the masnavis of twelfth-century Nezami of Ganja, on which she has published numerous articles and books. Her second research interest concerns the Persian versions of the ubiquitous Kalila-Dimna text. Her forthcoming monograph analysis the fifteenth-century prosimetric text by Va’ez Kashefi: the Anvar-e Sohayli of infamous reputation.

Date30 October 2015