Iran to unveil copy of oldest Hafez manuscripts

January 19, 2009

TEHRAN -- Iran is to unveil a copy of the oldest Hafez poetry manuscripts discovered at the Bodleian Library of the University of Oxford.

The priceless treasure was discovered by Iranian scholar Ali Ferdowsi and will be unveiled during a ceremony at Niavaran Cultural Center on January 26.
The collection is published by Dibayeh Publications and contains 49 ghazals and a single couplet along with a comparative study by scholar Ferdowsi.
The original manuscript was inscribed by a contemporary named Ala Marandi during the years 1388 and 1389. All the ghazals (probably except five) were penned during the time Hafez was alive.
The oldest manuscripts discovered prior to this date back to the years 1400 and 1402, but with this finding, the wishes of Hafez experts to find copies that were inscribed during the lifetime of Hafez has finally came true.
Ali Ferdowsi is the Associate Professor and Chairman of the Department of History and Political Science at the Notre Dame de Namur University, California.
Mohammad Shams ad-Din Hafez (c. 1325-1389) is buried in Shiraz. His tomb is known as Hafezieh.
Photo: An Iranian reads the Divan of Hafez in front of his tomb in Shiraz.