Nizami of Ganja

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     Hakim Nizami Aldin Abou Mohammed Elyas bin Yousuf bin Zaki in Mo’ayed Nezami Ganjavi, “Nizami of Ganja” (1141-1204), was a major Azerbaijani poet. His major work is the Khamsa, four lyric poems, the "Treasure House of Mysteries" 1173, "Khosrow and Sirin" (1181), "Leili and Majnun" (1188), "Seven Beauties" (1197), and an historical poem, "Iskandar-Nama," about Alexander the Great.
     The stamp shows an eighteenth century Persian manuscript of "Khosrow and Sirin" from the State Library of the German Democratic Republic. The poem, of epic proportions, draws on incidents in the life of the Sassanian Shahinshah, Khusrau Perwiz II (590 A.D.). He is said to have married a daughter of the Greek Emperor Maurice, named Irene, called by the Persians, Shirin, “Sweet.” Ferhad saw her bathing in a stream and fell in love with her. Khosrow (Khusrau, Khosru) directed Ferhad to complete several impossible tasks.
     The picture in the book on the stamp shows Ferhad spying on Shirin. The stamp was issued in 1990 to celebrate several treasures in the State Library.

SCN 2830