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Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond

Love and Devotion: From Persia and Beyond


Hafiz (1320–1390), of Shiraz, was a close follower of the poetic work of ʿAttar. Highly developed spiritually, his pen name, Hafiz, means 'a person who has learnt to recite the Qurʾan by heart'.

He is known for his sensuous lyrical works in ghazal form, and his tomb in Shiraz is still visited by admirers who regard him as the greatest of all the Persian lyric poets.

It was Hafiz's work that first caught the attention of European orientalists when they began to study Persian and Turkish in the 18th century. His verse elevated descriptions of erotic love to the realm of metaphysics, surpassing all his contemporaries.

His love lyrics have remained bestsellers in the Persian-speaking world for the past 600 years.

Love & devotion in the UK

The Bodleian Libraries is showing its own presentation of the Love and devotion exhibition at the Exhibition Room, Bodleian Library, in Oxford, England, between 29 November 2012 and 28 April 2013.

Learn more about how you can visit this exhibition on the Bodleian Libraries website.


Love and devotion: Persian Cultural Crossroads

This two-day conference held in April 2012 featured distinguished international guests and Australian specialists exploring cultural convergences in literature, the arts and architecture, history and philosophy within Persia's cultural sphere and Europe, from the 11th century to the present day.

For information on keynote speakers & topics discussed, visit our conference page

Visit the exhibition

The Love and devotion exhibition took place from 9 March to 1 July 2012. In-depth information about the exhibits and themes can be found on this website.

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