The World-Revealing Cup by Mīr Ḥusayn al-Maybudī and Its Latin Translations

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Mīr Ḥusayn al-Maybudī (d. 909/1504) wrote a Persian treatise on philosophy titled The World-Revealing Cup (Jām-i gītī-numā), in which he provided a survey of the views of recent philosophers on various worldly matters. This work of Maybudī acquired some fame in both the Safavid and the Ottoman empires. This is evident from numerous extant manuscripts of it and from the Persian commentary on it written by the Ottoman scholar ʿUmar al-Challī (fl. 1077/1666). What is more, the text attracted the attention of some European scholars. Sometime after March 1619, a Scottish traveller and Orientalist, George Strachan, who traveled to Isfahan, made an interlinear Latin translation in his own copy of the work. Some years later, a Maronite scholar of Arabic literature, Abraham Ecchellensis (d. 1664), translated the text based on an Arabic version of it available to him, and then in Paris, in 1641, he published the dual Arabic-Latin translation. This article endeavors to demonstrate the significance of this work based on the broad nature of its reception.

The World-Revealing Cup by Mīr Ḥusayn al-Maybudī and Its Latin Translations

in Oriens



  • 15

    See DunietzThe Cosmic Perils155.

  • 24

    G.L. Della VidaGeorge Strachan: Memorials of a Wandering Scottish Scholar of the Seventeenth Century (Aberdeen: Third Spalding Club1956) 48 55–6.

  • 25

    See Clifford Edmund Bosworth“George Strachan of the Mearns. Middle East Traveller and Pioneer Collector of Arabic and Persian Manuscripts,” in Eastward Ho! Diplomats Travellers and Interpreters of the Middle East and Beyond 1600–1940 (London: East & West Publishing2012) 11–21.

  • 51

    See P. PietbergenPower and Religion in Baroque Rome: Barberini Cultural Policies (Leiden and Boston: Brill2006) 313–4.

  • 52

    EcchellensisMukhtaṣar maqāṣid ḥikmat falāsifat al-ʿarab15 17 21.

  • 58

    See EcchellensisMukhtaṣar maqāṣid ḥikmat falāsifat al-ʿarab38.

  • 59

    Emanuele ConteI maestri della Sapienza di Roma di 1514 al 1787. I rotuli e le altre fonti (Rome: Istituto Palazzo Borromini1991) 282.

  • 60

    See Bernard Heyberger“L’ Islam et les arabes chez un érudit maronite au service de l’ église catholique (Abraham Ecchellensis),” al-Qantara31 2 (2010) 488.

  • 61

    Johannes UriBibliothecæ Bodleianæ Codicum Manuscriptorum Orientalium Videlicet Hebraicorum Chaldaicorum Syriacorum Æthiopicorum Arabicorum Persicorum Turcicorum Copticorumque Catalogus jussu curatorum preli academici a Joanne Uri confectus. Pars prima (Oxonii: E Typographeo Clarendoniano1787) 283–4.


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    Figure 1

    Strachan’s Latin translation of the title of Jām gītī-numā and further explanatory details: Universum, seu, ut persae vocant, poculum mundi, opera Georgi Strachan Mernesis Scoti in Latinum idioma traducta (sic), 1634; MS British Library add. 7720, f. 63 a.

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    Figure 2

    Strachan’s copy of Jām gītī-numā with his interlinear Latin translation; MS British Library add. 7720, f. 63 b.

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    Figure 3

    Another Copy of Jām-i gītī-numā with interlinear Latin translation produced in all likelihood by George Strachan; MS Wellcome Library Persian 495, f. 1b.

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    Figure 4

    The title page of the Latin-Arabic translation of Jām-i gītī-numā, published by Ecchellensis (Paris, 1641)

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