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Home > View & Discuss > Barbara Brend on the 'Khamsa' of Nizami & the 'Khamsa' of Amir Khusrau

Barbara Brend on the 'Khamsa' of Nizami & the 'Khamsa' of Amir Khusrau

Speaker(s): Barbara Brend

  • Date recorded: 3 Jul 2012

  • Duration: 41:09

'There's a web of traditions…that meet and diverge between the two ‘Khamsas’.'

- Barbara Brend

About this video

Join Barbara Brend for a discussion about two remarkable versions of the ‘Khamsa’.

Adorned with beautifully illustrated miniatures, the ‘Khamsa’ of celebrated 12th-century Persian poet Nizami is considered one of the finest examples of the Indo-Muslim arts of the book.

Inspired by this work, several other notable poets later wrote Khamsas in Persian and in Turkish.

Discover the similarities and differences in the ‘Khamsas’ as Barbara contrasts the Persian version with that of famous Indian poet Amir Khusrau, created over a century later.


Barbara Brend is an independent scholar whose research focuses on form and meaning in Persian and Mughal manuscript illustration.