The great Azerbaijani romantic poet Nizami Ganjavi is distinguished by his
humanistic thoughts and secular attitude to love. His poems, with their universal
themes, have transcended borders to influence the literature of distant lands.
So, French orientalists paid much attention to Nizami's works. In French
literature, Nizami is especially famous for his "Khamsa" which consisted of five
masnavis with fine motifs that have been used by French writers and contemporary
poets. Although the translation of Nizami's works into French began in the XIX
century, the writings about his life and work date back to the XVII century.
The first initiator of the study of Nizami`s works was the French orientalist
Barthelemy D'Herbelot de Moleneville. Four articles about Nizami Ganjavi were
published in his encyclopedia entitled "Oriental library".
Nizami Ganjavi works have been translated into other languages of the world.
Among these countries, the French were honoured to get familiar with Nezami and
his works before other countries. The first translation of Nezami’s works to French
was done by François Bernard Charmoy. In 1829, he translated a part of Eskandar
Nameh and published it in Saint Petersburg.
Jan Rypka, a Czech orientalist, summarized Nezami’s Haft Peykar and
translated it to French as “Nezami’s Seven Princesses”.
Henri, Masse (1886-1969) French orientalist and scholar, has done lots of
activities in translating and publishing Nizami`s works. For instance, in 1970 he
translated Nezami’s “Khosrow and Shirin” into French and published it in Paris.
Isabelle de Gastines translated Nezami’s “Layla and Majnun” and “The
At the same time, wisdom and immortality of Nizami’s works have been the
source of certain artistic pastiches and inspirations.