The Rubaiyat was a collection of poems attributed to a Persian poet named Omar Khayyám, who lived in Persia during the twelfth century A.C.E.. It was first translated into English, not by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, but by an Irish poet and scholar named Edward FitzGerald. First published in 1859 (over twenty years after Coleridge's death) it became a classic in English literature. The Rubaiyat bore much of FitzGerald's stamp--its meditations on the meaning of life, on the role of God in the universe, on pleasure, and on human love appealed to FitzGerald's contemporaries. They also reflected his own ambivalent views about religion, and those of his age. But FitzGerald is also deeply sympathetic to the society that produced Khayyám's work, and he uses it, in a way, to criticize his own society.