Omar Khayyam

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Omar Khayyam        Omar Khayyam

Persia : Renowned Arabic Poet

Omar Khayyám born Ghiyāth 18 May 1048 – 4 December 1131 was a Persian mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and poet, who is widely considered to be one of the most influential scientists of all time. He wrote numerous treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy and astrology.

Born in Nishapur, in northeastern Iran also known as Persia, at a young age he moved to Samarkand and obtained his education there. Afterwards he moved to Bukhara and became established as one of the major mathematicians and astronomers of the medieval period. He is the author of one of the most important treatises on algebra written before modern times, the Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra  which includes a geometric method for solving cubic equations by intersecting a hyperbola with a circle. He contributed to a calendar reform.

His significance as a philosopher and teacher, and his few remaining philosophical works, have not received the same attention as his scientific and poetic writings. Al-Zamakhshari referred to him as “the philosopher of the world”. He taught the philosophy of Avicenna for decades in Nishapur, where Khayyám was born and buried. His mausoleum there remains a masterpiece of Iranian architecture visited by many people every year.

Outside Iran and Persian-speaking countries, Khayyám has had an impact on literature and societies through the translation of his works and popularization by other scholars. The greatest such impact was in English-speaking countries; the English scholar Thomas Hyde was the first non-Persian to study him. The most influential of all was Edward FitzGerald  who made Khayyám the most famous poet of the East in the West through his celebrated translation and adaptations of Khayyám’s rather small number of quatrains  in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.

Omar Khayyám died in 1131 and is buried in the Khayyám Garden in Nishapur. The reconstruction of the tombs of Persian icons like Hafez, Saadi, Attar, Poor sina and others were built by Reza Shah and in 1963, the Mausoleum of Omar Khayyám was reconstructed on the site by Hooshang Seyhoun.

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