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Omar Khayyam

(Nishapur c. 1050- Nishapur 1122) Persian mathematician and poet.
Omar Khayyam ('Omar the tentmaker') was educated as a mathematician and astronomer, and worked at the royal court as astronomer. His works on algebra and geometry gave him an elevated position in his own time.
In 1077 he issued an important work that solved problems with the mathematics of Euclid, problems mathematicians in Europe managed to solve only 5-600 years later. From 1074 to 1079 Khayyam worked on a reform of the calendar system. The new system was used until 1925 in Persia (now Iran).
It is for his poetry that he now is best remembered, collected in Rabayat, even if it now is believed that a large part of the 1,000 four-line stanzas cannot be attributed to him. Omar Khayyam's fame in the West came with the paraphrase by the British Edward Fitzgerald in 1859. The true Rabayat, the Iranian one, has poems covering four subjects:
  1. Mankind
  2. Pleasure of life
  3. Life and destiny
  4. Realization of sin and moralization
Click to open: Omar Khayyam: Rubayat

By Tore Kjeilen