Omar Khayyám biography

Omar Khayyám

Philosopher, Author

1048 – 1131

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Who was Omar Khayyám?

Ghiyāth ad-Dīn Abu'l-Fatḥ ʿUmar ibn Ibrāhīm al-Khayyām Nīshāpūrī was a Persian polymath, philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and poet. He also wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy, music, and Islamic theology.

Born in Nishapur in North Eastern Iran, 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”. Many sources have testified that he taught for decades the philosophy of Avicenna in Nishapur where Khayyám was born and buried and where his mausoleum today remains a masterpiece of Iranian architecture visited by many people every year.

Famous Quotes:

  • And that inverted bowl we call The Sky, where under crawling coop't we live and die, lift not thy hands to It for help -- for it rolls impotently on as thou or I.
  • The thoughtful soul to solitude retires.
  • There was a door to which I found no key: There was the veil through which I might not see.
  • You know, my friends, with what a brave carouse I made a Second Marriage in my house; favored old barren reason from my bed, and took the daughter of the vine to spouse.
  • Myself when young did eagerly frequent doctor and saint, and heard great argument about it and about: but evermore came out by the same door as in I went.
  • Living Life Tomorrow's fate, though thou be wise, Thou canst not tell nor yet surmise; Pass, therefore, not today in vain, For it will never come again.
  • 'Tis all a Checker-board of Nights and days where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays: Hither and thither moves, and mates and slays, and one by one back in the Closet lays.
  • Oh, the brave Music of a distant drum!
  • Drink! for you know not whence you came nor why: drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.
  • The moving finger writes, and having written moves on. Nor all thy piety nor all thy wit, can cancel half a line of it.

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Born
May 18, 1048
Nishapur
Also known as
  • Omar Khayyam
  • Ömer Hayyam
  • Khayyám, Omar
  • Ghiyath al-Din Abu'l-Fath 'Umar ibn Ibrahim Al-Nishapuri al-Khayyami
  • غیاث الدین ابو الفتح عمر بن ابراهیم خیام نیشاپوری
  • Umar Khayyam
Ethnicity
  • Persian people
Nationality
  • Iran
Profession
Lived in
  • Samarkand
  • Bukhara
Died
Dec 4, 1131
Greater Khorasan

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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