Omar Khayyam

Ghiyāth al-Dīn Abū al-Fatḥ ʿUmar ibn Ibrāhīm Nīsābūrī[3][4] (18 May 1048 – 4 December 1131), commonly known as Omar Khayyam (Persian: عمر خیّام),[lower-alpha 1] was a polymath, known for his contributions to mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, and Persian poetry. He was born in Nishapur, the initial capital of the Seljuk Empire. As a scholar, he was contemporary with the rule of the Seljuk dynasty around the time of the First Crusade.


Omar Khayyam
عمر خیّام
Statue of Omar Khayyam in his birthplace and hometown, Nishapur.
Born18 May[1] 1048[2]
Died4 December[1] 1131 (aged 83)[2]
Nishapur, Khorasan, Seljuk Empire
Academic background
InfluencesAvicenna, al-Khwārizmī, Euclid, Apollonius of Perge
Academic work
Main interestsMathematics (medieval Islamic), astronomy, Persian philosophy, Persian poetry
InfluencedTusi, Al-Khazini, Nizami Aruzi of Samarcand, Hafez, Sadegh Hedayat, André Gide, John Wallis, Saccheri, Edward FitzGerald, Maurice Bouchor, Henri Cazalis, Jean Chapelain, Amin Maalouf

As a mathematician, he is most notable for his work on the classification and solution of cubic equations, where he provided geometric solutions by the intersection of conics.[5] Khayyam also contributed to the understanding of the parallel axiom.[6]:284 As an astronomer, he calculated the duration of the solar year with remarkable precision and accuracy, and designed the Jalali calendar, a solar calendar with a very precise 33-year intercalation cycle[7][8]:659 that provided the basis for the Persian calendar that is still in use after nearly a millennium.

There is a tradition of attributing poetry to Omar Khayyam, written in the form of quatrains (rubāʿiyāt رباعیات). This poetry became widely known to the English-reading world in a translation by Edward FitzGerald (Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, 1859), which enjoyed great success in the Orientalism of the fin de siècle.


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