On Omar Khayyam, what were his contributions?

Nov 2013
710
Texas
I am not a professional mathematician.......so Omar Khayyam's contributions to the field seem pretty abstract to me........


Omar Khayyam is perhaps the most notable mathematician to come out of Persia (aside from Al-Khwarizmi,), so I wonder if there is a better way to detail or simplify what exactly Omar Khayyam did to advance the field of math and/or science astronomy and philosophy.


I wonder if there is a forum that should be devoted specifically to the history of science; it's not always as straightforward as it seems.....
 
Last edited:
Aug 2018
60
Anatolia
Well I can't say anything about his math but what I know is his poetry, I know some Farsi. His poetry isn't much of a thing despite the fame. It looks good if you have never read Persian poetry, but compared to others not much.
 

Shaheen

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,565
Sweden
Well I can't say anything about his math but what I know is his poetry, I know some Farsi. His poetry isn't much of a thing despite the fame. It looks good if you have never read Persian poetry, but compared to others not much.
Cant say I am well acquainted with Khayyams poetry but from the little I have read it is pretty alright imo. A Pakistani band did a cover on one of his poems a couple of years ago which became really popular and was the first time I read his poetry.

 
Aug 2018
60
Anatolia
Cant say I am well acquainted with Khayyams poetry but from the little I have read it is pretty alright imo. A Pakistani band did a cover on one of his poems a couple of years ago which became really popular and was the first time I read his poetry.

I also thought that he was one of a kind before getting into classical Persian language and poetry. After reading major poets like Rumi, Abu Said, Saadi and Hafez I realized he was just a basic Persian poet compared to these guys. You know each literature has its own unique pool of materials/elements: be it metaphors, mythic tales, beasts or characters. If you just pick some of these elements and arrange them in rime it'll sound so beautiful due to the strength Persian poetry possesses. For example the unknown one behind the curtain, the bird crying for the rose she is in love with, lips of candy, eyelashes of arrows shot into the heart with the arc/bow which is the eyebrow, the butterfly getting caught in the fire of the candle for it's shine are just some of these elements each poet has used.
The major reason his poems are well known is that he constantly ridicules the rituals, holy teachings, religious norms and praises long nights full of wine and some beloved woman. In fact it's believed that his divan/anthology is a collection of inappropriate poems belonging to various poets, yet attributed to Hayyam. Simply you can't get a straight answer to the question whether he was a believer or not: sometimes 'his' poems are so pious but turning the page you find a complete heretic.
A Persian lit. prof. told that each time some poet got in trouble for his verses he would just attribute it to Hayyam in order to lighten the reaction he would receive.
 
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Shaheen

Ad Honorem
May 2011
2,565
Sweden
I also thought that he was one of a kind before getting into classical Persian language and poetry. After reading major poets like Rumi, Abu Said, Saadi and Hafez I realized he was just a basic Persian poet compared to these guys. You know each literature has its own unique pool of materials/elements: be it metaphors, mythic tales, beasts or characters. If you just pick some of these elements and arrange them in rime it'll sound so beautiful due to the strength Persian poetry possesses. For example the unknown one behind the curtain, the bird crying for the rose she is in love with, lips of candy, eyelashes of arrows shot into the heart with the arc/bow which is the eyebrow, the butterfly getting caught in the fire of the candle for it's shine are just some of these elements each poet has used.
The major reason his poems are well known is that he constantly ridicules the rituals, holy teachings, religious norms and praises long nights full of wine and some beloved woman. In fact it's believed that his divan/anthology is a collection of inappropriate poems belonging to various poets, yet attributed to Hayyam. Simply you can't get a straight answer to the question whether he was a believer or not: sometimes 'his' poems are so pious but turning the page you find a complete heretic.
A Persian lit. prof. told that each time some poet got in trouble for his verses he would just attribute it to Hayyam in order to lighten the reaction he would receive.
Interesting. As said I have never been that into his poetry. Having said that was his poetry popular during his lifetime? There does seem to be a thing in the wider region for rebellious poets, who never get the same respect till after they have died. Iqbal Lahori for example regularly targeted the clergy for the moral decline of intellectualism amongst subcontinental Muslims and Muslims in general. He was referred to as a Kafir by many within the mainstream clergy, but today is widely regarded amongst their own ranks. Ironic I know. I wonder if Khayyam persona underwent a similar change following his death.
 
Mar 2012
1,210
Magdeburg
i read one of his poetry books and i was quite satisfied. I know he had contributions to mathematics but i think his contributions to literature surpasses anything else of his own. He seems to be quite a lover of wine,women and humanism.