Statue of Khayyam, the Iranian poet and polymath in Tehran
Khayyam! why weep you that your life is bad?
What boots it thus to mourn? Rather be glad.
He that sins not can make no claim to mercy,
Mercy was made for sinners, be not sad.
The Rubaiyat translated by E.H. Whinfield
Ghiyas od-Din Abul-Fath Omar ibn Ibrahim Khayyam Neyshaburi was a Persian poet, mathematician, philosopher and astronomer. He was born in Neyshabur, now part of Khorasan Razavi Province in Iran.
Although better known as a poet, his substantial mathematical contributions include his “Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra”, which gives a geometric method for solving cubic equations by intersecting a hyperbola with a circle. He also contributed to some amendments to Persian calendar.
Khayyam derived the binominal theorem before it was formulated by Isaac Newton in 17th century.
Outside Iran, he is best known for his quatrains, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, popularized through Edward FitzGerald’s re-created translation:
“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”
adapted from: Mehr News
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