Omar Khayyam (1050 – 1122) 72 years
Place of Birth: Neyshābūr (Nishapur, now in Iran)
Profession: 12th-century Persian mathematician, astronomer, and author of one of the world’s best-known works of poetry.
Known for: He wrote many four-line epigrammatic verses, known in Persian as ruba’i which were later brought together in a collection called the Rubáiyát.
His name means Omar the Tentmaker. As astronomer to the royal court, he was engaged with several other scientists to reform the calendar; their work resulted in the adoption of a new era, called the Jalalian or the Seljuk.
As a writer on algebra, geometry, and related subjects, Omar was one of the most notable mathematicians of his time. He is, however, most famous as the author of the Rubáiyát. About 1,000 of these epigrammatic four-line stanzas, which reflect upon nature and humanity, are ascribed to him. The English poet and translator Edward FitzGerald was the first to introduce Omar to the West through a version (1859) of 100 of the quatrains.
In 1968, in collaboration with the Sufi (see Sufism) poet Omar Ali-Shah, Graves produced The Original Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam.
Popular Quotes by Omar Khayyam
‘Tis all a Chequer-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.
The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes—or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert’s dusty Face,
Lighting a little Hour or two—is gone.