See also:IBN AL-KHATTAB, the second of the
See also:Mahommedan caliphs (see
See also:CALIPHATE, A, §§ 1 and 2) . Originally opposed to Mahomet, he became later one of the ablest advisers both of him and of the first
See also:Abu Bekr . His own reign (634–644) saw
See also:Islam's transformation from a religious
See also:sect to an imperial power . The chief events were the defeat of the Persians at Kadisiya (637) and the
See also:conquest of
See also:Syria and
See also:Palestine . The conquest of
See also:Egypt followed (see EGYPT and AMR IBN EL-Ass) and the final rout of the Persians at Nehawend 041) brought
See also:Iran under Arab
See also:rule . Omar was assassinated by a Persian slave in 644, and though he lingered several days after the attack, he appointed no successor, but only a
See also:body of six Muhajirun who should select a new caliph . Omar was a wise and far-sighted ruler and rendered
See also:great service to Islam . He is said to have built the so-called " Mosque of . Omar " (" the Dome of the
See also:Rock ") in Jerusalem, which contains the rock regarded by Mahommedans as the scene of Mahomet's ascent to
See also:heaven, and by the Jews as that of the proposed sacrifice of Isaac . 'OMAR KHAYYAM [in full, GHIYATHUDDIN ABULFATH 'OMAR
See also:IBRAHIM AL-KHAYYAMI], the great Persian mathematician, astronomer, freethinker and epigrammatist, who derived the epithet Khayyam (the tentmaker) most likely from his
See also:trade, was
See also:born in or near Nishapur, where he is said to have died in A.H . 517 (A.D . 1123) .
At anearly age he entered into a close friendship both with
See also:Nizam-ul-mulk and his school-
See also:fellow IJassan ibn
See also:Sabbath, who founded afterwards the terrible sect of the Assassins . When Nizam-ul-mulk was raised to the
See also:rank of
See also:vizier by the Seljuk sultan
See also:Alp-Arslan (A.D . 1063–1073) he bestowed upon IJassan ibn Sabbab the dignity of a chamber-lain, whilst offering a similar
See also:office to 'Omar Khayyam . But the latter contented himself with an
See also:stipend which would enable him to devote all his
See also:time to his favourite studies of
See also:mathematics and astronomy . His standard
See also:work on
See also:algebra, written in Arabic, and other
See also:treatises of a similar character raised him at once to the foremost rank among the mathematicians of that age, and induced Sultan Malik-Shah to summon him in A.H . 467 (A.D . 1074) to institute astronomical observations on a larger scale, and to aid him in his great enterprise of a thorough reform of the
See also:calendar . The results of 'Omar's
See also:research were—a revised edition of the Zij or astronomical tables, and the introduction of the Ta'rikh-i-Malikshahi or Jalali, that is, the so-called Jalalian or Seljuk era, which commences in A.H . 471 (A.D . 1079, 15th
See also:March) . 'Omar's great scientific fame, however, is nearly eclipsed by his still greater poetical renown, which he owes to his rubd'is or quatrains, a collection of about 500 epigrams . The
See also:form of the rubd'i—viz. four lines, the first, second and
See also:fourth of which have the same
See also:rhyme, while the third usually (but not always) remains rhymeless—was first successfully introduced into Persian literature as the exclusive vehicle for subtle thoughts on the various topics of Sufic mysticism by the
See also:sheikh Abu Said bin Abulkhair,' but 'Omar differs in its treatment considerably from Abu Said .
Although some of his quatrains are purely mystic and pantheistic, most of thembear quite another
See also:stamp; they are the breviary of a
See also:radical freethinker, who protests in the most forcible manner both against the narrowness, bigotry and uncompromising austerity of the orthodox ulema and the eccentricity,
See also:hypocrisy and
See also:wild ravings of advanced Sufis, whom he successfully combats with their own weapons, using the whole mystic terminology simply to ridicule mysticism itself . There is in this respect a great resemblance between him and
See also:Hafiz, but 'Omar is decidedly
See also:superior . He has often been called the Voltaire of the East, and cried down as materialist and atheist . As far as purity of diction,
See also:fine wit, crushing satire against a debased and ignorant
See also:clergy, and a general sympathy with suffering humanity are concerned, 'Omar certainly reminds us of the great Frenchman; but there the comparison ceases . Voltaire never wrote anything equal to 'Omar's fascinating rhapsodies in praise of
See also:wine, love and all earthly joys, and his passionate denunciations of a malevolent and inexorable ' Died
See also:Jan . 1049 . Comp . Eth6's edition of his ruba'is in Sitzungsberichte der bayr . Akademie (1875), pp . 145 seq., and (1878) pp . 38 seq . ; and E .
See also:Literary Hist, of
See also:Persia, ii . 261 .
See also:fate which dooms to slow decay or sudden
See also:death and to eternal oblivion all that is great,
See also:good and beautiful in this
See also:world . There is a
See also:touch of
See also:Byron, Swinburne and even of
See also:Schopenhauer in many of his ruba'is, which clearly proves that the
See also:modern pessimist is by no means a novel creature in the
See also:realm of philosophic thought and poetical
See also:imagination . The
See also:Leiden copy of 'Omar Khayyam's work on algebra was noticed as far back as 1742 by Gerald Meerman in the preface to his Specimen calculi fluxionalis; further notices of the same work by Sedillot appeared in the Nouv . Jour . As . (1834) and in vol. xiii. of the Notices et extraits
See also:MSS. de la Bibl. ray . The
See also:complete text, together with a French
See also:translation (on the basis of the Leiden and
See also:Paris copies, the latter first discovered by M . Libri, see his Histoire des sciences mathematiques en
See also:Italic, i . 300), was edited by F .
Woepcke, L'Algebre d'Omar Alkhayyami (Paris, 1851) . Articles on 'Omar's
See also:life and
See also:works are found in Reinaud's Geographie d'Aboulfeda, pref., p . 1o1; Notices et extraits, ix . 143 seq.; Garcia de Tassy, Note sur
See also:les Ruba'iyat de 'Omar Hhaiyam (Paris, 1857) ; Rieu, Cat . Pers . MSS. in the Br .
See also:Mus., ii . 546; A . Christensen, Recherches sur les Ruba'iyat de 'Omar Hayyam (
See also:Heidelberg, 1905) ; V . Zhukovski's '
See also:Umar Khayyam and the " Wandering " Quatrains, translated from the
See also:Russian by E . D .
See also:Ross in the Journal of the Royal
See also:Asiatic Society,
See also:xxx .
(1898); E . G . Browne, Literary
See also:History oPersia, ii . 246 . The quatrains have been edited at
See also:Calcutta (1836) and Teheran (1857 and 1862); text and French translation by J . B . Nicolas (Paris, 1867) (very incorrect and misleading) ; a portion of the same, rendered in
See also:verse, by E .
See also:FitzGerald (
See also:London, 1859, 1872 and 1879) . FitzGerald's translation has been edited with commentary by H . M . Batson (1900), and the and ed. of the same (1868) by E .
See also:Allen (1908) .
A new English version was published in Triibner's "
See also:Oriental " series (1882) by E . H . Whinfield, and the first critical edition of the text, with translation, by the same (1883) . Important later works are N . H . Dole's variorum edition (1896), J .
See also:Payne's translation (1898), E . Heron Allen's edition (1898) and the Life by J . K . M . Shirazi (1905); but the literature in new
See also:translations and imitations has recently multiplied exceedingly . (H .
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