Omar Khayyám

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

(d. ad 1132) was a Persian poet, made famous in the English-speaking world by Edward Fitzgerald’s translation (and adaptation) of the Rubáiyát (‘Quatrains’) in 1859 (2nd edn, 1868). In his own life, he was known as a philosopher and a scientist, and was remembered for a long time, both in the Middle East and Europe, as one of the greatest mathematicians of medieval times. His quatrains would scarcely have been deemed original in his own society (see arab poets). In a time of strict orthodoxy, this genre of occasional verse, which was popular in persia in the 11th and 12th centuries, was the best medium for expressing dangerous personal doubts to a close circle of friends.