Omar Khayyám was a Persian polymath, scholar, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and poet, widely considered to be one of the most influential thinkers of the Middle Ages. He wrote numerous treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy and astronomy. Born in Nishapur, in northeastern Persia, at a young age he moved to Samarkand and obtained his education there. Afterwards he moved to Bukhara and became established as one of the major mathematicians and astronomers of the Islamic Golden Age. He wrote one of the most important treatises on algebra written before modern times, the Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra (1070), which includes a geometric method for solving cubic equations by intersecting a hyperbola with a circle. He contributed to a calendar reform.
His significance as a philosopher and teacher, and his few remaining philosophical works, have not received the same attention as his scientific and poetic writings. Al-Zamakhshari referred to him as “the philosopher of the world”. He taught the philosophy of Avicenna for decades in Nishapur.
Outside Iran and Persian-speaking countries, Khayyám has influenced literature and societies through the translation of his works and popularization by other scholars. The greatest such effect was in English-speaking countries. The English scholar Thomas Hyde (1636–1703) was the first non-Persian known to have studied his works. The most influential, however, was Edward FitzGerald (1809–83), who made Khayyám famous in the West through his translation and adaptations of Khayyám’s quatrains in the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
Khayyám died in 1131, and is buried in the Khayyám Garden in Nishapur. The reconstruction of the tombs of Persian icons like Hafez, Saadi, Attar, Pour Sina and others were built by Reza Shah and in 1963, the Mausoleum of Omar Khayyám was reconstructed on the site by Hooshang Seyhoun.