Astronomical References In The Ruba'iyât Of Omar Khayyam. Imad-Ad-Dean Ahmad.
Delivered to the Third International Conference on the Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena, Mondell, Sicily, January, 2001.
Omar Khayyam was both an astronomer and a poet. We examine the astronomical references in different translations of his poetry and in Elihu Vedder's illustrations of the first American edition of Edward Fitzgerald's famous translation as the takeoff points for discussing the controversy as to the meaning of his poetry and the differences in culture between 11th-century Iran where he wrote them and 19th-century Britain and America where Fitzgerald and Vedder respectively were born.