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Tritton, A. S.

'Umar Khayyam as an Arabic poet. A.S. Tritton.
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 27 (1964) 2 (June), pp. 431-433.

In the Tatimmat Siwan al-hikma is a short notice about 'Umar with a few lines of his Arabic verse; it runs: 'Among the learned men of Khorasan 'Umar had the widest knowledge, the highest rank, had gone further in mathematics, and had the longest wind in rhetorical argument. The judge 'Abd al-Rashid b. Nasr b. Hasan told how he had met him in a bath in Merw when he was asked the meaning of the last two chapters of the Qur'an and why some words in them were repeated. He set off repeating every unusual theory, every far-fetched parallel till what he said would have made a book. This was what he could do in exegesis though he had not specialized in it. What of knowledge to which he had devoted his life! He was also a poet'. A variant of the same story is told in Rawdat al-afrah wa nuzhat al-arwdh with thirteen lines of the verse, sometimes giving a better text. Another MS of this book has one or two good readings