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Omar Khayyam’s Birthday Revisited.

November 24, 2022

In 2021, as usual, we celebrated the anniversary of the birth of Omar Khayyam on 18th May 1048. But, in a post on this blog, we drew attention to the fact that the accuracy of this birth date for Khayyam had recently been queried, by the Iranian American academic Mohammad H Tamdgidi. Both the original dating, and the queries raised by Dr Tamdgidi, are based on the interpretation of horoscopes, a field of which we are lamentably ignorant. But Bob Forrest, who has more expertise in the area, has recently spent some time assessing the original basis of the calculation of Khayyam’s birth date, and the reasons behind the queries that are now being raised.

Bob has summarised the results of his analysis as follows.

<< In 1941, in his Nectar of Grace, Govinda Tirtha calculated, on the basis of a known horoscope, that Omar Khayyam was born on 18 May 1048. In 2021 Mohammad H. Tamdgidi claimed that Tirtha’s calculations did not actually fit the horoscope, and that Omar was actually born on 10 June 1021. This article seeks to show that in fact Tirtha’s calculations were perfectly consistent with the horoscope; that Tamdgidi’s rejection of them was totally misguided; and that his 10 June 1021 – which involves invoking a double scribal error to make it work! – is effectively a false trail of his own devising. >>

The full workings behind Bob’s argument are set out in an article on his website Bob concludes that 18th May 1048 is still the best available estimate for Khayyam’s birth, with a date of death sometime between 1126 and 1131. We shall be interested to hear from readers with some expertise in this field whether they agree with the general thrust of Bob’s analysis. Please comment below.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Charles Mugleston permalink
    November 24, 2022 11:34 am

    Dear Bob, Thanks for this. Could you also research Edward Purcell / FitzGerald for us please ? I have tried to find an astrologer to do this over the years and …. always drawn a blank, it would be good to analyse our Suffolk Aries EFG’s natal chart – we have his date of birth but sadly not the hour as far as i know…. He after all tried to ascertain peoples character from their handwriting and he had his head subjected to a Phrenological test – and who knows what else ? Best wishes. Charles

  2. Bob Forrest permalink
    November 24, 2022 3:25 pm

    Sorry, Charles – I am not an astrologer myself (indeed, I am very sceptical of astrology, & regard it as a pseudo-science), but I knew enough about astronomy to see what Tirtha was doing, and to see that Tamdgidi had totally misread him. There are online tools for compiling a horoscope, but I’ve never used them myself – I can send you some details if you want to have a go at EFG – but count me out, I’m afraid!

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