Book Section: CHAPTER I — Was Omar Khayyam’s Birth Horoscope Intended Just to Offer a Birth Date or Was It an Astrological Bread Crumb? — by Mohammad H. Tamdgidi
This essay, titled “Was Omar Khayyam’s Birth Horoscope Intended Just to Offer a Birth Date Or Was It An Astrological Bread Crumb?” is the first chapter of the book Khayyami Astronomy: How the Newly Discovered True Birth Horoscope of Omar Khayyam Reveals the Origins of His Pen Name and Independently Confirms His Authorship of the Robaiyat, which is the third volume of the twelve-book series Omar Khayyam’s Secret: Hermeneutics of the Robaiyat in Quantum Sociological Imagination, authored by Mohammad H. Tamdgidi.
The author begins the chapter by asking, “If the main purpose of Khayyam’s horoscope was simply to offer a date of birth, why not just do that, and offer a date of birth?” After all, the effort in turning the study of Khayyam’s horoscope from one of simply offering a birth date to offering anything more depends on asking first why would Khayyam adopt such a strategy of sharing a piece of information about his birth date.
In the chapter, the author explores the above question while also using the opportunity to recap in more detail what we learned from the second book of the series about the newly discovered and reconfirmed dates of his birth and passing. The recap is necessary since there is considerable overlap between the subject matter of this third book of the serious with one that preceded it, both centrally investigating the nature of Khayyam’s birth horoscope.
The author emphasizes that his exploring Khayyam’s horoscope astrologically should not be interpreted as expressing his belief in astrology, nor to claim in a prejudgmental way that Khayyam himself held seriously (or not) such opinions. One does not have to believe in astrology to explore what common beliefs and standards of interpretation are held regarding horoscopes and their significance for understanding and conduct of one’s (or others’) life. It is one thing to believe in astrology, and another to study it and know it as a “science” of its times, and seek to become aware of the extent to which certain persons, groups or cultures held views or valuations of everyday personal and broader social, political, military, natural, spiritual, or recreative matters in terms of astrological signs and meanings.
While these may seem odd to some, and may seem irrelevant to the study of a thinker such as Khayyam who, according to Nezami Arouzi, did not have much faith in conventional astrology, in advancing the spirit of scientific work we should treat even such a judgment by Nezami Arouzi as a matter subject to our research and not simply take it for granted. Khayyam not having allegedly had a faith in astrology, or not did so as others did, does not mean that he had not been deeply versed in its foundations and principles, nor being insensitive to how others in his time may have viewed the same.
Khayyam’s horoscope has clearly served well the purpose of allowing us to learn, with high precision, the time of his birth, and by implication that of his passing. But, should we not be turning the tables around now and wonder whether indeed there were more, even primarily so, in the horoscope in terms of its original purpose as intended by Khayyam?
The point here is to explore whether or not Khayyam’s not offering a straightforward date for his birth, and instead sharing his horoscope, and doing so in such a synoptic way, as worded, where other planets are not even mentioned, was in any way meaningful and intended to draw our attention to any significations of his horoscope for understanding his life and works.
What could Khayyam have had in mind originally, what message did he intend to convey, or not, in stating and sharing his birth horoscope with others in its given formulation without making known in the meantime (if that was indeed his intention) what his birth date was?
Tamdgidi, Mohammad H. 2021. “CHAPTER I — Was Omar Khayyam’s Birth Horoscope Intended Just to Offer a Birth Date or Was It an Astrological Bread Crumb?” Pp. 31-51 in Omar Khayyam’s Secret: Hermeneutics of the Robaiyat in Quantum Sociological Imagination: Book 3: Khayyami Astronomy: How Omar Khayyam’s Newly Discovered True Birth Date Horoscope Reveals the Origins of His Pen Name and Independently Confirms His Authorship of the Robaiyat. (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Vol. XVI, 2021. Tayyebeh Series in East-West Research and Translation.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press.
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