Book Section: CHAPTER IV — Searching More for Omar Khayyam’s True Date of Passing: Superposing the Birth Date Findings With Present and Older Manuscript Copies of Nezami Arouzi’s “Chahar Maqaleh” — by Mohammad H. Tamdgidi
This essay, titled “Searching More for Omar Khayyam’s True Date of Passing: Superposing the Birth Date Findings With the Prevalent Manuscript Copy of Nezami Arouzi’s ‘Chahar Maqaleh,’” is the fourth chapter of the second book of the twelve-book series Omar Khayyam’s Secret: Hermeneutics of the Robaiyat in Quantum Sociological Imagination, authored by Mohammad H. Tamdgidi. The second book is subtitled Khayyami Millennium: Reporting the Discovery and the Reconfirmation of the True Dates of Birth and Passing of Omar Khayyam (AD 1021-1123).
In this chapter, Tamdgidi reports on the plausibility of serious doubts that can be cast on the dates given by Nezami Arouzi about all events covered in his book, including those related to Khayyam. Nezami Arouzi’s text is a fine prose of Persian writing, but definitively not one that accurately reports historical dates and details. In Tamdgidi’s view, this questioning of Nezami Arouzi’s prevalent manuscript copy for the accuracy of its dates is a necessary step in the efforts toward finding the true date of Khayyam’s passing. Rejecting prior held false narratives about Khayyam’s date of passing is a necessary and essential part of this inquiry.
It happens that in the process of problematizing conventional tales given about the alleged date 526 LH for Khayyam’s passing amid miscopying and misreadings of Nezami Arouzi’s text, Tamdgidi reports discovering new interpretive evidence that Nezami Arouzi as one of Khayyam’s close living contemporaries, one of his pupils in fact or in reverence, indeed knew that Khayyam wrote “many” quatrains, that they were “famous,” and that they were, by some, regarded as religiously forbidden, which may have more to do with the religious beliefs of those making such assessments than with the religious nature of Khayyam’s quatrains themselves.
Tamdgidi also suggests that, if we can set aside the customary doubts about Yar Ahmad Rashidi Tabrizi’s own reliability of narration, and study his text anew to judge for ourselves whether what others say of his authorship is true or not, including regarding what information he offers about what he read in Nezami Arouzi about meetings with Khayyam in Balkh and the time of his death and burial, we may find new value that were previously neglected because of our own “observing” lenses about the worth and meanings of our sources.
According to the author, what we do know is that now, as related in this chapter, the view that none of Khayyam’s contemporaries refer to Khayyam as the author of the Robaiyat may actually be verifiably not true, and at least subject to serious doubt.
Tamdgidi, Mohammad H. 2021. “CHAPTER IV — Searching More for Omar Khayyam’s True Date of Passing: Superposing the Birth Date Findings With Present and Older Manuscript Copies of Nezami Arouzi’s “Chahar Maqaleh”” Pp. 171-200 in Omar Khayyam’s Secret: Hermeneutics of the Robaiyat in Quantum Sociological Imagination: Book 2: Khayyami Millennium: Reporting the Discovery and the Reconfirmation of the True Dates of Birth and Passing of Omar Khayyam (AD 1021-1123). (Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Vol. XV, 2021. Tayyebeh Series in East-West Research and Translation.) Belmont, MA: Okcir Press.
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