Omar Khayyam was born in Nishapur, Persia (present-day Iran) in May 1048. He was a mathematician, astronomer and a poet. In astronomy he and seven others reformed the calendar. He measured the length of the year to the incredibly accurate 365.24219858156 days. His work on algebra was famous throughout Europe. He died in December 1122 in Nishapur.
Edward Fitzgerald was born in 1809 in Suffolk, England. He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1830. He was a scholar, poet, and translator. The Rubaiyat's frank sensuality rebelled against the restricting Puritanism of the Victorian era, and was appreciated by many freethinkers of the time. Fitzgerald died in 1883.
(In memory of Jerry Garcia. First put on the Web in 1998.)
Re-design done in 2009 inspired by this article.