UN Vienna Persian Scholars Pavilion

Honoring The Persians Culture Of Achievement

Birouni

Birouni

Born in Khwarazm, Abu Reyhan Birouni (973 – 1048, A.D.) is renowned as one of the great scientific minds in all history. He also earned fame as a physicist, anthropologist, comparative sociologist, astronomer and chemist, and historian. His studies informed his criticism of alchemy and astrology.

Birouni’s travels throughout India inspired his writing of Tarikh Al-Hind (Chronicles of India). In all, Birouni’s works number 146, including books on astronomy, time measurement, geography, mathematics, medicine, and philosophy. Of these, only 22 have survived.

Razi

Abū Bakr Muhammad ibn Zakariyyā al-Rāzī (854–925 CE) was a physician educated in philosophy, music and alchemy.

As chief physician of Baghdad and Ray hospitals, he was an early proponent of experimental medicine and was known for serving  patients, both rich or poor. His experiments included the study of treatment for meningitis as well as early pharmacology with the use of mercurial ointments.

He was a prolific author writing over 200 books including a 23-volume of medical textbooks documenting the foundation of gynecology, obstetrics and ophthamology. Many of his works related to his original observations on diseases and therapies as well as research documented in his notebooks were compiled after his death in al-Hawi. 

He spent the last years of his life in his native town of Rey suffering from glaucoma which ultimately resulted in total blindness.

Sina

Abu Ali Sina (980-1037 CE) often known in the west as Avicenna, is regarded as one of the most significant physicians, astronomers, thinkers and the father of modern medicine. Sina authored many books, most notably The Book of Healing and The Canon of Medicine which was reprinted in the USA In 1973.

From an early age Sina was a scholar studying arithmetic, philosophy, even the  Metaphysics of Aristotle which undoubedly was a factor in attaining full status as a qualified physician at age 18.  In later years, Sina kept company with other great scholars of his time including Al-Biruni, a famous scientist and astronomer.

He is quoted as saying,  “I prefer a short life with width to a narrow one with length” . He died in 1037, at the young age of 58.

Khayyam

Omar Khayyam (1048-1131 CE) was a Persian mathematician, astronomer, and poet.

Khayyam’s was immersed in the study applied algebra to geometry. His work is considered the first systematic study and the first exact method of solving cubic equations. His exhaustive study illuminated this subject resulting in his most notable work The Treatise on the Division of a Quadrant. Other works included the parallel axiom and the design of the Jalali calendar.

He is perhaps equally known for popularizing the poetic 4 line stanza know as a quatrain or Rubaiyat. The following example is translated by Edward Fitzgerald.

Wake! For the Sun who scattered into flight
The Stars before him from the Field of Night,
Drives Night along with them from Heaven and Strikes
The Sultan’s Turret with a Shaft of Light.

Omar Khayyam died at the age of 83 in his hometown of Nishapur on December 4, 1131, and he is buried in what is now the Mausoleum of Omar Khayyam. His legacy is celebrated to this day.