We took a long time and much pondering to decide on the title of this blog; we played around with all sorts of ideas and began to think that as we are Somerset based maybe something to do with our county… The county motto is Sumorsǣte Ealle – which means all the people of Somerset, a phrase which appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Nothing quite worked on that, and so we wondered about the symbol for Somerset which is a dragon –  a red dragon which King Alfred had as his standard… we played around with dragons, dragons writing, writing dragons… and one of, us, which one is now lost in the mists of dragon time made reference to the famous line from Edward FitzGerald’s Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, The moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on…’ – and suddenly we had it and we became !The Moving Dragons!

The reason we’re thinking of the origins of our name is because, today we should be honouring Omar Khayyam, the Persian scholar, poet, astronomer and mathematician – today is the anniversary of his birth in 1048, in Nishapur, Iran. He was an incredible man:

As a mathematician, he is most notable for his work on the classification and solution of cubic equations, where he provided geometric solutions by the intersection of conics. Khayyam also contributed to the understanding of the parallel axiom. As an astronomer, he designed the Jalali calendar, a solar calendar with a very precise 33-year intercalation cycle…


He returned to the place of his birth as an old man, and died there in 1048 at the age of eighty-three. Today is the 971st anniversary of his birth…

The moving finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your piety nor wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.


Thanks to Jörn Hendrichs for the photo from the Isfahan Mosque


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