“Born in a City” or “Born at a City”? Uncommon Usage by Edward FitzGerald

I was reading Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, translated by Edward FitzGerald. In introduction, the translator writes:

Khayyam was born at Naishapur.

I always thought that we needed to use in in such a case. Am I wrong, or is the usage of at legitimate but perhaps old-fashioned?

Edit: A similar question was asked before, which lead people to think that mine is a duplicate of that. However, it is not, because that question asks In which case should we use ‘in’ or ‘at’ for a city?“, while what I am asking is Why ‘at’ is used in a case we are taught ‘in’ would be appropriate? To be more specific, I was born in a city is the widely accepted usage today, probably due to the fact that we perceive a city as a three-dimensional space in that context, referring to the most upvoted answer to the referred question. My question should be seen as a counter-example to the answers given to that question, because I provide an example, where FitzGerald wrote born at a city, and wonder if that is just an old-fashioned usage that we no longer use or there is more to it.


You are correct; we would generally use in today.

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam was translated by Fitzgerald in 1859. Since then, the preposition generally used with born in/at [city] has changed.

See this Ngram

The Ngram shows that in 1800, the usage born at Paris was much more common. Now, the usage born in Paris is much more common. The cross-over date, when both expressions were equally common, is something like 1880.

Source : Link , Question Author : FatihAkici , Answer Author : Peter Shor

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