Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 1)

(London :  Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.,  1910.)



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PREFA CE.                                      xlix

interpretations. Besides, a first translator who steers
out on such a sea, like him who first tries to explain a
difficult, hardly legible inscription, exposes himself to
many dangers which he would easily have avoided had
kind fortune permitted him to follow in the wake of
other explorers. Under these circumstances, I do not
flatter myself that I have caught the sense of the author
everywhere, and I warn the reader not to take a trans¬
lation, in particular a first translation, from Arabic
for more than it is. It is nothing absolute, but only
relative in many respects ; and if an Indianist does not
find good Indian thought in my translation, I would
advise him to consult the next Arabic philologist he
meets. If the two can obtain a better insight into the
subject-matter, they are very likely to produce a better
rendering of the words.

My annotations do not pretend to be a running com¬
mentary on the book, for that cannot be written except
by a professed Indianist. They contain some informa¬
tion as to the sources used by Alberuni, and as to those
materials which guided me in translating. On the
phonetic peculiarities of the Indian words as transcribed
by Alberuni, the reader may compare a treatise of mine
called Indo-Arahische Studien, and presented to the
Eoyal Academy of Berlin on 21st June of this year.

My friend Dr. Eobert Schram, of the University of
Vienna, has examined all the mathematical details of
chronology and astronomy. The results of his studies
are presented to the reader in the annotations signed
with his name. All this is Dr. Schram's special domain,
in which he has no equal. My thanks are due to him
for lending me his help in parts of the work where my
own attempts at verification, after prolonged exertions
in the same direction, proved to be insufficient.

Of the two indices, the former contains all words of
Indian origin occurring in the book, some pure Sanskrit,
some vernacular, others in the form exhibited by the

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