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

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



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i66                        ALBERUNPS INDIA.

According to the people of Somanath—

16 hist      = I pantt.
12 piantt   = I mora.

According to another theory—

12 hist      =  I kalast.
J^ htst        = I mdna.

From the same source I learnt that a mdna of wheat
is nearly equal to 5 mand. Therefore i bisi (?) is
equal to 20 mand. The hisi corres|)onds to the Khwa-
rizmian measure sukhkh, according to old style, whilst
the kalasi corresponds to the Khwarizmian ghUr, for
I ghur —12 sukhkh.
Measures of      Mcusuration is  the determination of distances by

distances.       ,.                -ic               n   •       i          ^                  \       ^

lines and ot superfacies by planes, A plane ought to
be measured by part of a plane, but the mensuration
by means of lines effects the same purpose, as lines
determine the limits of planes. When, in quoting
Varahamihira, we had come so far as to determine the
weight of a barley-corn (p. 162), we made a digression
into an exposition of weights, where we used his
authority about gravity, and now we shall return to
him and consult him about distances.    He says—

8 barley-corns put together =  i angula, i.e. finger.

4 fingers                                   =  l rdma (?), i.e. the fist.

24  fingers                                  —  i hattha, i.e. yard, also called dasta.
4 yards                                     =  i dhanu, i.e. arc — a fathom.

40 arcs                                       = I nalva.

25  nalva                                     = I kroki.

Hence it follows that i kroh = 4000 yards; and as
our mile has just so many yards, i mile = i kroh.
Pulisa the Greek also mentions in his Siddhanta that
I kroh = 4000 yards.

The ycco'd is equal to 2 mikyds or 24 fingers; for the
Hindus determine the saiiku, i.e. onikyds, by idol-fingers.
They do not call the twelfth part of a mikyds a finger
in general, as we do, but their onikyds is always a span.
The span, i.e. the distance hetween the ends of the
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