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

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



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  Page 219  

CHAPTER XIX.                             219

The signs of the zodiac have names corresponding to on the

1        •                                   T  •   T       ^                                                                     -[        T  •   ^                           ^       names of

the images which thev represent, and which are the the signs of

,       -rx-     T                                        n        1                   •             the Zodiac.

same among the Hindus as among all other nations. Page 108.
The third sign is called Mithuna, which means a pair
consisting of a boy and a girl; in fact, the same as the
Twins, the well-known image of this sign.

Varahamihira says in the larger book of nativities
that the word applies to a man holding a lyre and a
club, which makes me think that he identified Mithuna
with Orion (Aljahhdr). And this is the opinion of
common people in general, to such a degree that the
station is known as Aljauzd (instead of the Twins),
though Aljauza does not belong to the image of this

The same author explains the image of the sixth sign
as a ship, and in its hand an ear of corn. I am inclined
to think that in our manuscript there is a lacuna in this
place, for ct ship has no hand. The Hindus call this
sign Kanyd, i.e. the virgin girl, and perhaps the passage
in question ran originally thus : '^ A virgin in a ship
holding an ear of corn in her hand.''' This is the lunar
station Alsimdk Al'a'zal (Spica). The word ship makes
one think that the author meant the lunar station
Atawwd (/?, T], y, S, e, Virginis), for the stars of Al'awwa
form a line, the end of which is a curve (like the keel
of a ship).

The image of the seventh sign he declares to he fire.
It is called Tw/c! = balance.

Of the tenth sign Varahamihira says that it has the
face of a goat, whilst the remainder is a makara (hippo¬
potamus). However, after having compared the sign
with a makara, he might have saved himself the trouble
of attributing to it the face of a goat. Only the Greeks
require the latter description, because they consider the
sign as composed of two animals, as a goat in the part
above the breast and as a fish in the lower part. But
the aquatic animal called makara, as people describe
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