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

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



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Page 122.

The author



The state¬
ments of
by the

pole above it is visible. According to some, Meru con¬
sists of gold ; according to others it consists of jewels.
Aryabhata thinks that it has not absolute height, but
only the height of one yojana, and that it is round, not
quadrangular, the realm of the angels; that it is in¬
visible, although shining, because it is very distant from
the inhabited earth, being situated entirely in the high
north, in the cold zone, in the centre of a desert called
Nandctna-vana. However, if it were of a great height,
it would not be possible on the 66th degree of latitude
for the whole Tropic of Cancer to be visible, and for the
sun to revolve on it, being always visible without ever

All that Balabhadra produces is foolish both in words
and matter, and I cannot find why he felt himself called
upon to write a commentary if he had nothing better
to say.

If he tries to refute the theory of the flatness of the

earth by the planets revolving round  the horizon of

Meru,   this   argument would   go nearer   proving the

theory than refuting it.    For if the earth were a flat

expanse, and everything high

on earth were parallel to the

perpendicular height of Meru,

there would be no change of

horizon, and the same horizon

would be the equinox for all

places on earth.

On the words of Aryabhata
as quoted by Balabhadra we
make the following remarks.
Let A B be the globe of the earth round the centre
H. Further, A is a place on the earth in the 66th de¬
gree of latitude. We cut off from the circle the arc
A B, equal to the greatest declination. Then B is the
place in the zenith of which the pole stands.

Further, we draw the line A C touching the globe in
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