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

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



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268                        ALBERUNPS INDIA.

sixty-four times as large as the sea inclosing the central
earth. Several circumstances, however, compel us to
attribute globular shape both to the earth and heaven,
viz. the fact that the stars rise and set in different
places at different times, so that, e.g. a man in Yama¬
koti observes one identical star rising above the western
horizon, whilst a man in Rum at the same time observes
it rising above the eastern horizon. Another argument
to the same effect is this, that a man on Meru observes
one identical star above the horizon in the zenith of
Lanka, the country of the demons, whilst a man in
Lanka at the same time observes it above his head.
Besides, all astronomical calculations are not correct
unless we assume the globular figure of heaven and
earth. Therefore we must declare that heaven is a
globe, because we observe in it all the characteristics
of a globe, and the observation of these characteristics
of the world would not be correct unless in reality it
were a globe. Now, it is evident that all the other
theories about the world are futile."
Quotations        Arvabhata inquires into the nature of  the world,

from various            ~i    "^             t           •                   ■               p               i                            (••                    -\       •     -t

astrono- aud says that it consists ot earth, water, fare, and wind,
and that each of these elements is round.

Likewise Vasishtha and Lata say that the five ele¬
ments, viz. earth, water, fire, wind, and heaven, are

Varahamihira says that all things which are per¬
ceived by the senses, are witnesses in favour of the
globular shape of the earth, and refute the possibility
of its having another shape,

Aryabhata, Pulisa, Vasishtha, and Lata agree in this,
that when it is noon in Yamakoti, it is midnight in
Rum, beginning of the day in Lafika, and beginning of
the night in Siddhapura, which is not possible if the
world is not round. Likewise the periodicity of the
eclipses can only be explained by the world's being

  Page 268