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

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



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270                           ALBERUNPS INDIA.

firma and the ocean. For in certain places the con¬
tinent protrudes far into the ocean, so as to pass beyond
the equator, e.g. the plains of the negroes in the west,
which protrude far towards the south, even beyond the
mountctins of the moon and the sources of the Nile, in
fact, into regions which we do not exactly know. For
that continent is desert and impassable, and likewise
the sea behind Sufala of the Zanj is unnavigable. No
ship which ventured to go there has ever returned to
relate what it had witnessed.

Also a great part of India above the province of Sindh
deeply protrudes far towards the south, and seems even
to pass beyond the equator.

In the midst between both lie Arabia and Yemen,
but they do not go so far south as to cross the equator.

Further, as the terra firma stretches far out into the
ocean, thus the ocean too penetrates into terra firma,
breaking into it in various places, and forming bays
and gulfs. For instance, the sea extends as a tongue
along the west side of Arabia as far as the neighbour¬
hood of Central Syria. It is narrowest near Kulzum,
whence it is also called the Sect of Kulzum.

Another and still larger arm of the sea exists east of
Arabia, the so-called Persian Sea. Between India and
China, also, the sea forms a great curve towards the north.

Hence it is evident that the coast-line of these
countries does not correspond to the equator, nor keep
an invariable distance from it,

and the explanation relating to the four cities will follow
in its proper place.

The difference of the times which has been remarked
is one of the results of the rotundity of the earth, and
of its occupying the centre of the globe. And if they
attribute to the earth, though it be round, inhabitants—
for cities cannot be imagined without inhabitants—the
existence of men  on earth is accounted  for by the
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