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

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



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284                        ALBERUNPS INDIA.

dome or cupola standing on earth and resting, and the
stars as beings which wander individually from east to
west. How could these men have any idea of the
second motion ? And if they really had such an idea,
how could an opponent of the same class of men con¬
cede the possibility that one and the same thing indi¬
vidually moves in two different directions ?

We shall here communicate what we know of their

theories, although we are aware that the reader will

not derive any profit from them, since they are simply


Quotation        The Mcttsva-Purdna says :   " The sun and the stars

fromthe                      ^           '^        .        '           "^        . _,,                                             .

Matsya-      pass aloug southward as rapidly as an arrow revolv-

Purdna.         .                   -i    nr              mi                          i                     t                i  •

mg round Meru. The sun revolves round something
like a beam, the end of which is burning when its
revolution is very rapid. The sun does not really
disappear (during the night) ; he is then invisible only
to some people, to some of the inhabitants of the four
cities on the four sides of Meru, He revolves round
Meru, starting from the north side of Mount Lokaloka;
he does not pass beyond Lokaloka, nor illuminate its
south side. He is invisible daring the night, because
he is so far away. Man can see him at a distance
of looo yojana, but when he is so far away, a small
object sufficiently near to the eye can render him
invisible to the spectator.

"When the sun stands in the zenith of Pushkara-
Dvipa, he moves along the distance of one-thirtieth
part of the earth in three-fifths of an hour. In so
much time he traverses 21 lakshct and 50,000 yojana,
i.e. 2,150,000 yojana. Then he turns to the north, and
the distance he traverses becomes thrice as large. In
consequence, the day becomes long. The distance which
the sun traverses in a southern day is 9 koti and 10,045
yojana. When he then returns to the north and revolves
round Kshira, i.e. the Milky Way, his daily march is
I koti and 21 laksha yojana."
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