Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 2)

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



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  Page 106  



The golden
Parallel of
the Male-
dives and

■ Page 254.


have appeared out of the ocean is not astonishing for
that particular part of the ocean; for the Dtbajat
islands (Maledives and Laccadives) originate in a
similar manner, rising out of the ocean as sand-downs.
They increase, and rise, and extend themselves, and
remain in this condition for a certain time. Then they
become decrepit as if from old age; the single parts
become dissolved, no longer keep together, and dis¬
appear in the water as if melting away. The inhabi¬
tants of the islands quit that one which apparently dies
away, and migrate to a young and fresh one which is
about to rise above the ocean. They take their cocoa-
nut palms along with them, colonise the new island,
and dwell on it.

That the fortress in question is called golden may
only be a conventional epithet. Possibly, however,
this object is to be taken literally, for the islands of
the Zabaj are called the Gold Goitntry (Suvctrnadvipct),
because you obtain much gold as deposit if you wash
only a little of the earth of that country.
  Page 106