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

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



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CHAPTER LIX.                                 109

from us. Therefore the lunar eclipse will never revolve
from the west nor the solar eclipse from the east.

V. 9.—A long shadow stretches away from the earth,
in like manner as the shadow of a tree.

V. 10.—When the moon has only little latitude,
standing in the seventh sign of its distance from the
sun, and if it does not stand too far north or south, in
that case the moon enters the shadow of the earth and
is eclipsed thereby. The first contact takes place on
the side of the east.

V. II.—When the sun is reached by the moon from
the west, the moon covers the sun, as if a portion of a
cloud covered him. The amount of the covering differs
in different regions.

V. 12.—Because that which covers the moon is large,
her light wanes when one-half of it is eclipsed; and
because that which covers the sun is not large, the rays
are powerful notwithstanding the eclipse.

V. 13.—The nature of the Head has nothing what¬
ever to do with the lunar and solar eclipses. On this
subject the scholars in their books agree."

After having described the nature of the two eclipses,
as he understands them, he complains of those who do
not know this, and says: " However, common people
are always very loud in proclaiming the Head to be
the cause of an eclipse, and they say, ' If the Head
did not appear and did not bring about the eclipse, the
Brahmans would not at that moment undergo an obli¬
gatory washing.' "

Varahamihira says:—

V. 14.—"The reason of this is that the head humi¬
liated itself after it had been cut off, and received from
Brahman a portion of the offering which the Brahmans
offer to the fire at the moment of an eclipse.

V. 15.—Therefore he is near the spot of the eclipse,
searching for his portion. Therefore at that time people
mention him frequently, and consider him as the cause
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