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

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

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ANNOTATIONS.                               253

exception of this rule only in favour of Aleranshahri, the
author of a general work on the history of religions.
Alberuni seems to have known this book already (A.D.
1000) when he wrote his " Chronology," for there he gives
two quotations, one an Eranian, and the other an Armenian
tradition, on the authority of Aleranshahri (v. " Chrono¬
logy of Ancient Nations," &c., translated by Dr. C. Edward
Sachau, London, 1879, pp. 208, 2ii).

The word Eranshahr was known to the Arabs as the
name of the whole Sasanian empire, from the Oxus to the
Euphrates. So it is used, e.g. by Abu-'All 'Ahmad Ibn
'Umar Ibn Dusta in his geographical work (British
Museum, add. 23,378 on fol. 120&), where he describes the
whole extent of it. If, however, Eranshahr here means
the place where the author Abul'abbas was born, we must
take the word in the more restricted meaning, which is
mentioned by Albaladhuri. For it is also the name of a
part of the Sasanian empire, viz. one of the four provinces
of Khurasan, the country between Nishapur, Tus, and
Herat. Accordingly, we suppose that Aleranshahri means
a native of this particular province. Gf. Almukaddasi,
p. riT^Yakiit, i. i^iA, According to another tradition, the
name Eranshahr also applied to Nishapur, i.e. -the name
of the province was used to denote its capital. Gf. Almu¬
kaddasi, p. r 1 ^.

Aleranshahri, a sort of freethinker according to Albe¬
runi, is only once quoted (i. 326, a Buddhistic tradition
on the destruction and renovation of the world). But as
Alberuni praises his description of Judaism, Christianity,
and Manicheeism, we may suppose that the information of
the Indica on these subjects, e.g. ^the quotation from the
Gospel (p. 4-5), was taken from ^Eranshahri.

Incorporated in the work of Eranshahri was a treatise
on Buddhism by an author, Zurkan, who is entirely
unknown. Although Alberuni speaks very slightingly
of this author, and although he does not mention him
anywhere save in the preface, he seems to have borrowed
from him those notes on Buddhistic subjects which are
scattered through his work (v. Index Eerum, s.v. Bud¬
dhists). This sort of information is not of a very high
standard, but other sources on Buddhism, literary or oral,
do not seem to have been at the command of Alberuni.
The Hindus with whom he mixed were of the Brahminical
  Page 253