Book of Instruction in the Elements of the Art of Astrology
Publication date: April 2012
Digital Book format: PDF (DRM-Free)
(Kitab al-Tafhim li Awa'il Sina'at al-Tanjim) A primer of 11th century science. In this magnificent book, Abu Rayhan al-Biruni compares and contrasts different systems of astrology. Beginning with sections on geometry and arithmetic, it leads to a thorough exposition of Ptolemaic astronomy that includes a detailed description of the use of the astrolabe. There are subsequent sections on geography and chronology. Biruni insists that no-one is entitled to call himself an Astrologer unless he possesses a thorough knowledge of these ancillary sciences. Highlights include: a comprehensive list of more than 150 Lots, various forms of aspects and planetary relationships, planetary positions relative to the sun, an excellent text on rulerships as well as comprehensive notes on weather and meteorological phenomena. This is Robert Ramsay Wright's 1934 critical English translation, based on Persian and Arabic manuscripts. This is the complete work, not just a re-publication of the part on Astrology. This book is superior to Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos (written in the 2nd century CE) and moreover, was unknown to mediæval European astrologers. English with parallel Arabic / Persian text, fully bookmarked, facsimile PDF eBook, 22 Megabytes, xviii, 666 pages - £4.75 ______________________________________ THE BOOK OF INSTRUCTION IN THE ELEMENTS OF THE ART OF ASTROLOGY By ABU'L-RAYHAN MUHAMMAD IBN AHMAD AL-BIRUNI Written in Ghaznah, 1029 A.D. Reproduced from Brit. Mus. MS. Or. 8349 The Translation facing the Text by R. Ramsay Wright, M.A. Edin., L.L.D. Tor. and Edin. Emeritus Professor of Biology University of Toronto 1934 LONDON LUZAC & CO.46 Great Russell Street ______________________________________ CONTENTS The numbered sections (abwab) below are referred to in the Arabic text by numbers alone. GEOMETRY 1-28. Deal with definitions and propositions of Euclid's Geometry, Book I. 29-32. Of Euclid Book II. 33-36. Of Euclid Books III and IV. 37. Ratio of diameter to circumference. 38-51 & 55. Definitions of Euclid Book V. 52-54. Of Euclid Book VI. 56-71. Definitions from Euclid Books XI & XII. ARITHMETIC 72-95. Names and properties of the various kinds of numbers. 96-108. Arithmetical Operations. Decimal Notation.109-115. Algebra. 116-119. Representation of numbers by letters of the alphabet. ASTRONOMY 120-124. The Spheres.125. Stars and Planets.126-131. Celestial Movements. Horizon. Meridian. Cardinal points. Indian Circle.132-137. Day and Night. Dawn and Twilight. Hours. 138-143. Equinoctial. Ecliptic. Parallels of Declination and of Latitude. Muqantarahs, Equinoxes. Solstices. 144-145. Subdivision of the circumference of the circle. Relation to it of the diameter. 146. THE SIGNS.147. Declination and Latitude of Stars. 148. Degree of a Star.149. Latitude and Declination of Planets.150-152. THE PLANETS. Superior and Inferior. The Epicycle. 153-154. Combustion and Conjunction with the Sun. 155-156. Waxing and Waning of the Moon. Phases peculiar to the Moon? 157-162. The Fixed Stars. Their arrangement in Constellations, Zodiacal, Northern and Southern. Tables of these. 163-166. Star names. MANSIONS OF THE MOON. Their Ascension. 167-169. The Galaxy. Order of succession of Signs. Northern and Southern Signs and Mansions.170-175. Mumaththal Orbit or Parecliptic. Apogee of Sun. Its Excentric Orbit. Its Mean Movement, Mean Argument and Equation. The amount of its movement in the Ecliptic.176-185. Inclined orbits of planets, their Nodes. Epicycle; Deferent; Equant. Apogee of Epicycle, Mean rate of planet, Mean and True Anomaly. Mean and Corrected Longitude. Equation of Anomaly. True Position among the stars. 186-190. Orbits of the Moon. Its Movements. Those of the Planets. Revolution of the Planets. 191. The Trepidation Theory.192-196. Latitude of the Moon and of the Planets. Position of their Apogees and of their Nodes. 197-198. Daily rate of movement of Planet, BUHT.199-201. Maqamat, Ribatat, Nitaqat.202. Planets. Ascending and Descending. 203. Increase and Decrease of the Planets. 204. World-Days and World-Years.205-209. Size of Planets. Distance from the Earth. Size of the Earth and surrounding Elements.210-213. Distribution of Land and Water. Equator. Erect posture. 214-219. Latitude and Longitude of Locality. 220-222. Ortive Amplitude. Day and Night. Diurnal Arc.223-224. Stars of Perpetual Apparition and Occultation. 225-226. Altitude and Zenith Distance.227-229. Gnomon and Shadow.230-235. Azimuth. Meridian Altitude and Shadow. Relation to time of prayer. Azimuth of Qiblah. Direction of Mecca. GEOGRAPHY 236-240. The Seven Climates. Their Extent and Characteristics. Qubbat al-ard. Other Methods of dividing the Earth.241. Cities in the Seven Climates. ASTRONOMY 242. Co-ascensions of Equinoctial and Ecliptic. 243. 'Epoch' of star with Latitude. Degree with which it rises, sets and crosses the Meridian.244. Da'ir. Arc of parallel of a star traversed from the horizon at a given time.245-248. Ascendant. Houses. Cadent and Succeedent. Their Angles.249. Anniversary. 250. CONJUNCTIONS of Saturn and Jupiter. 251. Transit in Conjunctions.252-254. Conjunction and Opposition of Moon. Phases (Fasisat) at which forecasts are made, Athazer (al-tasyirat). 255-267. Eclipses of Moon. Eclipses of Sun. Parallaxis. 268. Mean Day. CHRONOLOGY 269-272. Months. Solar and Lunar Years. Leapyear. Intercalation. 272a. Hindu Names for Days of the Week.273-279. Months of the Various Nations. 280-281. Dates. Cycles. Eras.282. Feasts and Fasts of the Nations.283-290. Jewish.291-300. Christian.301. Muslim.302-310. Persian.311-315. Days in Greek Calendar.316-320. Soghdian and Khwarizmian.321-323. THE CALENDAR. Page of a Persian Calendar. THE ASTROLABE 324-346. The Astrolabe. Its Parts. Various Kinds. Uses. ASTROLOGY 347-358. The Signs. Their Nature and Characteristics. Relation to points of the Compass and to the Winds.359-371. Tables giving Indications as to their influence on Character, Figure and Face, Profession, Disease. Crops. Animals. 372. Years of the Signs.373-376. Signs and Planets in Aspect and Inconjunct. 377. Relations other than Aspect. 378. Ascending and Descending halves of the Zodiac. 379-380. Triplicities and Quadrants of the Zodiac. THE PLANETS 381-393. Their Nature and Characteristics. Relation to points of the Compass. AS Lords of Hours and Days of the Week. Relation to Climates and Cities.394-395. Their YEARS. Periods (FIRDARIA) of control of Human Life. 396-435. TABLES giVing Indications as to Soils. BUildings. Countries. Jewels. Foods. Drugs. Animals. Crops. Parts of the Body. Disposition and Manners. Disease. Professions &c.436-439. ORBS and YEARS. Details of Firdaria. 440-444. Domiciles and Detriments. Exaltation and Fall. 445. As Lords of the Triplicities. 446-447. Planets in Aspect. Friendship and Enmity of Planets. DIVISIONS OF THE SIGNS 448-452. Halves. Faces. Paranatellonta. Decanates. Ptolemy's thirds.453-454. TERMS and their Lords.455-456. Ninths and Twelfths.457-460. Characteristics of DEGREES of the Signs. THE HOUSES 461-474. TABLES of Indications at NatiVities, at Horary Questions, as to Organs, Powers, Joys and Powers of the Planets. Sex. Characteristics of Groups of Houses in Threes and Sixes. THE PART OF FORTUNE 475-480. Tables of other LOTS cast in a similar way. 481-488. Relative Position of Planets and Sun. Cazimi. Orientality. Influence changed under certain conditions. TABLES.489-490. APPLICATION and SEPARATION.491. DEAD DEGREES. 492. Conjunction in longitude and in latitude. 493-505. DIGNITIES. Order of precedence. Favourable and unfavourable situations of the Planets in the Signs and Houses.506-509. Interference with their conjunctions, Reception &c.510. Substitutes for conjunction and aspect.511. Opening the doors.512-513. Strength and Weakness of Planets.514. The Combust Way. JUDICIAL ASTROLOGY 515-519. The Five Divisions and the astrological principles on which inquiries are to be based in each.520. The Lord of the Year. Salkhuda. 521-523. The determining conditions at a nativity, Hyleg, Kadkhuda, Ascendant, Horoscope, Figure of the Heavens. Direction or Aphesis (Tasyir) Janbakhtar. Gifts of length of life. Position ot the malefics (qawati') which terminate it.524-526. Procedure at birth. Use of Numuder. A similar substitute for Ascendant (Rectification). 527. 'Elections'. Selecting suitable time for action.528-530. General Questions. Thought reading. Danger of hasty conclusions. ______________________________________ QUOTES p. 5: A versed sine is the sagitta at the doubled arc or the line from one end of the arc to the extremity of the sine opposite it. The greatest of all versed sines is a diameter, as that of all natural sines is a radius. p. 86-97: The expression ascension of the mansions does not mean their rising above the horizon, which occurs once every dey, but this ascension is like the condition of orientality, tashriq, which we considered in connection with the three superior planets. Because when the sun is near one of the fixed stars it conceals it by its radiance; the star rises by day and sets before the disappearance of the twilight. This condition is described as its ghaibah, time of invisibility in the west. This persists until the sun moves away somewhat, so that when the star rises before the sun, the pale light of the dawn is not SUfficient to overcome it. The beginning of visibility in the east in the morning, this is the real ascension (heliacal rising) and is known as nau' as if the star were rising with difficulty. Just about the time we have described when the mansion has arisen, its nadir, the fourteenth from it. sets. This nadir is also called raqib, and its setting suqut. Between the ascension at two adjacent mansions there is an interval of approximately thirteen days, not exactly, because of the difference in magnitude of the stars concerned and their divergence to the north or south. The term anwa' is associated with the rains, because the times of their occurrence are related to the setting of the mansions in the morning in the west, while that of bawarih refers to the winds and is related to other times of rain on the ascent of a mansion escaping from beneath the rays in the morning. What has been said with regard to rain and other atmospherical phenomena refers to Arabia, for these differ very much in places distant from each other, indeed, in places quite near it their situation with regard to heat, low-lying or elevated ground, alkaline desert (or bodies of water), differs. p. 98: The milky way, kahkashan, is a collection of countless fragments of the nature of nebulous stars. They form a nearly complete great circle which passes between Gemini and Sagittarius, the stars densely-packed in some places, more scattered in others, the way sometimes narrow, sometimes broad, and occasionally breaking up into three or four branches. Aristotle considered that it is formed by an enormous assemblage of stars screened by smoky vapours in front of them, and compared it to haloes and nebulæ. p. 144: The fifth climate begins with the country of the Eastern Turks, and the territories of Gog and Magog, Yajuj and Majuj, with the surrounding wall, passes the mountains of the Turks with their well-known tribes, and arrives at Kashgar, Balasaghun, Thasht, Ferghana, Isbijab, Al-Shash, Ushrushna, Samarqand, Bukhara, Khwarizm, and the Sea of the Khazars (known also as Abiskun) [the Caspian] and passes Bab al-abwab (Derbend of the Khazars), Barda'a, Maiyafarqin, Armenia, the Passes into Asia Minor, the cities there, then crosses over Rumiya the Great, the country of the Galicians and the cities of Andalus to end in the encircling Ocean. The sixth climate begins among the dwelling places of the Eastern Turks with the Qay and Qun, the Khirkhiz and Kamak and Taghazghaz towards the Turcoman country and Farab, the city of the Khazars (Itil) to the north of their Sea and the Alans [and As] who occupy the country between that sea and the Sea Of Trebizond which leads to Constantinople, Burjan, France and Northern Spain where it ends in the Western Ocean. The seventh climate contains little habitable land; however in the east there are forests and mountains which shelter groups of Turks in a miserable condition, then the Bashkhirt mountains are reached and the boundaries of the Ghuzz and Pechenegs, the two cities of Suwar and Bulghar, Russia, Slavonia, Bulghariya and Maj'ar, and finally the Western Ocean. Beyond this climate there are few people living, except groups like the Ansu, the Varangians, the Bardah and the like.