This edition, comprising the astrological part of the original (sections 347-530) has been taken from Wright's pioneering 1934 translation, itself taken from Persian and Arabic sources. For this edition, text and tables have been reset, and a new index added.
Al-Biruni (973-1048 A.D.), one of the greatest Arab scholars, was born on September 4, 973, in what is now Uzbekistan. He showed talent at an early age and by his early 20's had written several acclaimed papers. Political unrest in his 20's and 30's found him at one point at Gurgan, on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Peace found him in Ghaznah, which is today in Afghanistan.
From 1017 to 1030 he travelled extensively in India, becoming fluent in Sanskrit. From this he wrote his monumental survey, India, of the history, customs and beliefs of the subcontinent. His other books include The Chronology of Ancient Nations, the Masudic Cannon, Book of Instructions, and more than 100 others, some of which are lost. He died on December 13, 1048, aged 75. He is buried in Ghaznah.