BIRUNI [Abu-r-Raihan Muhammad al-biruni] (973-1048), Arabian scholar, was born of Persian parentage in Khwarizm (Khiva), and was a Shi'ite in religion. He devoted his youth to the study of history, chronology, mathematics, astronomy, philosophy and medicine. He corresponded with Ibn Sina (see Avicenna), and the answers of the latter are still preserved in the British Museum. For some years he lived in Jurjan, and then went to India, where he remained some years teaching Greek philosophy and learning Indian. In 1017 he was taken by Mahmud of Ghazni to Afghanistan, where he remained until his death in 1048. His Athar ul-Bakiya (Vestiges of the Past) was published by C.E. Sachau (Leipzig, 1878), and a translation into English under the title The Chronology of Ancient Nations (London, 1879). His History of India was published by C.E. Sachau (London, 1887), and an English translation (2 vols., London, 1888). Other works of his, chiefly on mathematics and astronomy, are still in manuscript only.
See C. Brockelmann, Geschichte der arabischen Litteratur (Weimar, 1898), vol. i. pp. 475-476.
(G. W. T.)
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)