Illustration from
'The Chronology of Ancient Nations' of Al-Biruni
(Abū al-Rayḥān Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad al-Bīrūnī )
Copy from Tabriz, 1307AD


The destruction of Bayt al-Muqaddas


A larger image of the destruction of Bayt al-Muqaddas, in 'The Chronology of Ancient Nations' by Al-Biruni, Tabriz, Iran, 1307AD. University of Edinburgh Or.Ms.161 f.134v.


Shelfmark: Or.Ms.161
Holding Institution: University of Edinburgh
Title: Chronology of Ancient Nations
Subset Index: f.134v
Creator: Al-Biruni
Creator Nationality: Iranian
Creator Role: Author
Date: 1307

Description:
Detail of page from the Chronology of Ancient Nations by Al-Biruni. Image shows the destruction of Bayt al-Muqaddas, understood to be the Solomonic temple at Jerusalem, by fire at the hands of King Bukhtnassar (also known as Nebuchadnezzar), with the outer wall and dome being consumed by flames at the centre of the image. On either side, a figure can be seen aiding the destruction, the individual on the right possibly being Bukhtnassar himself. In the text, Al-Biruni mentions that this event was commemorated by fasting on the ninth day of the month of Ab. Written by the famous astronomer and polymath Abu Rayhan Al-Biruni, the Chronology of Ancient Nations is a compendium and chronicle of a vast number of calendars and chronological systems from a variety of different cultural and religious groups from throughout the late antique and medieval periods in the Hellenic world, Central Asia and the Near East. Completed in the year 1000, it even includes details of festivals and liturgical practices, in addition to more specific information. This particular manuscript is thought to have been copied in 1307 and was the archetype for the three later versions which were used by Edward Sachau to translate the document from Arabic into English during the nineteenth century.
Chelkowski, P. J. (1975), 'The scholar and the saint : studies in commemoration of Abuʾl-Rayhan al-Biruni and Jalal al-Din al-Rumi', New York.
Source: University of Edinburgh

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