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


The Annunciation to Mary


A larger image of The Annunciation to Mary, in 'The Chronology of Ancient Nations' by Al-Biruni, Tabriz, Iran, 1307AD. University of Edinburgh Or.Ms.161 f.141v.


Shelfmark: Or.Ms.161
Holding Institution: University of Edinburgh
Title: Chronology of Ancient Nations
Subset Index: f.141v
Creator: Al-Biruni
Creator Nationality: Iranian
Creator Role: Author
Date: 1307

Description:
Detail of page of the Chronology of Ancient Nations by Al-Biruni. Image depicts the Annunciation, in which Mary was informed of the coming of Christ, her son, by the angel Gabriel. Mary is shown sitting cross-legged at the left of the image, with Gabriel on the right, gesturing towards her. The fact that Mary is weaving on an Islamic frame suggests that this image is derived from the Byzantine tradition of Christ: while Muslims do not accept Christ's divinity, his immaculate conception is considered truthful and is even mentioned in the Qur'an. 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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