Astronomy, Astrology, Cosmology, Cosmogony, ...
starušmārīh, axtarmārīh, gētīgdānišnīh, bundahišnīh, ud cē
Zamān ‘Time’ in the last texts of the Magi
The 7 stars of the constellation Ursa Major
The Cupola of the Earth
The central point on the dividing line between east and west of the inhabitable world, Xvaniraθa (Pers. Xvanirah), drawn from the North Pole to the South Pole, was called, by the Persian astronomers, gumbad ī zamīg/ gētīg ‘Cupola of the Earth’ (rendered by Arabic [1, and the Persian royal observatory was placed on that line. The Persian astronomical tables also gave a longitude of 90° E to the Castle of Kaŋha (Pers. Kangdiz) listed as the easternmost point; and, at the same time, some astronomers reckoned longitude west from the eastern prime meridian. Abū-Maʿšar of Balx (Bactria) measured longitudes west from Kangdiz, and some early astronomical tables in Arabic imply a base meridian in the Persian Cupola. But the later tables in Arabic placed the base meridian in the west, the Fortunate Isles (Arab. الجزاير العامرة, الجزاير الخالدات), or Ujjayinī (Arab. ارين). Ujjayinī was considered as the Cupola (and it was even called قبة ارين ‘the Cupola of Arīn’) and the point 90° west of Uajjayinī was equated with Ptolemy’s prime meridian of the Fortunate Isles. Then the issue of the Persian Cupola of the Earth became obscure, and endeavors to clarify it vain. For example, Bērōnī, in spite of having some acquaintance with the Royal (Persian) astronomical tables, states that: “I do not know whether this (concept of the cupola of the earth) is an expression or opinion of the Persians, or others; since the Greek books do not mention it.”
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