Q. Who among the following is known to have translated Patanjali’s work into Persian and the works of Euclid (Greek mathematician) into Sanskrit?
Al-Biruni was born in 973, in Khwarizm in presentday Uzbekistan. Khwarizm was an important centre of learning, and Al-Biruni received the best education available at the time.
- He was well versed in several languages: Syriac, Arabic, Persian, Hebrew and Sanskrit.
- Although he did not know Greek, he was familiar with the works of Plato and other Greek philosophers, having read them in Arabic translations.
- In 1017, when Sultan Mahmud invaded Khwarizm, he took several scholars and poets back to his capital, Ghazni; Al-Biruni was one of them.
- He arrived in Ghazni as a hostage, but gradually developed a liking for the city, where he spent the rest of his life until his death at the age of 70.
- Al-Biruni’s expertise in several languages allowed him to compare languages and translate texts.
- He translated several Sanskrit works, including Patanjali’s work on grammar, into Arabic. For his Brahmana friends, he translated the works of Euclid (a Greek mathematician) into Sanskrit.
Source: NCERT Themes in Indian History.