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Livshits V.A. The Khwarezmian calendar and the eras of the Ancient Chorasmia // Acta Antiqua Acadaemiae Scientiarum Hungaricae. t. 16, fasc. 1—4. Budapest, 1968. P. 433-446.

Till recent times Biruni's «Chronology» was the only written source containing information on the history and religion of Chorasmia in the period preceding the Arab conquest. The discovery of new written monuments, also in such languages which had been known previously only by their names, has rendered it possible on several occasions to verify the authenticity of the informations given by Biruni. Thus the discovery of Sogdian texts in East Turkestan, and then in the territory of Sogdiana itself, confirmed the accuracy of Biruni's data on the Sogdian calendar — the names of the months, days and lunar stations. Recently W. B. Henning — on the basis of his study of the Khwarezmian texts written in the Arabic alphabet — showed that the denominations of the Khwarezmian holidays, as well as some astronomical names (like names of planets, stars, signs of the zodiac) given in the «Chronology» correspond as a rule with the data of the Khwarezmian texts. It has also turned out that Biruni was acquainted with the peculiarities of the Khwarezmian orthography and, in all probability, could write in Khwarezmian. The principal rules of Khwarezmian orthography, based on the Arabic (or more accurately Arabo-Persian) script, were formed obviously even in the 10th century, so that Biruni in his works elaborating independently the principles of rendering of the terms of different languages (from Greek and Old Hebrew to Indian) by means of Arabic letters, could use for Khwarezmian the current ways of writings. As it has been shown by W. B. Henning, in Biruni's «Chronology» the Khwarezmian language and orthography are in their basis identical with the Khwarezmian monuments of the period of the 12th to 14th centuries. The question, whether the ancient Khwarezmian script still survived at the end of the 10th and the beginning of the 11th centuries, is undecided. It has to be admitted that the passage quoted by Baihaqi from Biruni's «History of Chorasmia» (the «History of Chorasmia» itself has not been preserved), does not contain any direct reference to the fact that in 1014, three years before the occupation of Chorasmia by Mahmud of Ghazni, in the chancelleries of the Khwarezmian Court the script of Aramaic origin was still in use. The reportwhich is discussed in this passage, is addressed to the Khwarezmshah and compiled by Ya'qub Jindi in Khwarezmian language, could be written in Arabic script. The Khwarezmian texts of the 12th to 14th centuries do not give data which could be collated with the informations of Biruni on the time reckonings and ruling dynasties of pre-Islamic Chorasmia. On the basis of these texts it is also impossible to verify the authenticity of most of the data on the Khwarezmian calendar, the denominations of months and days, lists of which are given in the «Chronology»…


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