Barlaam and Josaphat (book)

Barlaam and Josaphat (book)

"Barlaam and Josaphat" (also called "Barlaam and Ioasaph") is the title given to a large number of different books in various languages, all dealing with the lives of Saints Barlaam and Josaphat in India. In this hagiographic novel, the life and teachings of Josaphat have many parallels with those of the Buddha. "But not till the mid-nineteenth century was it recognised that, in Josaphat, the Buddha had been venerated as a Christian saint for about a thousand years." [] The authorship of the work is disputed.

The origins of the story seem to be a Central Asian manusript written in the Manichean tradition. This book was translated into Georgian and Arabic. The best-known version in Europe comes from a separate, but not wholly independent, source, written in Greek, and, although anonymous, attributed to a monk named John. It was only considerably later that the tradition arose that this was John of Damascus, but most scholars no longer accept this attribution. Instead much evidence points to Euthymius of Athos, a Georgian who died in 1028. []

Manuscripts in English

Among the mansuscripts in English, two of the most important are the British Museum "MS Egerton 876" (the basis for Ikegami's book) and "MS Peterhouse 257" (the basis for Hirsh's book) at the University of Cambridge.

"Barlaam and Josaphat" in Popular Culture

*This is the book that is used in the caskets in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice". []


*"Baralâm and Yĕwâsĕf". Ethiopic
*Budge, E.A. Wallis. "Baralam and Yewasef : the Ethiopic version of a Christianized recension of the Buddhist legend of the Buddha and the Bodhisattva". Published: London; New York: Kegan Paul; Biggleswade, UK: Distributed by Extenza-Turpin Distribution; New York: Distributed by Columbia University Press, 2004.
*Hilário da Lourinhã. "Vida do honorado Infante Josaphate, filho del Rey Avenir, versão de frei Hilário da Lourinhã: e a identificação, por Diogo do Couto (1542-1616), de Josaphate com o Buda". Introduction and notes by Margarida Corrêa de Lacerda. Lisboa: Junta de Investigações do Ultramar, 1963.
*Hirsh, John C. (editor). "Barlam and Iosaphat: a Middle English life of Buddha". Edited from MS Peterhouse 257. London; New York: Published for the Early English Text Society by the Oxford University Press, 1986. ISBN 0-197-22292-7
*Ikegami, Keiko. "Barlaam and Josaphat : a transcription of MS Egerton 876 with notes, glossary, and comparative study of the Middle English and Japanese versions", New York: AMS Press, 1999. ISBN 0-404-64161-X
*John Damascene, "Barlaam and Ioasaph" (Loeb Classical Library). David M. Lang (introduction), G. R. Woodward (translator), Harold Mattingly (translator)· Publisher: Loeb Classical Library, W. Heinemann; 1967, 1914. ISBN-10: 0-674-99038-2
*Lang, David Marshall (Trans.): "The Balavariani: A Tale from the Christian East" California University Press: Los Angeles, 1966. Translation of the Georgian work that probably served as a basis for the Greek text.
*MacDonald, K.S. (editor). "The story of Barlaam and Joasaph : Buddhism & Christianity". With philological introduction and notes to the Vernon, Harleian and Bodleian versions, by John Morrision. Calcutta: Thacker, Spink, 1895.
*Sonet, Jean. "Le roman de Barlaam et Josaphat". Namur, 1949-52.

External links

* [ Full version in Modern English translation]

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