Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Barlaam and Ioasaph   By: (676?-749)

Book cover

First Page:

Barlaam and Ioasaph

by

St. John Damascene (?)

("St. John of Damascus")

c. 676 749 A.D.

It is not known where or when this story was written, but it is believed to have been translated into Greek (possibly from a Georgian original) sometime in the 11th Century A.D. Although the ultimate author is usually referred to as "John the Monk", it has been traditionally ascribed to St. John of Damascus.

The text of this edition is based on that published as ST. JOHN DAMASCENE: BARLAAM AND IOASAPH (Trans: G.R. Woodward and H. Mattingly; Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1914). This text is in the PUBLIC DOMAIN in he United States.

This electronic edition was edited, proofed, and prepared by Douglas B. Killings (DeTroyes@EnterAct.COM), November, 1996.

PREPARER'S NOTE: Readers of this work will note some startling similarities between the story of Ioasaph and the traditional Tale of Buddha. The work seems to be a retelling of the Buddha Legend from within a Christian context, with the singular difference that the "Buddha" in this tale reaches enlightenment through the love of Jesus Christ.

The popularity of the Greek version of this story is attested to by the number of translations made of it throughout the Christian world, including versions in Latin, Old Slavonic, Armenian, Christian Arabic, English, Ethiopic, and French. Such was its popularity that both Barlaam and Josaphat (Ioasaph) were eventually recognized by the Roman Catholic Church as Saints, and churches were dedicated in their honor from Portugal to Constantinople. It was only after Europeans began to have increased contacts with India that scholars began to notice the similarities between the two sets of stories. Modern scholars believe that the Buddha story came to Europe from Arabic, Caucasus, and/or Persian sources, all of which were active in trade between the European and Indian worlds.

DBK

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY:

ORIGINAL TEXT

Woodward, G.R. & H. Mattingly (Ed. & Trans.): "St. John Damascene: Barlaam and Ioasaph" (Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 1914). English translation with side by side Greek text.

RECOMMENDED READING

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.

BARLAAM AND IOASAPH

AN EDIFYING STORY FROM THE INNER LAND OF THE ETHIOPIANS, CALLED THE LAND OF THE INDIANS, THENCE BROUGHT TO THE HOLY CITY, BY JOHN THE MONK (AN HONOURABLE MAN AND A VIRTUOUS, OF THE MONASTERY OF SAINT SABAS); WHEREIN ARE THE LIVES OF THE FAMOUS AND BLESSED BARLAAM AND IOASAPH.

INTRODUCTION

"As many as are led by the Spirit of God they are sons of God" saith the inspired Apostle. Now to have been accounted worthy of the Holy Spirit and to have become sons of God is of all things most to be coveted; and, as it is written, "They that have become his sons find rest from all enquiry." This marvellous, and above all else desirable, blessedness have the Saints from the beginning won by the practice of the virtues, some having striven as Martyrs, and resisted sin unto blood, and others having struggled in self discipline, and having trodden the narrow way, proving Martyrs in will. Now, that one should hand down to memory the prowess and virtuous deeds of these, both of them that were made perfect by blood, and of them that by self denial did emulate the conversation of Angels, and should deliver to the generations that follow a pattern of virtue, this hath the Church of Christ received as a tradition from the inspired Apostles, and the blessed Fathers, who did thus enact for the salvation of our race. For the pathway to virtue is rough and steep, especially for such as have not yet wholly turned unto the Lord, but are still at warfare, through the tyranny of their passions... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books