Barlaam and Josaphat

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Barlaam and Josaphat

(bär`läəm, jō`səfăt), legend popular in medieval times. It corresponds in part to the legend of Buddha. Versions of the story have been found in nearly every language. At the birth of Josaphat (or Joasaph), the son of the Indian king Abenner, it was prophesied that the young prince was destined for greatness not as a royal leader but as a holy man. The king did all that was possible to stop the prophecy from coming true, but the prince, through the teachings of the monk Barlaam, was converted to religion (according to Western legend, Christianity). After the death of Abenner, Josaphat abdicated the throne and lived out the remainder of his days with Barlaam, as a religious recluse.

Bibliography

See the standardized Greek text with translation by G. R. Woodward and H. Mattingly (1914).