Barlaam and Josaphat

(redirected from Saint Josaphat)

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.


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

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References in periodicals archive ?
Lopez and McCracken investigate the seeming similarity between Marco Polo's account of the Buddha and the widespread story of Saint Josaphat. They discuss the storied Buddha: the Indian tale, the Buddha becomes a prophet: the Arabic Bilawhar and Budhasaf, the prince becomes a Christian saint: the Georgian Balavariani, the saint is translated: Greek and Latin versions of the Barlaam legend, the pious prince goes to war: Gui de Cambrai's Barlaam and Josaphat, the Buddha becomes Josaphat for early modern readers, and Josaphat becomes the Buddha for modern readers.
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