Kirjoittaja Aihe: Barlaam & Josafat; Bhagavan/Buddha & Bodhisat  (Luettu 490 kertaa)


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Barlaam & Josafat; Bhagavan/Buddha & Bodhisat
« : Marraskuu 27, 2019, 02:20:12 ip »
Otsikossa mainittu kertomus Buddhasta ja Bodhisattvasta löytyy eurooppalaisesta perinteestä pitkältä ajanjaksolta. Helsingissä on myös paikka nimeltä Josafatin kalliot.





For the first time Edited in the Original Pāli







A complete answer to the question with which the last digression started can only be given when each one of the two hundred and thirty-one fables of Planudes and his successors shall have been traced back to its original author. But—whatever that complete answer may be—the discoveries just pointed out are at least most strange and most instructive. And yet, if I mistake not, the history of the Jātaka Book contains hidden amongst its details a fact more unexpected and more striking still.

In the eighth century the Khalif of Bagdad was that Almansur at whose court was written the Arabic book Kalilah and Dimnah, afterwards translated by the learned Jews I have mentioned into Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. A Christian, high in office at his court, afterwards became a monk, and is well known, under the name of St. John of Damascus, as the author in Greek of many theological works in defence of the orthodox faith. Among these is a religious romance called ‘Barlaam and Jōasaph,’ giving the history of an Indian prince who was converted by Barlaam and became a hermit. This history, the reader will be surprised to learn, is taken from the life of the Buddha; and Joasaph is merely the Buddha under another name, the word Joasaph, or Josaphat, being simply a corruption of the word Bodisat, that title of the future Buddha so constantly repeated in the Buddhist Birth Stories. Now a life of the Buddha forms the introduction to our Jātaka Book, and St. John’s romance also contains a number of fables and stories, most of which have been traced back to the same source.

This book, the first religious romance published in a Western language, became very popular indeed, and, like the Arabic Kalilah and Dimnah, was translated into many other European languages. It exists in Latin, French, Italian, Spanish, German, English, Swedish, and Dutch. This will show how widely it was read, and how much its moral tone pleased the taste of the Middle Ages. It was also translated as early as 1204 into Icelandic, and has even been published in the Spanish dialect used in the Philippine Islands!

Now it was a very ancient custom among Christians to recite at the most sacred part of their most sacred service (in the so-called Canon of the Mass, immediately xxxviii before the consecration of the Host) the names of deceased saints and martyrs. Religious men of local celebrity were inserted for this purpose in local lists, called Diptychs, and names universally honoured throughout Christendom appeared in all such catalogues. The confessors and martyrs so honoured are now said to be canonized, that is, they have become enrolled among the number of Christian saints mentioned in the ‘Canon,’ whom it is the duty of every Catholic to revere, whose intercession may be invoked, who may be chosen as patron saints, and in whose honour images and altars and chapels may be set up.

For a long time it was permitted to the local ecclesiastics to continue the custom of inserting such names in their ‘Diptychs,’ but about 1170 a decretal of Pope Alexander III. confined the power of canonization, as far as the Roman Catholics were concerned, to the Pope himself. From the different Diptychs various martyrologies, or lists of persons so to be commemorated in the ‘Canon,’ were composed to supply the place of the merely local lists or Diptychs. For as time went on, it began to be considered more and more improper to insert new names in so sacred a part of the Church prayers; and the old names being well known, the Diptychs fell into disuse. The names in the Martyrologies were at last no longer inserted in the Canon, but are repeated in the service called the ‘Prime’; though the term ‘canonized’ was still used of the holy men mentioned in them. And when the increasing number of such Martyrologies threatened to lead to confusion, and to throw doubt on the exclusive power of the Popes to canonize, Pope Sixtus the Fifth (1585-1590) authorized a particular Martyrologium, drawn up by Cardinal Baronius, to be used throughout the Western Church. In that work are included not only the saints first canonized at Rome, but all those who, having been already canonized elsewhere, were then acknowledged by the Pope and the College of Rites to be saints of the Catholic Church of Christ. Among such, under the date of the 27th of November, are included “The holy Saints Barlaam and Josaphat, of India, on the borders of Persia, whose wonderful acts Saint John of Damascus has described.”

Where and when they were first canonized, I have been unable, in spite of much investigation, to ascertain. Petrus de Natalibus, who was Bishop of Equilium, the modern Jesolo near Venice, from 1370 to 1400, wrote a Martyrology called ‘Catalogus Sanctorum’; and in it, among the ‘saints,’ he inserts both Barlaam and Josaphat, giving also a short account of them derived from the old Latin translation of St. John of Damascus. It is from this work that Baronius, the compiler of the authorized Martyrology now in use, took over the names of these two saints, Barlaam and Josaphat. But, so far as I have been able to ascertain, they do not occur in any martyrologies or lists of saints of the Western Church older than that of Petrus de Natalibus.

In the corresponding manual of worship still used in the Greek Church, however, we find, under August 26, the name ‘of the holy Iosaph, son of Abenēr, king of India.’ Barlaam is not mentioned, and is not therefore recognized as a saint in the Greek Church. No history is added to the simple statement I have quoted; and I do not know on what authority it rests. But there is no doubt that it is in the East, and probably among the records of the ancient church of Syria, that a final solution of this question should be sought.

Some of the more learned of the numerous writersxli who translated or composed new works on the basis of the story of Josaphat, have pointed out in their notes that he had been canonized; and the hero of the romance is usually called St. Josaphat in the titles of these works, as will be seen from the Table of the Josaphat literature below. But Professor Liebrecht, when identifying Josaphat with the Buddha, took no notice of this; and it was Professor Max Müller, who has done so much to infuse the glow of life into the dry bones of Oriental scholarship, who first pointed out the strange fact—almost incredible, were it not for the completeness of the proof—that Gotama the Buddha, under the name of St. Josaphat, is now officially recognized and honoured and worshipped throughout the whole of Catholic Christendom as a Christian saint!

I have now followed the Western history of the Buddhist Book of Birth Stories along two channels only. Space would fail me, and the reader’s patience perhaps too, if I attempted to do more. But I may mention that the inquiry is not by any means exhausted. A learned Italian has proved that a good many of the stories of the hero known throughout Europe as Sinbad the Sailor are derived from the same inexhaustible treasury of stories witty and wise; and a similar remark applies also to other well-known Tales included in the Arabian Nights. La Fontaine, whose charming versions of the Fables are so deservedly admired, openly acknowledges his indebtedness to the French versions of Kalilah and Dimnah; and Professor Benfey and others have traced the same stories, or ideas drawn from them, to Poggio, Boccaccio, Gower, Chaucer, Spenser, and many other later writers. Thus, for instance, the three caskets and the pound of flesh in ‘The Merchant of Venice,’ and the precious jewel which in ‘As You Like It’ the venomous toad wears in his head, are derived from the Buddhist tales. In a similar way it has been shown that tales current among the Hungarians and the numerous peoples of Slavonic race have been derived from Buddhist sources, through translations made by or for the Huns, who penetrated in the time of Genghis Khān into the East of Europe. And finally yet other Indian tales, not included in the Kalilag and Damnag literature, have been brought into the opposite corner of Europe, by the Arabs of Spain.


There is only one other point on which a few words should be said. I have purposely chosen as specimens one Buddhist Birth Story similar to the Judgment of Solomon; two which are found also in Babrius; and one which is found also in Phædrus. How are these similarities, on which the later history of Indian Fables throws no light, to be explained?

As regards the cases of Babrius and Phædrus, it can only be said that the Greeks who travelled with Alexander to India may have taken the tales there, but they may equally well have brought them back. We only know that at the end of the fourth, and still more in the third century before Christ, there was constant travelling to and fro between the Greek dominions in the East and the adjoining parts of India, which were then Buddhist, and that the Birth Stories were already popular among the Buddhists in Afghanistan, where the Greeks remained for a long time. Indeed, the very region which became the seat of the Græco-Bactrian kings takes, in all the Northern versions of the Birth Stories, the place occupied by the country of Kāsi in the Pāli text,—so that the scene of the tales is laid in that district. And among the innumerable Buddhist remains still existing there, a large number are connected with the Birth Stories. It is also in this very district, and under the immediate successor of Alexander, that the original of the ‘Kalilah and Dimnah’ was said by its Arabian translators to have been written by Bidpai. It is possible that a smaller number of similar stories were also current among the Greeks; and that they not only heard the Buddhist ones, but told their own. But so far as the Greek and the Buddhist stories can at present be compared, it seems to me that the internal evidence is in favour of the Buddhist versions being the originals from which the Greek versions were adapted. Whether more than this can be at present said is very doubtful: when the Jātakas are all published, and the similarities between them and classical stories shall have been fully investigated, the contents of the stories may enable criticism to reach a more definite conclusion.

The case of Solomon’s judgment is somewhat different. If there were only one fable in Babrius or Phædrus identical with a Buddhist Birth Story, we should suppose merely that the same idea had occurred to two different minds; and there would thus be no necessity to postulate any historical connexion. Now the similarity of the two judgments stands, as far as I know, in complete isolation; and the story is not so curious but that two writers may have hit upon the same idea. At the same time, it is just possible that when the Jews were in Babylon they may have told, or heard, the story.


Had we met with this story in a book unquestionably later than the Exile, we might suppose that they heard the story there; that some one repeating it had ascribed the judgment to King Solomon, whose great wisdom was a common tradition among them; and that it had thus been included in their history of that king. But we find it in the Book of Kings, which is usually assigned to the time of Jeremiah, who died during the Exile; and it should be remembered that the chronicle in question was based for the most part on traditions current much earlier among the Jewish people, and probably on earlier documents.

If, on the other hand, they told it there, we may expect to find some evidence of the fact in the details of the story as preserved in the Buddhist story-books current in the North of India, and more especially in the Buddhist countries bordering on Persia. Now Dr. Dennys, in his ‘Folklore of China,’ has given us a Chinese Buddhist version of a similar judgment, which is most probably derived from a Northern Buddhist Sanskrit original; and though this version is very late, and differs so much in its details from those of both the Pāli and Hebrew tales that it affords no basis itself for argument, it yet holds out the hope that we may discover further evidence of a decisive character. This hope is confirmed by the occurrence of a similar tale the Gesta Romanorum, a mediæval work which quotes Barlaam and Josaphat, and is otherwise largely indebted in an indirect way to Buddhist sources. It is true that the basis of the judgment in that story is not the love of a mother to her son, but the love of a son to his father. But that very difference is encouraging. The orthodox compilers of the ‘Gests of the Romans’ dared not have so twisted the sacred record. They could not therefore have taken it from our Bible. Like all their other tales, however, this one was borrowed from somewhere; and its history, when discovered, may be expected to throw some light on this inquiry.

I should perhaps point out another way in which this tale may possibly be supposed to have wandered from the Jews to the Buddhists, or from India to the Jews. The land of Ophir was probably in India. The Hebrew names of the apes and peacocks said to have been brought thence by Solomon’s coasting-vessels are merely corruptions of Indian names; and Ophir must therefore have been either an Indian port (and if so, almost certainly at the mouth of the Indus, afterwards a Buddhist country), or an entrepot, further west, for Indian trade. But the very gist of the account of Solomon’s expedition by sea is its unprecedented and hazardous character; it would have been impossible even for him without the aid of Phœnician sailors; and it was not renewed by the Hebrews till after the time when the account of the judgment was recorded in the Book of Kings. Any intercourse between his servants and the people of Ophir must, from the difference of language, have been of the most meagre extent; and we may safely conclude that it was not the means of the migration of our tale. It is much more likely, if the Jews heard or told the Indian story at all, and before the time of the captivity, that the way of communication was overland. There is every reason to believe that there was a great and continual commercial intercourse between East and West from very early times by way of Palmyra and Mesopotamia. Though the intercourse by sea was not continued after Solomon’s time, gold of Ophir, ivory, jade, and Eastern gems still found their way to the West; and it would be an interesting task for an Assyrian or Hebrew scholar to trace the evidence of this ancient overland route in other ways.


To sum up what can at present be said on the connexion between the Indian tales, preserved to us in the Book of Buddhist Birth Stories, and their counterparts in the West:—

1. In a few isolated passages of Greek and other writers, earlier than the invasion of India by Alexander the Great, there are references to a legendary Æsop, and perhaps also allusions to stories like some of the Buddhist ones.

2. After Alexander’s time a number of tales also found in the Buddhist collection became current in Greece, and are preserved in the poetical versions of Babrius and Phædrus. They are probably of Buddhist origin.

3. From the time of Babrius to the time of the first Crusade no migration of Indian tales to Europe can be proved to have taken place. About the latter time a translation into Arabic of a Persian work containing tales found in the Buddhist book was translated by Jews into Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. Translations of these versions afterwards appeared in all the principal languages of Europe.

4. In the eleventh or twelfth century a translation was made into Latin of the legend of Barlaam and Josaphat, a Greek romance written in the eighth century by St. John of Damascus on the basis of the Buddhist Jātaka book. Translations, poems, and plays founded on this work were rapidly produced throughout Western Europe.

5. Other Buddhist stories not included in either of the works mentioned in the two last paragraphs were introduced into Europe both during the Crusades and also during the dominion of the Arabs in Spain.

6. Versions of other Buddhist stories were introduced into Eastern Europe by the Huns under Genghis Khān.

7. The fables and stories introduced through these various channels became very popular during the Middle Ages, and were used as the subjects of numerous sermons, story-books, romances, poems, and edifying dramas. Thus extensively adopted and circulated, they had a considerable influence on the revival of literature, which, hand in hand with the revival of learning, did so much to render possible and to bring about the Great Reformation. The character of the hero of them—the Buddha, in his last or in one or other of his supposed previous births—appealed so strongly to the sympathies, and was so attractive to the minds of mediæval Christians, that he became, and has ever since remained, an object of Christian worship. And a collection of these and similar stories—wrongly, but very naturally, ascribed tol a famous story-teller of the ancient Greeks—has become the common property, the household literature, of all the nations of Europe; and, under the name of Æsop’s Fables, has handed down, as a first moral lesson-book and as a continual feast for our children in the West, tales first invented to please and to instruct our far-off cousins in the distant East.
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  • Viestejä: 357
Vs: Barlaam & Josafat; Bhagavan/Buddha & Bodhisat
« Vastaus #1 : Marraskuu 28, 2019, 10:47:08 ap »


1. St. John of Damascus’s Greek Text. Seventh century A.D. First edited by Boissonade, in his ‘Anecdota Græca,’ Paris, 1832, vol. iv. Reprinted in Migne’s ‘Patrologia Cursus Completus, Series Græca,’ tom. xcvi, pp. 836-1250, with the Latin translation by Billy105 in parallel columns. Boissonade’s text is reviewed, and its imperfections pointed out, by Schubart (who makes use of six Vienna MSS.) in the ‘Wiener Jahrbücher,’ vol. lxiii.

2. Syriac version of No. 1 exists only in MS.

3. Arabic version of No. 2 exists only in MS., one MS. being at least as old as the eleventh century.

4. Latin version of No. 1, of unknown date and author, of which MSS. of the twelfth century are still extant. There is a black-letter edition (? Spiers, 1470) in the British Museum. It was adopted, with abbreviations in several places, by Vincentius Bellovicensis, in his ‘Speculum Historiale’ (lib. xv. cap. 1-63); by Jacobus a Voragine, in his ‘Legenda Aurea’ (ed. Grässe, 1846); and was reprinted in full in the editions of the works of St. John of Damascus, published at Basel in the sixteenth century.106 From this Latin version all the later mediæval works on this subject are either directly or indirectly derived.

4a. An abbreviated version in Latin of the fourteenth century in the British Museum. Arundel MS. 330, fol. 51-57. See Koch, No. 9, p. xiv.


5. Barlaam und Josaphat. A poem of the thirteenth century, published from a MS. in the Solms-Laubach Library by L. Diefenbach, under the title ‘Mittheilungen über eine noch ungedruckte m.h.d. bearbeitung des B. and J.’ Giessen, 1836.

6. Another poem, partly published from an imperfect MS. at Zürich, by Franz Pfeiffer, in Haupt’s ‘Zeitsch. f. d. Alterthum,’ i. 127-135.

7. Barlaam und Josaphat. By Rudolf von Ems. Written about 1230. Latest and best edition by Franz Pfeiffer, in ‘Dichtungen des deutschenxcvi Mittelalters,’ vol. iii., Leipzig, 1843. This popular treatment of the subject exists in numerous MSS.

7. Die Hÿstorí Josaphat und Barlaam. Date and author not named. Black-letter. Woodcuts. Title on last page. Fifty-six short chapters. Quaint and forcible old German. A small folio in the British Museum.

8. Historia von dem Leben der zweien H. Beichtiger Barlaam Eremiten, und Josaphat des König’s in Indien Sohn, etc. Translated from the Latin by the Counts of Helffenstein and Hohenzollern, München, 1684. In 40 long chapters, pp. 602, 12mo.


9. Het Leven en Bedryf van Barlaam den Heremit, en Josaphat Koning van Indien. Noo in Nederduits vertaalt door F. v. H., Antwerp, 1593, 12mo.

A new edition of this version appeared in 1672. This is a long and tedious prose version of the holy legend.


8. Poem by Gui de Cambray (1200-1250). Edited by Hermann Zotenberg and Paul Meyer in the ‘Bibliothek des Literarischen Vereins,’ in Stuttgart, vol. lxxv., 1864. They mention, also (pp. 318-325):—

9. La Vie de Seint Josaphaz. Poem by Chardry. Edited by John Koch, Heilbronn, 1879, who confirms the editors of No. 8 as to the following old French versions, 10-15; and further adduces No. 11a.

10. A third poem by an unknown author.

11. A prose work by an unknown author—all three being of the 13th cent.

11a. Another in MS. Egerton, 745, British Museum.

12. A poem in French of the fifteenth century, based on the abstract in Latin of No. 4, by Jacob de Voragine.

13. A Provençal tale in prose, containing only the story of Josafat and the tales told by Barlaam, without the moralizations.

14. A miracle play of about 1400.

15. Another miracle play of about 1460.


16. Vita di san Giosafat convertito da Barlaam. By Geo. Antonio Remondini. Published about 1600, at Venezia and Bassano, 16mo. There is a second edition of this, also without date; and a third, published in Modena in 1768, with illustrations.

17. Storia de’ SS. Barlaam e Giosafatte. By Bottari, Rome, 1734, 8vo., of which a second edition appeared in 1816.

18. La santissima vita di Santo Josafat, figluolo del Re Avenero, Re dell’ India, da che ei nacque per infino ch’ei morì. A prose romance, edited by Telesforo Bini from a MS. belonging to the Commendatore Francesco de Rossi, in pp. 124-152 of a collection ‘Rime e Prose,’ Lucca, 1852, 8vo.


19. A prose Vita da Santo Josafat. In MS. Add. 10902 of the British Museum, which Paul Mayer (see No. 8) says begins exactly as No. 18, but ends differently. (See Koch, No. 9 above, p. xiii.)

20. A Rappresentatione di Barlaam e Josafat is mentioned by Frederigo Palermo in his ‘I manuscritti Palatini de Firenze,’ 1860, vol. ii. p. 401.


A full account of all the Skandinavian versions is given in Barlaam’s ok Josaphat’s Saga, by C. R. Unger, Christiania, 1851, 8vo.


Honesta, etc., historia de la rara vida de los famosos y singulares sanctos Barlaam, etc. By Baltasat de Santa Cruz. Published in the Spanish dialect used in the Philippine Islands at Manila, 1692. A literal translation of Billius (No. 1).


In Horstmann’s ‘Altenglische Legenden,’ Paderborn, 1875, an Old English version of the legend is published from the Bodleian MS. No. 779. There is another recension of the same poem in the Harleian MS. No. 4196. Both are of the fourteenth century; and of the second there is another copy in the Vernon MS. See further, Warton’s ‘History of English Poetry,’ i. 271-279, and ii. 30, 58, 308.

Horstmann has also published a Middle English version in the ‘Program of the Sagan Gymnasium,’ 1877.

The History of the Five Wise Philosophers; or, the Wonderful Relation of the Life of Jehoshaphat the Hermit, Son of Avenerian, King of Barma in India, etc. By N. H. (that is, Nicholas Herick), Gent., London, 1711, pp. 128, 12mo. This is a prose romance, and an abridged translation of the Italian version of 1600 (No. 16), and contains only one fable (at p. 46) of the Nightingale and the Fowler.

The work referred to on p. xlvi, under the title Gesta Romanorum, a collection of tales with lengthy moralizations (probably sermons), was made in England about 1300. It soon passed to the Continent, and was repeatedly re-written in numerous MSS., with additions and alterations. Three printed editions appeared between 1472 and 1475; and one of these, containing 181 stories, is the source of the work now known under this title. Tale No. 168 quotes Barlaam. The best edition of the Latin version is by H. Oesterley, Berlin, 1872. The last English translation is Hooper’s, Bohn’s Antiquarian Library, London, 1877. The Early English versions have been edited by Sir F. Madden; and again, in vol. xxxiii. of the Extra Series of the Early English Text Society, by S. J. H. Herrtage.

The Seven Sages (edited by Thomas Wright for the Percy Society, 1845) also contains some Buddhist tales.
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