Barlaam and Ioasaph

2 publishers
, 1914


The Greek legend of Barlaam and Ioasaph, traditionally attributed to St. John Damascene, serves as a retelling of the life of Buddha through a Christian lens. Although the story’s original plot may have been adapted from Christians of the East for their own use, St. Damascene’s Barlaam and Ioasaph is clearly a celebration of Christian monasticism. The Greek text and the English translation are both provided in this volume, along with an in-depth introduction in which the authors discuss its authorship and more.

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Key Features

  • Presents an ancient legend in Greek and English
  • Celebrates Christian monasticism
  • Provides insight into the Middle Ages

Praise for the Print Edition

Despite its considerable interest, religious and in places fairly human, Barlaam and Ioasaph has never before been completely translated into English from the original, and the present undertaking is a work of considerable value, carefully executed.

The Nation

Product Details

About the Author

St. John Damascene (AD 676–749) was a Syrian monk and priest. He is considered the last of the fathers of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Catholic Church regards him as a Doctor of the Church.

About the Translators

George Ratcliffe Woodward (1848–1934) was born in Hamilton Square, Birkenhead and educated at Gonville and Casius College, Cambridge. Woodward is most known for his writing and translating of hymns, and his works include Carols for Easter and Ascension-tide and A Cambridge Carol Book: Being Fifty-two Songs for Christmas, Easter, and Other Seasons.

Harold Mattingly (1884–1964) was Craven Scholar and Fellow of Gonville and Casius College, Cambridge. He joined the British Museum in 1910 in the Department of Printed Books before moving to the Department of Coins and Medals where he was responsible for a total revision of the chronology and study of Roman coinage. His other works include Earliest Times to the Fall of the Roman, The Imperial Civil Service of Rome, and The Man in the Roman Street.


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