A long occidental tradition has regarded the Greek monastic romance Barlaam and Josaphat as the work of John Damascene, and the first critical edition of the work appears now in the corpus of his writings. In actual fact - as became apparent during the editing - it is a work from the late 10th century, and the author is almost certainly the Georgian Abbot Euthymios from Mount Athos. The story goes back to the life of Buddha and is about the son of an Indian king, who, after instruction by a devout ascetic, himself becomes a hermit; this Greek version is regarded as the most learned treatment of material which has gone through many world religions (Buddhism, Manichaeism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity).
Robert Volk, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, München.
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