“Diacronia” bibliometric database (BDD)

A Legend Circulating through Time and Space: Barlaam and Josaphat

Publication: Revue roumaine de linguistique, LVIII (2), p. 169-178
Publisher:Editura Academiei
Abstract:The paper analyses one of the most popular narratives of European Middle Age, the shortened name of which is Barlaam and Josaphat. Having appeared in India, as a legend about The Life of Buddha, the writing went through several religions and cultural environments, changing gradually and eventually becoming a Christian narrative.
Whether from Greek, Latin or from Slavonic, the hagiographical legend was translated into almost all European literatures. On the Romanian territory, the legend entered during the 15th century, through manuscripts written in Slavonic, accessible only to cultivated people. The first Romanian translation, which appeared around the middle of the 17th century, is based upon a Slavonic original.
A special place is occupied in the paper by the influence the life of the two hermits had on other fields of culture. The iconographical or architectural representations, the group of paintings at the Neamț Monastery are proofs of the resounding success of the narrative. The main contribution to this was brought especially by the parables through which Barlaam convinces Josaphat to adhere to Christianity. Some of the parables were capitalized on either independently, or were included in the structure of writings that became famous in Middle Age literature, authored by Boccacio or Shakespeare.
Language: English

Citations to this publication: 1

References in this publication: 1

19Nicolae IorgaIstoria literaturii religioase a românilor până la 1688Tipografia I.V. Socec1904

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