Page:Barlaam and Josaphat. English lives of Buddha.djvu/30

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
xxiv
INTRODUCTION.

discovered of recent years at the Monastery of Mount Sinai is a Syriac version of the Apology of Aristides. This was a second century treatise in defence of the faith, supposed to be addressed to the Emperor Hadrian. Eusebius appears to be the last person who had seen it, and it was supposed to have been irrevocably lost when Professor Rendell Harris printed and translated the Syriac version of it, which he had discovered on Mount Sinai. His friend, Prof. J. Armitage Robinson,[1] recollected that he had seen something very like it in Barlaam and Josaphat, and on comparing the two it was clear that the Greek Barlaam preserved a very large proportion of the original text.

This remarkable discovery naturally set theologians on the search for other traces of early Christian literature in the Barlaam, and sure enough, in another portion of the book, a sort of early Divine Comedy, Prof. Armitage Robinson discovered a direct "crib" from the Vision

  1. Prof. Robinson's discovery was made known in the first fascicule of the Cambridge Texts and Studies. A useful reconstruction of the text from the Greek and from the Syriac and Armenian versions has been recently produced by E. Hennecke as part of Gebhardt and Harnack's Texte und Untersuchungen (iv. 3, 1893).