Page:Barlaam and Josaphat. English lives of Buddha.djvu/32

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II

The Oriental Versions

In arriving at some result as to the date of the Greek text we have certainly got to a station on the line of tradition which, as we shall see later, branches off in all directions right throughout Europe. But it remains to be seen whether this station is a terminus, a starting-point from which the train of tradition leaves with more or less of punctuality, or merely a junction towards which many of the branch lines converge. Even if we decided that the Greek text was a terminus a quo with regard to written tradition, we might have still to investigate whether its contents had not been brought to the Greek-speaking world by the mouths of men, and there transferred from the pack saddles of oral tradition to the broad gauge of literature.

The first of these questions to be settled is

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