Page:Barlaam and Josaphat. English lives of Buddha.djvu/33

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xxvii
THE ORIENTAL VERSIONS.

clearly whether the Barlaam exists in an earlier literary form than the Greek text. At first sight Prof. Robinson's discoveries would seem to settle that question in a most decisive way. If the Greek text contains, as integral portions, slices of earlier Greek, it is almost impossible that these could have been introduced in the text except in a Greek form. And indeed, if the quotations from the Apology of Aristides and other early Christian texts were essential portions of the romance, the originality of its Greek form would be established beyond question. But these are clearly excrescences which could be removed or replaced without much derangement of the main plan, and we must look about to see if any versions exist which do not contain them.

Several such versions have been discovered in quite recent years. An Arabic one, running to no less than 286 pages, was printed in Bombay under the title Kitâb Balauhar waBûddsâph in 1889, while Dr. Hommel printed another Arabic version at the Vienna Oriental Congress.[1] Again, Dr. Steinschneider many

  1. Hommel's version was translated by Mr. E. Rehatsek in the Journal of the Roy. Asiat. Soc, xxii, 119-55. A