Page:Barlaam and Josaphat. English lives of Buddha.djvu/39

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xxxiii
THE ORIENTAL VERSIONS.

was an Antioch worthy of the early fourth century, who is referred to by SS. Basil and Chrysostom in their homilies; a church was erected to his honour in Edessa, 411 A.D.[1] Outside Syria he was unknown, and his name must have been introduced in the Syriac version from its accidental similarity with the Balauhar of the Arabic version. Now, if the Georgian had been derived from the Syriac, it would surely have retained the form, Barlaam, instead of keeping, as it has, to the Arabic form, Balauhar. Considering, too, that the order of the parables are the same in the Georgian and Arabic versions, I think there can be little doubt that it was derived from the Arabic, and the variations at the end may have been due to later modifications of the Bombay Arabic text, intended to modify its Christianising tendencies.

There is still another form in which the Buddha legend got into Syriac. Professor Hommel has already suggested that the earlier part of the legend of St. Alexis, in which that saint flees from wife and child in order to embrace the

  1. Hommel gives these details in Weisslovits, 141.