Originally published in 1966, the full Georgian text of the oldest version of this Christian version of this matchless classic of Oriental wisdom literature is made accessible to a wider readership in an English translation. Based on a unique manuscript preserved in the Greek Patriarchate at Jerusalem, this rendering should appeal to those interested in comparative religion, Buddhism, medieval Christianity, the history of monasticism and in the literature of the Georgians and other ancient nations of the former Soviet Union.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Origins and History of ‘Balavariani’ and its Place Among the Treasures of World Literature. A Hymn to the Blessed Iodasaph. Balavariani Or the Story of Barlaam and Josaphat Book 1: The Life of the Blessed Iodasaph, Son of Abenes, King of India, whom the Blessed Father and Teacher Balahvar converted. Book 2: Concerning the Arrival of our Holy and Blessed Father Balahvar, who converted the King’s Son to the Religion of Christ. Fable the First: The Trumpet of Death: The Four Caskets. Fable the Second: The Sower. Fable the Third: The Man and the Elephant. Fable the Fourth: The Man and His Three Friends. Fable the Fifth: The King for One Year. Fable the Sixth: Dogs and Carrion. Fable the Seventh: Physician and Patient. Fable the Eighth: The Sun of Wisdom. Fable the Ninth: The King and the Happy Poor Couple. Fable the Tenth: The Rich Youth and the Poor Maiden. Fable the Eleventh: The Fowler and the Nightingale. Fable the Twelfth: The Tame Gazelle Fable the Thirteenth: The Costume of Enemies. Book 3: The Life and Ministry of the Blessed Iodasaph, the King’s Son, whom the Holy Father Balahvar converted, and who converted his father King Abenes and the Land of India to the Service of Christ. Fable the Fourteenth: The Amorous Wife Fable the Fifteenth: The Youth Who Had Never Seen a Woman.
David Marshall Lang was appointed Acting British Vice-Consul in Tabriz in 1945. In 1946 he became a fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge and lecturing in Georgian at SOAS London from 1949-52. From 1952-1953 he was senior fellow at the Russian Institute of Columbia University in New York. In 1958 he was appointed Reader in Caucasian Studies at SOAS. Visiting Professor of Caucasian Studies at UCLA from 1964-5, in 1965 he became Professor of Caucasian Studies at London University. He was Honorary Secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society from 1962-64 and held an Honorary Doctorate from Tbilisi University.