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Barlaam and Joasaph, Sts. Heroes of a medieval Christian romance. In it, an ‘Indian’ king Abenner tries to keep his son Joasaph from becoming a Christian as a seer had prophesied at his birth. The boy is brought up in a palace alone in strict ignorance of any of the ills of life and of Christianity. He is eventually allowed to go for a drive, sees men who are maimed, blind, and old, and becomes troubled. A Christian ascetic Barlaam, disguised, then preaches to him a series of parables and converts him. The story continues with a contest between Christianity and paganism and with Abenner's own conversion. The dependence of the tale on the legendary life of the Buddha is obvious.

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