Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos

Frothingham F. Stephen bar Sudaili, the Syrian mystic, and the book of Hierotheos. -1886

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5 of the early Syrian writers who have mentioned Dionysios or
followed his doctrines. Still we can mention during the
sixth century such distinguished men as Severus of Antioch ,
Isaac of Nineveh J), John of Apamea *) and Peter of Calli¬
nicus, Patriarch of Antioch *). At the time when, with the opening of a new period in
the ninth century, religious thought took a new form and
scholastic theology began its rule, the influence of the Pseudo-
Dionysios increased rather than waned, and it continued
throughout the constructive period of Scholasticism. He was
made the authority, the starting-point, of most of the theo¬
ries put forth, in one form by the founder of Scholasticism
John Grigena, and in others by the school of St. Victor,
by the German mystics Eckhart and Tauler, and by Thomas
Aquinas himself. A writer has remarked that, if the writings
of Dionysios had been lost, they could be almost reconstituted
from the works of Aquinas 1 2 3 4 5). To read Buonaventura, espe¬
cially his tract //Itinerarium mentis in Deum”, carries one
back to Dionysios as his immediate inspiring source. Now Pseudo-Dionysios confesses to having had two teachers
in the faith, S. Paul and one named Hierotheos 8); the for¬ 1) Besides his mention of Dionysios’ Celest. Hierarchy (cf. Assem. B. 0. I, 451) in his sermon »De materia quam exigit anima ut a corporeis
cogitationibus etc.”, there are indications that Isaac was himself a mys¬
tical writer. rEbed Yeshu in his catal. gives the titles of two of his writ¬
ings which were evidently of this character: 1) jjCtl.l Ax. »on the government of the spirit”, and.2) »on the Divine mysteries”. 2) See in Cod. Syr. Yat. XCItl his treatises and letters: 1) on spirit¬
ual government; 2) on the incomprehensibility of God; 3) on spiritual
communion with God. 3) He quotes Dionysios (Div. Names ch. I and Y) in his Libri contra
Damianum L. II, ch. 41 and 47; see Cod. Syr. Yat. CYIII f. 282 sqq. 4) J. Dulac, Oeuvres de S. Denys l’Ar4opagite, fcraduites du grec, p. 105. 5) Divine Names II, 11.