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

6 mer is of course a fiction, the latter may have more reality.
Hierotheos is praised by him in the most glowing terms,
as divine, as an inspired mystic, whose writings are a second
Bible, devreqa Xoyta '), and whose knowledge of divine
things was far above his own. The fragments of his writings
given by Pseudo-Dionysios are interesting: they are taken
from his 'Eqaxtxoi v/uvoi, Erotic Hymns s), and from a
work entitled dsokoyixai aroi^eieoaeis, The Elements of
Theology *). If, as is well known, the whole of scholastic
theology and of mediaeval mysticism is founded on the doc¬
trines of the Pseudo-Dionysios, of what extraordinary interest
would it not be to discover the very source of these doctrines,
their origin in a form more abstract than that given by the
Pseudo-Areopagite! Hence it was often asked by the followers
of the latter: who was this Hierotheos? what were his writ-,
ings? what is known of him? These questions remained
unanswered, for nothing could be gleaned concerning such a
man except from the Dionysian writings themselves. Then
the question naturally followed: did such a person ever exist?
was he not a mere Dionysian figment? 1 2 3 4). We hope to give in the following pages an answer to
some of these questions, and will present in outline an un¬
published work, hitherto unknown to students of this subject,
claiming to be written by Hierotheos, and which may or may
not be really by the master of the Pseudo-Dionysios. II. STEPHEN BAR SUDAILI. To the very period now almost unanimously assigned to 1) Div. Names, ch. Ill, § II. 2) Div. Names, ch. IV, § XV, XVI, and XVII. 3) Div. Names, ch. II, § X, and probably Eccl. Hier. ch. II, p. 1. 4) Dallaens, Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita.