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

7 the production of the Pseudo-Dionysiana belongs a prominent
and interesting figure in the Syrian Church, that of the
mystic Stephen Bar Sudaili. The connection of these two
phenomena is not by any means fortuitous, but the materials
available up to the present have been so few that his posi¬
tion and individuality have never been clearly defined '). Among the letters of Philoxenos of Mabug is one written
to Abraham and Orestes, priests of Edessa, concerning Bar
Sudaili *): this document is the principal source from which
we derive our information regarding him, for the letter of
Jacob of Sarug addressed to Bar Sudaili himself adds but
little s), and the few other notices we have been able to
collect referring to the latter do so in but few words. Bar Sudaili is important, not only as a prominent repre¬
sentative of the mystical school of East Syria, but as being
connected with an interesting literary and religious question,
the solution of which has never been attempted: that is,
whether or no he is the author of the Book of Hierotheos,
and in what relation this work stands to the writings of
the Pseudo-Dionysios, who asserts Hierotheos to have been
his master *). To collect and present all the available ma¬
terial relating to this subject is what 1 will attempt to accom¬
plish in a short while, so that competent judges may have
the opportunity of forming their opinion on the question. In
order to do this 1 hope to publish before long the complete 1 2 3 41) Asseman being the common source of all that has been said on
Bar Sudaili, the only difference is in the variety of construction placed
upon his words. 2) See page 28. 3) See page 10. 4) The probable identity of Bar Sudaili and Pseudo-Hierotheos has
been assumed, on the sole authority of Bar 'Ebraia, e. g. by ZOckler in
his article on B. S. in Herzog’s Real Encyk. (T. XV". p. 203—5), who is
followed in the Cyclop, of Messrs Clintock and Strong (vol. X, p. 8—9).