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

$ text of the Book of Hierotheos in the so-called Syriac ver¬
sion of a supposed Greek original now lost. The unique copy
of this version has long lain unnoticed among the treasures
of the British Museum. For the present 1 will limit myself
to giving, in this essay, the letters of Phiioxenos and Jacob
of Sarug with a translation, and an abstract of the Book
of Hierotheos, together with a few extracts which will il¬
lustrate its principles and the form of its thought and lan¬
guage. As a necessary introduction to this analysis will be
given, as far as is possible, the chainj)f judgments on and
references to the Book of Hierotheos which are found
among Syrian writers. The conditions necessary to the formation of a judgment,
from the intrinsic evidence, on the probability of Bar Sudaili
being the author are, after examining the analysis and refu¬
tation of the doctrines of Bar Sudaili in the letters of Phi¬
ioxenos and Jacob of Sarug, in the first place, to compare
these doctrines with those of the Book of Hierotheos, and,
in the second place, to decide whether there is a per¬
fect correspondence between the latter and the fragments of
the //Elements of Theology” and the //Erotic Hymns” of Hie¬
rotheos quoted by the Pseudo-Dionysios in his book on the
«Divine Names” and in his //Eccles. Hierarchy”. Finally
we must see whether there are any other documents which
connect Bar Sudaili with the supposed Hierotheos. The two letters concerning Bar Sudaili have been known
principally through the full analysis of that of Phiioxenos given
by Asseman in his //Bibliotheca Orientalis”'); and many church 11) T. II, p. 30 sqq.; cf. T. I, p. 303.