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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57 the XI cent.: a Latin version of them was given by Mai in
tome III of his Spicilegium Romanum (p. 704)'), but both
the Arabic and Ethiopic texts have remained inedited. These
fragments, which contain declarations concerning the nature
of Christ, are somewhat colorless, although perceptibly Mo-
nophysite*). Of more interest is a confession of faith, con¬
tained in an Arabic MS. of the councils (Arab. Vatic. 409
f. 397), which seems not to have been noticed by Mai. Here
a strong pantheistic and mystical tinge is added to its Mo*
nophysitism, and many expressions remind us of Bar Sudaili,
especially those in which the all-containing nature of the
thearchy is taught*). It appears clearly from the language of these fragments
that they were written at a time when the Monophysite
controversy was at its height; and the probabilities are in
favor of their having been written by Bar Sudaili. The first
two show him to have been at first a prudent but evident
Monophysite, and the last must have been produced some¬
what later, when his creed had become more mystical. There
are no traces of them in Syriac, and they must without any
doubt be referred to a residence in Egypt. It was in Edessa
however that he began to show his personal views: it is
probable that he was still in that city when Jacob of Sarug
adressed to him the present letter. Then also Philoxenos may have
written to him the previous letter which he refers to, and
the copy of which he enclosed 4). Soon after, in all proba¬
bility from the opposition he met with in his native city, 11) Mai published it without pledging himself in any way, > nullum in¬
terponens de iis judicium”. 2) Compare their phraseology with that of Jacob of Sarug f e. g. in his
letter to the monks of Bassus. 3) I intend to publish the text of these documents with that of the Book of Hierotheos. 4) See pp. 44—47.