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

62 shows that he had other sources of information. He refers in
particular to a book in which Stephen sets forth his doc¬
trines (pp. 42—43) in a language which, he says, is en- -
tirely inadequate to the subject, «insipid, and foolish”. From
this book he extracts most of the statements which he con¬
demns. What other works of Bar Sudaili he may have seen,
it does not appear. Had he known of the imposture perpetrated
by Stephen, he would not have failed to publicly accuse him
of. it: the secret character of the Book of Hierotheos must
for some time have prevented its existence being generally
known, even if it had been already written at that time. From several passages in Philoxenos it appears that Bar
Sudaili must have made numerous and active disciples (though
he seeks to deny it), and have kept up continuous relations
with Edessa, where he boasted of having adherents. We
find that Philoxenos himself, before becoming acquainted
with Stephen’s most reprehensible doctrines, wrote to him
a letter — now lost — which he sent by one of Stephen’s
disciples named Abraham: and the reason which induced
Philoxenos to write to Abraham and Orestes at Edessa was,
that they had received from Bar Sudaili letters and other
works, sent to them through some of his followers; by which
he wished to seduce them, and probably others, to adopt his
pernicious doctrines. Thus much have we been able to collect respecting Bar
Sudaili: now it will be necessary, in order to complete his
biography, to pass to the question of his identity with Pseudo-