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

I 7* IX. THE POSITION GIVEN TO HIEROTHEOS BY PSEUDO- D10NYSI0S. Turning to other writings which relate to our book, we
must pause to consider the position given by Pseudo-Dionysios
to his master Hierotheos: we have already alluded to the
terms of great reverence and admiration which he uses with
regard to him. The portrait he gives of Hierotheos tallies
completely with what we know of Bar Sudaili: the mysti¬
cism, the celestial visions, the abstruse and condensed thought,
the study of Scripture. I will here translate the chapter in which
Pseudo-Dionysios explains his relations to his master *). «And
here it is suitable to explain wherefore, inasmuch as our
illustrious master Hierotheos has made an admirable collec¬
tion of ‘Theological Elements’, we have, as if these were not
sufficient, written others beside the present theological treat¬
ise. Certainly, had he claimed to write, systematically, treat¬
ises on all theological questions, and had in special exposi¬
tions developed the sum of all theology, we would never have
had the folly or the stupidity to consider ourselves better able
than he to treat of theological matters in a clear and divine
manner; or to talk at random, by repeating the same things super- 11) Divine Names, ch. Ill, 2—3.