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

3 heretics that supported the Pseudo-Dionysian writings. The
orthodox at first protested against them at the Council of
Constantinople in 533, and denied their genuineness, by the
mouth of Hypatius, who attributed them to the Apollinarists;
but it was not long before they accepted them as genuine,
for, besides an affinity for such speculation being wide-spread
at this time, they could find in these works many arguments
and proofs in favor of Church institutions and ecclesiastical
authority; and from these two causes the Pseudo-Dionysian
writings were accepted even by the Popes, as by Gregory
the Great »), Martin I *), and Agatho 3). Almost contemporaneously with the appearance of the Dio¬
nysian writings there appeared also a Syriac version of them,
rendered necessary by the favor they were obtaining through¬
out Syria. The author of this version was Sergius the
archiater or physician of Ras'ain (t 536), the famous Aris¬
totelian and writer on medicine 4). It is a characteristic phe¬
nomenon that a follower of Aristotle should find the greatest
of false mystics a congenial spirit, and should become thor¬
oughly impregnated with his doctrines: that it was so with
Sergius is shown even more clearly by the long introduction
which he prefixed to his version of the Pseudo-Dionysios s),
where he shows himself to be not a simple translator but
an original thinker in mysticism. Of course the Alexandrian
school was the link between the two. In this connection it
is interesting to note a passage in a contemporary work, the
ecclesiastical history attributed to Zacharias Rhetor, in which
Sergius is characterized as an eloquent man and learned //in 1 2 3 4 51) In bis 34th homily, on tbe Gospel of S. Lake, ch. 15. 2) Acta Synodi Lateran. a. 660. 3) Letter to the Emp. Constantine for tbe Council of Constantinople, a. 680. 4) This version is contained in Brit. Mas. Add. 12.151 and 12.152, etc. 5) Brit. Mus. Add. 22.370.