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

79 Dionysian doctrines, favored also those of Pseudo-Hierotheos.
Were the writings of Severos better known, more light might
be thrown on the subject of his relation to the mystical
school. We have already mentioned the spurious «Explicatio S.
Cyrilli” on Hierotheos, and the probable confusion between
Dionysios and his master: in this connection it may be re¬
marked that it has been already suggested by the learned
Dailly i) that the Hierotheos spoken of by Pseudo-Dionysios
is none but the latter himself, for in his opinion Hierotheos
was an invented name. It is likely that this explanation
may have suggested itself from the entire lack of informa¬
tion at that time regarding any person of this name or
any works written by or attributed to him, with the single
exception of what we read in Pseudo-Dionysios. It would seem impossible for any one, after reading even
an outline of the Book of Hierotheos, to accept for a moment
this theory of identification. The intellectual position of the
two minds is entirely different: Pseudo-Hierotheos is a simple
monk, whose thought is entirely distinct from any philo¬
sophic system, claiming direct vision, drawing his theories
from his own consciousness, and expressing them with
great nai'vetd and freshness; it is the divine seer, and not
the philosophic genius, who speaks. On reading his book
one feels it to be the genuine out-pouring of a strongly-
excited religious imagination, and the work of an original
mind, but of no eclectic or imitator. It is true we find in
his system ideas from both the Christian and pagan schools
of Alexandria — especially from Origen — as well as traces 11) Joannes Dallseus, De scriptis quae Dionysii Areopagit® et Ignatii
Antiocheni nominibus circumferuntur. Geneva 1666.