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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82 Now we find nothing of all this in the Book of Hiero-
theos: not only is the title different, and does it treat ne¬
cessarily of a different order of ideas —■ the ontological and
cosmological — but there is no sign of the passages quoted
by Dionysios. Even the name of Dionysios is not mentioned,
though the work seems to be dedicated to him: he is only
referred to as //my son” or//my friend” *). There is throughout
no trace of any attempt to connect itself with the Pseudo-
Dionysian writings. Besides this, what has already been noted
regarding the difference in intellectual standpoint, style and
form of thought is sufficient, I think, to preclude the idea
of imitation: for it is clear that the relation in which the
two stand to each other as presenting, the one, sentimental
and analogical forms, and the other, intellectual and logical
forms of the same ideas, gives, according to the natural
development of schools, the priority to Hierotheos. In this relation, reference must be made to a very saga¬
cious conjecture made by Dorner, which is all the more re¬
markable because he had such meagre materials at hand on
which .to base it. He says: //Hierotheus was professedly the
teacher of Dionysius; and under the name of Hierotheus
Barsudaili wrote the work in which he taught the transition
of all things into the divine nature. Such -is the account
given by Barhebraeus. Among the Monophysites the writings
of the Areopagite were much used, translated and common-
tated. It is possible that Barsudaili’s fiction, — a fiction to
which he may have been led by the Origenism which pre¬
vailed in many of the monasteries, and which formed a
bridge to Neo-Platonism, — may have given rise to the
spread of Neo-Platonism in a Church form, under the name 11) S. Paul is spoken of by name as his master.