Mystical Theology: The Glosses by Thomas Gallus and the Commentary of Robert Grosseteste on “De Mystica Theologia”
Edited and translated by James McEvoy
Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations, Vol.3, 2003
The treatise by the Pseudo-Dionysius De Mystica Theologia was translated into Latin in the ninth century, but it had to await the first decades of the thirteenth to receive interpretation and commentary. Thomas Gallus, a member of the Victorine School at Paris, glossed the Latin version of Iohannes Sarracenus in 1233. This new, critical edition and translation takes into consideration all five known manuscripts, two of which are recent discoveries. The commentary by Bishop Grosseteste was made at Lincoln around 1242. It was based upon his new version of the Greek text. Grosseteste’s Latin version and his commentary are published here with a translation. These earliest Latin commentators ventured a full-scale reappropriation of the contents of the Mystical Theology. They explored the trans-conceptual ecstasy of the individual soul that passes through purification and illumination to union with God by means of an exceptional grace of divine love. Between them they provided the context within which not only the later mystical theology of monastery and university but also the actual spiritual experience of countless souls was formed.
Review by Scott Degregorio from Speculum, Vol.81:2 (2006): “The decision to bring the work of Gallus and Grosseteste together in one handy volume in manageable form is therefore a significant step toward opening it up to wider audiences and initiating a fuller assessment of its significance and impact. Both texts are prefaced by brief, yet illuminating, introductions, in which McEvoy details the lives of the authors, their known writings, the authenticity of their featured works, the sources and doctrines of these, the extant manuscripts, and the principles underlying the construction of both the editions and the translations…scholars of medieval mysticism, theology, and the twelfth-century Renaissance in particular will want to have on their shelves.”