A Thirteenth-Century Textbook of Mystical Theology: The “Mystical Theology” of Dionysius the Areopagite in Eriugena’s Latin Translation with the Scholia translated by Anastasius the Librarian and Excerpts from Eriugena’s “Periphyseon”
Edited and translated by L. Michael Harrington
Dallas Medieval Texts and Translations, Vol.4, 2004
The luminaries of late thirteenth-century Europe took great interest in the mysterious fifth-century author known as Dionysius the Areopagite. They typically read Dionysius not in the original Greek, but in a Latin edition prepared sometime in the middle of the thirteenth century. This edition, which appeared first in Paris and later circulated all over Western Europe, was no mere translation. In addition to the famous translation made by Eriugena in the ninth century, it contained translations of scholia on the Dionysian texts made by Anastasius the Librarian, alternative readings provided by Anastasius and other Latin readers, as well as excerpts from Eriugena’s own theological masterwork, the Periphyseon. University scholars such as Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas thus learned Dionysian mystical theology not only from his text, but from the seven-hundred year interpretive tradition that literally surrounded it on the page.