Dionysius the Areopagite

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This article is about the New Testament figure. For the Christian theologian and philosopher of the 5th–6th century, see Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite.
Saint Dionysius the Areopagite
Menologion of Basil 025.jpg
Greek icon of St. Dionysius
Born around 1st century A.C.
Died around 1st century A.C.
Honored in
Roman Catholicism
Eastern Orthodoxy
Feast 3 October
Attributes Vested as a bishop, holding a Gospel Book
Patronage Lawyers

Dionysius the Areopagite (Greek Διονύσιος ὁ Ἀρεοπαγίτης) was a judge of the Areopagus who, as related in the Acts of the Apostles, (Acts 17:34), was converted to Christianity by the preaching of the Apostle Paul during the Areopagus sermon. According to Dionysius of Corinth, quoted by Eusebius, this Dionysius then became the first Bishop of Athens.[1]

Historic confusions[edit]

In the early 6th century, a series of famous writings of a mystical nature, employing Neoplatonic language to elucidate Christian theological and mystical ideas, was ascribed to the Areopagite.[2] They have long been recognized as pseudepigrapha, and their author is now called "Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite".

Dionysius is believed to be misidentified with the martyr of Gaul, Dionysius, the first Bishop of Paris, Saint Denis. Since we can't be sure which stories align with whom, in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Dionysius the Areopagite and Saint Denis of Paris are celebrated as one commemoration on 3 October.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiae III: iv
  2. ^ Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on the confusion between Dionysius and Pseudo-Dionysius


External links[edit]