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Bible Encyclopedias
Dionysius the Areopagite

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature

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Dionys´ius the Areopagite. The name of 'Dionysius the Areopagite' enlivens the scanty account of success which attended the visit of Paul to Athens (). Nothing further is related of him in the New Testament; but ecclesiastical historians record some particulars concerning his career, both before and after his conversion. Suidas recounts that he was an Athenian by birth, and eminent for his literary attainments; that he studied first at Athens and afterwards at Heliopolis in Egypt; and that, while in the latter city, he beheld that remarkable eclipse of the sun, as he terms it, which took place at the death of Christ, and exclaimed to his friend Apollophanes, 'Either the Divinity suffers, or sympathizes with some sufferer.' He further details, that after Dionysius returned to Athens, he was admitted into the Areopagus; and, having embraced Christianity about A.D. 50, was constituted Bishop of Athens by the Apostle Paul himself. Syncellus and Nicephorus both record the last particular. Aristides, an Athenian philosopher, asserts that he suffered martyrdom—a fact generally admitted by historians; but the precise period of his death, whether under Trajan or Adrian, or, which is most likely, under Domitian, they do not determine. It is impossible now to determine what credit is to be given to these traditions.

 

 

 

 

Bibliography Information
Kitto, John, ed. Entry for 'Dionysius the Areopagite'. "Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature". https://www.studylight.org/​encyclopedias/​eng/​kbe/​d/dionysius-the-areopagite.html.
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