Dionysius the Areopagite

Dionysius the Areopagite was the judge of the Areopagus who, as related in Acts of the Apostles, (Acts 17:34), was converted to Christianity by the preaching of Paul. According to Dionysius of Corinth, quoted by Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiae III: iv, this Dionysius then became a bishop of Athens.

Over the course of time, a series of famous writings of a mystical nature, employing Neoplatonic language to elucidate Christian theological and mystical ideas, was ascribed to the Areopagite. They have long been known to be 5th century works in his name (pseudepigrapha) and are now attributed to “Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite“. The Pseudo-Dionysius has been identified with various people in the past, but more recent conjecture ties him to an obscure Georgian writer named Peter the Iberian, a Georgian Bishop of Majum (452-491).

Dionysius was also popularly mis-identified with the martyr of Gaul, Dionysius, the first Bishop of Paris, Saint Denis.