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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Dionysius (d. early 2d cent., supposedly) is said at Acts 17:34 to have been converted to Christianity through hearing St. Paul's sermon delivered on the Areopagus in Athens.  Eusebius (_Historia ecclesiastica_ 3. 4. 10, 4. 23. 3) preserves a tradition making him Athens' first bishop.  Florus of Lyon, followed by St. Ado of Vienne and by Usuard, has him tortured and then martyred on this day (3. October) under Hadrian (117-138).  As evidenced by, among many others, the _Legenda aurea_ of Jacopo da Varazze, Dionysius was widely identified with his homonyms the Christian philosopher (pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite) and the martyred bishop of Paris.  In the Roman Rite the last-mentioned is celebrated chiefly on 9. October, whereas today (3. October) is the Areopagite's day of commemoration in the Roman Martyrology.  Since at least the tenth century -- he is the saint of the day in the Metaphrastic Menologion and has the day's first entry in the Synaxary of Constantinople -- 3. October has also been Dionysius' feast day in Byzantine-Rite churches; in these he is remembered not only as the Areopagite but also as Paul's later companion and as, after Paul's death, the martyred evangelist of Paris.

The Sacred Destinations page on the Areopagus:
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/athens-areopagus-mars-hill


Some period-pertinent images of St. Dionysius the Areopagite (excluding "western" images of him as the evangelist of Paris):

a) as depicted (illustrating a text by the philosopher [pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite]) in a ninth-century copy of St. John Damascene's _Parallela sacra_ (Paris, BnF, ms. Grec 923, fol. 333r):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b525013124/f669.item.zoom

b) as depicted (his martyrdom) in the later tenth- or very early eleventh-century so-called Menologion of Basil II (Città del Vaticano, BAV, cod. Vat. gr. 1613, p. 82):
http://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Vat.gr.1613/0104
http://tinyurl.com/2bkjzrw

c) as depicted in the earlier eleventh-century mosaics (restored between 1953 and 1962; at left, St. Philotheus the Thaumaturge and Presbyter) in the katholikon of the monastery of Hosios Loukas near Distomo in Phokis:
http://tinyurl.com/2ah9k7w
Detail views (Dionysius):
http://tinyurl.com/jqawvar

d) as depicted (author portrait) in an earlier twelfth-century copy of pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite's _De caelesti hierarchia_ as translated by Johannes Scotus Eriugena (Paris, BnF, ms. Latin 18061, fol. 2r):
http://tinyurl.com/zgot58n

e) as depicted (at left; at right, St. Ignatius of Antioch) in the late thirteenth- or very early fourteenth-century frescoes (ca. 1290-1305), attributed to Manuel Panselinos, in the Protaton church on Mt. Athos:
http://tinyurl.com/z64aj8q
Detail view (Dionysius):
http://tinyurl.com/zfhwgaf

f) as depicted (at left; at center, St. Hierotheus of Athens; at right, St. Michael of Synnada) by Eutychios and Michael Astrapas in the late thirteenth-century frescoes (ca. 1295) in the church of the Peribleptos (now Sv. Kliment Ohridski) in Ohrid:
http://tinyurl.com/htr4trm
Detail view (Dionysius):
http://tinyurl.com/jnv8ntm

g) as depicted (lower register at center; at left, St. Peter of Alexandria; at right, St. Gregory the Thaumaturge) in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (betw. 1313 and 1318; conservation work in 1968) by Michael Astrapas and Eutychios in the altar area of the church of St. George in Staro Nagoričane in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia:
http://tinyurl.com/ja8grrg

h) as depicted by Michael Astrapas and Eutychios in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (ca. 1313-ca. 1320) of the King's Church (dedicated to Sts. Joachim and Anne) in the Studenica monastery near Kraljevo (Raška dist.) in southern Serbia:
http://tinyurl.com/yf9toml

i) as depicted (panel at lower right; martyrdom) in an earlier fourteenth-century pictorial menologion from Thessaloniki (betw. 1322 and 1340; Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Gr. th. f. 1, fol. 11v):
http://image.ox.ac.uk/images/bodleian/msgrthf1/11v.jpg

j) as depicted (lower register at right, preaching; at left, St. Paul at the Altar of the Unknown God) as depicted in an earlier fourteenth-century copy of Vincent of Beauvais' _Speculum historiale_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (ca. 1335; Paris, BnF, ms. Arsenal 508, fol. 107r):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b7100627v/f219.item.zoom

k) as depicted (martyrdom) in an October calendar scene in the earlier fourteenth-century frescoes (betw. 1335 and 1350) of the narthex in the church of the Holy Ascension at the Visoki Dečani monastery near Peć in, depending on one's view of the matter, either the Republic of Kosovo or Serbia's province of Kosovo and Metohija:
http://tinyurl.com/ydgyuq3

l) as twice depicted (illumination in the left-hand column: at far left, with St. Paul at the Altar of the Unknown God; at right, preaching) in a later fourteenth-century copy of Vincent of Beauvais' _Speculum historiale_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (ca. 1370-1380; Paris, BnF, ms. Nouvelle acquisition française 15941, fol. 5v):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8449688c/f18.item.zoom

m) as depicted in grisaille (at right in the illumination in the right-hand-column; at left, St. Paul) in a late fourteenth-century copy of part of Vincent of Beauvais' _Speculum historiale_ in its French-language version by Jean de Vignay (1396; Paris, BnF, ms. Français 313, fol. 114v):
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84557843/f234.image.zoom

n) as depicted in an early fifteenth-century copy (betw. 1403 and 1405) of the writings of pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite presented to the abbey of Saint-Denis near Paris by the emperor Manuel II Palaiologos in 1408 and now in Paris in the Musée du Louvre:
http://cartelfr.louvre.fr/pub/fr/image/6067_ov004152.006.jpg

o) as depicted (upper register at left) by Domenico Ghirlandaio in a panel painting of the BVM and Christ Child Enthroned between Angels and Saints in a late fifteenth-century altarpiece (ca. 1486) in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence:
http://www.wga.hu/art/g/ghirland/domenico/7panel/05madon.jpg
The other saints are Dominic of Caleruega, pope Clement I (Clement of Rome), and Thomas Aquinas.

p) as depicted by Theofanis Strelitzas-Bathas (a.k.a. Theophanes the Cretan) in the earlier sixteenth-century frescoes (1545 and 1546) in the katholikon of the Stavronikita monastery on Mt. Athos:
http://tinyurl.com/jmlsbgx

q) as depicted (martyrdom and cephalophory) by George / Tzortzis the Cretan in the earlier sixteenth-century frescoes (1546/47) in the Dionysiou monastery on Mt. Athos:
http://tinyurl.com/zku28gn

Best,
John Dillon

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