De Coelesti Hierarchia
De Coelesti Hierarchia is a Pseudo-Dionysian work on angelology (dated to ca. the 5th century) which exerted great influence on scholasticism
Scholasticism is a method of critical thought which dominated teaching by the academics of medieval universities in Europe from about 1100–1500, and a program of employing that method in articulating and defending orthodoxy in an increasingly pluralistic context...

. It treats at great length the hierarchies of angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...


The work has also been very influential in the development of Orthodox Christian
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...


Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

 (Summa Theologica
Summa Theologica
The Summa Theologiæ is the best-known work of Thomas Aquinas , and although unfinished, "one of the classics of the history of philosophy and one of the most influential works of Western literature." It is intended as a manual for beginners in theology and a compendium of all of the main...

, I.108) follows the Hierarchia (6.7) in dividing the angels into three hierarchies each of which contains three orders, based on their proximity to God, corresponding to the nine orders of angels recognized by St. Gregory Dialogus
Pope Gregory I
Pope Gregory I , better known in English as Gregory the Great, was pope from 3 September 590 until his death...

  1. Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones;
  2. Dominations, Virtues, and Powers;
  3. Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.


  • G. Heil, A. M. Ritter, Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita. De Coelesti Hierarchia, De Ecclesiastica Hierarchia, De Mystica Theologia, Epistulae (1991) ISBN 978-3-11-012041-7.

See also

  • Orthodox St. Dionysus Institute in Paris
    St. Dionysus Institute in Paris
    St. Denys Theological Institute, is an Orthodox theological institute in Paris, France.-Foundation:The institute was founded in 1944 by members of the Cathedral of St. Irenaeus in Paris and a number of French intellectuals who were not themselves Orthodox. The first registrar, for example, was the...

  • Christian angelic hierarchy
  • Gregory Palamas
    Gregory Palamas
    Gregory Palamas was a monk of Mount Athos in Greece and later the Archbishop of Thessaloniki known as a preeminent theologian of Hesychasm. The teachings embodied in his writings defending Hesychasm against the attack of Barlaam are sometimes referred to as Palamism, his followers as Palamites...

  • Apophatic theology
  • Hesychasm
    Hesychasm is an eremitic tradition of prayer in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and some of the Eastern Catholic Churches, such as the Byzantine Rite, practised by the Hesychast Hesychasm is an eremitic tradition of prayer in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and some of the Eastern Catholic Churches,...

  • Vladimir Lossky
    Vladimir Lossky
    Vladimir Nikolayevich Lossky was an influential Eastern Orthodox theologian in exile from Russia. He emphasized theosis as the main principle of Orthodox Christianity....

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