(fr Gr, angelos, " messenger " ) (1) In theology, a celestial being. In postcanonical and apocalyptic literature, angels are grouped in varying orders, and the hierarchy thus constructed was adapted to church uses by the early Christian Fathers. In his De hierarchia celesti, the pseudo - Dionysius (early 5th century) gives the names of the nine orders; they are taken from the New Testament (Eph. 1:21 and Col. 1:16) and are as follows:
1 Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thro nes, in the first circle of the heavenly hierarchy. 2 Dominions, Virtues, and Powers, in the second c ircle. 3 Principalities, Archangels, and Angels, in the third circle.
The seven holy angels are Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Chamuel, Jophiel, and Zadkiel. Michael and Gabriel are mentioned in the Bible; the others appear in Apocryphal books.
Milton ( Paradise Lost, Bk. 1, 392) gives a list of the fallen angels.
Muslims say that angels were created from pure, bright gems, the genii from fire, and man from clay.
(2) An obsolete English coin, current from the time of Edward IV to that of Charles I, bearing the figure of the archangel Michael slaying the dragon. Its value varied from 6s. 8d. in 1465 (when first coined) to 10s. under Edward VI. It was the coin presented to persons touched for the King 's Evil.