Cyril of Alexandria

Cyril of Alexandria (Greek: Κύριλλος Ἀλεξανδρείας; Coptic: Ⲡⲁⲡⲁ Ⲕⲩⲣⲓⲗⲗⲟⲩ ⲁ̅ also ⲡⲓ̀ⲁⲅⲓⲟⲥ Ⲕⲓⲣⲓⲗⲗⲟⲥ; c. 376 – 444) was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. He was enthroned when the city was at the height of its influence and power within the Roman Empire. Cyril wrote extensively and was a leading protagonist in the Christological controversies of the late-4th and 5th centuries. He was a central figure in the Council of Ephesus in 431, which led to the deposition of Nestorius as Patriarch of Constantinople.

Cyril is counted among the Church Fathers and the Doctors of the Church, and his reputation within the Christian world has resulted in his titles Pillar of Faith and Seal of all the Fathers, but Theodosius II, the Roman Emperor, condemned him for behaving like a "proud pharaoh", and the Nestorian bishops at the Council of Ephesus declared him a heretic, labelling him as a "monster, born and educated for the destruction of the church."[1]

Cyril is well-known due to his dispute with Nestorius and his supporter Patriarch John of Antioch, whom Cyril excluded from the Council of Ephesus for arriving late. He is also known for his expulsion of Novatians and Jews from Alexandria and for inflaming tensions that led to the murder of the Hellenistic philosopher Hypatia by a Christian mob. Historians disagree over the extent of his responsibility in this.

The Roman Catholic Church did not commemorate Saint Cyril in the Tridentine Calendar: it added his feast only in 1882, assigning to it the date of 9 February. This date is used by the Western Rite Orthodox Church. Yet the 1969 Catholic Calendar revision moved it to 27 June, considered to be the day of the saint's death, as celebrated by the Coptic Orthodox Church.[2] The same date has been chosen for the Lutheran calendar. The Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic Churches celebrate his feast day on 9 June and also, together with Pope Athanasius I of Alexandria, on 18 January.

Saint Cyril of Alexandria
Rousanu16
St Cyril of Alexandria, Patriarch, Confessor, and Doctor of the Catholic Church
The Pillar of Faith; Bishop, Confessor, and Doctor of the Church
Bornc. 376
Didouseya, Roman Egypt
(modern-day El-Mahalla El-Kubra)
Died444 (aged 67–68)
Alexandria
Venerated inCatholic Church(Eastern Catholicism
Eastern Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodoxy
Anglicanism
Lutheranism
Feast18 January and 9 June (Eastern Orthodox Church)
27 June (Coptic Church, Catholic Church, Lutheranism)
9 February (Western Rite Orthodox Church, formerly Roman Catholic Church, 1882–1969)
AttributesVested as a Bishop with phelonion and omophorion, and usually with his head covered in the manner of Egyptian monastics (sometimes the head covering has a polystavrion pattern), he usually is depicted holding a Gospel Book or a scroll, with his right hand raised in blessing.
PatronageAlexandria
ControversyChristology
Mariology
Lynching of Hypatia
Separation of Church & State

Early life

Little is known for certain of Cyril's early life. He was born c. 376, in the small town of Didouseya, Egypt, modern-day El-Mahalla El-Kubra.[3] A few years after his birth, his maternal uncle Theophilus rose to the powerful position of Patriarch of Alexandria.[4] His mother remained close to her brother and under his guidance, Cyril was well educated. His writings show his knowledge of Christian writers of his day, including Eusebius, Origen, Didymus the Blind, and writers of the Church of Alexandria. He received the formal Christian education standard for his day: he studied grammar from age twelve to fourteen (390–392),[5] rhetoric and humanities from fifteen to twenty (393–397) and finally theology and biblical studies (398–402).[5]

In 403 he accompanied his uncle to attend the "Synod of the Oak" in Constantinople,[6] that deposed John Chrysostom as Archbishop of Constantinople.[7] The prior year, Theophilus had been summoned by the emperor to Constantinople to apologize before a synod, over which Chrysostom would preside, on account of several charges which were brought against him by certain Egyptian monks. Theophilus, had them persecuted as Origenists.[8] Placing himself at the head of soldiers and armed servants Theophilus had marched against the monks, burned their dwellings, and ill-treated those whom he captured.[9] Theophilus arrived at Constantinople with twenty-nine of his suffragan bishops, and conferring with those opposed to the Archbishop, drafted a long list of largely unfounded accusations against Chrysostom,[10] who refused to recognize the legality of a synod in which his open enemies were judges. Chrysostom was subsequently deposed.

Patriarch of Alexandria

Theophilus died on 15 October 412, and Cyril was made Pope or Patriarch of Alexandria on 18 October 412, but only after a riot between his supporters and those of his rival Archdeacon Timotheus. According to Socrates Scholasticus, the Alexandrians were always rioting.[11]

Thus, Cyril followed his uncle in a position that had become powerful and influential, rivalling that of the prefect in a time of turmoil and frequently violent conflict between the cosmopolitan city's Pagan, Jewish, and Christian inhabitants.[12] He began to exert his authority by causing the churches of the Novatianists to be closed and their sacred vessels to be seized.

Dispute with the Prefect

Orestes, Praefectus augustalis of the Diocese of Egypt, steadfastly resisted Cyril's ecclesiastical encroachment onto secular prerogatives.[13]

Tension between the parties increased when in 415, Orestes published an edict that outlined new regulations regarding mime shows and dancing exhibitions in the city, which attracted large crowds and were commonly prone to civil disorder of varying degrees. Crowds gathered to read the edict shortly after it was posted in the city's theater. Cyril sent the grammaticus Hierax to discover the content of the edict. The edict angered Christians as well as Jews. At one such gathering, Hierax, read the edict and applauded the new regulations, prompting a disturbance. Many people felt that Hierax was attempting to incite the crowd into sedition.[14] Orestes had Hierax tortured in public in a theatre. This order had two aims: the first was to quell the riot, the other to mark Orestes' authority over Cyril.[15][13]

Socrates Scholasticus recounts that upon hearing of Hierex's severe and public punishment, Cyril threatened to retaliate against the Jews of Alexandria with "the utmost severities" if the harassment of Christians did not cease immediately. In response to Cyril's threat, the Jews of Alexandria grew even more furious, eventually resorting to violence against the Christians. They plotted to flush the Christians out at night by running through the streets claiming that the Church of Alexander was on fire. When Christians responded to what they were led to believe was the burning down of their church, "the Jews immediately fell upon and slew them" by using rings to recognize one another in the dark and killing everyone else in sight. When the morning came, Cyril, along with many of his followers, took to the city’s synagogues in search of the perpetrators of the massacre.[16]

According to Socrates Scholasticus, after Cyril rounded up all the Jews in Alexandria, he ordered them to be stripped of all possessions, banished them from Alexandria, and allowed their goods to be pillaged by the remaining citizens of Alexandria. Scholasticus indicates that all the Jews were banished, while John of Nikiû says only those involved in the ambush. Susan Wessel says that while it is not clear whether Scholasticus was a Novationist, (whose churches Cyril had closed), he was apparently sympathetic towards them, and makes clear Cyril's habit of abusing his episcopal power by infringing on the rights and duties of the secular authorities. Wessel says "...Socrates probably does not provide accurate and unambiguous information about Cyril's relationship to imperial authority.[17]

Nonetheless, with Cyril's banishment of the Jews, however many, "Orestes [...] was filled with great indignation at these transactions, and was excessively grieved that a city of such magnitude should have been suddenly bereft of so large a portion of its population."[16] Because of this, the feud between Cyril and Orestes intensified, and both men wrote to the emperor regarding the situation. Eventually, Cyril attempted to reach out to Orestes through several peace overtures, including attempted mediation and, when that failed, showed him the Gospels, which he interpreted to indicate that the religious authority of Cyril would require Orestes' acquiescence in the bishop's policy.[18] Nevertheless, Orestes remained unmoved by such gestures.

This refusal almost cost Orestes his life. Nitrian monks came from the desert and instigated a riot against Orestes among the population of Alexandria. These monks had resorted to violence 15 years before, during a controversy between Theophilus (Cyril's uncle) and the "Tall Brothers"; The monks assaulted Orestes and accused him of being a pagan. Orestes rejected the accusations, showing that he had been baptised by the Archbishop of Constantinople. A monk named Ammonius, threw a stone hitting Orestes in the head. The prefect had Ammonius tortured to death, whereupon the Patriarch honored him as a martyr. However, according to Scholasticus, the Christian community displayed a general lack of enthusiasm for Ammonius's case for martyrdom. The prefect then wrote to the emperor Theodosius II, as did Cyril.[19][20]

Murder of Hypatia

Prefect Orestes enjoyed the political backing of Hypatia, an astronomer, philosopher and mathematician who had considerable moral authority in the city of Alexandria, and who had extensive influence. At the time of her death, she was likely over sixty years of age. Indeed, many students from wealthy and influential families came to Alexandria purposely to study privately with Hypatia, and many of these later attained high posts in government and the Church. Several Christians thought that Hypatia's influence had caused Orestes to reject all reconciliatory offerings by Cyril. Modern historians think that Orestes had cultivated his relationship with Hypatia to strengthen a bond with the Pagan community of Alexandria, as he had done with the Jewish one, in order to better manage the tumultuous political life of the Egyptian capital.[21] A mob, led by a lector named Peter, took Hypatia from her chariot and murdered her, hacking her body apart and burning the pieces outside the city walls.[22][23]

Neoplatonist historian Damascius (c. 458 – c. 538) was "anxious to exploit the scandal of Hypatia's death", and attributed responsibility for her murder to Bishop Cyril and his Christian followers.[24] Damascius's account of the Christian murder of Hypatia is the sole historical source attributing direct responsibility to Bishop Cyril.[25] Some modern studies represent Hypatia's death as the result of a struggle between two Christian factions, the moderate Orestes, supported by Hypatia, and the more rigid Cyril.[26] According to lexicographer William Smith, "She was accused of too much familiarity with Orestes, prefect of Alexandria, and the charge spread among the clergy, who took up the notion that she interrupted the friendship of Orestes with their archbishop, Cyril."[27] Scholasticus writes that Hypatia ultimately fell "victim to the political jealousy which at the time prevailed". News of Hypatia's murder provoked great public denouncement, not only against Cyril but against the whole Alexandrian Christian community.

Conflict with Nestorius

Another major conflict was between the Alexandrian and Antiochian schools of ecclesiastical reflection, piety, and discourse. This long running conflict widened with the third canon of the First Council of Constantinople which granted the see of Constantinople primacy over the older sees of Alexandria and Antioch. Thus, the struggle between the sees of Alexandria and Antioch now included Constantinople. The conflict came to a head in 428 after Nestorius, who originated in Antioch, was made Archbishop of Constantinople.[28]

Cyril gained an opportunity to restore Alexandria's pre-eminence over both Antioch and Constantinople when an Antiochine priest who was in Constantinople at Nestorius' behest began to preach against calling Mary the "Mother of God" (Theotokos). As the term "Mother of God" had long been attached to Mary, the laity in Constantinople complained against the priest. Rather than repudiating the priest, Nestorius intervened on his behalf. Nestorius argued that Mary was neither a "Mother of Man" nor "Mother of God" as these referred to Christ's two natures; rather, Mary was the "Mother of Christ" (Greek: Christotokos). Christ, according to Nestorius, was the conjunction of the Godhead with his "temple" (which Nestorius was fond of calling his human nature). The controversy seemed to be centered on the issue of the suffering of Christ. Cyril maintained that the Son of God or the divine Word, truly suffered "in the flesh."[29] However, Nestorius claimed that the Son of God was altogether incapable of suffering, even within his union with the flesh.[30] Eusebius of Dorylaeum went so far as to accuse Nestorius of adoptionism. By this time, news of the controversy in the capital had reached Alexandria. At Easter 429 A.D., Cyril wrote a letter to the Egyptian monks warning them of Nestorius' views. A copy of this letter reached Constantinople where Nestorius preached a sermon against it. This began a series of letters between Cyril and Nestorius which gradually became more strident in tone. Finally, Emperor Theodosius II convoked the Council of Ephesus (in 431) to solve the dispute. Cyril selected Ephesus[5] as the venue since it supported the veneration of Mary. The council was convoked before Nestorius's supporters from Antioch and Syria had arrived and thus Nestorius refused to attend when summoned. Predictably, the Council ordered the deposition and exile of Nestorius for heresy.

However, when John of Antioch and the other pro-Nestorius bishops finally reached Ephesus, they assembled their own Council, condemned Cyril for heresy, deposed him from his see, and labelled him as a "monster, born and educated for the destruction of the church".[31] Theodosius, by now old enough to hold power by himself, annulled the verdict of the Council and arrested Cyril, but Cyril eventually escaped. Having fled to Egypt, Cyril bribed Theodosius' courtiers, and sent a mob led by Dalmatius, a hermit, to besiege Theodosius' palace, and shout abuse; the Emperor eventually gave in, sending Nestorius into minor exile (Upper Egypt).[31] Cyril died about 444, but the controversies were to continue for decades, from the "Robber Synod" of Ephesus (449) to the Council of Chalcedon (451) and beyond.

Theology

Icon St. Cyril of Alexandria
Icon of St. Cyril of Alexandria

Cyril regarded the embodiment of God in the person of Jesus Christ to be so mystically powerful that it spread out from the body of the God-man into the rest of the race, to reconstitute human nature into a graced and deified condition of the saints, one that promised immortality and transfiguration to believers. Nestorius, on the other hand, saw the incarnation as primarily a moral and ethical example to the faithful, to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Cyril's constant stress was on the simple idea that it was God who walked the streets of Nazareth (hence Mary was Theotokos, meaning "God bearer", which became in Latin "Mater Dei or Dei Genetrix", or Mother of God), and God who had appeared in a transfigured humanity. Nestorius spoke of the distinct "Jesus the man" and "the divine Logos" in ways that Cyril thought were too dichotomous, widening the ontological gap between man and God in a way that some of his contemporaries believed would annihilate the person of Christ.

The main issue that prompted this dispute between Cyril and Nestorius was the question which arose at the Council of Constantinople: What exactly was the being to which Mary gave birth? Cyril affirmed that the Holy Trinity consists of a singular divine nature, essence, and being (ousia) in three distinct aspects, instantiations, or subsistencies of being (hypostases). These distinct hypostases are the Father or God in Himself, the Son or Word (Logos), and the Holy Spirit. Then, when the Son became flesh and entered the world, the pre-Incarnate divine nature and assumed human nature both remained, but became united in the person of Jesus. This resulted in the miaphysite slogan "One Nature united out of two" being used to encapsulate the theological position of this Alexandrian bishop.

According to Cyril's theology, there were two states for the Son of God: the state that existed prior to the Son (or Word/Logos) becoming enfleshed in the person of Jesus and the state that actually became enfleshed. The Logos Incarnate suffered and died on the Cross, and therefore the Son was able to suffer without suffering. Cyril passionately argued for the continuity of a single subject, God the Word, from the pre-Incarnate state to the Incarnate state. The divine Logos was really present in the flesh and in the world—not merely bestowed upon, semantically affixed to, or morally associated with the man Jesus, as the adoptionists and, he believed, Nestorius had taught.

Mariology

Cyril of Alexandria became noted in Church history because of his spirited fight for the title "Theotokos[32]" during the First Council of Ephesus (431).

His writings include the homily given in Ephesus and several other sermons.[33] Some of his alleged homilies are in dispute as to his authorship. In several writings, Cyril focuses on the love of Jesus to his mother. On the Cross, he overcomes his pain and thinks of his mother. At the wedding in Cana, he bows to her wishes. Cyril created the basis for all other mariological developments through his teaching of the blessed Virgin Mary, as the "Mother of God."[34] The conflict with Nestorius was mainly over this issue, and it has often been misunderstood. "[T]he debate was not so much about Mary as about Jesus. The question was not what honors were due to Mary, but how one was to speak of the birth of Jesus."[34] St. Cyril received an important recognition of his preachings by the Second Council of Constantinople (553 d.C.) which declared;

"St. Cyril who announced the right faith of Christians" (Anathematism XIV, Denzinger et Schoenmetzer 437).

Works

Cyril was a scholarly archbishop and a prolific writer. In the early years of his active life in the Church he wrote several exegetical documents. Among these were: Commentaries on the Old Testament,[35] Thesaurus, Discourse Against Arians, Commentary on St. John's Gospel,[36] and Dialogues on the Trinity. In 429 as the Christological controversies increased, the output of his writings was so extensive that his opponents could not match it. His writings and his theology have remained central to the tradition of the Fathers and to all Orthodox to this day.

Translations

  • Festal letters 1-12, translated by Philip R. Amidon, Fathers of the Church vol. 112 (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2009)
  • Commentary on Isaiah, translated with an introduction by Robert Charles Hill (Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2008)
  • Commentary on the Twelve Prophets, translated by Robert C. Hill, 2 vols, Fathers of the Church vols 115-16 (Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2008) [translation of In XII Prophetas]
  • Against those who are unwilling to confess that the Holy Virgin is Theotokos, edited and translated with an introduction by Protopresbyter George Dion. Dragas (Rollinsford, NH: Orthodox Research Institute, 2004)
  • Norman Russell, Cyril of Alexandria (London: Routledge, 2000) [contains translations of selections from the Commentary on Isaiah; Commentary on John; Against Nestorius; An explanation of the twelve chapters; Against Julian]
  • On the unity of Christ, translated and with an introduction by John Anthony McGuckin (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1995.)
  • J A McGuckin, St Cyril of Alexandria: The Christological Controversy. Its History, Theology and Texts (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1994) [contains translations of the Second and Third Letters to Nestorius; the Letters to Eulogius and Succensus; Cyril’s Letters to the Monks of Egypt, to Pope Celestine, to Acacius of Beroea and to John of Antioch (containing the Formulary of Reunion), the Festal Homily delivered at St John’s basilica, Ephesus, and the Scholia on the Incarnation]
  • Letters 1-110, translated by John I McEnerney, Fathers of the Church vols 76-77 (Washington: Catholic University of America Press, c. 1987)
  • Cyril of Alexandria. Selected Letters, edited and translated by Lionel R Wickham (Oxford: Clarendon Press 1983). [contains translations of the Second and Third Letters to Nestorius, the Letters to Acacius of Melitene and Eulogius, the First and Second Letters to Succensus, Letter 55 on the Creed, the Answers to Tiberius, the Doctrinal Questions and Answers, and the Letter to Calosirius,]

See also

Citations

  1. ^ Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 47.
  2. ^ Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice, 1969), pp. 95 and 116.
  3. ^ Norman Russell (2002). Cyril of Alexandria: The Early Church Fathers. Routledge. p. 204. ISBN 9781134673377.
  4. ^ Farmer, David Hugh (1997). The Oxford dictionary of saints (4. ed.). Oxford [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. p. 125. ISBN 978-0-19-280058-9.
  5. ^ a b c https://st-takla.org/Saints/Coptic-Orthodox-Saints-Biography/Coptic-Saints-Story_1492.html
  6. ^ Schaff, Philip. "Cyril of Alexandria", The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. III.
  7. ^ "Saint Cyril of Alexandria", Franciscan Media
  8. ^ Palladius, Dialogus, xvi; Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, VI, 7; Sozomen, Ecclesiastical History, VIII, 12.
  9. ^ Chrysostom Baur (1912), "Theophilus, The Catholic Encyclopedia, Vol. XIV (New York: Robert Appleton Company)
  10. ^ Photius, Bibliotheca, 59, in Migne, Patrologia Graecae, CIII, 105-113
  11. ^ Chapman, John. "St. Cyril of Alexandria." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908. 14 June 2016
  12. ^ Preston Chesser, "The Burning of the Library of Alexandria"., eHistory.com
  13. ^ a b Wessel, p. 34.
  14. ^ John of Nikiu, 84.92.
  15. ^ Socrates Scholasticus, vii.13.6-9
  16. ^ a b Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, born after 380 AD, died after 439 AD.
  17. ^ Wessel p. 22.
  18. ^ Wessel, p. 35
  19. ^ Socrates Scholasticus, vii.14.
  20. ^ Wessel, pp. 35-36.
  21. ^ Christopher Haas, Alexandria in Late Antiquity: Topography and Social Conflict, JHU Press, 2006, ISBN 0-8018-8541-8, p. 312.
  22. ^ Socrate Scolastico, vii.15.
  23. ^ Giovanni di Nikiu, 84.88-100.
  24. ^ Whitfield, Bryan J., "The Beauty of Reasoning: A Reexamination of Hypatia and Alexandria", The Mathematics Educator, vol. 6, issue 1, p.14, University of Georgia, Summer 1995
  25. ^ Dzielska 1996, p. 18.
  26. ^ Maria Dzielska, Hypatia of Alexandria, Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University Press, 1995 (Revealing Antiquity, 8), p. xi, 157. ISBN 0-674-43775-6
  27. ^ http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/1645.html
  28. ^ Leo Donald Davis, The First Seven Ecumenical Councils (325-787): Their History and Theology, Collegeville (Min.): The Liturgical Press, 1983, pp. 136-148. ISBN 0-8146-5616-1
  29. ^ Thomas Gerard Weinandy, Daniel A. Keating, The theology of St. Cyril of Alexandria: a critical appreciation; New York: T&T Clark Ltd, 2003, p. 49.
  30. ^ Nestorius, Second Epistle to Cyril "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved 2010-06-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  31. ^ a b Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 47.
  32. ^ The rejection of the term Theotokos by Nestorius Constantinople
  33. ^ PG 76,992, Adv. Nolentes confiteri Sanctam Virginem esse Deiparem, PG 76, 259.
  34. ^ a b Gonzalez, Justo L. (1984). The Story of Christianity, Volume 1: The Early Church to the Dawn of the Reformation. New York: HarperOne. p. 254. ISBN 9780060633158.
  35. ^ Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Luke (1859), Preface, pp.i-xx.
  36. ^ Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on John, LFC 43, 48 (1874/1885). Preface to the online edition

References

  • "Cyril I (412–444)". Official web site of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. Retrieved 8 February 2011.

Further reading

Konrad F. Zawadzki, Der Kommentar Cyrills von Alexandrien zum 1. Korintherbrief. Einleitung, kritischer Text, Übersetzung, Einzelanalyse, Traditio Exegetica Graeca 16, Leuven-Paris-Bristol, CT, 2015

Konrad F. Zawadzki, Syrische Fragmente des Kommentars Cyrills von Alexandrien zum 1. Korintherbrief, Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum 21 (2017), 304-360

External links

Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Theophilus
Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria
412–444
Succeeded by
Dioscorus I
Church Fathers

The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians and writers. There is no definitive list. The era of these scholars who set the theological and scholarly foundations of Christianity largely ended by AD 700 (John of Damascus died in 749 AD, Byzantine Iconoclasm began in 726 AD).In the past, the Church Fathers were regarded as authoritative and more restrictive definitions were used which sought to limit the list to authors treated as such. However, the definition has widened as scholars of patristics, the study of the Church Fathers, have expanded their scope.

Council of Ephesus

The Council of Ephesus was a council of Christian bishops convened in Ephesus (near present-day Selçuk in Turkey) in AD 431 by the Roman Emperor Theodosius II. This third ecumenical council, an effort to attain consensus in the church through an assembly representing all of Christendom, confirmed the original Nicene Creed, and condemned the teachings of Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who held that the Virgin Mary may be called the Christotokos, "Birth Giver of Christ" but not the Theotokos, "Birth Giver of God". It met in June and July 431 at the Church of Mary in Ephesus in Anatolia.

Cyrillus (crater)

Cyrillus is a lunar impact crater located on the northwest edge of Mare Nectaris. Intruding into the northeast rim is the slightly larger, and younger crater Theophilus. To the south is another prominent crater named Catharina. Together these three craters form a prominent trio in the southeast quadrant of the Moon. To the northwest is Ibn-Rushd. Cyrillus is named after Saint Cyril of Alexandria, a 4th-century Coptic Pope and theologian.The floor of Cyrillus contains a reduced central hill and the considerable crater Cyrillus A. The walls of the broken formation of Cyrillus remain intact until the point of junction with Theophilus. Slightly northeast of its center, three rounded mountains rise to heights of 1,000 metres above Cyrillus' floor: Cyrillus Alpha, Delta, and Eta.

Dionysius Exiguus' Easter table

Dionysius Exiguus's Easter table was constructed in the year 525 by Dionysius Exiguus for the years 532–626. He obtained it from an Easter table attributed to Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria for the years 437–531. The latter was constructed around the year 440 by means of extrapolation from an Alexandrian Easter table constructed around the year 390 by Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria. The great historical importance of Dionysius' Easter table is twofold:

From this Easter table Bede's Easter cycle would ultimately be developed by means of which all future Julian calendar dates of Easter Sunday were determined (as in column G of Dionysius' table);

With his Easter table Dionysius introduced in passing the Christian era (see column A of Dionysius' table) which would be developed into a full system for dating historical events by Bede two centuries later.

Doctor of the Church

Doctor of the Church (Latin doctor "teacher") is a title given by the Catholic Church to saints recognized as having made significant contribution to theology or doctrine through their research, study, or writing.Some other churches have similar categories with various names.

Donald Fairbairn

Donald Fairbairn (born August 31, 1963) is a scholar specializing in patristic soteriology and Cyril of Alexandria who currently teaches at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Dyophysitism

In Christian theology, dyophysitism (Greek: δυοφυσιτισμός, from δυο (dyo), meaning "two" and φύσις (physis), meaning "nature") is the Christological position that two natures, divine and human, exist in the person of Jesus Christ. It contrasts with monophysitism and miaphysitism.Development of dyophysite Christology was gradual, promoted by St Cyril of Alexandria (Church Father and Doctor of the Church) in Dyophysitism tradition and its complex terminology was finally formulated as a result of long christological debates that were constant during the 4th and 5th centuries. The importance of dyophysitism was often emphasized by prominent representatives of the Antiochene School. After many debates and several councils, dyophysitism gained its official ecclesiastical form at the Fourth Ecumenical Council, held in Chalcedon in 451. The Chalcedonian Definition became the basis for the christological doctrine of the two natures of Jesus Christ, that is held up to the present day by a majority of Christian churches, including: the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, the Anglican Church, the Old Catholic Church, and various other Christian denominations. Both miaphysitism and monophysitism were sentenced as false and condemned as heretical by the Council of Chalcedon in 451, and therefore declared not compatible with the Christian faith.

Dyophysite Christians believe that there is complete and perfect unity of the two natures in one hypostasis and one person of Jesus Christ. For the Chalcedonians the hypostatic union was the center of Jesus' unity (his divinity and humanity being described as natures) whereas those who rejected the Chalcedonian definition saw his nature as the point of unity. Since the term dyophysitism is used for describing the Chalcedonian positions, it has distinctive opposite meaning to the terms monophysite (notion that Christ has only one, divine nature) and miaphysite (notion that Christ is both divine and human, but in one nature).Dyophysitism has also been used to describe some aspects of Nestorianism, the doctrines ascribed to the Patriarch Nestorius of Constantinople. His detractors also asserted (imprecisely, and sometimes falsely) that he believed that Christ existed not only in two natures, but also in two (hypostases) and two persons (prosopon): the human Jesus and the divine Logos. Apart from that, the ancient Church of the East has preserved dyophysite Christology and other traditions of the Antiochene School.The belief in Jesus Christ being true Man and true God was imbedded in the Chalcedonian Creed. Later it was integrated in the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, the basic article of the faith of most Christian denominations.

Eutychianism

Eutychianism refers to a set of Christian theological doctrines derived from the ideas of Eutyches of Constantinople (c. 380 – c. 456). Eutychianism is a specific understanding of how the human and divine relate within the person of Jesus Christ (that is, Eutychianism is a Christology).

Hypostatic union

Hypostatic union (from the Greek: ὑπόστασις hypóstasis, "sediment, foundation, substance, subsistence") is a technical term in Christian theology employed in mainstream Christology to describe the union of Christ's humanity and divinity in one hypostasis, or individual existence.The most basic explanation for the hypostatic union is Jesus Christ being both God and man. He is both perfectly divine and perfectly human.

The Athanasian Creed recognized this doctrine and affirmed its importance, stating that "He is God from the essence of the Father, begotten before time; and he is human from the essence of his mother, born in time; completely God, completely human, with a rational soul and human flesh; equal to the Father as regards divinity, less than the Father as regards humanity. Although he is God and human, yet Christ is not two, but one. He is one, however, not by his divinity being turned into flesh, but by God's taking humanity to himself. He is one, certainly not by the blending of his essence, but by the unity of his person. For just as one human is both rational soul and flesh, so too the one Christ is both God and human."

Isidore of Pelusium

Isidore of Pelusium (Greek: Ἰσίδωρος ὁ Πηλουσιώτης, d. c.450) was born in Egypt to a prominent Alexandrian family. He became an ascetic, and moved to a mountain near the city of Pelusium, in the tradition of the Desert Fathers.

Isidore is known to us for his letters, written to Cyril of Alexandria, Theodosius II, and a host of others. A collection of 2,000 letters was made in antiquity at the "Sleepless" monastery in Constantinople, and this has come down to us through a number of manuscripts, with each letter numbered and in order. The letters are mostly very short extracts, a sentence or two in length. Further unpublished letters exist in Syriac translation.Some of the letters are of considerable interest for the exegesis of the Greek bible. He is revered as a saint, whose feast day is February 4.

John of Antioch

Other persons with the same name: John of Antioch (disambiguation)John I of Antioch was Patriarch of Antioch (429–441) and led a group of moderate Eastern bishops during the Nestorian controversy. He is sometimes confused with John Chrysostom, who is occasionally also referred to as John of Antioch. John gave active support to his friend Nestorius in the latter's dispute with Cyril of Alexandria. In the year 431, he arrived too late for the opening meeting of the First Council of Ephesus. Cyril, suspecting John of using procrastinating tactics to support Nestorius, decided not to wait and convened the council without John and his supporters, condemning Nestorius. When John reached Ephesus a few days after the council had begun, he convened a counter-council which condemned Cyril and vindicated Nestorius.

Two years later, in 433 John reconciled with Cyril based on the Formula of Reunion, a theological formula devised as a compromise. In the process, John lost many of his own supporters within his patriarchate. Some of his letters are extant.

Mariology of the saints

Throughout history Roman Catholic Mariology has been influenced by a number of saints who have attested to the central role of Mary in God's plan of salvation. The analysis of Early Church Fathers continues to be reflected in modern encyclicals. Irenaeus vigorously defended the title of "Theotokos" or Mother of God. The views of Anthony of Padua, Robert Bellarmine and others supported the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary, which was declared a dogma in 1850.

Writings of the saints have contributed to both popular piety and a greater understanding of Mary's role in salvation history.

Miaphysitism

Miaphysitism is Cyril of Alexandria's Christological formula holding that in the person of Jesus Christ, divine nature and human nature are united (μία, mia – "one" or "unity") in a compound nature ("physis"), the two being united without separation, without mixture, without confusion and without alteration.Historically, Chalcedonian Christians have considered Miaphysitism in general to be amenable to an orthodox interpretation, in contrast to Monophysitism. Since 1142, Oriental Orthodoxy uses the term "Miaphysite" for themselves but prefer to call themselves non-Chalcedonians.

Nestorianism

Nestorianism is a Christian theological doctrine that upholds several distinctive teachings in the fields of Christology and Mariology. It opposes the concept of hypostatic union and emphasizes that the two natures (human and divine) of Jesus Christ were joined by will rather than nature. This Christological position is defined as radical dyophisitism. Nestorianism was named after Christian theologian Nestorius (386–450), Patriarch of Constantinople from 428 to 431, who was influenced by Christological teachings of Theodore of Mopsuestia at the School of Antioch.

Nestorius' teachings brought him into conflict with other prominent church leaders, most notably Cyril of Alexandria, who criticized especially his rejection of the title Theotokos ("Mother of God") for Mary, the mother of Jesus, and issued 12 anathemas against him at a council in Rome in 430. Nestorius and his teachings were eventually condemned as heretical at the Council of Ephesus in 431, and again at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, which led to the Nestorian Schism; churches supporting Nestorian teachings broke with the rest of the Christian Church.

Following that, many of Nestorius's supporters relocated to the Sasanian Empire, where they affiliated with the local Christian community, known as the Church of the East. Over the next decades the Church of the East became increasingly Nestorian in doctrine, leading to it becoming known alternatively as the Nestorian Church.

Nestorius

Nestorius (; in Greek: Νεστόριος; c. 386 – 450) was Archbishop of Constantinople from 10 April 428 to August 431, when Emperor Theodosius II confirmed his condemnation by the Council of Ephesus on 22 June.

His teachings included a rejection of the long-used title of Theotokos, "Mother of God", for Mary, mother of Jesus, and they were considered by many to imply that he did not believe that Christ was truly God. That brought him into conflict with other prominent churchmen of the time, most notably Cyril of Alexandria, who accused him of heresy.

Nestorius sought to defend himself at the First Council of Ephesus in 431 but instead found himself formally condemned for heresy by a majority of the bishops and was subsequently removed from his see. On his own request, he retired to his former monastery, in or near Antioch. In 435, Theodosius II sent him into exile in Upper Egypt, where he lived on until 450, strenuously defending his orthodoxy. His last major defender within the Roman Empire, Theodoret of Cyrrhus, finally agreed to anathematize him in 451 during the Council of Chalcedon.

From then on, he had no defenders within the empire, but the Church of the East never accepted his condemnation. That led later to western Christians giving the name Nestorian Church to the Church of the East where his teachings were deemed Orthodox and in line with its own teachings. Nestorius is revered as among three "Greek Teachers" of the Church (in addition to Diodorus of Tarsus and Theodore of Mopsuestia). Parts of the Church of the East's Eucharistic Service, which is known to be among the oldest in the world, is contributed to with prayers attributed to Nestorius himself.

The Second Council of Constantinople of AD 553 confirmed the validity of the condemnation of Nestorius, refuting the letter of Ibas of Edessa that affirms that Nestorius was condemned without due inquiry.The discovery, translation and publication of his Bazaar of Heracleides at the beginning of the 20th century have led to a reassessment of his theology in western scholarship. It is now generally agreed that his ideas were not far from those that eventually emerged as orthodox, but the orthodoxy of his formulation of the doctrine of Christ is still controversial.

Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria

Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria may refer to:

Cyril of Alexandria, ruled in 412–444

Patriarch Cyril II of Alexandria, ruled in the 12th century

Patriarch Cyril III of Alexandria, ruled in 1601–20

Pope Cyril of Alexandria

Pope Cyril of Alexandria may refer to:

Cyril of Alexandria, ruled in 412–444

Pope Cyril II of Alexandria, ruled in 1078–1092

Pope Cyril III of Alexandria, ruled in 1235–1243

Pope Cyril IV of Alexandria, ruled in 1854–1961

Pope Cyril V of Alexandria, ruled in 1874–1927

Pope Cyril VI of Alexandria, ruled in 1959–1971

Theodotus of Ancyra (bishop)

Theodotus of Ancyra was a fifth-century bishop of Ancyra (modern Ankara). He was a theologian who attended the Council of Ephesus in 431, during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Theodosius II. Although he had earlier supported the Nestorian theology of Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, Theodotus at the council supported Patriarch Cyril of Alexandria in condemning Nestorius. Theodotus was condemned in turn by the Nestorians at their 432 Synod of Tarsus.

Theotokos

Theotokos (Greek: Θεοτόκος Greek pronunciation: [θeoˈtokos]) is a title of Mary, mother of Jesus, used especially in Eastern Christianity. The usual Latin translations, Dei Genetrix or Deipara (approximately "parent (fem.) of God"), are "Mother of God" or "God-bearer".The title has been in use since the 3rd century, in the Syriac tradition (as Classical Syriac: ܝܳܠܕܰܬ ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ‎, romanized: Yoldath Aloho) in the Liturgy of Mari and Addai (3rd century) and the Liturgy of St James (4th century).

The Council of Ephesus in AD 431 decreed that Mary is the Theotokos because her son Jesus is both God and man: one divine person with two natures (divine and human) intimately and hypostatically united.The title of Mother of God (Greek: Μήτηρ (του) Θεοῦ) or Mother of Incarnate God; abbreviated ΜΡ ΘΥ, Latin Mater Dei) is most often used in English, largely due to the lack of a satisfactory equivalent of the Greek τόκος / Latin genetrix. For the same reason, the title is often left untranslated, as "Theotokos", in Orthodox liturgical usage of other languages.

Theotokos is also used as the term for an Eastern icon, or type of icon, of the Mother with Child (typically called a Madonna in western tradition), as in "the Theotokos of Vladimir" both for the original 12th-century icon and for icons that are copies or imitate its composition.

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