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Encyclopedia > Saint Cyril of Alexandria
St. Cyril I, 24th Patriarch of Alexandria.
St. Cyril I, 24th Patriarch of Alexandria.

Cyril of Alexandria (378-444) was the Pope of Alexandria when the city was at its height in influence and power within the Roman Empire. Cyril wrote extensively and was a leading protagonist in the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries. He was a central figure in the Council of Ephesus in 431 which led to the deposition of Nestorius as Archbishop of Constantinople. Cyril is among the patristic fathers, and the Doctors of the Church, and his reputation within the Christian world has led to his acquiring the title "Seal of all the Fathers." His feast day is celebrated on June 9 and, with St. Athanasius of Alexandria, on January 18. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (696x1008, 126 KB) Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (696x1008, 126 KB) Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Events Mid-February: Lentienses cross frozen Rhine, invading Roman Empire. ... [edit] Events [edit] By Place [edit] Europe The Irish city of Armagh is founded by St. ... The Patriarch of Alexandria is the bishop of Alexandria, Egypt. ... Alexandria Modern Alexandria, from Qaitbays Citadel Alexandria, sphinx made of pink granite, Ptolemaic. ... Christology is that part of Christian theology that studies and defines who Jesus Christ is. ... The Council of Ephesus was held in Ephesus, Asia Minor in 431 under Emperor Theodosius II, grandson of Theodosius the Great. ... Nestorius - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... The (Early) Church Fathers or Fathers of the Church are the early and influential theologians and writers in the Christian Church, particularly those of the first five centuries of Christian history. ... In Roman Catholicism, a Doctor of the Church is a theologian from whose teachings the whole Christian church is held to have derived great advantage and to whom eminent learning and great sanctity have been attributed by a proclamation of the Pope or of an ecumenical council. ... The calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organising a liturgical year on the level of days by associating each day with a saint, and referring to the day as the saints day of that saint. ... Athanasius of Alexandria (also spelled Athanasios) (c. ...

Contents

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Life

Cyril was born about 378 in the small town of Theodosios, Egypt, near modern day Malalla el Kobra. His mother’s brother, Theophilus, was a priest who rose to the powerful position of Pope of Alexandria. His mother remained close to her brother and under his guidance Cyril was well educated. His education showed through his knowledge, in his writings, of Christian writers of his day, including Eusebius, Origen, Didymus, and writers of the Alexandrian church. He showed a knowledge of Latin through his extensive correspondence with the Bishop of Rome, Pope Celestine. His formal education appeared normal for his day: 390-392 grammatical studies at ages 12 to 14, 393-397 Rhetoric/Humanities at ages 15 to 20, and 398-402 Christian theology and biblical studies. Roman Catholic priests in traditional clerical clothing. ... Eusebius of Caesarea Eusebius of Caesarea (c. ... Origen (Greek: , ca. ... Didymus (?309-?394), surnamed the Blind, was an ecclesiastical writer of Alexandria, was born about the year 309. ... It has been suggested that Valid Bishops be merged into this article or section. ... The current Pope is Benedict XVI (born Joseph Alois Ratzinger), who was elected at the age of 78 on 19 April 2005. ...


He was tonsured a reader by his uncle, Theophilus, in the Church of Alexandria and under his uncle's guidance advanced in knowledge and position. He supported his uncle in the removal of St. John Chrysostom as archbishop of Constantinople, although this was justified as an administrative, not doctrinal, issue, as later Cyril supported John's return as when he contrasted Nestorius' unorthodoxy to Chrysostom's purity of doctrine to the imperial court. Tonsure is the practice of some Christian churches of cutting the hair from the scalp of clerics as a symbol of their renunciation of worldly fashion and esteem. ... Saint John Chrysostom John Chrysostom (347 - 407) was a notable Christian bishop and preacher from the 4th and 5th centuries in Syria and Constantinople. ... In Christianity, an archbishop is an elevated bishop. ...


Theophilus died on October 15, 412, and Cyril was made pope on October 18, 412, over stiff opposition by the party for the incumbent Archdeacon Timothy in a volatile Alexandrian atmosphere. Thus, Cyril followed first Athanasius and then Theophilus as the Pope of Alexandria in the position that had become powerful and influential, rivaling that of the city Prefect (mayor or official). Alexandria being a city of pagan, Jewish, and Christians got the reputation as a city that was known to be in turmoil.[1] An archdeacon is a senior position in some Christian churches, above that of most clergy and below a bishop. ...

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Controversy

His early years as pope were caught up in the problems of a cosmopolitan city where the animosities among the various Christian factions, Jews, and pagans brought frequent violence. He began to exert his authority by causing the churches of the Novatians to be closed and their sacred vessels to be seized. Cyril also demanded all Jews be removed from the city. This was refuted by the prefect of Alexandria, Orestes, but Cyril paid no heed and the Jews were expelled. [2] [3] Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning a country dweller or civilian) is a blanket term which has come to connote a broad set of spiritual or religious beliefs and practices of natural or polytheistic religions, as opposed to the Abrahamic monotheistic religions. ... The Novatianists following Novatius, or Novatian, held a strict view that refused readmission to communion of those baptized Christians who had denied their faith or performed the formalities of a ritual sacrifice to the pagan gods, under the pressures of the persecution sanctioned by Emperor Decius, in 250 A.D...


Some of the tensions between Jews and Christians was prompted by a slaughter of Christians at the hands of Alexandrian Jews who, after instigating the death of monk Hierax, lured Christians in the streets at night claiming that the church was on fire. [1]


Cyril led a mob of Christians against the Jews in the city, plundering and destroying the synagogues as well as killing Orestes [2] [3]. Though there is no clear agreement among historians, he is often blamed for burning the Library of Alexandria[1] in this rampage. It is through his conflict with Orestes that Cyril is linked to the murder of Hypatia, the female mathematician, philosopher, and teacher, who was a frequent guest of Orestes'. [4] [5] The Royal Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt was once the largest library in the world. ... Hypatia could refer to: Hypatia of Alexandria (?370–415), a neo-Platonic philosopher, mathematician, and teacher. ...


Newer studies show Hypatia's death as the result of a struggle between two Christian factions, the moderate Orestes, supported by Hypatia, and the more rigid Cyril. [6] This point is alluded to by Sir William Smith, who states: Sir William Smith (1813 - 1893), English lexicographer, was born at Enfield in 1813 of Nonconformist parents. ...

   
Cyril of Alexandria
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.
   
Cyril of Alexandria

In addition to his animosity with Orestes, there was the rivalry between Alexandria and Constantine I of Constantinople and a clash between Alexandrian and Antiochian schools of ecclesiastical reflection, piety, and discourse. These issues came to a head in 428 when the See of Constantinople became vacant. Nestorius, from the Antiochian party, was made Archbishop of Constantinople on April 10, 428, and stoked the fires by denouncing the use of the term Theotokos as not a proper rendition of Mary’s position in relation to Christ. Image File history File links Cquote1. ... Image File history File links Cquote2. ... Head of Constantines colossal statue at Musei Capitolini Gaius Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus[1] (February 27, 272–May 22, 337), commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or (among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic[2] Christians) Saint Constantine, was a Roman Emperor, proclaimed Augustus by his troops on... The Alexandrian school is a collective designation for certain tendencies in literature, philosophy, medicine and the sciences that developed in the cultural center of Alexandria, Egypt around the 1st century CE. Alexandia was a remarkable center of learning due to the blending of Greek and Oriental influences, its favorable situation... See: Signing Exact English Visual perception Episcopal see Holy See This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... April 10 is the 100th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (101st in leap years). ... Theotokos of Kazan Theotokos (Greek Θεοτόκος) is a title of Mary, the mother of Jesus. ... This page is about the title or the Divine Person. For the Christian figure, see Jesus. ...


Thus, Cyril and the Alexandrian party crossed swords with those of the Antiochian party in the imperial home court. After much in-fighting, Augusta Pulcheria, older sister of the Emperor Theodosius II, sided with Cyril against Nestorius. To rid himself of Cyril, Nestorius recommended to the emperor a council in Constantinople. But, when Theodosius called the council it was in Ephesus, an area friendly to Cyril. After months of maneuvering the Council of 431 ended with Nestorius being removed from office and sent into exile. See also General Council (disambiguation). ... The Council of Ephesus was held in Ephesus, Asia Minor in 431 under Emperor Theodosius II, grandson of Theodosius the Great. ...


Cyril died on June 27, 444, but the controversies were to continue for decades, from the Robber Council of Ephesus in 449 to the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and beyond. The Robber Council of Ephesus (also, Second Council of Ephesus, Robber Synod or Latrocinium) was a latrocinistic church council at Ephesus. ... The Council of Chalcedon was an ecumenical council that took place from October 8-November 1, 451 A.D at Chalcedon, a city of Bithynia in Asia Minor. ...

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Legacy

As noted above, Cyril was a scholarly archbishop and a prolific writer. In the early years of his active life in the Church he wrote several exegeses. Among these were: Commentaries on the Old Testament [1], Thesaurus, Discourse Against Arians, Commentary on St. John's Gospel [2], and Dialogues on the Trinity. In 429 as the Christological controversies increased, his output of writings was that which his opponents could not match. His writings and his theology have remained central to tradition of the Fathers and to all Orthodox to this day. NOTE: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh, but not Old Testament, because it does not recognize the New Testament as a continuation or completion of the Jewish bible. ... This article is about theological views like those of Arius. ... The Gospel of John is the fourth gospel in the canon of the New Testament, traditionally ascribed to John the Evangelist. ... For other uses, see Trinity (disambiguation). ...

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Source

  • McGuckin, John A. St. Cyril of Alexandria and the Christological Controversy. Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2004. ISBN 0-88141-259-7
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External links

  • Life and Writings of Cyril of Alexandria as relates to the Christological Controversy
  • Early Church Fathers Includes text written by Cyril of Alexandria
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Works

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References

  1. ^ a b c Preston Chesser, "The Burning of the Library of Alexandria"., eHistory.com
  2. ^ a b James Everett Seaver, "The Persecution of the Jews in the Roman Empire (300-428)"., University of Kansas Publications, 1952.
  3. ^ a b Socrates, Hist. Eccl., VII, 13; PC, LXXXII, 759 ff., tr. in Bohn Library (London, 1888), pp. 345 ff.; dated by Socrates 412; but Juster, II, p. 176, has plausibly argued that it could not have happened before 414.
  4. ^ A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Series II (Vol II: Socrates Scholasticus) (1890), Ecclesiastical History (VII.15) edited by by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace;
  5. ^ Gibbon: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, XLVII (1995) edited by David Womersley (Penguin Classics)
  6. ^ Maria Dzielska (tr. F. Lyra), Hypatia of Alexandria. Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University Press, 1995. (Revealing Antiquity, 8). Pp. xi + 157. ISBN 0-674-43775-6
Preceded by:
Theophilus
Patriarch of Alexandria
412444
Succeeded by:
Dioscorus I

  Results from FactBites:
 
Reference.com/Encyclopedia/Cyril of Alexandria (1236 words)
Cyril is among the patristic fathers, and the Doctors of the Church, and his reputation within the Christian world has led to his acquiring the title "Seal of all the Fathers." His feast day is celebrated on June 9 and, with St. Athanasius of Alexandria, on January 18.
Cyril died on June 27, 444, but the controversies were to continue for decades, from the Second Council of Ephesus in 449 to the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and beyond.
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.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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