Consequently nothing remained but formal procedure to condemn him for heresy. Find books Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. 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 later 4th and 5th centuries. Cyril was born at Alexandria, Egypt. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Dragging her from her carriage, they took her to the church called Cæsareum, where they completely stripped her and then murdered her with oyster shells (or roofing tiles). He commissioned Cyril to act with the authority of the Roman See and to admonish Nestorius that unless he would recant within ten days from the receipt of this ultimatum, he would be excommunicated. A riot resulted, as the position had become powerful and influential, rivaling that of the prefect (mayor) in a city known for its competing pagan, Jewish, and various Christian factions.[1]. Save 50% off a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Omissions? After Cyril and Orestes both appealed to the emperor regarding the matter, some 500 zealous monks from Nitria descended on the city in support of Cyril's cause. His attitude toward the Jews was even less pacific, and the precedent he set of violently expelling the Jewish community from Alexandria stands as a shameful reminder of Christian anti-Judaism for which the Catholic Church only recently was compelled to apologize. Riots ensued, and Cyril, who if not directly responsible at least had done nothing to prevent them, was forced to acknowledge the authority of the civil government. The admiration of the two patriarchs was mutual, as Cyril affirmed that he must, by ancient custom, consult with the pope on a matter affecting spiritual welfare of the empire. His formal education consisted of grammatical studies at ages 12 to 14 (390-392 C.E. Before becoming patriarch, Cyril had supported his uncle Theophilus to achieve the deposition of the Antiochene Saint John Chrysostom from the position of patriarch of Constantinople. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Each of them was initially kept in close custody, but eventually the emperor took the orthodox view. Cyril has also been linked to the murder of Hypatia, the venerable female mathematician, neo-Platonist philosopher, and teacher, who was a frequent guest of Orestes. Cyril was born at Alexandria, Egypt. Armed with a commission to represent Pope Celestine I as well as himself, Cyril convened the council and condemned Nestorius. Cyril wrote extensively during this struggle, in which he was closely allied with Pope Celestine I. 285-381. Some of them, therefore, hurried away by a fierce and bigoted zeal,... (and) waylaid her returning home. Before becoming patriarch, Cyril had supported his uncle Theophilus to achieve the deposition of the Antiochene Saint John Chrysostom from the position of patriarch of Constantinople. Cyril of Alexandria (c.376 – 444AD) is something of a Marmite figure in Church history. Among these were: Commentaries on the Old Testament, Thesaurus, Discourse Against Arians, Commentary on St. John's Gospel, and Dialogues on the Trinity. For some time Cyril was opposed by Bishop Theodoret of Cyrrhus, Syria; but eventually he reconciled his views with those of Cyril. Chora Church Constantinople 2007 014.jpg 1,920 × 2,560; 856 KB. Theodosius did call the council, but in Ephesus, a city friendly to Cyril. There aren’t many people who have managed to collect so many fiercely loyal friends alongside so many equally fiercely raging enemies. Download books for free. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on John, LFC 43, 48 (1874/1885). His writings and his theology have remained an important part of the tradition of the Church Fathers to this day. Against Nestorius, Cyril taught the use of the term Theotokus—referring to the Virgin Mary as "God-bearer"—in his Easter letter for 429. He was enthroned when the city was at the height of its influence and power within the Roman Empire. A more cynical appraisal might be that he simply took the opportunity to keep John's influence out of the deliberations. Though Theodoret still refused to denounce an earlier defense of Nestorius, John did so, and Cyril declared his joy over this in a letter to John. His statements highlighted Cyril's tendency to deny the two natures (divine and human) of Christ, but they also emphasized his own tendency to draw the distinction between Christ's divinity and humanity too starkly. Cyril and his followers are sometimes blamed for burning the Library of Alexandria during this rampage, although there is no agreement among historians regarding this. Their only role now was to confirm what had already been decided. He encouraged Celestine to communicate his opinion on the matter to the bishops of Macedonia and of the East, including Antioch itself. Cyril of Alexandria (Greek: Κύριλλος Ἀλεξανδρείας; c. 376 – 444) was the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444. Assumption of Mary Church Fresco 14.jpg 792 × 613; 255 KB. In addition to commentaries on selected passages of the first five books of the Old Testament, on Isaiah, and on the Gospels of John and Luke, Cyril’s writings included a reply to Against the Galileans by Julian the Apostate, Roman emperor from 361 to 363, who had been brought up as a Christian but announced his conversion to paganism on his accession. Cyril of Alexandria was a theologian, bishop, Church Father, and Doctor of the Church. in accordance with New World Encyclopedia standards. The papal legates, who had been detained by bad weather, arrived on July 10, bringing with them an offer from the pope at Rome to grant Nestorius forgiveness if he should repent. New World Encyclopedia writers and editors rewrote and completed the Wikipedia article Cyril composed many further treatises, dogmatic letters, and sermons. Ebooks library. He himself took the place of council president. Both Cyril's party and the Antiochans now appealed to the emperor, who took the decision to treat Nestorius, Cyril, and Memnon as being all three lawfully deposed. Corrections? He is chiefly known for his campaign against Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, whose views on Christ’s nature were to Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. Among them was the following: If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore that the holy virgin is the mother of God, for she bore in a fleshly way the Word of God become flesh, let him be anathema. For from that time the bishopric of Alexandria went beyond the limits of its sacerdotal functions, and assumed the administration of secular matters. (Luke 10:22-11:18) pp.302-366. However, he also offered an olive branch by declaring himself willing to use the Theotokos to describe the Virgin. His mother's brother, Theophilus, was a priest who rose to the powerful position of Pope of Alexandria. Early in his episcopate, in 412, he expelled the Novatianists from their churches and seized the contents of their sacred treasuries. John of Antioch and his party arrived a few days later. They confronted Orestes and stoned him nearly to death, accusing him of paganism and idolatry over his protestations that he was a baptized and believing Christian. eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'newworldencyclopedia_org-medrectangle-4','ezslot_2',162,'0','0'])); 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" (patriarch) of Alexandria. However, Nestorius also issued 12 propositions of his own, with appended anathemas. 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