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date: 27 January 2023

Cyril of Alexandrialocked

, d. 444 ce

Cyril of Alexandrialocked

, d. 444 ce
  • Henry Chadwick
  •  and John F. Matthews


Bishop from 412 after his uncle Theophilus. He continued Theophilus’ suppression in Egypt of all error (*paganism, *Judaism, heresy), though his monks probably had not his approval for their murder of *Hypatia in 415. Polemic in his Old Testament commentaries presupposes the continuing vitality of pagan cult in Egypt. He replaced the Isis-cult at Menuthis by translating thither relics of SS. Cyrus and John. About 435–40 he wrote twenty books (only 1–10 extant in full) refuting *Julian point by point, so that his refutation is the principal source for reconstructing Julian's work, besides containing many quotations from *Porphyry, *Hermes Trismegistus, and other pagan sources. In 430–1 his zeal for orthodoxy and the honour of *Alexandria (1) led him to attack Nestorius of Constantinople, who was deposed at the council of Ephesus (431). But the resulting schism between *Antioch (1) and Alexandria could be healed (433) only by cautious concessions on Cyril's part, and in the controversy between the ‘monophysites’ and the defenders of the ‘two-nature’ Christology of the council of Chalcedon (451) both sides were able to appeal to his statements, the interpretation of which became an issue in theological debate under Justinian.


  • Christianity

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