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Cyril

church, saint, fathers and nestorius

CYRIL, gel!, Saint, patriarch of Alex andria, and one of the fathers of the Church: b. Alexandria 376; d. there, June 444. He was educated in the desert 65 miles south of Alex andria by the Cenobitic monks of Nitria. He was patriarch of Alexandria from 412, when he •succeeded his uncle Theophilus in that station, till his death. He was a very zealous champion of orthodoxy and a fiery adversary of Nestorius, Eutyches and all the heresiarchs and heresies of his time. So intemperate was his zeal for orthodoxy and for the extermina tion of dissent from the creed of Nicxa, Chal cedon and Constantinople, that it has brought down upon him the animadversion of some modern Church historians and has given material for historical novels in which imagina tion fills in what was lacking in the portrait of Saint Cyril drawn by his contemporary adver saries. Among modern Protestant writers Dean Milman in his 'History of Latin Chris tianity' presses against him charges of bar barity, persecution and bloodshed, on account of which Cyril, though styled saint, must be es teemed of the worst heretics against the spirit of the gospel.x. He is charged with hav ing closed the churches of the Novations and seized their church property; with having with an armed rabble wrecked the synagogues and driven the Jews in thousands out of the city; with having excited such tumults that the au thority of the governor of Egypt, Orestes, was for a time defied. The murder of the illustrious

Hypatia, neo-platonist _philosopher and adver sary of the Christian Church, is not alleged to have been instigated by him, but it is regarded as the inevitable sequel to his violent acts and speeches; and the perpetrators of it were, it is alleged on the authority of contemporaries, ((officers of his Church.* It is further charged that he was attended at Ephesus, on the occa sion of the council of the Church held there in 431, by a rabble of followers, presumably to overawe the fathers over whom he himself presided: in that council he procured the condemnation of Nestorius, followed by deprivation and banishment by the emperor. The works of Cyril, in the edition published at Paris in 1638 (7 vols.), consist of commentaries, treatises, homilies and epistles. Critical editions of certain of his works have appeared, among them his commentaries on Luke (1859) ; John (1872); 'Minor Prophets' (1868) ; 'Five Tomes Against Nestorius' (1881) ; 'Scholia on the Incarnation' (London 1907). Cyril holds high rank among the Church fathers as a theologian. Consult the biography by Kopallik (Mayence 1881).