Autor: Eirini Artemi


1. Introduction

2. The life of St. Cyril of Alexandria

3. Cyril of Alexandria and his polemic teaching against paganism as an answer to inaccuracies of Julian the apostate for Christians in Julian’s treatise “Against Galileans”.

4. The beginning of the Christological controversy between Cyril and Nestorius.

5. Cyril of Alexandria as interpreter of the bible

6. Bibliography and notes


1. Introduction


St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, glory of the Eastern Church and celebrated champion of the Virgin Mother of God, has always been held by the Church in the highest esteem. He was defined by Eulogios of Alexandria as «the guardian of the exactitude»[i], the guardian of the true faith. Anastasios Sinaita called him as «the seal (Sphragis) of the Fathers»[ii]. These phrases describe the characteristic feature of Cyril, the Bishop of Alexandria constant references to earlier ecclesiastical authors (including Athanasius, particularly), for the purpose of showing the continuity with the tradition of theology itself. He deliberately, explicitly inserted himself in the Church's tradition, which he recognized as guaranteeing continuity with the Apostles and with Christ himself. Venerated as a Saint in both East and West, in 1882 St Cyril was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII[iii].


If the name of Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria is mentioned, some things come to mind automatically. The Patriarch of Alexandria was proclaimed a saint by the Triune God, not only for his life but also for his theology on the incarnation of the second Person of the Holy Trinity, as well as for his defense of the term Theotokos for the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ. He defends the title Theotokos for Mary, the Mother of Christ. As for his Christology, he is mentioned perhaps as the most powerful exponent of Christology the Church had known[iv]. Cyril represented the opposite side of the Christological dispute with Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople.


2. The life of St. Cyril of Alexandria


Cyril, one of the great theologians and Fathers of the Church, was born at Alexandria in Egypt between 370 and 380. Our knowledge of Saint Cyril’s childhood education and early upbringing is quite meager. Saint Cyril’s mother and her brother, Theophilus, hailed from Memphis, Saint Cyril was born in the town of Theodosion, Lower Egypt, remarkably close to the current city Mahhalla El Kobra in the region of Mansoura. He was the nephew of the patriarch of the city of Alexandria, Theophilus[v]. Cyril received a classical and theological education at Alexandria and was ordained by his uncle. He accompanied the patriarch of Alexandria Theophilus to Constantinople in 403 and was present at the Synod of the Oak[vi] that deposed John Chrysostom, whom he believed guilty of the charges against him.


After living for several years as a monk in the Nitrian Mountains[vii], he succeeded his uncle Theophilus on the patriarchal chair of Alexandria, on the 18th October 412, but only after a riot between Cyril's supporters and the followers of his rival Timotheus[viii]. He began to exert his authority by causing the churches of the Novatians in the city to be shut up, and their sacred vessels and ornaments to be seized; an action censured by Socrates, a favorer of those heretics. He next drove the Jews out of the city, who were very numerous, and enjoyed great privileges there from the time of Alexander the Great[ix]. In 428-430 Cyril became embroiled with Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople, who was preaching that Mary was not the Mother of God since Christ was Divine and not human, and consequently she should not have the word Theotokos (God-bearer) applied to her[x].


The patriarch of Alexandria managed to persuade Pope Celestine I to convoke a synod at Rome, which condemned Nestorius, and then did the same at his own synod in Alexandria. Celestine directed Cyril to depose Nestorius, and in 431, Cyril presided over the third General Council at Ephesus, Nestorius would not agree to the title Theotokos, «God-bearer» for Mary. He said Mary was not the mother of God but only of the man Christ, Christotokos Nestorianism implied that the humanity of Christ was a mere disguise. Cyril represented the Pope at the Council of Ephesus in 431 and condemned Nestorianism as a dangerous heresy. This was the most important moment of his life. He had managed to defend the true faith against the Nestorian heresy successfully. He was known widely for saying, «as two pieces of wax when fused together make one, so too he who receives Holy Communion is so united with Christ, that Christ is in him and he is in Christ»[xi].


Cyril was the most brilliant theologian of the Alexandrian tradition. His writings are characterized by precision, accurate thinking, and great reasoning skills. If elegance, choice of thoughts, and beauty of style be wanting in his writings, these defects are compensated by the justness and precise exposition with which he expresses and underlines the great truths of religion, especially in clearing the terms concerning the mystery of the Incarnation. He died on the 9th or the 27th of June, 444, after an episcopate of nearly thirty-two years. Fr. John McGuckin called him «one of the most important theologians on the person of Christ in all Greek Christian writings»[xii]. Fr. George Florovsky compared his significance «in the history of Christian thought with that of St Augustine»[xiii]. The controversy of the third Ecumenical Council revolved around the Christology of St Cyril.


3. The beginning of the Christological controversy between Cyril and Nestorius


The Nestorian controversy was fundamentally Christological, but Mary the mother of Christ figured large in this dispute between Cyril and Nestorius[xiv]. The bishop of Constantinople was an Antiochian in Christology[xv]. He was influenced by the teaching of Theodore of Mopsuestia[xvi]. Quite early in his reign, he was called upon to give his opinion on the suitability of Theotokos[xvii] (the woman who gave birth to God) as a title of the Blessed Virgin and supported that it was of doubtful propriety unless Anthropotokos (the woman who gave birth to man), was added to balance it. He insisted that the title Christotokos (the one who gave birth to Christ) was preferable as begging no questions. God did not take origin from a creaturely human being, and for this reason the word Christotokos would be better taking it all rounds. For supporting his theory, Nestorius urged on his congregation that Mary bore a mere man, the vehicle of divinity but not God[xviii]. He argued that in the case of the term Theotokos, he was not opposed to those who wanted to say it, unless it should advance to the confusion of natures in the manner of the madness of Apollinarius or Arius. Nonetheless, he had no doubt that the term Theotokos was inferior to the term Christotokos, as the latter was mentioned by the angels and the gospels[xix]. Also he said that «the term Christotokos kept the assertion by both parties to the proper limits, because it both removed the blasphemy of Paul of Samosata, who had claimed that Christ the Lord of all was simply a human being, and also flees the wickedness of Arius and Apollinarius»[xx].


The Catholic doctrine of the Incarnation, the manhood united by God the Son to His own self, was to Nestorius, Apollinarianism, or heretic mixture. Nestorius said so. In his letter to Pope Celestine he told of the «corruption of orthodoxy among some» and thus described it: «It is a sickness not small, but akin to the putrid sore of Apollinarius and Arius. For they mingle the Lord’s union in man to a confusion of some sort of mixture, insomuch that even certain clerks among us, of whom some from lack of understanding, some from heretical guile of old time concealed within them are sick as heretics, and openly blaspheme God the Word Consubstantial with the Father, as though He had taken beginning of His Being of the Virgin mother of Christ, and had been built up with His Temple and buried with His flesh, and say that the flesh after the resurrection did not remain flesh but passed into the Nature of Godhead, and they refer the Godhead of the Only-Begotten to the beginning of the flesh which was connected with it, and they put it to death with the flesh, and blasphemously say that the flesh connected with Godhead passed into Godhead»[xxi].


Same thoughts were expressed in the second letter of Nestorius to Cyril: «But to use the expression «accept as its own’ as a way of diminishing the properties of the conjoined flesh, birth, suffering and entombment, is a mark of those whose minds are led astray, my brother, by Greek thinking or are sick with the lunacy of Apollinarius and Arius or the other heresies or rather something more serious than these»[xxii]. It is obvious that behind the delineation of Mary as Theotokos, he professed to detect the Arian tenet that the Son was a creature, or the Apollinarian idea that the manhood was incomplete. When Cyril read it, he realized that he had found the scandal that he was looking for. Cyril felt a great disappointment about the Nestorius’ teaching.. Initially, he tried to refute Nestorius’ heretic teaching[xxiii] about the mystery of the Word's Incarnation by sending letters to the bishop of Constantinople[xxiv]. Unfortunately, there was no success.


When Cyril was informed that during in the Divine Liturgy the Bishop Dorotheos in front of the Patriarch of Constantinople Nestorius, cursed those who accepted Mary, Mother of Christ as Theotokos and Nestorius stayed silent and co-communicated with him, he decided to react. This occasioned so much disturbance in the thoughts of some of the Monks of Egypt that Saint Cyril wrote a Letter to them, pointing out that the Incarnation meant, that God the Son united to Him His own human nature which He took, as completely as soul and body are united in each of us, and in this way His Passion and Death were His own, though He, as God, could not suffer. This Letter had an extended circulation and reached Constantinople. It irritated Nestorius. He wrote then, to Nestorius, to mark the dissatisfaction of the latter on the Letter of Cyril to the monks of Egypt.


Initially, Cyril wrote this letter in an angry style against Nestorius[xxv]. His explanation about the letter to the Monks of Egypt was that it was written to counter the turmoil on doctrine caused by Nestorius’ preach or Anastasius’. Anastasius, a presbyter whom Nestorius brought to Constantinople with him, preached a sermon in which the term Theotokos was criticized rather, attacked. It is claimed that Anastasius proclaimed: «Let no one call Mary Theotokos, for Mary was but a woman and it was impossible that God should be born of a woman»[xxvi]. Whether this attack on the terminology and meaning of Theotokos began with the presbyter Anastasius or with Nestorius is not the issue. Nestorius supported this vigorously and preached on the subject, regardless of whether he preached the first sermon. Thus, began what St. Cyril referred to as the «scandal» of the household of the Church — σκάνδαλον οἰκουμενικόν. Cyril indirectly asked Nestorius: «How is it possible for you to stay quiet when the doctrine of our faith is perverted? »[xxvii]. Continuing his letter, Cyril explained to Nestorius that anything was taught, distorted the truth of the Christian Faith and urged him to accept the term Theotokos for the Holy Virgin Mary in order to end the theological agitation of the refusal of the term Theotokos for the Virgin Mary[xxviii]. So, it would be the end of «ecumenical scandal» in the Church's bosom[xxix].


The Christological argument was mainly about soteriology, redemption, and worship, and this was why Cyril reacted so strongly against Nestorius’ teaching. Cyril believed that Nestorius’ teaching epitomized in his attack on Theotokos, presupposed a merely external association between an ordinary man and the Word. From this point of view the Incarnation was not a real fact. It was a simple illusion, a matter of «appearance»and «empty words»[xxx]. If Christ’s passion, sufferings and saving acts were not those of the Word incarnate but of a mere man, there was no redemption for mankind race[xxxi]. Nestorius’ refusal of the term Theotokos was a «scandal» for the whole Christian world. For this reason, Cyril said to him that the Pope of Rome Celestine had been informed for his heretic teaching[xxxii]. Finally, Saint Cyril asked him to heal the confusion using the one-word Theotokos, of the Holy Virgin.


Cyril had an excellent knowledge of church history, so he had realized that the heretic falsehoods of Nestorius would not be solved through discussions or letters between him and Nestorius. It should be convened a Regional Council or even Ecumenical. Patriarch of Alexandria was sure that Nestorius had fallen into dogmatic error. Cyril underlined to Nestorius that he always advocated the same on the doctrine of our Church. For fear of misapprehension he invoked as irrefutable witness the book had been written earlier about holy and consubstantial Trinity. In this book, which he called «The Treasure» he refuted the whole system of Arianism. He answered in it all the objections of those heretics and established from Holy Scripture the divinity of the Son of God, and of the Holy Ghost. Also, he explained in it the Incarnation of the Word[xxxiii]. He explained that in this book he had interwoven some things on the Incarnation, like what he had now written.


This holy doctor emphasized that the rejection of the term Theotokos was tantamount to a refutation of Christ’s divinity and a falsification of the Divine Incarnation. Then, Christ would not be true and «perfect» God and «perfect» man at the same time; he would be a mere tool of the Deity, a God-bearing man[xxxiv]. He underlined with passion that Christ was not a God-clad man, nor did the Word of God merely dwell in a man, but rather that He was made Flesh, or Perfect Man, according to the Scriptures[xxxv]. Cyril supported that: «the holy Virgin is able to be called the Mother of God For if our Lord Jesus Christ is God», he wondered, «How should the holy Virgin who bore Him not be the Mother of God»[xxxvi]. Nestorius avoided answering to Cyril’s letter clearly. He referred to Cyril’s attitude against him and presented himself as a victim of Cyril’s misunderstanding and empathy[xxxvii]. Nestorius avoided exacerbating the already critical ecclesiastical state and at the same time he gave no apologies to Cyril’s charges on the rejection of the name Theotokos for the mother of Christ.


Cyril insisted on the Incarnation because this was the sentiment of the holy Fathers; therefore they ventured to call the holy Virgin Theotokos, not as if the nature of the Word or his divinity had its beginning from the holy Virgin, but because of her was born that holy body with a rational soul, to which the Word, being personally united, is said to be born according to the flesh[xxxviii]. Christ became perfect man and remained perfect God, the two natures being brought together in a true union, there was of both one Christ and one Son; for the difference of the natures was not taken away by the union, but rather the divinity and the humanity make perfect for us the one Lord[xxxix].


Cyril made use of the words «Christ» and «Son» on purpose, in order to make obvious to Nestorius that the first one referred to the humanity of Jesus and the second expressed his deity as the Word of God. There was a real union of two natures, «hypostatic union». This term was introduced for the first time by Cyril’s Christological teaching, in order to Nestorius’ falsehoods[xl]. The bishop of Alexandria tried to explain that neither the divine nature overwhelmed the human, nor the human and divine natures juxtaposed. The two natures found their union in the one divine hypostasis and yet maintained their distinction. In Cyril’s words: «The natures, however, which combined into this real union were different but from the two together is on God the Son without the diversity of the natures being destroyed by the union. For a union of two natures was made, and therefore we confess One Christ, One Son, One Lord... two natures, by an inseparable union, met together in him without confusion, and indivisibly»[xli].


 In Christ’s person, there was a true union – hypostatic- of the two natures and this followed from the Exchange of Properties or Communion of Idioms. By this way someone could understand that Christ suffered and rose again; not as if God the Word suffered in his own nature stripes, or the piercing of the nails, or any other wounds, for the Divine nature is incapable of suffering, in as much as it is incorporeal, but since that which had become his own body suffered in this way, lie is also said to suffer for us; for he who is in himself incapable of suffering was in a suffering body. In the same manner he himself had suffered death for people, not as if he had any experience of death in his own nature (for it would be madness for someone to say or think this), but because his flesh tasted death. In like manner his flesh being raised again, it is spoken of as his resurrection, not as if he had fallen into corruption (God forbid), but because his own body was raised again[xlii].


The divine Word became true human with flesh and blood «not merely as willing or being pleased» («οὐ κατά θέλησιν μόνην ἤ εὐδοκίαν»[xliii]). On this point Cyril referred to Theodorus’ of Mopsuestia teaching, which had been adopted by Nestorius. Cyril wrote that it would be «absurd and foolish», to say that the Word who existed before all ages, coeternal with the Father, needed any second beginning of existence as God[xliv]. Mary did not give birth of a mere holy human, but she gave birth of Christ, the one person of the incarnate deity. In Christ, there was a hypostatic union of Godhead and manhood. This meant that Godhead and manhood took place dynamically because there was only one individual subject presiding over both, the person of Christ.


Cyril proposed the concept of hypostatic union to summarise his central objections to Nestorius’ theories: «Rather do we claim that the Word in an unspeakable, inconceivable manner united to himself hypostatically flesh enlivened by a rational soul, and so became man and was called son of man, not by God's will alone or good pleasure, nor by the assumption of a person alone. Rather did two different natures come together to form a unity, and from both arose one Christ, one Son. ...If, however, we reject the hypostatic union as being either impossible or too unlovely for the Word, we fall into the fallacy of speaking of two sons. We shall have to distinguish and speak both about man as honoured with the title of son, and about the Word of God as by nature possessing the name and reality of sonship, each in his own way. We ought not, therefore, to split into two sons[xlv] the one Lord Jesus Christ»[xlvi].


Cyril used the term Theotokos for the Virgin Mary as the Great Athanasius, predecessor to the throne of Alexandria had done before: «Our father Athanasius of the church of Alexandria... called the Virgin Mary as Theotokos»[xlvii]. «A common man was not first born of the holy Virgin, and then the Word came down and entered into him, but the union being made in the womb itself, he is said to endure a birth after the flesh, ascribing to himself the birth of his own flesh». Because the two natures are being brought together in a true union, there is of both one Christ and one Son; for the difference of the natures is not taken away by the union, but rather the divinity and the humanity make perfect for us the one Lord Jesus Christ by their ineffable and inexpressible union[xlviii].


By this presupposing, the term Theotokos[xlix] declared the hypostatic union of the godhead and the manhood in one person, Jesus Christ. Of course, he claimed that the Virgin Mary should be called Christotokos only if this term was related to Theotokos – Christotokos and Theotokos at the same time. Cyril’s letter to the Monks of Egypt emphasized the unity of Christ as divine and human as justification for Theotokos[l]. Cyril rejected Nestorius’ accusation of not understanding the real meaning of the Incarnation according to the patristic teaching[li]. He stressed him that the Only begotten Word of God, was incarnate and made man[lii], «That was, taking flesh of the holy Virgin, and having made it his own from the womb, he subjected himself to birth for us, and came forth man from a woman, without casting off that which he was; but although he assumed flesh and blood, he remained what he was, God in essence and in truth»[liii]. He was a perfect man with body (sarx) and soul (nous) and was born by the Virgin Mary. So it was obvious that the holy Virgin Mary didn’t give birth of a common man in whom the Word of God dwelt[liv], lest Christ be thought of as a God-bearing man, for all of this the holy Virgin should be called Theotokos.


At last, when Cyril had managed to refute Nestorius’ teaching through his letters and theological works, he underlined that in Christ his two natures were united hypostatically. And since the holy Virgin brought forth corporally God made one with flesh according to for this reason the Virgin Mary should be called Theotokos, not as if the nature of the Word had the beginning of its existence from the flesh. Cyril required Nestorius to accept the 12 Anathemas, proposed by Cyril and accepted by the Council of Ephesus. The first of them was: «If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore that the holy virgin is Theotokos (for she bore in a fleshly way the Word of God become flesh, let him be anathema»[lv]. The fact that Cyril put as the first anathema the acceptance of the title Theotokos, it showed clearly that the term Theotokos was incredibly significant on the teaching of Christology. The rejection of the term put on a danger the teaching or the hypostatic – natural union of the two natures in Christ. If there was not a hypostatic union of the Godhead and the manhood in Christ, the redemption of human race from the shackles of death and sin would be impossible. Also, the man could not come near to God again.


4. Cyril of Alexandria as interpreter of the bible


According to Cyril, the Bible was meant to reveal «the mystery of Christ», which is the mystery of the Incarnation of the Divine Word.[lvi] The divinely inspired biblical texts were written by the prophets, the evangelists and the apostles and are the source of people’s salvation. Through these texts the Triune God revealed himself, his will and all the divine mysteries. Naturally, Cyril never failed to stress that interpreting the holy texts is exceedingly difficult[lvii].


Cyril is known more for his defence of Alexandrian Christology than his accomplishments as an interpreter of the Old and New Testaments. Although the fathers were aware that the Old Testament had a different idiom than the New, they thought that the Bible was one book and that each part complemented the other. Cyril underlines with emphasis that «The entire Scripture is one book, and was spoken by the one Holy Spirit».[lviii] The unity of the Bible is based on Christ; without him it is difficult to see Leviticus, Proverbs, Ezekiel, the Mark’s gospel, the Acts of Apostles or the first epistle of John as part of one Holy book, the Bible. To quote Henri De Lubac: «Jesus Christ brings about the unity of the Scripture, because He is the endpoint and the fullness of Scripture. Everything in it is related to Him. In the end He is its sole object. Consequently, He is, so to speak, its whole exegesis[lix]».


Cyril emphasizes that the aim (skopos) of the inspired Scriptures is the mystery of Christ, shown to people through a myriad of different kinds of things. Someone might liken it to a glittering and magnificent city, having not one picture of the king, but many, publicly displayed in every corner of the city. Its purpose, however, is not to provide us with an account of the lives of the saints of old. Rather it seeks to give us knowledge of the mystery of Christ through those things by which the words concerning him might become clear[lx].


Cyril insists that the law of the Old Testament was a pedagogue, which led infants to maturity and hid the beauty of the presence of God within it, using metaphors and types.[lxi] In the New Testament the presence of God became visible in the incarnate (sesarkomeno) Divine Word. Through the New Testament people can understand spiritually stories, pictures, and the various types of the Old Testament.[lxii] The most interesting interpretation of Cyril is the gospel of John. In this treatise, the patriarch of Alexandria develops his Christological teaching and explains how God reveals himself to humanity.


Faithful to the memory of his uncle Theophilus, Cyril adopted the use of typological interpretation, avoiding allegory for most of his treatises.[lxiii] Cyril was concerned with the correlation of the historical data of texts with their spiritual meaning. For this reason, he prefers typology. He contends that scholars should not overlook the grammatical and spiritual element of divinely inspired texts of Scripture, because they would lose the chance to learn the true meaning of the writings and benefit spiritually.[lxiv]


Typological interpretation was used in many texts of the Old and the New Testaments. Many terms in the Old Testament, such as the paschal lamb, were types of the mystery of the Incarnation of Christ. Reference to this lamb was the pre-designation of Christ and his sacrifice, which was the means of salvation of mankind from the bondage of sin.[lxv] At another point, he said that Isaac was the «type of Christ», who was loaded with the wood for his own sacrifice, just as the Lord himself was burdened with the cross[lxvi] on which he would suffer in his human nature and die on Calvary (Golgotha). The use of the typological method was not limited to the examples cited above but was applied to many other events of the Old Testament which were the prefiguration of the events of the New Testament. Cyril had the opportunity to show that the events and the law of the Old Testament was a type, typos, a foreshadowing of the proper shaping of devotion to God: the beauty of truth was hidden within it[lxvii].


Cyril often used typological interpretation in a way that seems allegorical, as referred to above regarding the interpretation of the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham as a foreshadowing of Christ's sacrifice. In Cyril’s work, Glafyra in Genesim[lxviii], the interpretation of this passage of the Old Testament[lxix] was based on the «breadth of history»[lxx], the historical and grammatical method. In another treatise, Cyril incorporates the allegorical interpretation of this event of the Old Testament as it was first presented by Paul in his letter to the Galatians. There, Isaac, and his sacrifice constituted the foreshadowing of Christ and his sacrifice, as mentioned above. Allegorically, Isaac was the beginning of the realization of God’s promise to Abraham that his descendants would increase as the grains of sand of the sea[lxxi] and the stars of heaven[lxxii], meaning not the progeny of the flesh, but those who would believe in Christ and are baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.


Cyril stresses that the allegorical method was first used by Greek poets and sages, because they: «admired elegance of speech, and good language was among their main aims, and they boasted in mere refinements of words and revelled in bombastic language: and their poets had falsehood for their material, wrought by proportions and measures into what is graceful and tuneful; but for the truth they cared little, being sick through a lack of right and profitable doctrine, meaning that God Who Is by his nature. And truly, as holy Paul says, «They became vain in their imaginations, and their heart, being void of understanding, was darkened». Saying that they were wise they became foolish and changed the glory of the Incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed beasts and creeping things»[lxxiii].


Cyril’s allegorical method concealed what each interpreter conveyed, but it revealed the «hidden treasure» under the god-like words.[lxxiv] This treasure was revealed only through illumination by the Holy Spirit in the minds of scholars[lxxv]. The patriarch of Alexandria explains that the indwelling of the Spirit in the authors of the New Testament resembles the lamp in the tent of Testimony, in which the fire illuminated both the stage and the surrounding area[lxxvi]. By this example he meant that all scholars needed to be illuminated by the Holy Spirit, to understand the same truth as the authors of the books of the New Testament.


Emphasis on the Holy Spirit’s role in deepening the study of the events of the Holy Scripture has overtaken the allegorical and historical-grammatical methods of interpretation in the works of Cyril. This does not mean that he no longer uses these methods. In the case of Christ’s parables, Cyril leaves aside the established methods of interpretation to understand the scope and depth of the meaning of the parables. In any case, he argues, the best tool for the interpretation of the parables is the narrator’s interpretative ability[lxxvii].


Despite interpretive efforts which aimed at clear and sound theological teaching, Cyril knew that it was exceedingly difficult to talk about the divine mysteries. He refers to God as a Being, which differs from each created being, because he created everything while being himself uncreated and eternal. The Alexandrian father, then, had to interpret the revealed divine truth through the finite limits of human language. This involved many obstacles and risks. For this reason, many theologians or scholars of holy texts consciously avoided theological interpretations of the Bible and opted for silence. On the other side, sometimes God commanded – «Speak and be not silent». The holy father abided by the divine command. Cyril has constantly in his mind that the books of the Bible were written by authors enlightened by the grace of the Holy Spirit, who lived in a particular era, were influenced by a certain philosophical environment and wrote in a certain linguistic form. Taking all these parameters into consideration, Cyril highlighted theological integrity, while avoiding the extremes of the Alexandrian and Antiochian schools in terms of Christological dogma.


5. Cyril of Alexandria and his polemic teaching against paganism as an answer to inaccuracies of Julian the apostate for Christians in Julian’s treatise “Against Galileans”.


Cyril of Alexandria had to confront the hatred and assaults on Christological dogma that Celsus and Porphyry had raised in the previous centuries. That era, Origen had taken the burden of defending Christianity against the accusations of Celsus. He had written his treatise «Against Celsus». Now it was Cyril of Alexandria the turn to confront the accusations of the pagan emperor Julian against Christians. Julian had composed a treatise against Christianity. It was his writing ‘Against the Galilaeans’ which appeared to have been highly influential among pagans and had provoked the strong interest of them and had strengthened their dislike against the Christians. The bishop of Alexandria, who had managed to refute Nestorius’ teaching about the two natures of Christ and the term Theotokos for Holy Virgin Mary, felt compelled to give an answer to Julian’s polemic arguments. Although Julian was dead more than a half a century, his polemical text ‘Against the Galilaeans’ continued to remain a threat for the raise of the anti-Christian feelings. There was continuing debate between Christians and pagans in the fifth century.[lxxviii] So Cyril wrote a text ‘Against Julian’. To prepare the suitable text, he should have read widely in such works as Porphyry’s History of Philosophy, the Hermetic Corpus, and a treatise of Alexander of Aphrodisias on providence.[lxxix]


Before his writing ‘Against Julian’, Cyril used a metaphorical language and images in his texts rather than with the systematic development of philosophic ideas.[lxxx] Of course it was undoubted that the bishop of Alexandria had studied Aristotelian and Porphyrian logic. Any researcher of Cyril’s writings could observe the traces of Aristotle’s Organon, Topics and Categories and Porphyry’s Isagoge on Alexandrian bishop’s early writings.[lxxxi] He employed technical Aristotelian terms in a sufficient way, as a result of his studies in the Alexandrian philosophical.[lxxxii] Also, this text Against Julian showed the extent of Cyril’s knowledge of the ancient philosophical heritage; although, in the beginning of composing the polemic text against Julian, Cyril probably used references against paganism through Christian writers as Clement of Alexandria,[lxxxiii] Eusebius of Caesarea,[lxxxiv] Didymus the Blind,[lxxxv] Pseudo- Justin[lxxxvi] and the anonymous text with the title “De Trinitate,”[lxxxvii] Many scholars as Wickham thought Cyril’s use of philosophy very shallow and without technical arguments agreed to science.[lxxxviii] On the opposite side there is the opinion of Siddals who supports that the bishop of Alexandria had a “firm grasp of key logical concepts.” Moreover, he “has absorbed the principles of the elementary logic.”[lxxxix]


First of all, Cyril insisted that although Moses was talking about a God in His divine essence, he knew, somehow, that there were three Hypostases with common divine nature, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, who are not to be confused and mixed with each other.[xc] By this way, the Jewish writings were the real base on Christianity and there was a strong bond between Jews and Christians which was the existence and revelation of the Triune God. According to Cyril, Christian espousal of the Hebrew Bible led naturally to the acceptance that both Testaments of the Christian Scripture presented the same God, even if what was known of God may have developed from one testament to the other because of God’s plan to reveal Himself to people. Moreover, Cyril underlined that the Triune God is the God of the Hebrew Bible and explained that it was simply difficult for patriarchs, prophets and holy people of Bible in the time of the Old Testament to talk about a God in three Persons, because the human mind could not grasp such a dogmatic truth. Anyhow, in a period when polytheism was the dominating motive of the religions, it was incomprehensible for Moses to refer to one and the same and Triune God and, much less, to support this opinion to the people of Israel, who defended the existence of one God. Of course, here Cyril did not make any reference to specific facts by which he could support his words about the faith and knowledge of god-bearing Moses in the Triune God.[xci]


It was underlined above that the emperor had adopted the opinion that the Christians borrowed some of the basic principles of Greek philosophy and of ancient Greek traditions of cosmogony and theology, and by distorting them or altering their content; they created the Christian tradition and Moses’ laws. Cyril opposed a victorious argumentation to the blasphemies of Julian: «If there is a plot, it is a plot of the Greeks: it is they who undertook to use the fantastic to guarantee the truth, and not in all simplicity of spirit, but indeed with impious intentions and the satisfaction of wrongdoing! It is they who gathered against the inexpressible glory of all-powerful God this hateful «fiction», which set up this “deception,” like some trap aimed at simple souls»[xcii].


Additionally, he showed in a clear way that the works of Moses, were prior to those of the wise Greeks, and, moreover, that the Christian faith as it has been transmitted, appeared incomparably superior to their dogmatic positions. It was thus, and not differently, that next books could avoid too long digressions and avoid appearing to deviate sometimes extremely far from the subject[xciii]. At the same time Cyril analyzed the Christian theology - theoretically to Julian- but in fact to those who were influenced by Julian or to whom that supported the same things with the emperor. Cyril insisted on saying that Christians did not embrace vain superstitions of the ancient Greeks, but they were living their life according to Moses’ teaching. Moreover, Cyril showed that the Christian doctrines were not something new, but they had deep roots in the Old Testament. The Greeks formed their own doctrines deriving them from the tradition of the Mosaic Law until their era.[xciv] By the passing of time, some Greeks misunderstood the writings of Greek Philosophers and interpreted them with a wrong way. The result was the creation of idolatry and polytheism.[xcv] Cyril used some examples from literature and philosophy of the Greeks, especially the works of Hesiod, Sophocles, Hermes Trismegistus and Plato, and tried to compromise them with the Christian teaching. Of course, many of them were false and were created by some previous church fathers; or these Greek texts were used by quite different way than the Church’s preaching and theology.


Through this contradictory work, Cyril sought to fortify with spiritual way the Christians of Alexandria, so they would not indiscriminately adopt the various philosophical concepts. Otherwise, the danger would be for them to become ill because of the spiritual illness of conservatism. The result would be that they could be called Christians and at the same time their teaching of faith would be adulterated with idolatrous elements.[xcvi] On this point of view, it could be explained Cyril’s attempt to explain the «triadology’ of Plato»[xcvii] as the «triadology of Christianity»[xcviii].


Cyril, the archbishop of Alexandria praised the writings of the Greek authors in the structure and flow of speech but stressed that their teaching differed from that of Scripture. The full Truth was revealed later. Additionally, Cyril expressed his admiration of the Attic language[xcix], but he had realized that Divine Truth was not presented through beautiful words but by illumination of the Spirit. Only then could he be correct in his theology and not influenced by heretical teachings. He used the language of secular education as a coaching culture in the true Lord’s admonition[c]. Cyril of Alexandria understood perfectly the simplicity and poverty of expressive resources that characterized biblical language, but he did not esteem the Holy Bible for the beautiful way of speech, but because in its bosom there was hidden the treasure of Divine Truth[ci]. On the other hand, as an Alexandrian theologian, he praised Christian teaching against Greek Philosophy and at the same time he showed himself influenced by Platonic and Neo-Platonic philosophy.[cii]


One of the most important allegations of the emperor Julian was that nowhere in the Bible did it say that Jesus Christ was the incarnate God. This was a good argument of Julian that the Christians were the certain who twisted the scriptures and they did not accede the apostles’ teachings. Also, Christians were wrong when they honored the tomb of the dead, being inconsistent with the teachings of Jesus who criticized that the scribes and the Pharisees were whitewashed tombs on the outside but on the inside were full of relics of bones. Cyril refuted these words of Julian and explained that there was no connection between the words of the Lord and what Julian understood[ciii]: “Now here the apostate Julian says, that we must avoid graves which Christ says are unclean; but he knew not the force of our Savior’s words, for He did not command us to depart from the graves, but likened to them the hypocritical people of the Pharisees.”


The knowledge of one real God from ancient Greeks was something that Cyril wanted to prove to Julian. For this reason, he employed Xenophon's passage from his Memoirs. In this text Xenophon insisted on the reference that God of Hellenes was omnipotent, great, and manifest in His all actions, invisible in His nature and His form. At the same time, Cyril immediately quoted the teaching of the Bible immediately after the passage of Xenophon so that the comparison between genuine theology and falsehood would be visible. He emphasized, then, that in the inspired Scripture God is one and true, the supreme of human mind and speech, a zealot, indestructible, unborn, the creator of everything. He emphasized that «the Son, naturally born of him, the creator of this Logos, was also aware of them (Greek wise men, poets, philosophers, etc.) »[civ]. Of course, the text of Xenophon[cv] was quite paraphrased and changed by Cyril to prove whatever Cyril wanted to show.[cvi]


To sum up, Cyril's attempt was to show to those who were devotees of Greek philosophy, and in particular of the ancient Greek religion, that the ancient Greeks also had in themselves traces of the knowledge of true God, which some deliberately took care to erase. Here, it could be said that Cyril adopted the teaching of Justin Martyr about the spermatic Logos who implanted in all men.[cvii] Thus the ancient Greeks were grasped in the trap of idolatry. In some Greeks, the spark of truth remained within them, for this reason they referred to the existence of one God, the creator of all creation and man. Through these general interpretations of the positions of the ancient philosophers and writers on one God, Cyril sought to persuade the Gentiles that the ancient Greeks completely agreed with what the Old Testament said about God; and this became true with the Incarnation of Logos in the New Testament. The patriarchs of Alexandria´s goal was to prove that the Julian Apostate was not able to know the true content of Christian teaching and at the same time he was confused about it.


In Cyril’s work, he recruited all his knowledge of his secular education in order to achieve the complete refutation of the emperor Julian’s arguments about paganism and Hellenistic religion; Julian tried to prove that the religion of Christians has no relation to Jewish God and at the same time he created a detailed assault upon Christianity. This composition was but a rehash of the earlier skeptical polemics as Porphyry, Celsus, etc, infused with Julian’s better knowledge of the Scriptures, and his more fanatical disposition. As a summary it should be underlined that Cyril explained with many arguments the difference between the Hellenic tradition and the Church. The charm and philosophy of ancient Greek were thought as sirens and enchanted the people who loved the education. On the other hand, the Christian Church was and is the only one who could offer salvation to man, giving him the opportunity to be united with God again and to become equal to God, with the grace of Triune God.


As a final conclusion, it should be clarified that the Alexandrian theologian used the language of the secular education as a coaching of the true education in Christ.[cviii] In addition, he had understood the simplicity and subtlety of the expressions that characterize the biblical language. For Cyril, the value of biblical language was not its eventuality; but this language concluded the treasure of the hidden and later revealed divine truth. On the other hand, Cyril sought to glorify and acclaim Christian teaching against Greek philosophy, giving to the first a philosophical note.


6. Bibliography and notes


Selected Sources

  • Anastasios Sinaita, Viae Dux, PG 89, 35-325.
  • Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, Books 1-8, PG 8, 685-1381.
  • Clement of Alexandria, Protrepticus, PG 8, 49-245.
  • Clement of Alexandria, Pedagogue, PG 8, 247-681.
  • Cyril of Alexandria, De adoratione in Spiritu et Veritate, PG 68, 133-1126.
  • Cyril of Alexandria, Against Julian, PG 76, 489-1064.
  • Cyrille d’ Alexandrie, Contre Julien, 1, livres 1-2, in Sources Chretiennes 322, ed. by P. Burguiere et P. Evieux. (Paris, 1985).
  • Cyrille d’ Alexandrie, Contre Julien, 2, livres 3-5, in Sources Chretiennes 582, ed. by J. Bouffartigue, M-O Boulnois, P. Castan. (Paris, 2016).
  • Cyrille d’ Alexandrie, Lettres Festales, 3, 12-17, in Sources Chretiennes 434, ed. by M. – O. Boulnois, B. Meunier. (Paris, 1998).
  • Cyril of Alexandria, Epistles 3 ad Nestorium PG 77, 40C-41D, 44C-49A, 106C-121D.
  • Didymus the Blind, On Holy Trinity, PG 39, 269-992.
  • Eusebius of Caesarea, Proof of the Gospel, PG 22, 13-789. Tr. E.H. Gifford (1903),
  • Fotios of Constantinople, Myriobiblos, PG 103, 9-1056.
  • Justin Martyr and Apologetic, (pseudo – Justin), Hortatory Address to the Greeks, J.C.T. Otto, Corpus apologetarum Christianorum saeculi secundi, (Wiesbaden 1879), 3:18-126 (PG 6, 241-309).
  • Plato, Timaeus, in Perseus Digital Library.
  • Plotinus, Enneades, in Perseus Digital Library.
  • Socrates Scholasticus, Church History, PG 67, 33-841.
  • Xenophon, Memoriabilia, in Perseus Digital Library


Selected Secondary Bibliography

  • Artemi, Eirini, «The Comparison of the Triadological Teaching of Isidore of Pelusium with Cyril’s of Alexandria Teaching». in Studia Patristica XCVI, ed. by M. Vinzent, Volume 22: 309-24, (Leuven–Paris–Bristol, 2017).
  • Artemi, Eirini, «Embracing Greek Philosophical thinking in the Fathers of the 2nd - 5th centuries», Vox Patrum 36 (2016) t. 65: 31-47.
  • Artemi, Eirini, “The trinitarian teaching of Isidore of Pelusium and its relationship to the teaching of Cyril of Alexandria”, (in greek), doctorate thesis, (Athens 2012).
  • Benedict XVI, Pope of Catholic Church, Catechesis - Saint Cyril of Alexandria, [Accessed 5th August 2020]
  • Bethune-Baker, J.F., Nestorius and his Teaching, (Cambridge 1908).
  • Boulnois, Marie – Odile, Le paradoxe trinitaire chez Cyrille d’Alexandrie. Hermιneutique, analyses philosophiques et argumentation theologique. (Paris: Institut d’Etudes Augustiniennes, 1994).
  • Feidas, Vlasios, Ecclesiastical History, I, (Athens 1992).
  • Florovsky, George, The Byzantine Fathers of the Fifth Century, trans. Raymond Miller, et al., Vol. 8, in The Collected Works of Georges Florovsky, (Vaduz: Büchervertriebsanstalt, 1987).
  • Kinzig, Wolfram, «Zur Notwendigkeit einer Neuedition von Kyrill von Alexandrien, Contra Iulianum», Studia Patristica 29 (1997): 484–94.
  • Theodorou, Andrew, The Christological terminology and the teaching of Cyril of Alexandria and of Theodoret of Cyrus, (Athens 1955).
  • Mcguckin, John, Anthony, St Cyril of Alexandria, the Christological Controversy. Its History, theology and texts, (N. York 1994).
  • McKinion, Steven, Words, Imagery, and the Mystery of Christ: A Reconstruction of Cyril of Alexandria’s Christology. (Brill: Leiden – Boston- Köln, 2000).
  • Papadopoulos, Stylianos, Patrologia II, (Athens 1990).
  • Russell, Norman, Cyril of Alexandria. (London and New York: Routledge, 2000).
  • Siddals, Ruth, «Logic and Christology in Cyril of Alexandria», JTS 38 (1987): 341-367.


[i] Fotios of Constantinople, Myriobiblos, 230, PG 103, 1053.

[ii] Anastasios Sinaita, Viae Dux, 7, PG 89, 113.

[iii]Benedict XVI, Pope of Catholic Church, Catechesis - Saint Cyril of Alexandria, [Accessed 5th August 2020]

[iv] J. A. Mcguckin, St Cyril of Alexandria, the Christological Controversy. Its History, theology and texts, N. York 1994, 1.

[v] Socrates Scholasticus, Church History, VII, 7, PG 67, 749C-762A. Theodoretus of Cyrrhus (Cyrus). Church History, V, 40, PG 83, 1277D. Nicephorus Callistus Xanthopoulos, Church History, XV, 14, PG 146, 1100A- 1104A. Mansi IV, 1464. Ed. Schwartz I, I, 3, 75.

[vi] Socrates Scholasticus, Church History,VII, 7, PG 67, 749C.

[vii] If he is Cyril who is addressed by Isidore of Pelusium in Ep. XXV of Book I, «He was for some years a monk in Nitria»,The international cyclopaedia - a compendium of human Knowledge, revised with large additions, vol. IV, (New York 1899), 256.

[viii] E. Artemi, «Saint Cyril of Alexandria and the relations with Orestes and Hypatia», Ecclesiastic Faros 68 (2007), 8.

[ix] Socrates Scholasticus, Church History, VII, PG 67, 751Α.

[x] Ibid.

[xi] Cyril of Alexandria, Ad Joannes, X, B΄, P.E. Pusey, Sancti patris nostri Cyrilli archiepiscopi Alexandrini in D. Joannis evangelium, Brussels 19652, vol. II, 542: 24-28 (=PG 74, 341D).

[xii] J.Α. McGuckin, «Cyril of Alexandria», The SCM Press A-Z of Patristic Theology, London SCM, (2005) 93.

[xiii] G. Florovsky, The Byzantine Fathers of the Fifth Century, trans. Raymond Miller, et al., Vol. 8, in The Collected Works of Georges Florovsky, (Vaduz: Büchervertriebsanstalt, 1987), 262.

[xiv] Evagrius Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, E. Walford, (London 1846), I, 2, 4 (=PG 86, 2424A-D). Also see Nikephoros Kallistos Xanthopoulos, Historia Ecclesiastica, XIV, 32, PG 146, 1160-1164.

[xv] St. Papadopoulos, Patrologia II, (Athens 1990), 566-574.

[xvi] Theodore of Mopsuestia, Fragments of De Incarnatione, PG 66, 981BC.

[xvii] J. N. Kelly, Early Christian Doctrines, London 19684, 311.

[xviii] Cyril of Alexandria, Adversus Nestorium, I, A, ACO, t. 1, I, 6, 18: 27-40, 19: 1-43, 20: 1-5, 37: 9-42, 38: 1-43, 39: 1-38, 40: 1-12 (=PG 76, 25A-28D, 72A-77D, 120A-D).

[xix] Nestorius of Constantinople, III Epistula Nestorium ad Celestinem, Loofs, Nestoriana, 181-182.

[xx] Ibid.

[xxi] Concil. Eph. P. i. c. 16.

[xxii] Nestorius of Constantinople, Epistle II ad Cyrillum, PG 77, 56A

[xxiii] Socrates Scolasticus, Church History, VII, 7, 32 PG 67, 81OCD.

[xxiv] Cyril sent three letters to Nestorius. PG 77, 40C-41D, 44C-49A, 106C-121D.

[xxv] Cyril of Alexandria, Epist. I ad Nestorium, PG 77, 40C.

[xxvi] Socrates Scholasticus, Church History, VII, 32.

[xxvii] Cyril of Alexandria, Epist. I ad Nestorium, PG 77, 41A.

[xxviii] G. Florovsky, The Byzantine Fathers of the Fifth Century, trans. Raymond Miller, (1987), 223.

[xxix] Cyril of Alexandria, Epist. I ad Nestorium, PG 77, 41Β.

[xxx] Idem, Apologeticus pro XII capitibus contra Orientales, PG 76, 324AB.

[xxxi] Cyril of Alexandria, Adversus Nestorii Blasphemias, ΙΙΙ, 2, PG 76, 129C. Ibid., IV, 4, PG 76, 189BC. Ibid., V, 5, 1, PG 76, 220C

[xxxii] Cyril of Alexandria, Epist. I ad Nestorium, PG 77, 41AB.

[xxxiii] Ibid.

[xxxiv] Ibid.

[xxxv] See a very similar expression in a little treatise of Saint Athariasius on the Incarnation, quoted by S. Cyril, de recta fide to the Princesses Arcadia and Marina, p. 48 a c, and in S. Cyril's Defence of his eighth chapter against the scrictures of the Eastern Bishops, p. 178 b and c. Cyril of Alexandria, Scholia on the incarnation of the Only-Begotten. LFC 47, Oxford (1881) 185-236. A library of fathers of the holy Catholic church: anterior to the division of the East and West, vol. 47, 206-207.

[xxxvi] Cyril of Alexandria, Quod unus sit Christus, PG 75, 1273A-D.

[xxxvii] Cyril of Alexandria, Epist. II ad Nestorium, PG 77, 44C.

[xxxviii] Ibid., PG 77, 45C.

[xxxix] Ibid.

[xl] A. Theodorou, The Christological terminology, and the teaching of Cyril of Alexandria and of Theodoret of Cyrus, Athens 1955, 81.

[xli] St. Luke, vol. 1, serm. 1, i cf Scholia, 200. Cyril of Alexandria, Epist. LV- In Sactum Symbolum, PG 77, 304A. Idem, Epist. XXXI (XXIX) ad Maximianum Constantinopolitanum Episcopum, PG 77, 152AB. Idem, Epist. XL (XXXV) ad Acacium Melitinae Episcopum, PG 77, 200A. Idem, Epist. XLVI (XXXIX) ad Succensum epistola I, PG 77, 232A,C. Idem, Epist. L (XLIV) ad Valerianum Iconiensem Episcopum. De Verbis Incarnatione exegesis, PG 77, 260C.

[xlii] Cyril of Alexandria, Epist. II ad Nestorium, PG 77, 48B. Hebr. 2: 9

[xliii] Cyril of Alexandria, Epist. II ad Nestorium, PG 77, 45C.

[xliv] Ibid.

[xlv] This distinction between the two sons is the core of the teaching of Diodore of Tarsus. See Vl. Feidas, Ecclesiastical History, I, Athens 1992, 591-592. B. Stefanidis, Ecclesiastical History, (1995) 194,195. A. Theodorou, The Christological terminology, and the teaching of Cyril of Alexandria and of Theodoret of Cyrus, Athens 1955, 15-17.

[xlvi] Cyril of Alexandria, Epist. II ad Nestorium, PG 77, 48B.

[xlvii] Idem, Epist. ad Monachos Aegypti, PG 77, 13BC. Prbl. Athanasius of Alexandria, Contra Arianos III, PG 27, 349C, 385AB. Athanasius of Alexandria, dialogus de Holy Trinity, V, PG 28, 1272B.

[xlviii] Cyril of Alexandria, Epist. ΙI ad Nestorium, PG 77, 45C.

[xlix] Ibid.

[l] From the time of Gregory of Nazianzus at least the bishops of the capital seem generally to have accepted the Theotokos without any doubt. The Theotokos was a powerfully evocative term which belonged to the «language of devotion», J.F. Bethune-Baker, Nestorius, and his Teaching, (Cambridge 1908), 56-59.

[li] Cyril of Alexandria, Epist. ad Monachos Aegypti, PG 77, 20D.

[lii] Nestorius of Constantinople, Epist. II ad Cyrillum, PG 77, 49B-57B.

[liii] Cyril of Alexandria, Epist. ΙII ad Nestorium, PG 77, 109C.

[liv] Ibid.

[lv] Cyril of Alexandria, Epist. ΙII ad Nestorium, PG 77, 112A.

[lvi] Cyril of Alexandria, Glaphyrorum in Genesim, VI, PG 69, 308C.

[lvii] Idem, Ad. Joannes, Pusey, vol. I, s. 65–6 (= PG 73, 16Α).

[lviii] Cyril of Alexandria, In Isaiah, 29: 12, PG 70, 656A.

[lix] H.D. Lubac, Exégèse médiévale I: 322 (Paris, 1959).

[lx] Cyril of Alexandria, In Genesim, VI, PG 69, 308C.

[lxi] Cyril of Alexandria, De adoratione in Spiritu et Veritate, PG 68, 137Β.

[lxii] Ibid., PG 68, 148Β.

[lxiii] E. Artemi, “The trinitarian teaching of Isidore of Pelusium and its relationship to the teaching of Cyril of Alexandria (Athens, 2012), p. 66. footnotes 209, 210.

[lxiv] Cyril of Alexandria, In Isaiah, Ι, 4΄, PG 70, 192AB. Idem, De adoratione in Spiritu et Veritate, VIII, PG 68, 540B.

[lxv] Cyril of Alexandria, In Lucam, PG 72, 820B.

[lxvi] Ibid, PG 72, 933D.

[lxvii] Idem, De adoratione in spiritu et veritate, X, PG 68, 137AB.

[lxviii] Idem, In Genesim, III, PG 69, 137B–40A

[lxix] Gen. 22: 1–2, 5–19.

[lxx] Cyril of Alexandria, In Genesim, III, PG 69, 140A).

[lxxi] Gen. 13: 16–7.

[lxxii] Gen. 15: 5–7.

[lxxiii] Rom. 1:21. Eph. 4:18. Cyril, Quod unus sit Christus, SC 97, 71711–4 (= PG 75, 1253D-1256A).

[lxxiv] Cyril of Alexandria, In Joannem, I, 4, Pusey, vol. I, s. 5122-23 (= PG 73, 61C).

[lxxv] Idem, In Epistolam I Ad Corinthios Pusey, vol. III, s. 285 ll 20–2 (= PG 74, 884D).

[lxxvi] Cyril of Alexandria, In Joannem, IV, 2, Pusey, vol. I, p. 235–7 (=PG 73, 569C). Cyril of Alexandria, In Joannem, IΙ, Pusey, ΙΙ, vol. I, p. 215–6 (= PG 73, 193BC).

[lxxvii] Cyril of Alexandria, In Lucam, PG 72, 625A.

[lxxviii] W. Kinzig, «Zur Notwendigkeit einer Neuedition von Kyrill von Alexandrien, Contra Iulianum», Studia Patristica 29 (1997): 488–9.

[lxxix] N. Russell, Cyril of Alexandria, (London and New York: Routledge, 2000), 5.

[lxxx] Ibid.

[lxxxi] Ibid.

[lxxxii] Ibid. M- O Boulnois, Le paradoxe trinitaire chez Cyrille d’Alexandrie. Hermιneutique, analyses philosophiques et argumentation theologique, (Paris: Institut d’Etudes Augustiniennes, 1994), 186-8.

[lxxxiii] Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis, Books 1-8, PG 8, 685-1381. Idem, Protrepticus, PG 8, 49-245. Idem, Pedagogue, PG 8, 247-681.

[lxxxiv] Eusebius of Caesarea, Proof of the Gospel, 1-15, PG 21, 21-1408.

[lxxxv] Didymus the Blind, On Holy Trinity, PG 39, 269-992.

[lxxxvi] Justin Martyr and Apologetic, (pseudo – Justin), Hortatory Address to the Greeks, J.C.T. Otto, Corpus apologetarum Christianorum saeculi secundi, (Wiesbaden 1879), 3:18-126 (PG 6, 241-309).

[lxxxvii] R.M. Grant, “Greek Literature in the Treatise De Trinitate and Cyril Contra Julianum”, JTS 15 (1964): 265-79.

[lxxxviii] St. A. McKinion, Words, Imagery, and the Mystery of Christ: A Reconstruction of Cyril of Alexandria’s Christology (Brill: Leiden – Boston- Köln, 2000), 16.

[lxxxix] R.M. Siddals, «Logic and Christology in Cyril of Alexandria», JTS 38 (1987): 342, 350.

[xc] Cyril of Alexandria, Against Julian, 4, SC 582, 415, lines 5-10 (PG 76, 725AB.

[xci] E. Artemi, The Comparison of the Triadological Teaching..., 315.

[xcii] Cyril of Alexandria, Against Julian, 2, SC 322: 5, lines 1-10 (PG 76, 561C).

[xciii] Ibid., 1, SC 322: 3, lines 13-17 (PG76, 512D).

[xciv] Ibid., 1, SC 322: 4, lines 10-22 (PG 76, 513ΑΒ).

[xcv] Ibid., 1, SC 322, 40, lines 4-10 (PG 76, 545D); Cyril, Against Julian, 2, SC 322, 20, lines 9-11 (PG 76, 577D). Ibid., 9, PG 76, 908B.

[xcvi] Cyril of Alexandria, Festal Letter 12, 1, SC 434, tome 3: 32, lines 9-13 (PG 77, 669C).

[xcvii] Plato, Timaeus, 36e-37d; Id, Laws, 896de.

[xcviii] Cyril of Alexandria, Against Julian, 1, SC 322: 47, lines 23-25 (PG76, 553BC); Cyril, Against Julian, 9, PG 76, 961B.

[xcix] Ibid., 7, PG 76, 857C.

[c] Ibid., PG 76, 857D, 860A.

[ci] Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary to Corinthians 4, 19, PG 74, 868Β.

[cii] E. Artemi, «Embracing Greek Philosophical thinking in the Fathers of the 2nd - 5th centuries», Vox Patrum 36(2016) t. 65: 31-47, 42.

[ciii] Cyril of Alexandria, Against Julian, 10, PG 76, 1016CD.

[civ] Ibid., 1, SC 322: 45, lines 1-9 (PG76, 552AB).

[cv] Xenophon, Memoriabilia, 4.3.13-14.

[cvi] Cyril of Alexandria, Against Julian, 1, SC 322: 43, lines 3-11 (PG76, 549A); Ibid., SC 322: 45, lines 1-9 (PG76, 552AB).

[cvii] Justin the Martyr, Apology, 2, 8-13, PG 6, 457A-468A.

[cviii] Cyril of Alexandria, Against Julian, 7, PG 76, 857D, 860A; Ibid., 1, SC 322: 17, lines 13-20 (PG 76, 524Β).


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