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St Cyril of Alexandria Against Theodore of Mopsuestia

Excerpts from books II and III, Translated by P. E. Pusey.

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[a] Theodore, the contemporary and, in early days, comrade of S. Chrysostom, brother of Polychronius, Bishop of Apamea, was for about 36 years Bishop of Mopsuestia in Cilicia: he died in 428. John Archbishop of Antioch and Theodoret were therefore at the opening of their Episcopate when Theodore was now in old age. He seems to have been of a gifted family, for Theodoret closes his history (lib. v. 39) with the praise of Polychronius for grace in speech as well as in nobility of life. And Theodore too was a Preacher and writer, of great repute in the Province of Antioch. But he seems to have lacked stability and a well-balanced mind, and thus his controversy in earlier life against the Arians and Apollinarians led him, as well as Diodore whose pupil he was, to speak of the Incarnation as though it were only a condescension of God the Son in connecting with Himself in some way a man who had an already distinct Being. In the next Century, Facundus Bishop of Hermaeum near Carthage who endeavours most strenuously to defend Theodore, has preserved a long extract of Theodore's from a work called, 'Of Apollinarius and his heresy,' in which Theodore says, "Thirty years ago I wrote a book of 15000 lines on the Incarnation of our Lord in which I examined the faults of Arius and Eunomius hereon and also the empty presumption of Apollinarius, through my whole work; so as to pass over (I believe) nothing pertaining either to the stability of Ecclesiastical orthodoxy or to the proof of their impiety. But they . .. especially instructed by Apollinarius the head of this heresy shewed my work to all who thought as they did, if any how they might find valid answers against it. But since no one ventured to take up the gauntlet against the book . . . they wrote certain silly things which I never said and foisted them into my book and shewed them to their friends, sometimes too to our people who of their over-easiness listened eagerly to it all, and offered it as a proof as they imagined of my wickedness. And one of these writings was to say two sons,, (Theodore in Facundus, Def. iii. Capp. x. 1, Gallandi Bibl. Vett. Patr. xi. 770, 771). Nevertheless however much Theodore attempts to shield himself undercover of interpolations, his assertion (see below pp. 347, 355) of One Son and explanation of how he means One convict him of that heresy which John of Antioch, Theodoret and others, though they valued and admired Theodore, escaped.

[b] The Venice manuscript of John of Caesarea's compilation calls it second book because that against Diodore was considered the first. Severus however, the fifth Council and others cite this as Book 1.

[c] Of the extracts of the last book, John of Caesarea supplies the two first, Severus in his Book against him, gives the third, a rather later syriac collection the fourth; the fifth is from a Monophysite treatise against the Nestorians, from a ninth century MS; the remainder was read before the fifth Council, except the last, a small fragment from Facundus.

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