Cyril of Alexandria
(c. 375 - 444)


CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA was b. in Alexandria, towards the close of the fourth century, sand d. there in 444. After living for several years as a monk in the Nitrian Mountains, he succeeded his uncle Theophilus on the patriarchal chair of Alexandria, in 412. Like his predecessor, he distinguished himself by his violence against any deviation from what he considered orthodox faith. He expelled the Novatians from their church, and robbed their church-treasury; he led in person the mob which drove all Jews away from Alexandria in 415; and he took part, at least indirectly, in the foul murder of Hypatia. He became most notorious from his controversy with Nestorius, Patriarch of Constantinople. Nestorius refused to give to Mary the prædicate this occasioned Cyril to write a treatise (429), explaining the union of the logos and the human nature in Christ, and the birth of the logos by Mary, and to issue an encyclic letter to the Egyptian monks, warning them against Nestorianism. The controversy between the two patriarchs soon became very excited; and both endeavored to gain the emperor, Theodosius II., and Pope Celestine, over on his side. Celestine finally decided against Nestorius, and commissioned Cyril to excommunicate him if he did not recant within ten days. Cyril consequently convened a synod at Alexandria, and the anathema was spoken against any one who refused to give to Mary the disputed prædicate. Nestorius answered with a counter-anathema, and both appealed to an ecumenical synod. This, the third, was called by the emperor, at Ephesus, 431. But, before John of Antioch and his bishops arrived, the synod condemned Nestorius and his doctrine of the two natures in Christ. The Antiochian bishops (from thirty to forty) then formed an independent synod, and condemned Cyril; and the emperor confirmed both condemnations, - both that of Nestorius and that of Cyril. The party of the latter, however, succeeded in gaining over the emperor; and Cyril was re-instated in his see, while Nestorius was sent back to his monastery. A reconciliation was afterwards effected between Cyril and John of Antioch; but the former continued to look with suspicion at the Antiochian school, especially at Diodorus of Tarsus, and Theodorus of Mopsuestia, whom he eonsidered the true fathers of Nestorianism. Besides his dogmatical works, Cyril wrote ten books of Apologetics against Julian, and a number of homilies. His collected works have been edited by J. AUBERT, Paris, 1638, 4 vols. fol. his Life has been written by RENANDOT: Hist. Patriarcharum Alex., Paris, 1743; KOPALLIK: Cyrillus von Alexandria, Mainz, 1881.

C. Burk, "CYRIL OF ALEXANDRIA," Philip Schaff, ed., A Religious Encyclopaedia or Dictionary of Biblical, Historical, Doctrinal, and Practical Theology, 3rd edn., Vol. 1. Toronto, New York & London: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1894. p.594.

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Primary Sources

Book or monograph Commentary on the Gospel of Luke by St. Cyril, Patriarch of Alexandria, 2 Vols. R. Payne Smith, trans. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1859.
Book or monograph Cyril of Alexandria: Select Letters, L.R. Wickham, ed. & trans. Oxford Early Christian Texts. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989. Hbk. ISBN: 0198268106. pp.284. {}
Book or monograph Cyril of Alexandria, Letters, 1-50, The Fathers of the Church, Vol. 76,. J.I. McEnemy, trans. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1987. Hbk. ISBN: 0813200768. pp.237. {}
Book or monograph Cyril of Alexandria, Letters, 51-110, The Fathers of the Church, Vol. 77. J.I. McEnemy, trans. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1987. Hbk. ISBN: 0813200776. pp.204. {}
Book or monograph R.Y. Ebied & L.R. Wickham, eds. & translators, A Collection of Unpublished Syriac Letters of Cyril of Alexandria, 2 Vols. Louvain, 1975.

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Secondary Sources

Article Stefanos Alexopoulos, "An Example of Ecclesial Reconciliation in the Early Church: Three Homilies by Paul of Emesa and Cyril of Alexandria," St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 45.4 (2001): 339-358.
Book or monograph W.J. Burghardt, The Image of God in Man According to Cyril of Alexandria. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1957.
On-line Resource St. Cyril of Alexandria (John Chapman)
Article C. Datema, "Classical Quotation in the Works of Cyril of Alexandria," Studia Patristica 17/1 (1982): 422-5.
Article Ebied, R.Y. & L.R. Wickham, "An Unknown Letter of Cyril of ALexandria in Syraic," Journal of Theological Studies 22.2 (1971): 420-434.
Article Gordon D. Fee, "The Text of John in Origen and Cyril of Alexandria: A Contribution to Methodology in the Recovery and Analysis of Patristic Citations," Biblica 52.3 (1971): 357-394.
Book or monograph Ezra Gebremdhin, Life-giving Blessing: Inquiry into the Eucharistic Doctrine of Cyril of Alexandria. Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 1978. Pbk. ISBN: 9155406904. pp.124. {}
Article G. Gould, "Cyril of Alexandria and the Formula of Reunion," Downside Review 106 (1988): 235-52.
Article Robert M. Grant, "Greek Literature in the Treatise De Trinitate and Cyril's Contra Julianum," Journal of Theological Studies n.s. 15 (1964): 265-99. An important study.
Article Joseph M. Hallman, "The Seed of Fire: Divine Suffering in the Christology of Cyril of Alexandria and Nestorius of Constantinople," Journal of Early Christian Studies 5.3 (1997): 369-391.
Article E.R. Hardy, "The Further Education of Cyril of Alexandria, (412-444). Questions and Problems," Studia Patristica 17 (Part 1) (1982): 116-22.
On-line Resource Roy Kearsley, "The Impact of Greek Concepts of God on the Christology of Cyril of Alexandria," Tyndale Bulletin 43.2 (1992): 307-329. View in PDF format
Book or monograph A. Kerrigan, St. Cyril of Alexandria: Interpreter of the Old Testament. Analecta Biblica 2. Rome: Institutum Pontificio Biblicum, 1952. An important study.
Article A. Kerrigan, "The Objects of the Literal and Spiritual Senses of the NT According to Cyril of Alexandria," Studia Patristica 1 (1957): 354-71.
Book or monograph Lars Koen, The Saving Passion: Incarnational and Soteriological Thought in Cyril of Alexandria's Commentary on the Gospel of St. John. Studia Doctrinae Christinae Upsaliensia, 31. Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1991. Hbk. ISBN: 9155426964. pp.150. {}
Article Lars Koen, Partitive Exegesis in Cyril of Alexandria's Commentary on the Gospel According to St. John," Studia Patristica 25 (1993): 115-21.
Article A. Louth, "The Use of the term 'idios' in Alexandrian theology from Alexander to Cyril," Studia Patristica 19 (1989): 198-202.
Article Jerry D. McCoy, "Philosophical Influences on the Doctrine of the Incarnation in Athanasius and Cyril of Alexandria," Encounter 38.4 (1977): 362-391.
Article J. McGuckin, "The 'Theopaschite Confession' (Text and Historical Context): a Study in the Cyrilline Re-interpretation of Chalcedon," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 35 (1984): 239-55.
Article J. McGuckin, "The Influence of the Isis Cult on St. Cyril of Alexandria's Christology," Studia Patristica 24 (1992): 191-9.
Book or monograph J. McGuckin, St. Cyril of Alexandria. The Christological Controversy. Its History, Theology, and Texts. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1994.
Book or monograph W.J. Malley, Hellenism and Christianity: The Conflict between Hellenic and Christian Wisdom in the Contra Galilaeos of Julian the Apostate and the Contra Julianum of St. Cyril of Alexandria. Rome: Università Gregoriana, 1978. An important study.
Article E.P. Meijering, "Cyril of Alexandria on the Platonists and the Trinity," Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift 28.1 (1974): 16-29.
Article R.A. Norris, "Christological Models in Cyril of Alexandria," Studia Patristica 13 (1975): 255-68.
Article John J. O'Keefe, "Christianizing Malachi: Fifth-Century Insights from Cyril of Alexandria," Vigiliae Christianae 50.2 (1996): 136-158.
Article J.J. O'Keefe, "Kenosis or Impassibility: Cyril of Alexandria and Theodore of Cyrus on the Problem of Divine Pathos," Studia Patristica 32 (1997): 358-65.
Article J. Parvis, "The Commentary on Hebrews and the Contra Theodorum of Cyril of Alexandria," Journal of Theological Studies 26 (1975): 415-19.
Article J.E. Phillips, "Erasmus, Cyril, and the Annotationes on John," Bibliothèque historischen Theologie 50 (1988): 381-384.
Book or monograph Russell: Cyril of AlexandriaNorman Russell, Cyril of Alexandria. The Early Church Fathers. London & New York: Routledge, an imprint of Taylor & Francis Books Ltd., 2000. Pbk. ISBN: 0415182514. pp.288. {}
On-line Resource V.C. Samuel. "Some Facts About the Alexandrine Christology," Indian Journal of Theology 11.4 (Oct.-Dec. 1962): 136-142. View in PDF format [Reproduced by kind permission of the copyright holder]
Article H. Santer, "The Authorship and Occasion of Cyril of Alexandria's Sermon on the Virgin (Hom. Div. iv)," Studia Patristica 12 (1975): 144-50.
Article R.M. Siddals, "Logis and Christology in Cyril of Alexandria," Journal of Theological Studies, n.s., Vol. 38 (1987): 341-367.
Article G.L. Souvay, "The Twelve Anathematizations of St. Cyril," The Catholical Historical Review 5 (1926): 627-35.
Article Thomas Weinandy, "The Soul/Body Analogy and the Incarnation: Cyril of Alexandria," Coptic Church Review 17.3 (1996): 59-66.
Book or monograph Thomas Weinandy & Daniel A. Keating, The Theology of St.Cyril of Alexandria: A Critical Appreciation. Edinburgh: Continuum International Publishing Group - T & T Clark Ltd., 2003. Hbk. ISBN: 0567089002. pp.288. {}
Book or monograph Lawrence J. Welch, Christology and Eucharist in the Early Thought of Cyril of Alexandria. International Scholars Publications, 1994. Hbk. ISBN: 1883255139. pp.250.
Article Lawrence J. Welch, "Logos-Sarx? Sarx and the Soul of Christ in the Early Thought of Cyril of Alexandria," St. Vladimir's Theological Quarterly 38.3 (1994): 271-292.
Article L.R. Wickham, "Symbols of the Incarnation in Cyril of Alexandria," M. Schmidt & C.F. Geyer, eds. Typus, Symbol, Allegorie bei den östlichen Vätern und ihren Parallen im Mittalalter: internationales Kolloquium, Eichstätt, 1981.
Article Robert Louis Wilken, "Exegesis and the History of Theology: Reflections on the Adam-Christ Typology in Cyril of Alexandria," Church History 35 (1966): 139-56.
Book or monograph Robert Louis Wilken, Judaism and the Early Christian Mind: Study of Cyril of Alexandria, Exegesis and Theology. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971. Hbk. ISBN: 0300013833. {}
Article Robert Lewis Wilken, "St. Cyril of Alexandria: Biblical Expositor," Coptic Church Review 19.1-2 (1998): 30-41.

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Article Rodolph Yanney, "Life and Work of Saint Cyril of Alexandria," Coptic Church Review 19.1-2 (1998): 17-29.

Related Subjects
Alexander of Alexandria | Ambrose | Arnobius | Athanasius | Athenagoras | Augustine | Basil | Boethius | John Cassian | Celsus | Clement of Alexandria | Clement of Rome | Constantine | Cyprian | Cyril of Alexandria | Cyril of Jerusalem | Ephraem the Syrian | Epiphanius | Eusebius of Caesarea | Gregory of Nazianzus | Gregory of Nyssa | Gregory Thaumaturgus | Hermas | Hilary of Poitiers | Hippolytus | Ignatius of Antioch | Irenaeus of Lyons | Julius Africanus | Jerome | John Chrysostom | Josephus | Justin Martyr | Justinian I | Lactantius | Marcellus | Melito | Methodius | Minucius Felix | Novatian | Origen | Pachomius | Papias | Philo | Polycarp | Tatian | Tertullian | Theodore of Mopsuestia | Theodoret | Theophilus | Tyconius | Ulfilas | Victorinus | Marius Victorinus

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