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Violence in the Early Years of Cyril of Alexandria’s Episcopate

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Chapter Summary

The author discusses the violence in the early years of Cyril of Alexandria's episcopate. Cyril, the archbishop of Alexandria from 412 till his death in 444, has been described as a saint by some and as a villain by others. The turbulent beginning of his tenure as bishop is partly responsible for negative assessments, but, his attitude and actions during the Nestorian controversy have largely contributed to his reputation, not just positively, but also negatively. The monks of Egypt, who actively supported their bishop during his first years, also played a role at the council of Ephesus in 431, and Cyril is infamous for the scale of the bribes he sent to the imperial court immediately following that council. The film Agora, on the philosopher Hypatia, suggests that Cyril resorted to violent means to extend the powerbase of the church.

Keywords: Alexandria; council of Ephesus; Cyril; Egypt; Hypatia

10.1163/9789004274907_008
/content/books/b9789004274907_008
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