The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 13 (part 5 and end)

Eutychius continues telling us about the reign of Arcadius, in the 5th century, from his perspective of 5 centuries later, followed by the story of the Nestorian dispute.

13. In the fourth year of his reign, i.e. the reign of Arcadius, king of Rum, there reigned over the Persians Yazdağard (37), son of Bahram, called “the sinner”, for twenty years.  Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, built a large church in Alexandria in the name of Arcadius, king of Rum (38).  Arcadius, king of Rum, died after reigning for thirteen years.  After him his son Theodosius, called Theodosius the Less (39), reigned over Rum for forty years.  This happened in the eleventh year of the reign of Yazdağard, son of Bahram, king of the Persians.  In the ninth year of the reign of Theodosius, Yazdağard, son of Bahram, invaded the empire and between the two there was a violent battle with many casualties on both sides, so that both withdrew.  In the thirteenth year of the reign of Theodosius Zosimus was made patriarch of Rome (40).  He held the office for only one year and died.  After him Yūnūmātiyūs was made patriarch of Rome (41).  He held the office for three years and died.  After him Celestine was made patriarch of Rome (42).  He held the office for ten years and died.

14. In his fifth year in office there was the third council, against Nestorius, in Ephesus (43).  In the first year of his reign, i.e. the reign of Theodosius the Less, Cyril of Alexandria (44) was made Patriarch.  He held the see for thirty years and died.  In his twenty-first year in office there was the third council, against Nestorius.  In the first year of the reign of Theodosius the Less Alexander was made patriarch of Antioch (45).  He held the office for four years and died.  After him Baradūtus was made patriarch of Antioch (46).  He held the office for six years and died.  After him John was made patriarch of Antioch (47).  He held the office for seventeen years died.  In his eleventh year in office there was the third council, against Nestorius.  In the seventh year of the reign of Theodosius the Less, Flavius was made patriarch of Jerusalem (48).  He held the office for thirty-eight years and died.  In his fourteenth year in office there was the third council, against Nestorius, and in his thirty-seventh year in office took place the fourth council, against Dioscorus, in the city of Chalcedon (49).

15. In the fourteenth year of the reign of Theodosius the Less, Sisinnius was made patriarch of Constantinople (50).  He held the office for three years and died.  After him Nestorius was made patriarch of Constantinople (51).  He held the office for four years and two months, and then was excommunicated and deposed.  Nestorius claimed that the Virgin Mary is not the true mother of God because this means that there would be two sons: the one, the God who is born of the Father, and the other, the man who was born of Mary.  He argued then that this man, who claimed to be the Christ, was joined with the Son in virtue of love, and he was called God and Son of God, not in the proper sense, but as a gift and associate of the two names, as well as a title of honor, like one of the prophets.  Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, came to know what Nestorius was saying, and wrote him a letter, in which he highlighted the scandal of his doctrine and the perversity of his conduct, urging him to return to the truth.  Many were the letters that he wrote, but Nestorius did not desist from his doctrine.  Then Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, wrote to John, Patriarch of Antioch, asking him to write to Nestorius, and show the monstrosity and absurdity of his doctrine, and why they were appealing to him to return to the truth.  John, Patriarch of Antioch, then wrote to Nestorius telling him that if he did not return to the truth, they would meet and they would have him excommunicated.  Many were the letters that he wrote, but Nestorius did not recede from his doctrine.  Instead he persisted in his error and his depraved belief blinded him.  Then John, Patriarch of Antioch, wrote to Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, informing him that Nestorius remained firm in his depraved belief.  Cyril wrote then to Celestine (52), patriarch of Rome, to Juvenal (53), Patriarch of Jerusalem, and to John, Patriarch of Antioch, asking them to come together in the city of Ephesus to examine the doctrine of Nestorius and to try to get him to recant.  Otherwise he would be abandoned to his fate, excommunicated and deposed.

16. Two hundred bishops gathered in the city of Ephesus (54).  There presided at that council Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, Celestine, patriarch of Rome and Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem.  John had promised them that he would be present, but since he was late in coming, Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, did not wait further.  He gathered the bishops who sent word to Nestorius, who was in Ephesus, that he should also be present.  But Nestorius refused to join them.  They sent for him three times and since he lingered, and finally decided not to show up, they examined his doctrine, and, judging it worthy of excommunication, voted him anathema and consigned him to exile.  They established thus that the Virgin is [true] Mother of God and that Christ is true God and [true] man, with two natures and one in regard to the person: quite different from love.  Nestorius was saying in fact that the unity is only a combination of the two persons and it was therefore necessary to assert that the true unity means that there can be only one person with two natures.  They had already excommunicated Nestorius when John, Patriarch of Antioch, arrived.  Seeing that they had already excommunicated Nestorius even before he was present, he was annoyed and said: “You have been unjust with him and have undeservedly excommunicated Nestorius.”  He sided then with Nestorius, gathered the bishops who were with him, and excommunicated Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria and Simon, bishop of Ephesus.  Faced with the hostile behavior of John, the companions of Cyril dissociated themselves from the others and left Ephesus.  The companions of Cyril and the Orientals formed thus two sides, and there were great struggles among them.  But King Theodosius intervened promptly and re-established peace between them.  The Orientals then drew up a paper in which they claimed that the holy virgin Mary gave birth [really] to our God and our Lord Jesus Christ, who is of the same nature with his Father, and of the same nature with men as to his humanity.  They also recognized the two natures, one hypostasis and one person, and excommunicated Nestorius.  They sent as bearer of the paper Paul, Metropolitan of Homs, to Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, who read and approved it, responding: “My faith is in line with that expressed by you and contained in your paper.”  In this way agreement was re-established between Cyril and the Orientals.  Some have said that when Cyril received the letter of the Orientals he did not find that it entirely conformed to the dictates of true faith in that he, personally, did not intend to assert “two natures and one hypostasis.”  But they are certainly wrong because all the writings of Cyril speak, in fact, in favor of this claim.  Cyril wrote a copy of the paper of the Orientals to Hilary, bishop of the city of Corinth, to Acacius, bishop of Malatiyah (55) and many other bishops in order to let them know that the Orientals had returned to the true faith, and that they did not at all share the doctrine of Nestorius, but that of the second council of the hundred and fifty bishops who had gathered in Constantinople to excommunicate Macedonius.  From that second council to this third council of two hundred bishops, who had gathered at Ephesus and had excommunicated Nestorius, there had passed fifty years.  This happened in the twenty-first year of the reign of Theodosius the Less, king of Rum.

2 thoughts on “The Annals of Eutychius of Alexandria (10th c. AD) – chapter 13 (part 5 and end)

  1. Please, sir, may I have all of Eutuchius’ Annals as a single download, either in PDF or HTML, posted somewhere on one of your estimable web sites and also duplicated on the Internet Archive?

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