Reference: CPG 5307/8624
Incipit: Ἐπειδὴ μοι γέγραφεν ἡ εὐλάβεια ὑμῶν
Date: mid-to-late 429
Greek Text: ACO 1.1.1:109
Latin Text: ACO 1.3:17-18
Other Ancient Versions:  
English Translation: FCC: I. Duff; CE 112; FC 76:51-52

Sometime in mid or late 429, written attacks against Cyril began appearing, accusing him of lovelessly speaking out against Nestorius. They cited his letter to the monks (CPG 5301) as having inflamed Nestorius and the situation. In this letter of response to those critics, CPG 5307, Cyril cites a sermon in Constantinople in which Dorotheus declared anyone who called Mary theotokos to be anathema. Meanwhile, Cyril says, he has refrained from anathematizing those who deny that Mary was theotokos, even though he could produce a wealth of examples of previous church leaders who have used the term theotokos of Mary.

The Greek text and Latin translation below are adapted from the ACO. The English translation was produced for FCC by I. Duff.

Τοῦ αὐτοῦ πρὸς τοὺς ἐγγράφως αὐτὸν αἰτιασαμένους ὅτιπερ οὐ σεσιώπηκεν ἐξ ἀκοῆς μαθὼν ἕρπειν ἐπὶ τὸ χεῖρον τὴν δυσσεβῆ τοῦ Νεστορίου διδασκαλίαν A letter written by Cyril, bishop of Alexandria, to those who in writing accuse him because he has not kept silent, becoming acquainted with what is heard that the impious teaching of Nestorius has crawled to something worse. Cyrilli episcopi Alexandriae epistula scripta ad eos qui in scripto eum accusauerunt quia non tacuit ex auditu cognoscens repere in peius impiam Nestorii doctrinam
Ἐπειδὴ μοι γέγραφεν ἡ εὐλάβεια ὑμῶν ὡς λυπουμένου τοῦ θεοσεβεστάτου Νεστορίου ὅτι τὴν πρὸς μονάζοντας ἐποίησα ἐπιστολὴν ἀνασειράζειν βουλόμενος τοὺς ἐπὶ τῷ θρύλῳ σκανδαλισθέντας, ἀναγκαίως τοῦτο φημὶ ὅτιπερ οὐ τοσοῦτον γέγονε παρ᾽ ἡμῶν, ὅσον παρὰ τῆς αὐτοῦ θεοσεβείας. ἐγὼ μὲν γὰρ σκανδαλισθεῖσιν ἀνθρώποις ἀπὸ τῶν ἐξηγήσεων αὐτοῦ τὸν τῆς ὀρθῆς πίστεως ἐξεθέμην λόγον, αὐτὸς δὲ ἠνέσχετο ἐν ἐκκλησίᾳ τῇ καθολικῇ καὶ τῇ τῶν ὀρθοδόξων τοῦ καλοῦ Δωροθέου τοῦ ἐπισκόπου φανερῶς λέγοντος· “Ἀνάθεμα εἴ τις εἶναι λέγει θεοτόκον τὴν Μαρίαν.” καὶ οὐ μόνον τοῦτ᾽ ἀκούσας σεσίγηκεν ἐκείνου λέγοντος, ἀλλὰ γὰρ καὶ εἰς κοινωνίαν αὐτὸν εὐθὺς τὴν μυστικὴν ἐδέξατο καὶ κοινωνὸν ἐποίησεν. Because your reverence has written to me that the most devout Nestorius is hurt because I have written a letter to monks wanting to restrain those who were scandalized by a rumor, I must say that this did not come from you so much as from his reverence. For I have explained the word of the orthodox faith to those men scandalized by his explanations, but he has tolerated the fine bishop Dorotheus publicly saying in the catholic church of the orthodox, “Let anyone who calls Mary theotokos be anathema.” And he has not only kept silent when he heard him say this, but moreover, he immediately received him into holy communion and made him a partaker. Quia mihi scripsit reuerentia uestra tamquam contristato reuerentissimo Nestorio quia ad monachos feci epistulam, commonere uolens eos qui per susurrationem scandalizati sunt, necessario hoc dico quia non tantum factum est a nobis i quantum ab eius religiositate. Ego namque scandalizatis hominibus propter expositiones eius rectae fidei exposui rationem; ipse uero sustinuit in ecclesia Catholica et orthodoxorum bono Dorotheo episcopo aperte dicente: “Anathema si qui esse dicit dei genetricem Mariam.” Et non solum hoc audiens tacuit illo dicente, sed etiam in communionem eum mysticam repente suscepit et communicatorem fecit.
Ἰδοὺ τοίνυν ἀνεθεματίσθημεν ἐπ᾽ αὐτοῦ, ἵνα τέως μὴ λέγοιμι παρ᾽ αὐτοῦ· οὐ γὰρ ἂν ἐκεῖνος ἐπ᾽ ἐκκλησίας ἐφθέγξατο τοιαῦτα παρὰ γνώμην αὐτοῦ. τοιγαροῦν καὶ ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες καὶ κατὰ πᾶσαν τὴν οἰκουμένην ἐπίσκοποι καὶ οἱ πρὸς θεὸν ἀποδημήσαντες πατέρες ἡμῶν ἀνεθεματίσθημεν. τί οὖν ἐκώλυε καὶ ἡμᾶς ταῖς ἐκείνου φωναῖς γράψαι τὰ ἐναντία καὶ εἰπεῖν· “ἀνάθεμα εἴ τις οὐ λέγει θεοτόκον εἶναι τὴν Μαρίαν;” ἀλλ᾽ οὐ πεποίηκα τοῦτο δι᾽ αὐτὸν τέως, ἵνα μὴ λέγωσί τινες ὅτι ἀνεθεμάτισεν αὐτὸν ὁ Ἀλεξανδρείας ἐπίσκοπος ἤτοι σύνοδος ἡ Αἰγυπτιακή. Look! For this reason, we have been condemned before him, lest in the meantime I speak against him. For he would not have spoken such things before the church without choosing to do so. For that very reason we bishops who live throughout all the world and our fathers who have departed to meet God are anathematized. What then was he forbidding us to write and say against him? “Anathema if someone does not say that Mary is theotokos?” I have made no such statement because of him in the meantime, lest some say that the Alexandrian bishop or the Synod of Egypt condemned him. Ecce igitur anathematizati sumus coram eo, ut interim non dicam ab eo; non enim ille coram ecclesia dixisset talia praeter ipsius uoluntatem. Itaque et nos uiui et per omnem orbem terrarum episcopi et qui ad deum profecti sunt patres nostri, anathematizati sumus. Quid ergo prohibebat et nos illius uocibus scribere contraria et dicere: “Anathema, si quis non dicit dei genetricem esse Mariam?” Sed non feci hoc propter eum interim, ne qui dicerent quia anathematizauit eum Alexandrinus, episcopus siue synodus Aegyptiaca.
Ἐὰν δὲ μάθωσιν οἵ τε κατὰ τὴν Ἀνατολὴν καὶ Δύσιν θεοσεβέστατοι ἐπίσκοποι ὅτι ἀνεθεματίσθησαν πάντες (πάντες γὰρ λέγουσι καὶ ὁμολογοῦσιν ὅτι θεοτόκος ἐστὶν ἡ ἁγία Μαρία), πῶς ἄρα διατεθήσονται; ἢ πῶς οὐχ ἅπαντες λυπηθήσονται, κἂν εἰ μὴ δι᾿ ἑαυτούς, ἀλλ᾽ οὖν διὰ τοὺς ἁγίους πατέρας, ὧν ἐν τοῖς συγγράμμασιν εὑρίσκομεν ἀεὶ θεοτόκον ὀνομαζομένην τὴν ἁγίαν παρθένον Μαρίαν; εἰ δὲ μὴ ἐδόκει φορτικὸν εἶναι τὸ ἐσόμενον, πολλὰς ἂν ἔπεμψα βίβλους πολλῶν ἁγίων πατέρων, ἐν αἷς ἔστιν εὑρεῖν οὐχ ἅπαξ, ἀλλὰ πλειστάκις κειμένην τὴν φωνήν, ἐν ᾗ ὁμολογοῦσιν εἶναι θεοτόκον τὴν ἁγίαν παρθένον Μαρίαν. But if the most reverent bishops throughout the East and West learn that they all have been anathematized, (for they all say that holy Mary is theotokos) how then do you think they will be disposed? Or how will they not all be grieved, if not because of themselves, at least because of the holy fathers, in whose writings we have always found the Holy Virgin Mary called theotokos? But if it had not seemed to be burdensome, I would have sent many books of many holy fathers in which one is able to find, not once but many times, statements in which they agree that the Holy Virgin Mary is theotokos. Si autem cognouerint et qui in Oriente et Occidente sunt dei cultores episcopi, quia anathematizati sunt omnes (nam et dicunt omnes et confitentur quia dei genetrix est sancta Maria), quomodo putas afficientur? Aut quomodo non omnes contristabuntur? Etsi non propter se, sed tamen propter sanctos patres, in quorum conscriptionibus inuenimus semper dei genetricem nominatam sanctam uirginem Mariam. Si uero non uideretur onerosum fore, multos direxissem libros plurimorum sanctorum patrum, in quibus potest inueniri non semel, sed frequenter uocem positam, in qua confitentur esse dei genetricem sanctam uirginem Mariam.

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