412 Closure of Novatian Churches and Looting of Jewish Sites

Submitted by RWMaster on Sun, 12/04/2016 - 07:38

"[St]. Cyril, Theophilus' nephew and "an impetuous, self-promoting radical who believed in backing up the power of the Word with the power of the mob," succeeded Theophilus as patriarch of Alexandria. He was not elected to the position. His supporters won it for him after three days of street fighting with the supporters of Archdeacon Timothy, who was backed by the church hierarchy and the military.

He increased the stresses between the various groups of the city, sometimes using his "shock troops," the parabolani. He also got the fanatical black-robed monks of the Nitrian desert to enforce his will. Many monks were misfits, criminals, and fugitives, who vandalized pagan temples and rioted in the streets. Cyril even got them to attack Orestes, the Roman prefect of Egypt. They so terrorized the city that the emperor asked him to limit their number to 500.

Cyril closed the churches of the peaceful Novatian sect and took their property. In response to a provoked Jewish attack on Christians, he authorized the looting of Jewish sites and expelled all Jews from the city. He was also at least partially responsible for the murder of Hypatia, a famous pagan scholar, at the hands of a Christian mob. [Freeman, 2005, 268; Johnson, 1976, 94]"

Johnson, 1976, 94
Freeman, 2005, 268