[St. Pachomius Library]

Alexander of Hierapolis, Bishop of Mabbug

V Century
Like many early Nestorians, Alexander saw himself as a defender of Orthodoxy against the Apollinarian heresy. (As bishop, he famously expunged the name of Julian, a much revered predecessor in the see of Hierapolis, upon learning that he might have held Apollinarian views.) He participated in deposing St. Cyril of Alexandria, and became the most prominent hardline member of the pro-Nestorian "Oriental Party" of bishops. When Cyril accepted the compromise proposal under which everyone would affirm the creed of the First Council without being required to express (or repudiate) their opinions on controversial matters, Alexander alone objected, and soon broke communion between his diocese and the rest of the world, even his Nestorian friends. This situation eventually attracted the attention of the state; Alexander was removed from office and exiled to the mines in Egypt, where he died. It was generally said even by his enemies that he was an exemplary Christian and cleric in all respects except his excessive (and to us misguided) zeal.

Norman Hugh Redington


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