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Theodoret of Cyrus (or Cyrrhus) (Greek: Θεοδώρητος Κύρρου) (c. 393 – c. 458/466) was an influential author, theologian, and Christian bishop of Cyrrhus, Syria (423–457). He played a pivotal role in many early Byzantine church controversies that led to various ecumenical acts and schisms. He is considered blessed or a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church.


  • Julian’s folly was yet more clearly manifested by his death. He crossed the river that separates the Roman Empire from the Persian, brought over his army, and then forthwith burnt his boats, so making his men fight not in willing but in forced obedience. The best generals are wont to fill their troops with enthusiasm, and, if they see them growing discouraged, to cheer them and raise their hopes; but Julian by burning the bridge of retreat cut off all good hope. A further proof of his incompetence was his failure to fulfil the duty of foraging in all directions and providing his troops with supplies. Julian had neither ordered supplies to be brought from Rome, nor did he make any bountiful provision by ravaging the enemy’s country. He left the inhabited world behind him, and persisted in marching through the wilderness. His soldiers had not enough to eat and drink; they were without guides; they were marching astray in a desert land. Thus they saw the folly of their most wise emperor. In the midst of their murmuring and grumbling they suddenly found him who had struggled in mad rage against his Maker wounded to death. Ares who raises the war-din had never come to help him as he promised; Loxias had given lying divination; he who glads him in the thunderbolts had hurled no bolt on the man who dealt the fatal blow; the boasting of his threats was dashed to the ground. The name of the man who dealt that righteous stroke no one knows to this day. Some say that he was wounded by an invisible being, others by one of the Nomads who were called Ishmaelites; others by a trooper who could not endure the pains of famine in the wilderness. But whether it were man or angel who plied the steel, without doubt the doer of the deed was the minister of the will of God. It is related that when Julian had received the wound, he filled his hand with blood, flung it into the air and cried, "Thou hast won, O Galilean." Thus he gave utterance at once to a confession of the victory and to a blasphemy. So infatuated was he.
  • The sun by the action of heat makes wax moist and mud dry, hardening the one while it softens the other, by the same operation producing exactly opposite results; thus, from the long-suffering of God, some derive benefit, and others harm; some are softened, while others are hardened.
    • As quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 263.
  • I have often come across convinced adepts of Greek mythology who mock our faith under the pretext that we do not say anything else to those whom we instruct in divine things, but merely command them to believe.
    They accuse the apostles of ignorance, labelling them barbarians, because they do not have the subtlety of eloquence; and they say that the cult of martyrs is ridiculous, considering it completely absurd for the living to seek assistance from the dead.
    • A Cure of Greek Maladies, Preface
    • In Theodoret of Cyrus (The Early Church Fathers), 2006, István Pásztori-Kupán, Routledge, ISBN 0415309603 ISBN 9780415309608 p. 86 [1]
    • Alternate translation: I have often encountered certain people still attached to the fables of pagan mythology who ridicule our belief and assert that faith is all we require of those whom we give religious instruction. They also point with scorn at the Apostles' lack of education and stigmatize these men as uncouth and ignorant of the niceties of cultivated speech. They further say that the veneration shown to the martyrs is absurd. And as for the living seeking to obtain the intercession of the dead, this, they declare, is the utmost folly.
    • In Patrology, Johannes Quasten, Volume 1, p. 543.[2]
  • Ac generosae quidem animae triumphatorum coelum nunc obambulant, et angelorum choris intersunt: eorum vero corpora non singula cujusque condunt monumenta, sed urbes et vici haec inter se partiti, animarum illos servatores corporumque medicos appellant, veneranturque tamquam urbium praesides atque custodies, et horum apud Deum universorum interventu divina per eos munera consequuntur. Sectis corum corporibus, integra et indivisa gratia perseverat: et tenues illae ac tantillae reliquiae integro nullasque in partes dissecto martyri parem habent virtutem.
  • The noble souls of the triumphant are sauntering around heaven, dancing in the choruses of the bodiless; and not one tomb for each conceals their bodies, but cities and villages divide them up and call them healers and preservers of souls and bodies, and venerate them as guardians and protectors of cities; and when they intervene as ambassadors before the Master of the universe the divine gifts are obtained through them; and though the body has been divided, its grace has continued undivided. And that little particle and smallest relic has the same power as the absolutely and utterly undivided martyr.
  • Alternate version: The noble souls of the victorious traverse the heavens and join in the dance of immaterial the beings. Their bodies are not hidden away each in its single grave, but the cities and villages that have divided them among themselves call them saviors of souls and bodies and doctors and honor them as protectors of cities and guardians and treat them as ambassadors before the master of the universe and through them receive divine gifts. And even though the body has been divided, the grace has remained undivided, and that minute relic possesses the same power as the martyr, just as if he had never in any way been divided.
    • Sermon on the Martyrs (de Martyribus), ch. 8, in, The Cure of Pagan Maladies (Cure of the Pagan Diseases; Cure for Hellenic Maladies; Cure of Greek Maladies; Cure of Pagan Ills). [Graecorum affectionum curatio, Graecarum affectionum curatio, Graecarum affect. Curatio, Graec. Aff. cur.], (ante A.D. 449)
    • The Faith of the Early Fathers, 1998, W. A. Jurgens, Liturgical Press, ISBN 9780814610213 ISBN 9780814610213vol. 3, p. 241. [3]
    • The Ruin of the Roman Empire: A New History, 2009, James J. O'Donnell, Ecco, ISBN 0060787414 ISBN 9780060787417 p. 319. [4] More variants [5]
    • Greek and Latin text in, in J.P. Migne, PL vol. 83 (vol. 4 of Theodoret’s works), col. 1011. [6]
    • Note that the Protestant Reformers Heinrich Bullinger and John Calvin believed that Christians ministers, through the operation of grace, may legitimately be called "saviors." [7] [8].
  • Eranistes: Don't offer me human rationalizations or philosophical arguments, for I rely on divine Scripture alone.
  • Orthodox: You should accept no argument that is not fully supported by Scriptural testimony.
    • Eranistes of the Polymorph, Dialogue I, The Immutable. Note: The above is the corrected translation and arrangement between Eranistes and Orthodox as found in Migne, PL 83, cols. 46-48, in which the words of Eranistes and Orthodox are reversed: [9][10] Translator, G. H. Ettlinger, explains: “The last previous translation of the Eranistes into English was published in 1892, according to the translator’s preface, under the title Dialogues in the series called The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. That version was based on the Greek text in PG 83.27-336, which, like many of Migne’s texts, was drawn from a minimum number of original manuscripts and printed with more than a few errors. This book offers a translation of the critical edition of the Greek text found in Etllinger, Eranistes.” [11]
    • Eranistes: Fathers of the Church, 2003, Gérard H. Ettlinger, S.J., trans., Catholic University of America Press, ISBN 0813201063 ISBN 9780813201061, p. 41. [12]
    • Theodoret of Cyrus: Eranistes, A Critical Edition and Prolegomena, 1975, Gérard H. Ettlinger, S.J., Oxford, Clarendon Press, ISBN 0198266391 ISBN 9780198266396 [13]
  • Virtue cannot be separated into male and female. ... The difference is one of bodies not of souls.
    • as cited in The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity (2012), p. 106.

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