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Theodoret, Church History 5.8.4-5.8.6


Theodoret served as bishop of Cyrrhus in northwestern Syria in 423-457. Following his wide education in both the Christian and the Greek traditions and a brief monastic devotion, he became a vigorous leader of his diocese, distinguished by his philanthropy, and a prominent theologian, particularly in opposition to Cyril of Alexandria as a staunch and lasting defender of Nestorius. He was a prolific writer, and his many extant works include exegesis, ecclesiastical history, and Christological treatises. In this passage from the Church History, Theodoret narrates the Second Ecumenical Council convened in 381 by Theodosius I in Aghia Eirene at Constantinople. Here he records the bishops attending from Asia Minor and the Near East, including Gelasius of Caesarea, who sided with Gregory Nazianzus.


(4) ἦσαν δὲ ἄνδρες ἀξιάγαστοι καὶ ζήλου θείου καὶ σοφίας ἀνάπλεοι· Ἑλλάδιος μὲν ὁ τῆς τοῦ μεγάλου Βασιλείου προεδρίας διάδοχος, Γρηγόριος δὲ καὶ Πέτρος οἱ τοὺς αὐτοὺς Βασιλείῳ πατέρας αὐχήσαντες· Ἀμφιλόχιος δὲ Λυκαόνων ἡγεῖτο καὶ Πισιδῶν Ὄπτιμος καὶ Κιλίκων Διόδωρος. (5) παρὴν δὲ καὶ Πελάγιος ὁ Λαοδικείας καὶ Εὐλόγιος ὁ Ἐδέσσης καὶ Ἀκάκιος καὶ Ἰσίδωρος ὁ ἡμέτερος καὶ Κύριλλος ὁ τῶν Ἰεροσολύμων, καὶ Γελάσιος ὁ Καισαρείας τῆς Παλαιστίνης, λόγῳ καὶ βίῳ κοσμούμενος, καὶ ἕτεροι πλεῖστοι τῆς ἀρετῆς ἀθληταί. (6) τότε δὴ οὖν οὗτοι πάντες τῶν Αἰγυπτίων σφὰς αὐτοὺς ἀποκρίναντες, σὺν τῷ μεγάλω Γρηγορίῳ τὰς πανηγύρεις ἐπετέλουν τὰς θείας.1

Textual Note

Ed. Parmentier and Hansen 1998


(4) (The assembled bishops) were admirable men and full of divine zeal and wisdom, such as Helladius, successor of the great Basil, Gregory and Peter, brothers of Basil, and Amphilochius from Lycaonia, Optimus from Pisidia, and Diodorus from Cilicia. Also present were Pelagius of Laodicaea, Eulogius of Edessa, Acacius, our own Isidorus, Cyril of Jerusalem, Gelasius of Caesarea in Palestine, celebrated for his learning and career, and many other athletes of virtue. All these then separated themselves from the Egyptians and celebrated divine service with the great Gregory.2

Translation Note

Adapted from Jackson 1892 and Parmentier, Hansen, and Bouffartigue 2009

Works Cited

  • 1 Theodoret of Cyrrus, Theodoret. Kirchengeschichte, ed. Léon Parmentier and Günther Christian Hansen, 3rd ed., Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller der ersten Jahrhunderte n.F. 5 (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1998), bk: 5, ch: 8.4-8.6.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 Theodoret of Cyrrus, The Ecclesiastical History of Theodoret, in Theodoret, Jerome, Gennadius, & Rufinus: Historical Writings, ed. Henry Wace and Philip Schaff, trans. Blomfield Jackson, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. 2nd Series 3 (New York: The Christian Literature Publishing Company, 1892), 33–159, p: 136.Link to Zotero Bibliographic RecordLink to Worldcat Bibliographic recordLink to Bibliographic record

Additional Bibliography

  • Theodoret et al., Histoire ecclésiastique, 2 vols., Sources chrétiennes (Paris: Éditions du Cerf, 2006), bk: 5, ch: 8.4-8.6.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record


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How to Cite This Entry

Joshua Woods et al., “Theodoret, Church History 5.8.4-5.8.6,” in Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, entry published January 20, 2023,


Joshua Woods et al., “Theodoret, Church History 5.8.4-5.8.6.” In Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia, edited by Joseph L. Rife, Phillip I. Lieberman and David A. Michelson., edited by Joseph L. Rife et al.. Caesarea City and Port Exploration Project, 2023. Entry published January 20, 2023.

About this Entry

Entry Title: Theodoret, Church History 5.8.4-5.8.6

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Joseph L. Rife, general editor, Vanderbilt University
  • Joseph L. Rife, Phillip I. Lieberman, and David A. Michelson, editors, Caesarea Maritima: A Collection of Testimonia
  • David A. Michelson, Daniel L. Schwartz, and William L. Potter, technical editors, “Theodoret, Church History 5.8.4-5.8.6
  • Joshua Woods, Eliana Yonan, and Joseph L. Rife, entry contributors, “Theodoret, Church History 5.8.4-5.8.6

Additional Credit:

  • TEI encoding by William L. Potter
  • Electronic text added by Joshua Woods
  • Electronic text added by Eliana Yonan
  • Testimonia identified by Joseph L. Rife
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