Fathers of the Church

Letter CXV. to Apella

Description

Theodoret’s letters are a mine of information for the history of the fifth century, of the author’s life and of the history of dogma in general. This large correspondence is distinguished for its unpretentious learning, felicitous diction and perfect grace of style. (Quasten) The present is a letter of introduction for a presbyter of Cyrus who has decided to leave the city after Theodoret’s exile.

Provenance

Theodoret of Cyrus (c. 393-466), the wise and zealous bishop of Cyrus, a small town near Antioch, was the last great theologian of the school of Antioch. Although he first considered Alexandrian Christology dangerous, and refused to condemn Nestorius until the Council of Chalcedon, his commitment to the correct doctrine of the Incarnation should not be questioned. As late as the 14th century more than 500 of his letters were extant, of which we still have 232. Letters CXIV-CXXXII were written during his exile from Cyrus after the “Robber-Council” of Ephesus.

by Theodoret in 449-450 | translated by Blomfield Jackson

When I undertook the direction of the see of Cyrus, I procured for it from all directions men who practised necessary arts, and besides this induced skilful physicians to live there. Of these one is the reverend presbyter Peter, who practises his profession with wisdom, and adorns it by his character. On my departure, several have left the city and Peter also has determined to leave. Under these circumstances I beseech your excellency to give him your kind care. He is well able to attend the sick and to wage war against their ailments.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (NPNF II/III, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.