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After the Antiochenes had assented to Nestorius' deposition and had condemned his teaching, without saying exactly what they meant, the way was open for peace. That occurred in 433 through the mediation of Paul of Emesa. What concerns us here are the ideas that led Cyril and the Antiochenes to a formula of union, not the political machinations that undergirded the decisions.

The union of 433

The extent to which the Antiochenes were prepared to meet Cyril halfway with their formula of union, without surrendering, is shown in two homilies that Paul of Emesa preached publicly in Alexandria (CPG 6365-6). Paul pointed out that Antiochene Christology was in fundamental agreement with Athanasius' letter to Epictetus. For his part, Cyril was also prepared for a compromise; the extent to which he was prepared to meet the theological concerns of his opponents is shown in his homily that replied to Paul's second homily and placed it in his own perspective (CPG 5247).

In their formula of union,21 the Antiochenes accept the title 'mother of God' and compromise with Cyril on the question about the subject of Nicaea's symbol. By confessing the 'union of two natures', in which both remain unmingled, they maintain their standpoint, but abandon their traditional term (synapheia). To justify their view of the unmingled union of the natures,22 they return to the traditional classification of biblical statements about Christ. Thus they distinguish (1) that class of statements which the tradition, namely 'the theologians', so interpret that 'something common' is expressed, insofar as these statements are related 'as it were [hos: see n. 16, above] to one singleprosopon, and (2) those two classes which in the tradition were so understood that they 'separate' (n. 18), by applying 'as it were (hos) to the natures'. For the one relates 'divine statements to the divinity of Christ', the other 'statements of his lowliness to his humanity'.

Cyril accepts and interprets this formula in his Laetentur letter, the so-called 'Letter of peace' (CPG 5339), by introducing the Logos as the subject of the incarnation or kenosis. In doing this, however, he takes up the words of the Antiochenes and says that the Logos in his incarnation 'is known as it were in one single prosopon. In order to rebut the Antiochene objection still raised after the union that he was dependent on Apollinarius, he excludes the notion of

21 Text: ACO 1.1.4: 8.19-9.8; repeated by Cyril in the Letter of peace 4-5 (ACO 1.1.4:17-20).

22 Excluded here and in all places in the rest of this chapter, where there is talk of exclusion of a mingling, is a particular type of mingling, the synchysis, which Apollinarius already would not accept.

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