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orthodoxy of the Antiochene tradition and, more specifically, its proximity or otherwise to the teaching of Nestorius.

After Cyril's death (444), his successor, Dioscorus, pursued a tough political agenda by pushing for the acceptance of'the whole Cyril', which means in particular his third letter with the twelve anathemas that advocated a Miaphysite Christology. This agenda was successful at the so-called 'Robber Council' of Ephesus (August 449), which rehabilitated the archimandrite Eutyches, a radical Monophysite, who had been anathematised by Flavian in 448. Like the extreme Apollinarians and under the influence of their forgeries already mentioned, Eutyches disputed that 'the flesh' of Christ is of human nature, i.e., 'consubstantial with ours'. This apparent victory, however, led to the breakdown of the anti-Nestorian alliance between Alexandria and Rome; Pope Leo in his Tomus (June 449) had confirmed the condemnation of Eutyches' position pronounced by Flavian of Constantinople.

In this state of affairs, in order to restore religious peace within the empire, three conditions had to be met. (i) The interpretation of Cyril at the Third Ecumenical Council of Ephesus had to be accepted. (ii)Just as Cyril's authority had to be upheld, the condemnation of Nestorius needed to be retained. (iii) Rome, as the new and, in fact, natural theological ally of Antioch (inasmuch as both Rome and Antioch agreed on a 'symmetrical' Christology implying a concept of person that was derived from biblical exegesis), had to agree to a possible compromise. These three conditions outline the task given to the synod of Chalcedon by the emperor.

Chalcedon's definition of faith

After an initial formula foundered because of opposition from the Roman legates as well as from the Antiochenes, the emperor threatened to transfer the council to Rome. Under this pressure a commission in the chapel of St Euphemia worked out the doctrinal decision of the council; the plenum of the council accepted it without further discussion. In its introduction, the document said that the creed of Nicaea (325) was sufficient in order to satisfy the Council of Ephesus (431). In order to justify this, the commission begins with Cyril's second letter to Nestorius and his 'Letter of peace', insofar as these, as the commission says, are in agreement. It designates both as 'the synodal letters of Cyril', i.e., those letters on the basis of which, on the one hand, the condemnation of Nestorius in Ephesus (431), and on the other hand, the creed of Nicaea are to be interpreted, if one is to understand the statement (ennoia) intended in them. In this way, the council avoided taking a stance with regard to Cyril's anathemas. With this approach the synod interpreted the decision

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