Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia


Goddess of prehistoric Phrygian empire (more extensive than Roman province); symbol of the fruitful earth; cult was attended with wild ceremonies, some of which were included in the mystery* religions.


(Cynwulf; Kynewulf; fl. 750). Anglo-Saxon poet; nothing known of his life. Works include The Ascension (middle section of The Christ); Juliana; Elene; The Fates of the Apostles.


Philosophy of the Cynics, probably so called from Cynosarges, the place in Athens where Antisthenes (ca. 444–370 BC), founder of the school, taught, though the name was soon assoc. with the unconventional, “doglike” (Gk. kynikos), shameless, and aggressive habits of the adherents of the § Diogenes (ca. 412–323 BC), called “the Dog,” was the best-known representative of the Cynics. They hold that virtue is the supreme good and requires limiting desires and appetites to essentials of life; the wise man is sufficient unto himself. Pride in asceticism and a contempt for all the amenities and. sometimes, even for the decencies of life were marked characteristics of some Cynics. See also Cyrenaics; Socrates.

Cyprian, Ernst Salomon

(1673–1745). B. Ostheim.Franconia. Dir. and prof. theol. Casimir Coll., Coburg; mem. of the consistory at Gotha; staunchly opposed and frustrated the plan of uniting the Luth. and Ref. chs. advocated by Frederick William I (1688–1740; king 1713–40) of Prussia. Works include Historie der Augsburger Confession.


(ca. 200 [some say 210]–258). B. probably at Carthage; taught rhetoric; became Christian ca. 246; bp. Carthage by popular acclaim ca. 248; fled during Decian persecution; returned 251 under Gallus, successor of Decius; condemned and beheaded under Valerian (see Persecution of Christians, 4). According to his view, bps. are successors of the apostles and, like them, specially endowed with the Holy Spirit. The properly elected and ordained bp. was supreme in his own ch. Cyprian endeavored to check presbyteral or other infringements on episc. authority. Presbyters participated in sacerdotal functions as delegated by the bp. The episcopate is a unity, each bp. representing the whole office. From the unity of the episcopate springs the unity of the ch., outside of which there is no salvation. Cyprian's conception of the ch. makes every schismatic also a heretic. He recognized the primacy of Peter in representing the unity of the ch., but not in authority and jurisdiction, and regarded other bps., including the bp. of Rome, as his colleagues. See also Agapetae; Fathers of the Church; Stephen I (of Rome).

E. W. Benson, Cyprian: His Life, His Times, His Work (London, 1897); J. A. Faulkner, Cyprian: The Churchman (Cincinnati, 1906); H. Koch, Cyprian und der römische Primat: Eine kirchen- und dogmengeschichtliche Studie, in Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur, ed. A. Harnack and C. Schmidt, XXXV, part 1 (Leipzig, 1910); B. Poschmann, Ecclesia Principalis: Ein kritischer Beitrag zur Frage des Primats bei Cyprian (Breslau, 1933); J. H. Fichter, Saint Cecil Cyprian: Early Defender of the Faith (St. Louis, 1942); MPL, 3–4.


(of Antioch in Pisidia; 3d-4th c.). Legendary character; according to one account beheaded with Justina in Diocletian* persecution. See also Persecutions of Christians, 4.


(5th c. AD). Christian poet; probably Gallic; composed metrical Lat. tr. of OT


(d. ca. 549). Bp. Toulon 516; pupil of Caesarius* of Arles; present as bp. at numerous syns.; opposed semi*-Pelagianism; in letter to bp. Maximus of Geneva he shows knowledge of Te* Deum, justifies the statement “the God-man suffered,” and defends himself against charge of theopaschitism.*

MPL, 67, 1001–24.


Followers of Aristippus,* who took an opposite view to that of the Cynics,* holding that man can rise above human appetites only in hedonism,* tasting all possible sensual pleasures.

Cyril and Methodius.

Apostles of the Slavs; b. Thessalonica in the 820s.

1. The Byzantine Ch. and Empire in the 9th c. chose evangelization as the way to win the friendship and alliance of the Slavs (hitherto pagan), esp. of the Russians and Bulgarians threatening Constantinople and its territories. Cyril (Constantine; d. 869) and Methodius (d. 885), brothers of high rank and educ., were chosen for the task, the former as scholar and linguist, the latter as administrator. Cyril is reputed to have devised a Slavic alphabet, based principally on Gk. letters; he initiated tr. of liturgical as well as important theol. and legal texts into Macedonian Slavic (Old Church Slavonic). This became the basis of Slavic literature.

2. In the 860s, after bringing the Gospel to the Khazars, NE of the Black Sea, Cyril and Methodius went to the Bulgarians and to Great Moravia (see Czechoslovakia, 1, 2), whose prince Rastislav had asked Byzantine emp. Michael III (839–867; emp. 842–867) for Christian missionaries, in order to counteract Frankish influence by giving the people the Gospel and its ministry in their own language.

3. Cyril and Methodius' missionary work was favored by Rome, which approved the liturgy in the vernacular; after Cyril's death, Adrian II (792–872; pope 867–872) appointed Methodius abp. of Sirmium, with jurisdiction over Moravia, Pannonia, and Serbia. He was violently opposed by Frankish bps. and banned and imprisoned 870–873. Appeals by John VIII (ca. 820–882; pope 872–882) secured his release and reinstatement. But subsequent intrigues (esp. after the death of Methodius) involving Franks, Magyars, and Moravians issued in the fall of Great Moravia by ca. 906–907 and the end of Byzantine missions there.

4. Disciples of Methodius, driven out of Great Moravia, took refuge in Bulgaria, which became the seat of a flourishing Byzantine Ch. and culture that influenced Serbs, Russians, and Romanians; all these, with the Bulgarians, became Eastern Orthodox after the schism* bet. E and W, retaining the vernacular liturgy. The E Orthodox Slavs also retained an adapted form of Cyril's alphabet.

See also Bible Versions, H.

F. Dvornik, The Slavs: Their Early History and Civilization (Boston, 1956) and “The Medieval Cultural Heritage of the Mid-European Area,” Review of Politics, XVIII (October 1956), 487–507. MSF

Cyril of Alexandria

(ca. 376–444). Succeeded his uncle Theophilus* as abp. of Alexandria 412; under him that see reached its height of power; opposed Nestorius,* whose deposition he brought about; also opposed Arians, Novatians, Jews, and Neoplatonists; final formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity was his work. Works include De adoratione in spiritu et veritate; Glaphyra; Thesaurus de sancta et consubstantiali Trinitate; commentaries. See also Ephesus, Third Ecumenical Council of; Mariology; Mark, Liturgy of Saint; Nestorianism.

Cyril of Jerusalem

(ca. 315–ca. 386). Bp. Jerusalem ca. 350; deposed and exiled several times. Works include Catecheses, lectures on Christian faith and practice. See also Ecumenical Creeds, B 1 b.

MPG, 33, 9–1272; Cyril of Jerusalem and Nemesius of Emesa, ed. and tr. W. Telfer (Philadelphia, 1956).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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