John of Antioch

d.441. Patriarch of Antioch. Former student of Theodore of Mopsuestia, he is known chiefly through the writings of Cyril* of Alexandria and the records of the Council of Ephesus* of 431. John arrived late at the latter; Cyril had already illegally proceeded without him. John's arrival reversed the sides and the decisions, except for the condemnation of Nestorius (see Nestorianism), and added a procedural condemnation of Cyril. A compromise was effected in 433: Cyril kept his Theotokos, but in the context of an Antiochene union of one person in two natures. Measured in terms of the condemnation of Nestorius, victory lay with Cyril; but that a moderating reconciliation should have been required and accomplished suggests the importance of John. The whole situation was complicated by the fact that in the midst of theological debate there were also nontheological factors: imperial concern, patriarchal rivalry, and human personality.