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Timothy Aelurus

d.477. Monophysite patriarch of Alexandria. His nickname ailouros, “weasel,” was given by opponents because of his small stature. As presbyter he led the Alexandrian Monophysites. He became patriarch in 457 after Proterius had been lynched by the mob, but being unacceptable to the majority of bishops was banished by Leo I* in 460. In exile he wrote much to propagate Monophysitism.* He held that Christ is by nature God, not man; He became man only by oikonomia (“dispensation”) thus His humanity is not His phusis (“nature”). However, he anathematized Eutyches* for holding that Christ's body was not of the same substance as other human bodies. Recalled by Basiliscus in 475, he died before another decree of banishment by Zeno could be carried out. Extant writings include three letters in a Syriac translation, and a collection of treatises and letters against the Council of Chalcedon* in Syriac and Armenian are attributed to him. He is venerated as a saint in the Coptic Church.

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