Alexander of Hierapolis (fifth century)

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Alexander of Hierapolis, (Greek: Ἀλέξανδρος), was a bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, Asia Minor, during the first half of the fifth century. A heretic, he was a strong advocate of Nestorianism but an opponent of Apollinarianism.


His early life is largely unknown. A Nestorian, Alexander saw himself as defender of Orthodoxy against Apollinarianism. As bishop, when he learned that his predecessor, Bp. Julian, might have held Apollinarian views, Alexander expunged his name from the records of the see of Hierapolis. In 431, Bishop John I of Antioch sent him to Ephesus to advocate the cause of Bishop Nestorius at the first session of the Third Ecumenical Council. There, he became the most prominent member of the pro-Nestorian party of bishops.

Alexander's hostility toward Bp. Cyril of Alexandria was such that he openly charged him with Apollinarianism and participated in his deposition by the pro-Nestorian bishops. When a reconciliation with Alexander was attempted, he rejected the communion of John, Theodoret, and the other Eastern bishops and went as far as to break communion between his diocese and the rest of the Orthodox Christian world, and even with his Nestorian friends.

After his appeal to the Bishop of Rome was rejected, he was at last exiled by emperor Theodosius II to the mines of Phamuthin in Egypt, where he died sometime after 435.

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Alexander of Hierapolis (fifth century)
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Bishop of Hierapolis
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