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This refusal almost cost Orestes his life.
Nitrian monks came from the desert and instigated a riot against Orestes among the population of Alexandria.
These monks ' violence had already been used, 15 years before, by Theophilus ( Cyril's uncle ) against the " Tall Brothers "; furthermore, it is said that Cyril had spent five years among them in ascetic training.
The monks assaulted Orestes and accused him of being a pagan.
Orestes rejected the accusations, showing that he had been baptised by the Archbishop of Constantinople.
However, the monks were not satisfied, and one of them, Ammonius, threw a stone and hit Orestes in the head, and so much blood flowed out that he was covered in it.
Orestes ' guard, fearing to be stoned by the monks, fled leaving Orestes alone.
The people of Alexandria, however, came to his help, captured Ammonius and put the monks to flight.
Orestes was cured and put Ammonius under torture in a public place, killing him.
The prefect then wrote to the emperor Theodosius II, telling him of the events.
Cyril also wrote to the Emperor, telling his version of the events.
The bishop also seized the body of Ammonius and put it in a church, conferring upon him the title of Thaumasius and putting his name in the list of the martyrs.
However, the Christian population of Alexandria knew that Ammonius had been killed for his assault and not for his faith, and Cyril was obliged to remain silent about the events.

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