Cyprian of Carthage

Cyprianus episcopus Carthaginiensis


Born at the beginning of the 3rd century into a pagan Carthaginian family, Cyprian was well educated and converted as an adult. Shortly afterwards, he became a presbyter, and was elected Bishop (246-248).

After the persecution of Decius, he had to resolve many difficulties: the revolt of the confessors, the problem of the reconciliation of lapsi, the outbreaks of schisms because of this problem in Africa and Rome. The death of Decius (251) brought him a few years of respite, despite the threats of persecution and the occurrence of an epidemic.

In 255 he disputed with Stephen, Bishop of Rome: the case of two apostate Spanish Bishops, whom he considered to be imprudently rehabilitated by the Pope; the case of Marcianus of Arles, a Novatianist, whom he asked Stephen to excommunicate; a dispute over the validity (which Cyprian refused) of the baptism given by the heretics.

During Valerian's persecution, Cyprian was exiled in 257 and beheaded on 14 September 258. A level-headed administrator, he was also a teacher among bishops.

His preserved work, though not voluminous, has had a great influence, especially in ecclesiology: he left some moral and disciplinary pamphlets, in particular his treatise On the Unity of the Church, biblical florilegia, and some letters.


Browse 13 works


  • [OBNIl]
  • [JB] Ge 1:26
  • [JB] Ge 1:26-27
  • [JB] Ge 1:27
  • [JB] Ge 12:1-3

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Related authors

Cyprian of Carthage (Ps.) (0 ? - 1200 ?)
Cyprian of Carthage (?) (200 ? - 260 ?)
Cyprian of Carthage
Birth date ?

North Africa

Death date (Carthage)

Cyprien meurt décapité le 14 septembre 258. Il fut enterré à Carthage dans le cimetière du procurateur Macrobius Candidianus, rue des Mappales.

Activity Carthage, North Africa
Group of authors Africa