Cyprian (/ˈsɪpriən/ SIP-ree-ən; Latin: Thaschus Caecilius Cyprianus; c. 210 – September 14, 258 AD[1]) was a bishop of Carthage and a notable early Christian writer of Berber descent, many of whose Latin works are extant. He is recognized as a saint in the Western and Eastern churches.

Bishop of Carthage
Appointed248 or 249 AD
Term endedSeptember 14, 258 AD
PredecessorDonatus I
Personal details
Bornc. 210[1]
Carthage,[2] Roman Empire
Died14 September 258
Carthage, Roman Empire
Feast day16 September (Catholic Church, Western Orthodox, and Lutheran)
31 August (Eastern Orthodox)
13 or 15 September (Anglican)
14 September (historical Sarum Use)
Venerated inOriental Orthodox Churches, Eastern Orthodox Church, Catholic Church, Lutheranism, Anglicanism
PatronageNorth Africa

He was born around the beginning of the 3rd century in North Africa, perhaps at Carthage,[3] where he received a classical education. Soon after converting to Christianity, he became a bishop in 249. A controversial figure during his lifetime, his strong pastoral skills, firm conduct during the Novatianist heresy and outbreak of the Plague of Cyprian (named after him due to his description of it), and eventual martyrdom at Carthage established his reputation and proved his sanctity in the eyes of the Church.

His skillful Latin rhetoric led to his being considered the pre-eminent Latin writer of Western Christianity until Jerome and Augustine.[4]