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Cyprian takes as his model a work on a similar subject by his teacher, Tertullian; he stresses, however, the need for modesty and simplicity of dress and takes a resolute position on the excesses attending the practice of virgines subintroductae, that is, of those women who shared their lives with men, while observing virginity in agreement with them. Quasten writes, "There are several valuable sources of information for his life. Finally, there is a Vita Cypriani extant in a great number of manuscripts, supposedly written by his deacon, Pontius, who shared his exile until the day of his death (Jerome, De vir. The author, filled with admiration for his hero, has written a panegyric, in order 'that to posterity this incomparable and lofty pattern may be prolonged into immortal remembrance' (ch. Some Christians were arrested, and thereby attained the honoured position of 'confessors'.

This was a problem to which the bishop returned later in some letters." (Early Christian Greek and Latin Literature, vol. The most important and reliable are his treatises and his numerous letters. Far greater numbers, however, complied with the demands of the emperor, and were termed the 'lapsed'.

However all of those must submit to penance, evne those who in some way or other had secured certificates of sacrifice without having polluted their hands with actual participation in such pagan worship (libellatici), because they have defiled their conscience. Quasten writes, "Cyprian's literary activity was intimately connected with his life and times.

Cyprian's treatise was read at the council which met in Carthage in the spring of 251 and became the basis of a uniform course of action in the difficult question of the lapsed for the entire Church of North Africa." (Patrology, vol. All of his works are written for specific occasions and served practical purposes.Leniency under these circumstances would merely prevent them from making due atonement.Those who became weak only after great tortures deserve more mercy.To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.This section is reversed for business associated with the non-profit organization that inspired this website.His quick rise seems to have been due especially to the community (ep. 5), which evidently supported the influential, wealthy, and charitable convert as its patronus.