Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1269
Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, informs Cornelius, bishop of Rome, that he did not accept into communion the followers of Novatian, among them the presbyter Maximus. Cyprian, Letter 44, AD 251.
Epistula 44
Cyprianus Cornelio fratri s[alutem].
I,1. Venerunt ad nos, frater carissime, missi a Nouatiano Maximus presbyter et Augendus diaconus et Macheus quidam et Longinus.
Sed enim cum ex litteris quas se cum ferebant et ex eorum sermone atque adseueratione Nouatianum episcopum factum conperissemus, inlicitae et contra ecclesiam catholicam factae ordinationis prauitate commoti a communicatione eos nostra statim cohibendos esse censuimus.
(ed. Diercks 1994: 211)
Letter 44
Cyprian to Cornelius, his brother, greeting.
I,1. There have come to us, beloved brother, sent by Novatian, Maximus the presbyter, and Augendus the deacon, and a certain Machæus and Longinus. But, as we discovered, as well from the letters which they brought with them, as from their discourse and declaration, that Novatian had been made bishop; disturbed by the wickedness of an unlawful ordination made in opposition to the Catholic Church, we considered at once that they must be restrained from communion with us.


After the election of Cornelius as the bishop of Rome in AD 251, Novatian was ordained against him. Novatian and his followers took the rigorist view towards the lapsed, but they communicated with the followers of Novatus in Carthage who rebelled against Cyprian considering him too rigorist.

Place of event:

  • Latin North Africa
  • Rome
  • Carthage
  • Rome

About the source:

Author: Cyprian
Title: Letters, Epistulae, Epistolae
Origin: Carthage (Latin North Africa)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Cyprian was born probably about AD 200. He converted to Christianity in about 245 and in 248 was elected Bishop of Carthage. Soon after, the Decian persecution began (in 249/250) and Cyprian went into hiding. In 251 he returned to the city. Under Valerian, he was exiled in 257 and executed in 258. The epistolary of Cyprian consists of 81 letters (16 of them by his correspondents, and 6 synodal or collective), the majority of them are from the period of 250-251, when they were the means of Cyprian`s communication with his clergy. They offer us a wide view on the organization of the Church in Carthage in the middle of the third century, her relation with the Church of Rome, on the development of the persecutions, and on the conflicts that they caused inside the Church.
Different numerations of Cyprian's letters exist, I follow the edition of Diercks in Corpus Christianorum.
G.F. Diercks ed., Sancti Cypriani Episcopi Epistularium. Epistulae 1-57, Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina 3B, Turnhout 1994.


Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Novatianist
Further ecclesiastical career - Bishop
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Administration of justice - Excommunication/Anathema
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1269,