Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1795
Cyprian, future bishop of Carthage (North Africa), is ordained presbyter shortly after his baptism; AD 245-248/249. Pontius, "Life of Cyprian", Carthage, AD 258/400.
Chapter 3
3. Mora denique circa gratiam Dei nulla, nulla dilatio; parum dixi: presbyterium vel sacerdotium statim; quis enim non omnes honoris gradus crederet tali mente credenti?
4. Multa sunt quae adhuc plebeius, multa quae iam presbyter fecerit, multa quae ad veterum exempla iustorum imitatione consimili persecutus promerendo Deo totius religionis obsequia praestiterit.
(ed. A.A.R. Bastiaesen 1975)
Chapter 3.
3. In short, in respect of God's grace, there was no delay, no postponement—I have said but little—he immediately received the presbyterate and the priesthood. For who is there that would not entrust every grade of honour to one who believed with such a disposition?
4. There are many things which he did while still a layman, and many things which now as a presbyter he did— many things which, after the examples of righteous men of old, and following them with a close imitation, he accomplished with the obedience of entire consecration— that deserved well of the Lord.


Cyprian was baptized in ca AD 245 and elected bishop in AD 248/249.

Place of event:

  • Latin North Africa
  • Carthage

About the source:

Author: Cyprian
Title: Life of Cyprian, Vita Cypriani Vita Cypriani Vita Cypriani, Uita Cypriani
Origin: Carthage (Latin North Africa)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
According to Jerome's "On Illustrious Men" 68, "Pontius, Cyprian's deacon, sharing his exile until the day of his death, left a notable volume On the life and death of Cyprian." Jerome, writing in AD 392, is the only author who names Pontius. The Life of Cyprian is mentioned also in the so-called "Cheltenham List" of Cyprian's works, composed in Rome in AD 359. Otherwise no ancient author refers to the Life of Cyprian, unlike his Acts which were widely quoted. This is why some scholars find it implausible that the Life of the most famous African bishop was actually written already in the 3rd century by a member of the Carthaginian clergy and remained unknown, all the more so as other Lives of Christian saints appear only a hundred years after Cyprian's death (AD 258), in the second half of the 4th century. These scholars argue that the text was in reality the work of an anonymous 4th century author. The precise dating of the text must remain uncertain, but the very limited early circulation of the Life of Cyprian is a fact. It was unknown even to Augustine who collected all Cyprian's works, and it had no impact for the further development of hagiography.
Discussion by: R. Wiśniewski, Cult of Saints, E00916 -
Hartel, G., Vita Cypriani (Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 3:1; Vienna: 1868).
Harnack, A., Das Leben Cyprians von Pontius, die erste christliche Biographie (Texte und Untersuchungen 39:3; Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1913).
Pellegrino, M., Ponzio, Vita e Martirio di San Cipriano (Alba: Edizioni Paoline, 1955).
Bastiaensen, A.A.R. (ed.), and Canali, L. (trans.), Vita di Cipriano, in: Vite dei santi, vol. 3 (Milan: Mondadori, 1975).
English translation:
Wallis, R.E., The Life and Passion of Cyprian by Pontius the Deacon (Ante-Nicene Fathers 5; Buffalo NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886).


Further ecclesiastical career - Bishop
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Described by a title - Sacerdos/ἱερεύς
Former ecclesiastical career - None
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1795,