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Cyprian of Carthage  

Stacey Graham

bishop of Carthage, is the most important bishop of the North African Church before Augustine (d. 429/430) and one of the fathers of the early Latin Church. He wrote several treatises and letters to his congregation, especially while in exile during the Decian persecutions of 250–251. Reinstated at Carthage during a period of peace, he was arrested when persecutions resumed during the reign of Valerian and executed in 258. His martyrdom, his writings, and his stature as bishop in the third-century church ensured his later canonization. Cyprian is well known for his organization of the Christian community at Carthage and his position on the question of rebaptism that achieved a middle ground between Novatianists who opposed reintegration of lapsed priests and Catholics who more readily forgave those who forswore their religion in the face of persecution.

Cyprian came from a wealthy and privileged background in Carthage and received a good ...


Cyril of Alexandria  

Carmen De Michele

Christian theologian and bishop, who initiated a doctrinal dispute with the patriarch of Constantinople, Nestorius, about the two natures of Jesus Christ, was born in Alexandria in the year 375. He spent several years of his life in a monastery in the Nitrian Mountains until he succeeded his uncle Theophilus as bishop of Alexandria in 412. He confronted the church of the Novatianists, a sect that opposed the power of the church and granted protection and absolution to those believers who returned to idolatry because of persecution. He closed their churches and took over their church treasuries. Cyril further challenged the authority of the civil government by expelling the Jews from the city of Alexandria in the year 415, triggering violent riots.

Cyril was also indirectly involved in the murder of one of the most prominent female pagan philosophers and scientists of antiquity Hypatia A highly respected and influential citizen ...