Cyprian was a lawyer, senator, pope, and martyr who lived in Carthage. He was born in 210 A.D. and died in 258 A.D. During his lifetime, Cyprian became a Christian in 249 A.D. in the reign of Decius when the Christian persecution resumed.
Cyprian was born to a rich roman family in Carthage when the emperor, Septimius Severus, made a decree that nobody could join a Christian society, and that it was legal to stone them in the streets.
Cyprian studied the law and became a well-known senator. He also became wealthy by his own efforts, and by his big inheritance. He lived in a large house which had a large property.
When Cyprian had reached the age of forty-five, he wrote to his friend about how happy he was when he was in his home, and in his lands, but that if he climbed a mountain and looked across the earth, he would see so many bad things happening that all his joy would disappear. He also said in the letter that the Christians, in the midst of all the bad in the world, had found the greatest joy in Jesus, and that he was one of them.
Later in his lifetime, Cyprian was baptized. The bishop in Carthage died, and the Christians wanted Cyprian to be their leader. At first, he did not want the title, but after being besieged in his home by the Christians, he finally consented, thus becoming the first pope of Carthage.
He died for his faith, when Roman soldiers, sent from the emperor Valerian, executed him in front of the whole town because he did not offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods in 258 A.D.