Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church (The Complete Eight Volumes in One). Amazon Kindle Edition, 2014.
Volume 2, Ante-Nicene Christianity A.D. 100-325, “Chapter 13. Ecclesiastical Literature of the Ante-Nicene Age, and Biographical Sketches of the Church Fathers.” sec. 159-204.
§ 199. Cyprian.
After a relatively extensive bibliography, Schaff introduces us to Cyprian's life (Schaff 2014, loc. 23299, par. 1). Born about 200 A.D. in Carthage, Cyprian was, according to Jerome, a rhetoric teacher of considerable reputation. After becoming a Christian, Cyprian gave his wealth to the poor, vowed chastity, and was baptized in 245 or 246 (Schaff 2014, loc. 23306, par. 2). His spiritual father, Caecilius, lived in his household. Schaff quotes at length from a description by Cyprian of his conversion and the changes which took place in his overall attitudes (Schaff 2014, loc. 23313, par. 3). Cyprian plunged into study of Scripture and especially Tertullian, who had a profound influence on him (Schaff 2014, loc. 23319, par. 4). After approximately two years, and against his will, Cyprian was elevated to the position of bishop of Carthage, making him the head of all clergy in North Africa (Schaff 2014, loc. 23325, par. 5). Though this move created dissension and even a schism, Schaff considers it exactly the right decision. Cyprian served as bishop of Carthage for ten years before being exiled and beheaded in the persecution of Valerian (Schaff 2014, loc. 23332, par. 7) on September 14, 258.
Schaff recognizes Cyprian as the most able bishop of the third century. He was more noteworthy in his work pertaining to church organization and church discipline, particularly in cases of schismatic movements (Schaff 2014, loc. 23346, par. 9). He was zealous for both the independence of bishops and for Roman primacy (Schaff 2014, loc. 23352, par. 9). Schaff considers this to be rooted in a respect for the collegiality of the different bishops. Cyprian did flee from his congregation in the Decian persecution, saying that he wished to guard his life so as to be able to care for the flock through epistles (Schaff 2014, loc. 23358, par. 10).
Cyrian is not known as a prolific or original author. Schaff does detail "his tract on the Unity of the Church (A.D. 251)" (Schaff 2014, loc. 23371, par. 12). He did write many Epistles to bishops and other pastors. He also wrote a number of moral works, urging modesty and humility. Schaff also mentions two apologetic works which he considers unimportant (Schaff 2014, loc. 23385, par. 13).