Cyprian and the Myth of Early Roman Primacy: Part 1

Cyprian of Carthage and Roman Primacy
Cyprian of Carthage (200-258 AD): These images are amusing. Nobody knows what Cyprian looked like but as an African, he probably didn’t resemble an Icelandic Viking.

One of the earliest texts from the Ante-Nicene era (before AD 325) that is often quoted in support of Roman primacy is Cyprian’s On the Unity of the Church. Modern polemicists that proudly proclaim the supremacy of the Roman see, as imagined through the ancient eyes of the 3rd century Bishop of Carthage (modern day Tunisia) are seemingly innumerable. One only needs to search the term: “he founded a single chair” to see how popular this is among internet quote-mines and apologetic sites. What you are unlikely to find in the search results is any discussion of the history of this text, but history sheds a great deal of light for those that have an interest in honestly evaluating this text.