Echoes of it are found in Tertullian and in Minucius Felix, and then it lay forgotten until Origen gave it new life.
In the and century a much greater name appears among the methodists, that of Soranus of Ephesus, a physician mentioned with praise even by Tertullian and Augustine, who practised at Rome in the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian.
Cyprian had none of that character which makes the reading of Tertullian, whom he himself called his magister, so interesting and piquant, but he possessed other qualities which Tertullian lacked, especially the art of presenting his thoughts in simple, smooth and clear language, yet in a style which is not wanting in warmth and persuasive power.
This was the only authoritatively prescribed fast known to Tertullian (De jejunio, 2, 13, 14; De oratione, 18).
It is practically synonymous with the word council (q.v.); concilium is used in the same technical sense by Tertullian c. 200, and auvoSos a century or so later in the Apostolic canons.
Next come the great Alexandrians, Clement, Origen, Dionysius; the Carthaginians, Tertullian and Cyprian; the Romans, Minucius Felix and Novatian; the last four laid the foundations of a Latin Christian literature.
All writers earlier than the 5th century are valuable, but particularly important are the following groups: (1) Greek writers in the West, especially Justin Martyr, Tatian, Marcion, Irenaeus and Hippolytus; (2) Latin writers in Italy, especially Novatian, the author of the de Rebaptismate and Ambrosiaster; (3) Latin writers in Africa, especially Tertullian and Cyprian; (4) Greek writers in Alexandria, especially Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Athanasius and Cyril; (5) Greek writers in the East, especially Methodius of Lycia and Eusebius of Caesarea; (6) Syriac writers, especially Aphraates and Ephraem; it is doubtful whether the Diatessaron of Tatian ought to be reckoned in this group or in (1).
The reader to whom the study is new will gain some idea of the bulk of the extant patristic literature, if we add that in Migne's collection ninety-six large volumes are occupied with the Greek fathers from Clement of Rome to John of Damascus, and seventysix with the Latin fathers from Tertullian to Gregory the Great.2 For a discussion of the more important fathers the student is referred to the articles which deal with them separately.
To these regions came St Louis and Raimon Lull, and one may in passing remember the strength of Christianity in Proconsular Africa in the days of Tertullian and Cyprian, and in Egypt under Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Athanasius.
As Tertullian relates of his contemporaries in the 2nd century, so the Cathars would reserve part of their bread of blessing and keep it for years, eating of it occasionally though only after saying the Benedicite.