He was highly esteemed by Cyprian, bishop of Carthage; Novatian refers to his nobilissimae memoriae, and he corresponded with Origen.
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.
He set himself in opposition to Novatian, a presbyter of Rome, who advocated their permanent exclusion from the church; and it was his influence which guided the tolerant measures of the Carthaginian synods on the subject.
251 by the schism at Carthage, but particularly by the Novatian schism at Rome.
Difference of opinion as to the absolutely "irremissible" character of mortal sins led to the important controversy associated with the names of Zephyrinus, Tertullian, Calistus, Hippolytus, Cyprian and Novatian, in which the stricter and more montanistic party held that for those who had been guilty of such sins as theft, fraud, denial of the faith, there should be no restoration to church fellowship even in the hour of death.