All these works are later than the altarpiece which Angelico painted (as before mentioned) for the choir connected with this convent, and which is now in the academy of Florence; it represents the Virgin with Saints Cosmas and Damian (the patrons of the Medici family), Dominic, Peter, Francis, Mark, John Evangelist and Stephen; the pediment illustrated the lives of Cosmas and Damian, but it has long been severed from the main subject.
Among original authorities may be consulted Procopius, Menander Protector, Cosmas Indicopleustes (trans.
A Greek inscription at Adulis, no longer extant, but copied by Cosmas of Alexandria, and preserved in his Topographia Christiana, records that Ptolemy Euergetes, the third of the Greek dynasty in Egypt, invaded the countries on both sides of the Red Sea, and having reduced most of the provinces of Tigre to subjection, returned to the port of Adulis, and there offered sacrifices to Jupiter, Mars and Neptune.
Fragments of the history of this kingdom, of which there is no authentic chronicle, have been made out chiefly by the aid of inscriptions, of which the following is a list: - (1) Greek inscription of Adulis, copied by Cosmas Indicopleustes in 545, the beginning, with the king's name, lost.
Beyond this ocean lies another world, which was occupied by man before the Deluge, and within which Cosmas placed the Terrestrial Paradise.
After the time of Ptolemy no advance in knowledge concerning the geography of south-eastern Asia was made until Cosmas Indicopleustes, a monk and an Alexandrian Greek, wrote from personal knowledge between A.D.
Christianity penetrated to Khorasan and Bactria at an early date; episcopal sees are said to have existed at Mer y and Samarkand in the 4th and 5th centuries, and Cosmas (c. 545) testifies to the spread of Christianity among the Bactrians and Huns.
The theology of the Indian Syrian Christians is of a Nestorian type, and Cosmas Indicopleustes (6th century) puts us on the right track when he says that the Christians whom he found in Ceylon and Malabar had come from Persia (probably as refugees from persecution, like the Huguenots in England and the Pilgrim Fathers in America).
In connexion with this may be mentioned Collectio nova patrum et scriptorum graecorum (1706), containing some newly discovered works of Athanasius, Eusebius of Caesarea, and the Topographia christiana of Cosmas Indicopleustes.
The Greek monk Cosmas Indicopleustes, who visited India about 530, describes the ruler of the country, whom he calls Gollas, as a White Hun king, who exacted an oppressive tribute with the help of a large army of cavalry and war elephants.