Among such documents connected with the early history of Edessa we have, besides the Doctrine of Addai, certain martyrdoms, those of Sharbel and Barsamya assigned to the reign of Trajan, and those of Gurya and Shamona and of the Deacon Habbibh under Diocletian and Licinius.
But the great bulk of the Syriac martyrdoms have their scene farther east, within the Persian dominions.
Nor is he less successful when recording pathetic events, for his stories of certain martyrdoms, and of the execution of Mary queen of Scots, are told with exquisite feeling and in language of well-restrained emotion.
The Liber contains much information about papal affairs in general, and about endowments, martyrdoms and the like, but a considerable part of it is obviously legendary.
Most of the literature of the sub-apostolic age is epistolary, and we have a particularly interesting form of epistle in the communications between churches (as distinct from individuals) known as the First Epistle of Clement (Rome to Corinth), the Martyrdom of Polycarp (Smyrna to Philomelium), and the Letters of the Churches of Vienne andLyons (to the congregations of Asia Minor and Phrygia) describing the Gallican martyrdoms of A.D.