Of Parthia. Isidorus, libro 14o. Capitulum duodecimum.
ISIDORUS schewethe that the region callede Parthia for the vertu invincible of men of that region, whiche diffusede theire name to men of Assyria and of Media, was wonte to conteyne alle the londe of Assyria, of Media, of Persida, and of Carmania, whiche is extendede in longitude from the see Caspius vn to the Redde see, and in latitude from the floode of Inde vn to the floode of Tigris, whiche is the begynnenge of Mesopotamye. Trogus, libro quinto. Men of Parthia be Page 87, vol.1 callede owtelawe after the speche of men off Scythia. For thei were firste owtelawes in the realme translate from men of Media to men of Pers[i]a, beenge to theyme as a pray of victores. Wherefore thei dwellede obscurely amonge men of the este vn to the realme of Macedony inhabitate. After that, the victory hade by Macedones, thei did seruyce to theyme; but at the laste they diuidede the empire of the worlde with the Romanes. Thei exercisede the maneres and consue|tudes of men of Scythia, from whom thei were expellede, the wittes of whom be timorous, fulle of fraude, deputenge violence to men and mansuetude to women, whiche be other in malice amonge theyme selfe, other with oþer men. Stylle in nature, moore prompte to do ylle than to speke, couerenge thynges [folio 26a] aduersaunte with silence, proiecte in the lustes of lechery, [þei] haue grete delectacion in women. Euery man hathe Page 89, vol.1 mony wifes. They punnysche noo synne more than advoutery, therefore thei enterdite to theire wifes felawschip and festes of men. Whiche be of litelle meyte, eitenge noo flesche but that is geten with huntenge. Giraldus, d. 17. After that peple failede vnder kynge Seleucus thai dwellede vnder kynge Arsace, of whom thei be callede Arsacides; informenge theym firste with lawes he gedredde a companyee of knyȝhtes, ma|kenge castelles and citees. At the laste the foreseide Arsaces adiecte to his empyre the realme of Hircanes. Amonge whom, somme kynges succedenge after that, Mithridates the sonne of Mithridatis holdede that realme by xliij. yere after the dethe of Crassus, consul of Rome; in whom he hade mony clere victories, as hit schalle be schewede in his propre place. Trogus, libro 41. The peple of Parthia is betwene the men of Scythia and Medes, amonge whom seruauntes be habundante, for thei haue not their manumission; the fre men of theym Page 91, vol.1 ryde alleweies on horses, the seruauntes goe on foote, vsenge horses in batayles, goenge to commune festes and priuate offices, techenge the childre liberalle with grete attendaunce to ryde and to schote, amonge whom euery man schalle presente to the kynge certeyne men of armes in batelles after the extent of his rychesse. Whiche can not fiȝhte and put seges to cites, for thei fiȝhte theire horses rennenge, other elles fleenge and schewenge theire backes, feynenge oftetymes theym to flee, and after that repetenge fiȝhte, that thei may hurte men folowenge theym indiscretely. A tympan is a melody to theyme in batelles, and not a claryon, whiche may not fiȝhte longe. For thei scholde be intollerable and in|vincible, if they myȝhte haue the vertu of perseueraunce after theire impetuosite. The deuourenge of bestes is a sepulture to theyme, and after that they do take theire boones to sepulture or beryenge.