Of Assyria, Isidorus, libro quarto decimo. Capitulum tertium decimum.
HIT is to be aduertisede that Assyria toke his name of Assur the sonne of Sem, whiche inhabite firste hit after Noe floode. Assyria hathe on the este parte of hit Ynde, of the sowthe*. [Assyria.] Media, of the weste parte the floode of Tigris, of the northe the grete hille callede Caucasus, where be partes of Caspius hilles. Trogus, libro 42. Media was made of Medo son of*. [Media.] Egeus kynge of Atheynes, which, folowenge the vertu of Iaso his victrix, made that cite callede Media in to the honor of Medee his moder, whiche cite he made the hede and princi|palle [folio 26b] place of that realme. That cuntre of Media towchethe Parthia of the northe parte, and of the este Ynde, of the weste Caldea, and of the sowthe parte Persida. Isidorus, libro quarto decimo. Persia was namede of a man callede Persius,*. [Persia.] that conquerede hit, whiche hathe of the este parte to hit men of Ynde, of the weste side parte of the Redde see, of the northe parte Media, towchenge Carmany of the sowthe parte: in Page 95, vol.1 whiche Persia wycche crafte began firste under Nemproth the gigante, whiche goenge to that londe after the confusion of tonges tauȝhte men of Persia to worschippe fire and the sonne, which is callede El in the langage of theyme. The chiefe*. [Ars magi|ca incipit.] place of whom was callede Elam somme tyme, of Elam the sonne of Sem whiche was callede afterwarde Elamadia, now callede Persepolis,*. [Persipolis, Harl. MS.] of whom mencion is made in the booke of Machabees. And of this Elam men of Persia were callede Elamites, as hit is schewede in the Actes of Apostles. Mesopotamy lyethe betwene Tigris of the este and Euphrates*. [Mesopota|mia.] of the weste, begynnenge from the northe betwene the hilles Taurus and Caucasus, whom Babylon folowethe from the meridien. Isidorus, libro quinto decimo. Thauȝhe Babylon*. [Babylon.] was callede afterwarde a parte of Calde, fyrste hit was so nowble that Caldea, Assyria, and Mesopotamia wente into the names of hit, the hede of whom was that cite callede Babylon whom Nemproth the gigante made, but the qwene Semi|ramis made hyt more large. Petrus, capitulo 37o. Babylon is the propre name of the cite, and Babylonia*. [Babilionia, Harl. MS.] the name of the region, thauȝhe the oon be put ofte for that other, Page 97, vol.1 but Babel is the name of the towre. Orosius, libro secundo. Babylon was disposede as with egalle walles after the maner of castelles by a quadrante, the latitude of whom was of lti cubites, the altitude in iiij. tymes so moche, the lenghte of the walle from cornelle to corner holdede xvj. myles. The compasse of the walles was of iiijc. and lxxxti forlonges, whiche dothe make ljti myles. The mater of whiche walle was made of sodde tyle stones mixte with pycche, in so moche that thei myȝhte not be dissoluede with fire or water. Thro the myddes of whiche cite the floode Euphrates did flowe. Whom Cyrus kynge of Perse toke and destroyede, as hit schalle be expressede in his place. ℞. Off the levenges of whiche cite, after the seyenge of Seynte Ierom, ij. cites were made in Persida, so that the place of Babylon is nowe deserte, and fulle of wilde bestes. Caldea is seyde as Cassidea, of*. [Caldea.] Casethe the sonne of Nachor broþer of Abraham, whiche is a grete region nye to Euphrates. In the filde of Sennar*. [Turris Babellæ.] the towre of Babelle was edifiede. Josephus, libro primo. [folio 27a] Page 99, vol.1 The altitude of whom was cclxxij. passes, the latitude of whom was so huge that hit apperede to men beholdenge hit that hit was more brode than longe. ℞. After somme men that towre hade iij. miles in altitude. But after Iuo Carnotense, in his cronicle, hit hade v. miles in altitude and allemoste ijc. passes, and iiij. myles in latitude. Araby, y-sette at the sowthe parte off Caldea, of the este parte hathe Persida, of the weste parte the*. [the] of the, Harl. MS.] Redde see. A plentuous londe of encense, hauenge myrre, cinamome, and a brydde callede fenix. Josephus, libro secundo. The mownte of*. [Fenix.] Synay is in that Arabye in the partes of Madiam, a parte*. [Montes Syna et Oreb.] of whom is callede Oreb, a plentuous hille and highe, but now hit is allemoste inaccessible for schrubbes and broken stones. Moises brouȝhte his schepe to þat place firste of men: hit is callede also the mownte of fere and of luffe; for oure Lorde apperede to Moyses in hit with thundre and liȝhtenge, the peple of Israel taryenge at the foote of hit where oure Lorde ȝafe lawe. Wherefore men hade not Page 101, vol.1 audacite to attempte to goe to hit, but men devoute and clene in theire conscience. The mownte of Libanus is in the costes of Arabye abowte the sowthe weste, which divid ·*. [Mons Li|bani.] ethe a sundre Araby, Iewery, and Fenicea. Whiche is an hille of excellente altitude, in so moche that hit, counteynenge grete habundaunce of snawe, directethe men saylenge in the see to diuerse portes. Hyt is also an hille of whollesomnesse and of fecundite. For trees of cipres, cedre trees, and oþer yerbes groenge there, distille encense and gumme ȝiffenge mellifluous redolence, þro whom seke men be healede, and venomes be expellede. Syria, callede by that name by Sirus*. [Syria.] the inhabitator of hit, lyethe betwene the floode Euphrates*. [Eufrates, MSS., as usual.] of the este parte, and the grete see on the weste parte, hauenge in the northe parte Armenye and Cappadocia,*. [Capodocia, Harl. MS.] on the sowthe parte the see of Arabye, conteynenge in hit mony prouinces, Commagena, Palestina, Fenices, Canaan, Idumea, and the Iewery. The principal place of that province was Damascus, whom Eleezer the seruaunte of Abraham edifiede. Rasyn, Page 103, vol.1 the kynge of whom, ȝafe helpe alle weies to the x. tribus of Israel ageyne the kynges of Iuda. And Damascus is callede by interpretacion, schedenge bloode. For Caym did slee Abell þer, and hidde hym in the sonde of the floode.