Of somme institutes and obseruaunces of the Romanes. Isidorus, Etymologiarum libro octavo decimo, capitulo Triumphus, et Hugutio, capitulo Tris. Capitulum vicesimum quintum.
A triplicate honor was ȝiffen to a kynge, duke, consul, or emperoure hauenge victory, in his commenge to the cite of Rome; for the peple wente furthe to mete the victor with variable gladdenesse, the charyette of whom men putte in captiuite folowede, theire hondes bownde behynde the backes of theyme. Also the victor was induede with the coote of Iupiter, syttenge in a charyette whom iiij. white horses didde drawe to þe Capitoly.*. [to þe Capitoly, added in the margin, apparently by the original scribe.] A victor thus hade in honor suffrede an oþer grevaunce, þat he scholde not forgete hym selfe, in the charyette of whom a seruaunte of vile con|dicion Page 241, vol.1 was putte, whiche scholde bobbe besily the victor, and that for two causes. Oon was, That þe victor scholde not be ouer prowde of suche glory; an other was, And also in token that euery man myȝhte comme to the same honor if his manhode extendede labor to that merite. And the ser|uaunte bobbenge hym seyde ofte tymes, "Knowe thy selfe;" as if he scholde saye, "Be not prowde of this victory." In [folio 40b] whiche day hyt was lawefulle to euery man and woman to saye to þe victor after theire pleasure with owte eny peyne. Of somme men hit was saide, "Haile, ballede man;" of somme, "Hayle, kynge." ℞. Beholde in this processe how thei seyde to Iulius Cesar. In vita Iohannis Eleemosynarii. When emperoures were crownede, makers of graves come to theyme inquirenge of what metalle he wolde his berialle to be made, as if he scholde say, "Thow arte corruptible, dispose the empire mekely." Hugutio, capit. Clarus. When the Romanes intendede to ȝiffe batelle to eny cuntre, oon of theyme scholde goe to the costes of theire enmyes and Page 243, vol.1 expresse with a clere voice the causes of batelle, and suche an expression was callede a clarigacion. Then the spere of the messengere defixede in to the erthe schewede a pre|nosticacion and as a begynnenge of fiȝhte. Isidorus, libro nono decimo, capitulo vicesimo secundo. What tyme the consules were reignenge in Rome the knyȝhtes of the Ro|manes [wente]*. [This or some similar word is omitted.] in clothenge of redde in the day a fore they scholde fiȝte, that theire hertes scholde not be in fray or feere to beholde bloode. Wherefore the Romanes were callede Rosati, as clothede in redde. Hugutio, capitulo Fastus. The dayes in whom the Romans hade victory and spedde welle were callede fasti, in so moche that hit was lawefulle to theyme in those daies to exercise theire causes and erneddes. And the dayes in whom hit happede ylle to theyme were callede nefasti, in whom thei worschippede ylle thynges, not for cause of deuocion or of luffe but Page 245, vol.1 for drede of infortuny. Hugutio, capitulo quinto. Of whom quinquatria were namede v. blacke daies, or the feste of those daies in whom the Romanes, besegede of Frenche men and of Hanniball,*. [Hanybal or Hanibal, MSS. and Cx.] susteynede mony thynges, in whiche dayes noo Roman hade audacite to go furthe of that cite. Hu|gutio, capitulo Classis. When Romulus hade institute the commune vtilite he diuidede the peple in to tweyne parties, into the moore nowble men and lesse nowble, callenge either parte of theyme classis of sowndes and signes whom thei hade distincte amonge theyme selfe. Wherefore the nowble men were callede Prima Classis, the firste companye. In the honor of whom he ordeynede the monethe of Maij,*. [Menses Maii et Junii in|stituuntur.] that is, of grete men. The other inferior parte was callede the secunde companye, in the honor of whom he ordeynede the monethe of Iunius, that is to saye, of yonger men. After|warde the Romanes were diuidede in to iiij. partes. In the firste parte of whom were consules and men of grete honor. In the secunde parte were tribunes and men of lesse dignite. In the thrydde parte free men; and in Page 247, vol.1 the iiijthe parte seruauntes. Hugutio, capitulo Calon. The Romanes vsede to have feires in euery monethe whiche began in the firste day of Nones durenge vn to the firste day of the Idus. Idus is nouȝte elles but a diuision; for then men were diuidede from the feires. And for cause men commenge to the feires were ignoraunte ofte tymes of the begynnenge of the monethe, therfore a bydelle, or the crier of the cite ascendede in to a towre in to the markethe, and seyde so mony tymes, "Calo, calo," (that is to seye, "y calle yow to the feires,") as were dayes vn to the begynnenge of hit; as and if the feires scholde begynne in the iiijthe day, he scholde saye iiij. tymes calo. Therefore hit is that somme monethe in the calendary hathe iiij. nones oonly; somme monethe vj., whiche was ordeynede for this cause that thefes ȝiffenge wacches to marchauntes lyenge priuely in woodes scholde not knowe when the feires scholde begynne. Hugutio, capitulo Mereor. Somme tyme knyȝhtes in Rome were not constreynede to exercise the actes of cheuallery after the age of lx. yere; but lyvelode was ȝiffen Page 249, vol.1 to theyme, or somme goodes of thynges commune whereby thei myȝhte lyffe, and then the knyȝhte was callede Emeritus, as putte with owte the merite of cheuallery. ℞. Wherefore a tauerne ouer Tiber was callede Emeritoria, where knyȝhtes put with owte merite of cheuallery spende theire goodes. Hugutio, capitulo Scea. Also a consuetude was amonge Romanes that the citesynnes scholde dispute of the commune profette vn tylle none: and not attende to eny other delecta|cion. Wherefore the harlottes at Rome were callede nona|riæ, for hit was not lawefulle to theyme to passe theire places, leste they scholde lette yonge men from the commune vtilite. Hugutio, capitulo Nepa. Somme tyme children in Rome were not taken to theire faders to lerne or to be noryschede, for hit was presumede that the faders wolde not chastise theire children for the grete luffe that they wolde schewe to theyme; neither thei wyllede not their children to be taken to maistres that were not of theire kynrede, for a Page 251, vol.1 straungeour ȝiffe the litelle attendaunce of an other straun|geour; but thei were of theire kynne, as vncles to theyme, whiche were not ouer nye to theyme neiþer ouer ferre [folio 41b] from theyme. Hugutio, capitulo Proles. There were men in the cite of Rome whiche taryede in the cite for multi|plicacion of childer, and were not coacte to goe furthe to batelles. ℞. Neuerthelesse they were coacte in the tyme of Hannibal for pennury of knyȝhtes. Valerius, libro secundo. From the cite made unto clx. yere folowenge was movede noo diuorce. The firste man inducenge hit was callede Carbilius,*. [Scarbilius, Harl. MS.] a bastarde, whiche departede from his wife be cause that sche hade not childer, whiche hade schame and reprove ynowe for hit, whiche sette before the luffe of childre to the luffe of matrimony. Isidorus, libro sexto. Thauȝhe the Grekes did wryte ffirste in wexes with poyntelles, neuerthelesse the Romanes ordeynede that noo man scholde wryte with an instrument of irne, but made of boon. Poli|cronicon,*. [So written at length in Harl. MS., for Polycraticon; the same confusion occurs in the title of Hig|den's work.]libro secundo. If a man reuolve in his mynde Page 253, vol.1 alle the storye ffrom the begynnenge of Rome, he schal fynde the Romanes and other peple to have laborede in ambicion and auarice, in so moche in that noo prince of þe empire lyvede vnnethe after the naturalle course of his life, but thei were destroyede by fiȝhte. Policronicon, libro septimo, capitulo septuagesimo primo.*. [The reference given thus at length in Harl. MS.] While the men of Italy lyve in peace, thei luffe ryȝhteuousenes and absteyne from periury. But when they falle to fraudes and diuision they fele other the pride off the Romanes or cruelnesse of men of Allemeyne, or somme other peyne or punyschenge of God, tylle thei be contrite by penaunce. For other that peple avoide euery principate, other elles thei make the prynce moore meke.