Polychronicon Ranulphi Higden maonachi Cestrensis; together with the English translations of John Trevisa and of an unknown writer of the fifteenth century.
Higden, Ranulf, d. 1364., Trevisa, John, tr. d. 1402., Caxton, William, ca. 1422-1491., Malverne, John, d 1415?, Babington, Churchill, ed. 1821-1889,, Lumby, J. Rawson ed. (Joseph Rawson), 1831-1895.

Capitulum octavumdecimum.

ARTAXERSES, the son of Darius, otherwise namede Memnon, and Assuerus of men of Hebrewe, whiche beenge the xjthe kynge of Persida reignede xlti yere from Ynde vn to Ethioppe, on a c. and xxvij. prouinces, the regalle seete of whom was in the cite callede Susis, callede in the story of Iudith Eg|bathanis, whiche was the chiefe cite of Elamites. And after Iosephus, Daniel the prophete made þer a ryalle beryalle for kynges, so maruellous that hit semethe to be made newly in the same day that a man dothe beholde hit. In whom kynges of Medea, Persia, and of Parthia were wonte to be beryede. This Artaxerses made a grete feste in the thridde Page  273, vol.3 yere of his reigne to the princes and nobles of his realme by a c. and lxxti dayes, in that maruellous place of whom hit is redde in the story of kynge Alexander, the pillers of whom were of siluyr, the couerenge of hit was concamerate lyke to the firmamente, hauenge in hit gemmes of diuerse coloures in the similitude of sterres. After that he didde eite with his peple in his gardyn of delices, where a vyne was hauenge brawnches of siluyr and of golde, and also clustres of gemmes; the tentes were hongede on pillers of siluyr, of marbole, of yuery, with ropes of clothe of golde and of pur|pulle; where the qwene of Vasthi recusenge to comme to hym was despisede, and Hester was electe for her. De|mocritus, the philosophre, diede abowte this tyme, of whom Agellius rehersethe that he pullede owte his eien for iij. causes. The firste cause was for the siȝhte exterialle lette [folio 144a] hym from meditacion interialle. The cause secondary was for he myȝhte not beholde women withowte concupiscence. Page  275, vol.3 The thrydde cause was for he see wickede men do wickedely, and that he miȝhte not suffre welle. Policronicon, libro septimo. Socrates the philosophre, beynge of xc. yere in age, diede, with a constante chere drynkenge poyson and venom. But hit is to be perceyvede and attendede that þer were iij. Socrates: oon Socrates Cassiodorus commendethe in his story tripartite; for this story was compilede of Seleucus, Theodori|cus, and Socrates. There was also an other Socrates, a noble clerke of Grece, of whom hit is rehersede primo libro Saturna|lium. The thridde Socrates was the maister of Plato, of Page  277, vol.3 whom it is rehersede in this processe. Policronicon, libro quarto, capitulo sexto. Socrates was accomptede and iuggede the moste noble philosophre in the oracle of Appollo, which exceded in sapience the vij. noble philosophres amonge the Grekes with owte contradiccion, whiche be rehersede, and were afore hym not oonly in oppinion of sapience, but also in vertu of lyvynge. Of whom Tullius spekethe, libro primo, de Tusculanis Questionibus, that Socrates was prince of philosophye, and callede it from heuyn vn to the erthe, and stableschede hit in mony citees. Augustinus de Civitate Dei, libro octavo, capitulo quarto decimo. A spiritte was felowe to Socrates, informenge hym in mony thynges, as Apuleus rehersethe in his boke De Deo Socratis, seyenge that Socrates was wonte by that spiritte to be amovede from thynges that scholde not be done. ℞. Also Calcidius rehersethe super Thimeum Platonis, that a spiritte was felewe to Socrates, not that he scholde move hym to Page  279, vol.3 eny acte to be inhibite or reprobable, but that he scholde prohibite hym of thynges whiche scholde not be doen. Valerius, libro octavo, capitulo septimo. Socrates in his olde age ȝafe his laboure to musike, thenkenge better to knowe that arte late than neuer, makenge hym selfe poore to lerne, [folio 144b] but he was riche to teche. And this Socrates seide hym selfe to knowe but fewe thynge, þauȝhe the contrary were Page  281, vol.3 trewe: whereof a prouerbe was seide of Socrates, "Y knowe that thynge oonly whiche y knowe not," as Ierom rehersethe Epistola tricesima quinta. Valerius, libro octavo. Socrates was not aschamede to take a reede betwene his legges, or elles a staffe, and play with his childer. Policronicon, libro octavo. Hit is a familiar thynge to a wise man to ioy otherwhile, not that the exercise off vertu scholde declyne by hit, but raþer that thei scholde be encreasede. This Socrates ȝafe grete resplendence in vertues heroicalle and philosophicalle, thro whom men be assimilate to goddes. for he florischede in temperaunce, as Agellius rehersethe, libro 2o. Also Valerius rehersethe, libro 2o, Socrates to haue seide mony men to lyve in vice, and to lyve that thei myȝhte eite; but he seide hym to eyte that he myȝhte lyve. Also he florischede in patience, for as Seneca re|hersethe, Page  283, vol.3 libro 3o de ira, Socrates walkenge in a cite, and strynken of a symple felowe, seide in this wise: "I am not wrothe, but y dowte wheþer y schalle be." Also he seide in a tyme to a wickede seruaunte of his, "Y scholde bete the but that Y am wrothe." Also this Socrates hade a cursede wife and wickede childer, more like to the moder then to hym, and also a greuous seruaunte, and ȝitte he was verey paciente for alle that. Of whom Seneca spekethe, Epistola 197a. Soe this Socrates was alle moste contynually other in tyrannesse other in liberte moore cruelle and grevous then batayle. Of whom Ierom rehersethe contra Iouin: and Page  285, vol.3 also Epistola tricesima tertia, that Socrates hade ii. liti|gious and malicious wifes, Zantipes, and Altipias, whiche stryvenge on a tyme Socrates skornede theym that thei made eny stryfe for suche a symple man, ylle proporcionede of face of continaunce, ballede the hedde, with a snattede noose, and with crokede legges. The women perceyvenge [folio 145b] his derision, and goenge in to an hie parte of the seller or chamber, made vryne in a veselle and caste hit on Socrates hedde. Then Socrates wipenge his hedde answerede to theyme in noon other wise, but seide, "I hade trewe knowlege, and perceyvede welle that after þundre of wordes a reyne scholde folowe." Agellius, libro secundo, et Poli|cronicon, libro quinto. When a man askede of Socrates in Page  287, vol.3 a tyme why he did not correcte his wickede wife, Zantipes by name, other elles put here from his feloweschippe, he answerede, "When þat y exercise and am vsede to penaunce at home, y may suffre the better by exercise the injury of oþer peple." Seneca de Ira. A signe of wrathe in Socrates was when he was in angre he wolde speke with Page  289, vol.3 a lawe voice and but lytelle. Policronicon, libro quinto. Socrates answerede to a man inquirenge of him how that he myȝhte gette a good name, and seide in this wise: "That man schal haue a goode name that dothe welle and spekethe litelle." Policronicon libro septimo. The*. [To avoyde envy of peple.] noble philosophre Plato, and disciple to Socrates, inquirede of hym how he myȝte expelle and avoide the envy of men. Socrates seide to hym in this wise: "Be a wrecche and poore like to Tersites, and men schalle not haue envy at the, for misery allone wontethe envye." Ysidorus, Ethi: libro 2o, capitulo vicesimo-quarto. This Socrates founde firste moralle disciplyne, to correcte vices and to plante vertues, diuidenge that arte in to iiij. vertues, in Page  291, vol.3 to prudence, justice, fortitude, and patience. This Socrates dienge, lefte mony disciples disputenge diuerse weies of the hie goode thynge and finalle felicite, but Plato was moste excellente amonge theym. ℞. The noble clerke Seneca spekethe of the dethe of Socrates, and of the cause of hit, Epistola centesima septima. An objeccion*. [The othe of Socrates.] was made to hym of the violacion of his religion and beleve, in that he usede to swere by creatures, and not [folio 145b] by goddes; wherefore he was iuggede to prison, and poysonede in prison. Augustinus de vera religione, capitulo primo. Socrates was namede of moore boldenesse in swerenge then eny other man in his tyme, in that he did swere by a Page  293, vol.3 dogge or a stone, and as y perceyve, hit was redy in his minde to swere by suche creatures, in that he knewe excellentely the werkes of nature, and how thei were or|deynede by the providence of God, rather þen by fals goddes ymages, and by the werkes of the labores of men whiche were worschippede that tyme in theire temples. Whereof the expositor of Boice, De Disciplina Scolarium, rehersethe in his iiijthe chapitre. A disciple of Socrates accusede hym in that he made a boke of God, and not of goddes. Wherefore Socrates was compellede to eite an herbe pestilente in þe name of that Godde, whiche eitenge hit was not poysonede. And after that he was compellede to eite an herbe pestilente in the name of goddes, and he was dedde anoone. Whereof Tullius rehersethe that after that Socrates was putte to dethe, men of Athenes were soory, and punyschede soore his accusers, and sette an ymage of golde in the temple in the worschippe of Socrates. The Page  295, vol.3 Commentor seithe, on the vthe boke of the Etykes, that Socrates accusede seide in this wise: "Men of Athenes may condempne Socrates, but thei can not make hym unryȝht|euous." Men of Athenes began to use xxiiij. letters, whiche vsede afore but xvj., as his rehersede afore. Eutropius et Gaufridus.