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 decimum.

GALBA Seruius electe by men of Speyne and of Fraunce,*. [Galba.] in the lxxiij. yere of his age, a senator of olde nobilite, whiche reigned after Nero vij. monethes. The priuate lyfe of whom was noble, nowe a consul and an oþer tyme proconsul, the gouernoure of soore batelles. Whiche desirede a noble yonge man, Pison by name, to be his heire and successour. Neuer|thelesse thei bothe were sleyne in the markethe place of Rome by Otho themperour. Otho Lucius reignede thre monethes,*. [Otho.]Page  421, vol.4 whiche understondenge an other emperour to be made in Fraunce, instorede a ciuile batelle, in thre of the firste batelles of whom he hade victory; whiche seenge his men to be sleyne abowte hym in the iiijthe batelle, seide that he was not worthy that peple scholde be soe destroyede by hys meane, wherefore he did slehym selfe. Vitellius reignede after Otho vij. monethes, whiche*. [Vitellius.] was seide to haue ȝiffen suche attendaunce to glotony, that he wolde fede hym with meytes iiij. or v. tymes in a day. Whiche was seide to haue hade afore hym in oon soper ij. ml of fisches and vij. ml of briddes. This Vitellius dredenge leste that Vespasian scholde reigne, did sle Sabynus, broþer to hym; whiche includenge hym in a chambre for fere, was extracte by the noble men longenge to Vespasian, and ledde nakede thro the cite with his hedde borne up, hauenge a scharpe swerde Page  423, vol.4 holden to his þrote. That doen he was caste in to Tiber. Vespasianus themperour reignede viij. yere, whiche was fulle auarous, neuerthelesse ȝitte he wolde not take the goodes of oþer men wrongefully, suffrenge liȝhtely rebukes of philo|sophres. Whiche sende from Nero themperour un to the*. [Vespa|sianus.] Iewes, and herenge of his dethe, returnede to Rome, levenge Titus his sone ther; whiche made twyes or thryes soore con|flictes in Germanny and in other places. Policronicon, libro [folio 211b] tertio capitulo quartodecimo. An olde man seide in to þe impropery of Vespasian, "A fox may chaunge his skynne, but not his mynde;" for cause that age declynede not auarice from hym. To whom Vespasian seide, "We awe to ȝiffe disporte and laȝhenge to suche men as geve*. [as geve] written over in a later hand.] to us correccion, and peyne to trespassoures." This emperour Vespasian made presidente in the stedde of kynges, in Achaia, Lisia, in Rodus, Samus, in Page  425, vol.4 Tracia, and Silicia, whiche cuntres he hade subiecte to the empire of Rome. ℞. Ten yere wonte here after alle cronicles betwene the passion of Criste and the tymes of Vespasian, as hit is seyde afore in the prologe. Ierusalem was taken by Titus, the temple was brente and made egalle with the erthe. Iosephus, libro 7o. In the same monethe and day in whom hit was brente afore by men of Caldee, the viijthe day of the monethe of September, in þe yere from the firste construccion made by Salamon a ml c. and xxxti yere. And from the secunde reedifienge made by Aggeus the prophete vjc. and xxxix. yere; whiche cite was taken in the tyme of Ester, after Martinus and other men. Egesippus. In whiche sege, xj.c. ml peple of the Iewes were pereschede by fiȝhte and thro hungre, a c. ml of the Iewes were solde, and euer xxxti for a peny, and Page  427, vol.4 xc. ml. of the Iewes were dispersede. Ieronimus. That tyme þer was a grete multitude of the Iewes in Ierusalem, for in suche festes peple of alle the Iewery hade resorte un to hit. Iosephus, libro septimo. Hit is not to be meruaylede of that multitude of Iewes dedde, taken, and sleyne, for Cestius the presidente of the Iewery did write un to Nero willenge to knowe the nowmbre of the Iewes beenge in Ierusalem, whom he hade in contempte, lyke as he hade knowlege by the bischoppes of hit, that þer were peple in Ierusalem on a holy day un to the nowmbre xxti c. ml. and lxxti. c. ml. withowte peple viciate and pollute, to whom hit was not lawefulle to offre. The bischoppes collecte that nowmbre by the nowmbre of hostes, whiche were [folio 212a] ijc. ml lvj. ml. and lti ml., for ten men were assignede to euery hoste. Egesippus, libro tertio. The wisedome hade by the Romanes helpede theym moche, the Iewes hade woodenesse Page  429, vol.4 with temerite. For Vespasian themperour perceyvenge that hit was a grete dryenesse in that tyme, wente un to a cite callede Ioppen, where he stoppede alle the condites of water. Neuer|thelesse Iosephus founde a comente, in whom he made clothes moiste, and hongede theym on the walles; the Romanes seenge that, supposede theyme to haue water habundantely un to drynke. Wherefore Vespasian trowblede the walle soore with gunnes and with oþer engynes, but Iosephus putte sackes replete with chaffe betwene the walle and theym, that the gunnes myȝhte do litelle hurte. The Romanes toke longe sithes to kytte the ropes of the sackes. Þen Iosephus destroyede alle theire instrumentes in castenge brennenge oyle on hit. The emperoure Vespasian beenge abowte to haue the instrumentes repairede, was hurte soore in the hele. Titus perceyvenge that, sende furthe a sawte, and schotte gunnes to the walles, Page  431, vol.4 in so moche that the hynder parte of the hedde of a man stondenge by Iosephus was smyten by the space of thre for|longes. Also a yonge infante was smyten thro a gunne ston from the secrete wombe of the moder to hit by þe halfe of a forlonge. The secunde walle of Ierusalem broken by Titus, Iosephus was founde amonge esches, where he hade lyen priuely by the space of thre daies. The men fyndenge hym seide, "Where to wille þow lyve, sithe that it behovethe not neiþer besemethe the, neiþer hit is lawefulle. For other thy lyfe schalle be a rewarde of treason, other a peyne of serui|tute. Remembre Moyses, whiche hade leuer to haue bene doen owte of the booke of lyfe, then to haue lyvede longer then his peple. Also Dauid hade leuer take vengeaunce then to be reseruede after the dethe of his peple." To whom Iosephus seide, "What man wolde not be delyuerede and losede [folio 202b] Page  433, vol.4 in suche distresse and languor, if hit were lawefulle. But hit is not lawefulle to eny man to loose, but to hym þat hathe bownde, wherefore we awe to kepe welle that wedde of owre life so longe as we may, as the trewe seruaunteȝ of oure Lorde after his pleasure. For that man is unkynde that wolde dye raþer then his Maker wolde that he scholde, or to lyfe lenger then hit were his wylle, as hit may be schewede off Abraham, Iacob, Moyses, and of Dauid, whiche desirede to haue bene delyuerede from the prison of this lyfe, but ȝitte noo seynte induced dethe to hym. Wherefore and if hit be goode to lyve, hit is sacrilege to lette hit, and if hit be glorious to dye in batelle y refuse hit not, and if ye say that it be swete to dye for liberte y condescende there to. Page  435, vol.4 Neuerthelesse lyfe is swete, that man is a cowarde that wille not dye when oportunite requirethe hit, the proprete of women is to sle þeym selfe. Whiche thynge brute bestes wille not doe un to theym selfe, neiþer to their kynde, but ioye to gedre, usenge defense ageyne thynges contrarious to theyme." This Iosephus seenge theyme to be segede soore, seide in this wise to men beenge with hym: "Make we this conuencion, that he that departethe firste owte of the howse schalle be sleyne by him that folowethe." Þis condicion pleasede alle men. Other men departede owte of the house and sleyne, Iosephus contynuede in lyfe with an other man. To whom he seide cownsellenge hym to breke the conuencion Page  437, vol.4 made. That doen Iosephus was taken and brouȝhte to Vespasianus themperoure. Iosephus, libro quinto. Vespasian exaltede to thempire of Rome, lefte Titus his son at the sege of Ierusalem, whiche walkenge abowte the cite with vjc. horse men to see a place of vauntage in the sege, was compassede abowte with the Iewes, neuerþelesse he returnede and wente thro theyme manly un to his hoste. The Iewes beenge in the cite desirede pease. But Titus, dredenge treason, seide in this wise: "To use wacches and batelle is a signe of myȝhty men, and to eschewe treason, leste [folio 203a] that treason ȝiffe illusion to vertu and also un to myȝhte." Wherefore the firste walle destroyede, Titus ȝiffethe cown|selle to his men to fiȝhte discretely leste that folesche Page  439, vol.4 strenȝhte appere if that cownesaile fayle, seyenge that hit is a signe of victory the superior to dye with his subiecte. That other secunde walle destroyede and broken downe, Titus offrede pease; but Symon and Iohn, gouernoures of the Iewes, seyenge contrary, there was suche hungre in the cite, and cruellenesse, that byenge and sellenge seasede and sethenge of meyte; peple did eyte leder for hungre, the dungge of bestes, the skynnes of serpentes, and the carion of horses. Where|fore the Romanes hade moore compassion of the Iewes then thei hade amonge þeyme selfe; galoes were putte on the walles that noo man scholde flee; withowte the walles captiuite, hungre withynne, and drede off bothe. Titus compassede the cite of Page  441, vol.4 Ierusalem with a newe walle, whiche hade in circuite abowte the cite xlti forlonges; the compasse of the castelles was nowmbrede to the space of x. forlonges, that oon of the Iewes scholde not escape. That hungre was so grete there that the beryer was beryede ofte afore the peple to be beryede, where the peple diede so soore that the erthe and grownde within the cite wolde not suffice to the beryalles of dedde peple. Wherefore thei caste ml. of peple ouer the walles. Titus seenge that sorowede soore, makenge a protestacion of forȝiffe|nesse; then mony of the Iewes fleenge to the Romanes, Titus commaundede to refresche theyme, whiche wontede other myȝhte to eite for feblenesse, other naturalle vertu to digeste hit. Somme men flenge from the cite hade receyvede in to theire wombes grete summes of golde, leste that the Romanes scholde haue eny goode þeroff. A man of Assiria perceyvenge that, schewede that thynge to the Romanes, wherefore the Page  443, vol.4 belyes of the Iewes that fledde were dirupte or kytte, where thei founde grete plente of golde, thauȝhe Titus commaunded the contrary. Titus movede Iosephus that he scholde inclyne if that he myȝhte the hertes of þe Iewes to dedicacion thro scripture, exemples and promisses, but hit profite not. Iosephus, [folio 213b] libro sexto. But Iohn and Symon stoppede alle the places broken downe that the Iewes myȝhte not escape owte, neither the Romanes myȝhte haue entre in to the cite. The howses of þe peple were serchede besyly, if they myȝhte fynde eny thynge; men denyenge were sleyne, and if the durre was schutte men supposede that þei hade somme meyte, and drawede thyder, wherefore that howse was broken; symple men were spoylede theire goodes, and ryche men accusede for Page  445, vol.4 theire goodes were sleyne, seyenge that thei wolde flee other elles thei wolde betray the cite. Egesippus, libro quinto, et Iosephus, libro septimo. Then that dede to be abhorrede happede in Ierusalem, of Mary the aliaunte, whiche spake to her yonge infante in that hungre in thys wise: "My son, alle cruelle þinges compasse the abowte, batelles, hungre, brennenge, and thefes, wherefore restore to thy moder that thow haste receyvede of here; goe in to that secrete place from whom thow come. I did somme tyme that pite requirede, now lete us do þat hungre inducethe and movethe;" whiche seynge in this wise rostede her childe at the fire, eitenge parte and reseruenge parte of hit. But the savoure of that flesche soe rostede movede mony peple to comme thyder, to whom Mary that woman seide in this wise: "Be not aschamede to folowe a woman, kepe silence, y was not auarous in that y kepede parte for yow," spekenge to the Page  447, vol.4 parte that was lefte, and seyenge, "O my son, þow arte fulle kynde, the encreaser of my lyfe, the enmyes to us be now oure gestes, þerfore eite ye and taste þerof, or trewly y schalle incorporate or eyte the residu. Be ye not a schamede to folowe a woman whom ye haue causede to eite in this wise." That dede to be aborrede was commune anoon and expressede þro alle the cite. Titus herenge that was so much movede in his herte that he extendede his hondes up towarde heven, and [folio 214a] seide, "We come to ȝiffe batelle to men, but as me thenke we ȝiffe batelle to brute bestes. But ȝitte brute bestes absteyne from theire awne kynde in theire moste necessite, and norische theyme, but this peple devourethe theire awne childer; þerfore lette us destroye and doe aweye theyme, for the dedes of theyme ar to be abhorrede." Iosephus, libro septimo. There was a man amonge the Romanes of the*. [ben, Cx.]Page  449, vol.4 cuntre of Siria, Sabinus by name, a man of grete audacite, worthy to be hade in lawde perpetualle, whiche ascendenge the walles of Ierusalem with xj. felowes, putte peple innu|merable of the Iewes to fliȝhte, whiche pressede downe with stones, and despisenge arowes, fauȝhte on knees, and woundede mony Iewes, defendenge hym with his schelde un tille that he was smyte thro the body in mony places with arowes, where thro he diede. Eggesippus. Titus causede his gunners to schote at the temple, where thro thei profite but lytelle, neuerthelesse thei brente the ȝates of the temple couerede with golde. ℞. Iosephus rehersethe and seithe that the destruction of the Iewes and the dispersion of theyme was causede for the dethe of Seynte Iames the ryȝhteuous. But Page  451, vol.4 trewly hit was causede for the dethe of Criste, after the seyenge of Criste in the Gospelle, "They schalle not leve oon ston on an oþer in the, in that thou hafe*. [schal is written above hafe.] not knowe the tyme of thy visitacion." For, as scripture seythe, Criste willethe not the dethe of a synner, but that he be con|uertede and lyve; wherefore he ȝafe to the Iewes space of penaunce by xlti yere after his dethe, that thei scholde not haue eny excusacion for synnes or theire trespasses, causenge thapostles to preche amonge theyme, and schewenge to theym other meruellous signes. Egesippus et Iosephus, libro septimo. For the similitude of a swerde of fyre was seene to honge ouer the temple by a yere allemoste afore the destruccion of the temple. Also a yonge calfe to be offrede that tyme of Ester calvede a lambe in the myddes of the temple. Also the este ȝate of the temple, unnethe wonte to be schutte by Page  453, vol.4 the helpe of xxti men, was openede oftetymes in the nyȝhte, the barres off the durres broken. Also armede men were seen and chariettes to flye in the aiere. The prestes at Pentecoste afore the takenge of the cite herde voices seyenge, [folio 214b] "Goe we hens, departe we from the seetes." Ihesus the son of Ananias, ascendede in to the temple in the iiijthe yere afore the takenge of Ierusalem, in theire festes callede Scenophagia, where he cryede in this wise: "A voyce from the este, a voice from the weste, a voice from the iiij. wyndes; woo, woo, woo to Ierusalem," cryenge so day and nyȝhte, in so moche that he wolde not leve that crye for betynge neither for feire wordes and preyers. Whiche brouȝhte afore Albinnus, the presidente of the Romanes, and correcte soore, wolde not leve that seyenge; and in the laste day of the destruccion of the Page  455, vol.4 cite he wente un to the walles of the cite, where he cryede in lyke wise, and when he seide "Woo to me," he was sleyne with a gunneston. ℞. Marianus rehersethe in his firste booke that the temple of Ierusalem brente, the grownde of hit was broken and divided with plowes to the despite of þe Iewes. Ieronimus in prologo super Iose. Titus returnede to Rome after the destruccion of the cite of Ierusalem, takenge with hym Iosephus the Iewe, whiche did write in Grewe vij. bookes of the captiuite of the Iewes, whom Titus combynede and putte to the commune bible; whiche deseruede to haue an ymage made for hym after his dethe for thexcellence of witte in the cite of Rome. Also this Iosephus did write xxti bookes off antiquite from the begynnenge of the worlde un to the tymes of Domician; in the xviijthe bookes of whom he knowlegethe Iohn Baptiste to haue be a trewe prophete, and Ierusalem to haue beene destroyede for the dethe of Iames þe Page  457, vol.4 lesse, callede Iames the ryȝhteuous. Where he seyethe also Criste to haue bene a wise man, the werker and doer of mony meruellous þinges, the doctor and techer of the gentiles and of the Iewes, at the laste sleyne by iniury, and after that to haue apperede to his disciples in the thridde day folowenge. Vespasianus the emperour diede in the lxxti yere of his age, of the flixe, in his awne towne, nye to the Sabynes; whiche [folio 215a] stondenge in the tyme of his dethe, seide in this wise, "Hit semethe an emperour to departe from thys worlde stond|enge." Giraldus in Topographia. The disciple of Petyr, Appollinaris by name, suffrede passion, sende to Rauenna but a lytelle season afore; in whose day the rauenes, crowes, and dawes gedre þer a grete multitude, to whom the carion of an horse is ȝiffen as of a consuetude. Wherefore somme men Page  459, vol.4 coniecture that cite to be callede in the langage off þe Allemaynes Rauenesburghe, whiche soundethe in Englische the cite of ravenes.