[Capitulum secundum.]*. [A space is left in the MS. here, but no numbering of the chapter.]
IN the natiuite of Criste a welle of oyle flowede ouer Tiber from the tauerne emeritory by alle the day, and a cercle apperede abowte the sonne. Martinus. And an ymage of golde felle downe, whom Romulus sette in his palice, seyenge that ymage scholde not falle un til that a pure virgyne hade a childe. Also the temple of peace felle, and after the exposicion of Seynte Ierom on this texte, "Lux orta est," alle sodomites thro alle the worlde were extincte in his natiuite. Petrus. Herode intendenge the dethe of inno|centes, Page 281, vol.4 was citede by an epistole to comme to Rome to them|perour, to the accusacion of Alexander and of Aristobolus his sonnes. Then sithe þer were iij. of that name Herode, the firste Herode was callede Ascolonita, of Ascalon, a cite whome he causede to be edifiede, under whom oure Savioure Criste was borne and the innocentes sleyne. The secunde was callede Herodes Antipa, son of the firste Herode, in the tyme of whom Seynte Iohn Baptiste was heded, and Criste suffrede passion. The thridde was callede Herodes Agrippa, son of Aristobolus, son of the firste Herode, whiche did sle Seynte Iames and imprisonede Seynte Petyr. The firste Herode Ascolonite, perceyvenge Alexander and Aristobolus his sonnes to stryve with hym of the succession of his realme, hade indig|nacion, Page 283, vol.4 wyllenge to ordeyne Antipater successor of that realme afore þeim. These childer entendenge the dethe of here fader were reiecte, and putte a wey from hym, whiche goenge to themperour made compleynte of iniury doen to theyme by theire fader. The thre kynges commenge to Ierusalem [folio 196a] and offrenge to oure Lorde Criste, returnede not by Herode after theire promyse, wherefore he supposede theyme to be illudede, and skornede of theire iowrney, þerfore he returnede his purpose of the dethe of the childer. This Herode citede to appere at Rome by themperour, and goenge by Tharsum, brente theire schippes in that they cariede the iij. kynges. Whiche returnenge from Rome after a yere and certeyne daies from the natiuite of Criste, acordede with his ij. sonnes, made bolde thro the confirmacion of his Emperour and lorde, did sle alle the childer within the costes of Bethleem, from the age of Page 285, vol.4 ij. yere un to the childer that hade but oon nyȝhte in age. Amonge whom oon childe of kynge Herode was sleyne, whiche was taken to be norischede in those costes, after the seyenge of Methodius the martir. The iuggemente of Godde wolde that he, destroyenge and sleenge mony childer, scholde lose his childer. For Alexander and Aristobolus, his sonnes, were hade suspecte of the dethe of theire fader, in that thei promisede grete ȝiftes to his barbore to kytte his throte when he did schave hym, seyenge there was noo truste in that olde man that causede his hoore heeres to be kytte that he myȝhte seme and appere yonge. Herode understondeng that, and movede soore ageynes his childer, did sle theyme bothe, and intendede that Antipa scholde succede hym in that realme, norischenge gretely Herodes Agrippa with his suster Herodias. Augustus Octouian, themperour of Rome, understondenge of the destruccion and dethe of the sonnes of Herode, seide in thys wise: "Y hade leuer be the swyne of Page 287, vol.4 Herode then his sonne;" for he sparede the dethe of swyne, but not of his childer. Herode Ascalonite hauenge lxxti yere in age was vexede with a soore fever, grete ycchenge, with swellenge of his feete, with vermyn commenge from his secrete membres, with a stynche intollerable, and with a violente tisike. Then Herode Ascalonite bathede in oyle by the cown|sailes of his leches, was taken from þe bathe beenge allemoste [folio 196b] dedde. Whiche usenge to eite an apple after alle other meites toke an knyfe in his honde, where with he hade intendede to haue sleyne hym selfe; a cosyn to hym perceyvenge that made a grete rumor, that was spronge soone thro alle the place. Anti|pater Page 289, vol.4 beenge in prison herenge þereof, enioyede moche in his herte, wherefore he was sleyne by þe commaundemente of Herode. Petrus, 45o capitulo. Iohn þe Evangeliste was borne abowte this tyme, and Herode, after the sleenge of his sonnes, diede in the xxxvij. yere of his reigne miserably, in the infir|mites rehersede afore, causenge the peple of the Iewes to sorowe sore in his dethe, for cause he commaundede alle the childer of the noble men amonge the Iewes to be sleyne in his dethe. Eusebius, libro primo, capitulo septimo. This Herode hade the generaciones of men of Hebrewe, and the begynnenges of other aliaunteȝ in secrete places of the temple, causenge theym to be brente in the tyme off his dethe, supposenge by that he scholde be made a noble man, and that his originalle scholde not be knowen. Neuerþeles there were mony men that hade the same writenges at their places, other elles thei Page 291, vol.4 hade þem in mynde, from whom the ordre of the generacion of theym comme un to us. Petrus, 51o capitulo. Arche|laus and Herode, sonnes of the Herode aforeseide, stryvenge for the succession of the realme afore Augustus emperour of Rome. Wherefore Octouian themperour, by the cownselle of the senate, ȝafe to Archelaus the halfe parte of the Iewery, and Ydumea, in the name of a tetrarchye. And the emperoure diuided that other halfe of the Iewery in to ij. partes takenge to Herodes Antipas Galilee, and to Philippe his broþer Ituria and Traconitides. And so Archelaus occupiede not the monarchye of the Iewes, but after the seyenge off commune peple, and of his awne boste. Oure Savioure Criste come this tyme from Egipte. That blessede childe Ihesu was founde in the temple sittenge, and inquirenge questiones of [folio 197a] theyme. Archelaus accusede ofte tymes by the Iewes, was Page 293, vol.4 sende to Vienna in Fraunce. In the stedde of whom iiij. tetrarches were institute, to depresse the insolence of the peple of the Iewes. Cesar Augustus diede that yere at Cam|pania, after that he hade reignede lvj. yere and halfe, in the monethe of September, the lxxvj. yere of his age, sleyne by treason of his wife Liuia, other poysonede as mony men reherse; neuerthelesse the holle yere is deputede to the reigne of Octo|uian themperoure. Eutropius, libro septimo.