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 sextum.

IUSTINIANUS, son of the suster of Iustinus, was emperour xxxviijti yere, whiche coartede the lawes of the Romanes, Page  325, vol.5 occupyenge allemoste ij. ml bookes and iij. c. ml versus, as is prolixe dissonaunce within oon volume of xij. bookes, whiche booke he callede Iustinianus. Also he made þe digeste, dividynge hyt in thre volumes. This Iustinianus did mony batelles, what by hym selfe and what by Bilisiarchus hys duke. Neverthelesse he did mony cruelle thynges, by cownsaile of Theodora thempresse puttenge Silverius the pope in to exile. ℞. Bonefacius the pope succedede Felix ij. yere; whiche made a constitucion that clerkes scholde be departede from lay men in tyme of masse, and also that the pope scholde electe his successor; whiche chosenge a man to be his successor, and founde unworthy, brente that statute afore alle þe cleregy. Iohn the pope, other Mercurius, succeded Bonefacius not oon yere complete. This pope kepede the vthe holy seene*. [Sic in MS., see p. 363.] uni|versalle at Constantinopole, in whom he converte Iustinian themperour, infecte with heresy of Arrius; also he ordeynede processions to be hade in Sonnedayes. Whiche dyenge þer was brouȝhte to Rome to be beryede; after the dethe of whom a Page  327, vol.5 grete mortalite was at Constantinopole, wherefore the Purifica|cion of oure Lady was halowed þer firste, which feste is callede Ypopanti, as a metenge, and so that dethe seasede. Silverius was pope oon yere; whiche wyllenge to calle from exile Antimus bischop of Constantinopole, dampnede for heresy by Agapitus þe pope, was putte to exile to the yle Poncian, by the commaundemente of themperour, and of Theodora them|presse, where he, induede with the habite of a monke, dyede. Vigilius was pope xviij. yere. Theodora thempresse schewede persecucion to hym for the seide Antimus, like as sche did to his predecessor, in so moche that he brouȝhte to Constantinopole, ledde from the churche Sancte Sophie, and bofette, was drawen [folio 251a] by a roope made faste abowte his necke from morowe un tyl nyȝhte. Somme men say þat vengeaunce to have fallen to Page  329, vol.5 hym in that he beynge archidiacon to Silverius causede Theodora thempresse to putte hym in to exile that he myȝhte be pope. Neverthelesse he toke correccion for þat offense afterwarde, whiche suffrenge grete iniury, seide to themperour and to thempresse, "Iustinianus and Theodora causede not me to comme to theyme, but Dioclicianus and Eleutheria." Henricus, libro secundo. Noble Arthur havynge xviij. yere in age, did aryse amonge the Britons in this yere, whiche was the xthe yere of Cerdicus kynge of Weste Saxons; whiche hade victory xij. tymes ageyne the Saxons; in the firste tyme on the water of Glene, and iiij. tymes on the water callede Duglas, whiche is in þe region of Inees. ℞. That water is callyde nowe in Ynglische Duggles, whiche rennethe by the cite of Wigan, beynge from the water callede Mersee x. myle, in Lancastreschire. Henricus. Also in the vjthe tyme, nye a water callede Bassa. In the vijthe tyme, nye to Lincolne, in a woode callede Celidon, and in the langage of Britons Caercoyt Celidon. In the ixthe tyme at the cyte Caerlegion. In the Page  331, vol.5 xijthe tyme in the mownte Badon. Willelmus de Regibus, libro primo. This is Arthur of whom the iapes of Britons discorde, whom tru storyes scholde expresse, and not false storyes, whiche scholde helpe the Britons as destroyede, puttenge to fliȝhte hym selfe allon ix.c. Saxones at the sege of the mownte Badon. ℞. Neverthelesse hit is redde that Cerdicus havenge mony conflictes with Arthur, overcommyn in oon tyme, apperede more myȝhty in the secunde tyme to batelle. And at the laste this Arthur made wery in batelle, abowte the xxvjti yere of the commynge of Cerdicus in to Briteyne, promisenge fidelite to Arthur, ȝafe to Cerdicus Hampteschire and Somer|seteschire, whiche parte he callede Westesex. Also hit is redde in the cronicles of Ynglysche men that Mordredus, son of the Page  333, vol.5 suster of Arthur, willenge to reigne, and dredynge Cerdicus, ȝafe to hym other costes to favor hym. Cerdicus makenge grawnte instorede his provinces with newe Saxons, and was crownede at Wynchestre after the maner of gentyles; and Mordredus was crownede at London, and made kynge of the [folio 251b] Britons; neverthelesse the yle of Wiȝhte remaynede to With|garus, son to the sustyr of Cerdicus. Neverthelesse, after the story of Britons, Arthur fiȝhtenge with Mordredus did sle hym, and was sleyne, in the vale of Avalonia, nye to Glassynbery, and beryede þer. The body of whom, with the body of Gvennevera his wife, was founde þer in the yere of oure Lorde God a ml c. and lxxx., in the tyme of kynge Henry the secunde, and translate or brouȝte to the churche, as Giraldus rehersethe, "distinctione prima, capitulo decimo octavo," whiche lyvede in that tyme, and towchede the boones of Arthur. Mony men mervayle of this Arthur, whom Gaufride Page  335, vol.5 extollethe so moche oonly, how the thynges scholde be tru that be seide of hym, for, as Gaufride rehersethe, he conquerede xxxti realmes. And if he subduede to hym the kynge of Fraunce, and did sle Lucius the proctor of Rome at Ytaly, þen hit is mervayle þat croniclers of Rome, of Fraunce, and of the Saxons, scholde not have expressede of so noble a prince in theire storyes, whiche expressede litelle thynges of lawe men of degre. Gaufride seithe Arthur to have overcommen Frollo kynge of Fraunce, sithe hit ys not redde of suche a name amonge men of Fraunce. Also he seythe Arthur to have sleyne Lucius Heberius, proctor of the cite of Rome, in the tymes of Leo themperour sythe after alle storyes of the Romanes Lucius gouernede not in þat tyme, neither Arthur was in the tyme of Leo themperour, neiþer borne in that tyme, but in the tyme of Iustinian, whiche was the vthe em|peroure from Leo. Gaufride seythe that he hathe mervayle that Gildas and Beda make noo mencion of Arthur in theire Page  337, vol.5 writenges; but y suppose hit be rather to be mervaylede why þat Gaufridus extollethe hym so moche, whom olde auctores, tru and famose writers of storyes, leve untowchede. But peraventure the consuetude of every nacion is to extolle somme of theire blode in lawde excessive, as the Grekes grete Alexander, the Romanes Octavian, Englische men kynge Richarde, Frenche men Charls; and so the Britons extollede Arthur. Whiche þinge happethe, as Iosephus seythe, other for feyrenesse of the story, other for the delectacion of the reders, Page  339, vol.5 other for exaltacion of theire propre bloode. Þerfore after Gaufride, in his boke of Briteyne, Arthur lyke to dye grawnt|ede the diademe of his realme un to Constantyne his cosyn, sonne to Cador duke of Cornewayle; whiche fiȝhtenge ofte|tymes with the sonnes of Mordredus, did slee theyme, dyenge [folio 252a] hym selfe after the iiijthe yere of his reigne. After whom Page  341, vol.5 Aurelius Conanus occupiede þat realme thre yere, whom Vorti|pernus succedede iiij. yere. After hym Malgo the beawtuous man reignede, infecte with þe synne of sodomy. After whom Careticus reignede a certeyne space, contrarious to God, and a luffer of civile batelle: the Saxons perceyvenge the incon|stance of hym, sende for Gurmundus to Yrlonde, whiche hade subduede hit late to hym, and at the laste thei segede Careticus at Cirencestre, causenge hym to fle with the Britons over the water of Severne in to Wales, wastenge Loegria with fyre and by swerde. And from that tyme the Britons loste the monarchye. Cerdicus, the firste kynge of the Westesaxons, diede after þe xxvijti yere of his reigne, whom Kynricus his sonne succeded xxvjti yere. David other Dewei was made Page  343, vol.5 bischoppe of Menevia in Wales. Chilpericus the vijthe kynge of men of Fraunce, reignede after Lotharius his fader xxiiijti yere. The realme of Northumbrelonde began under Ida the sonne of Eoppa, in þe xijthe degre from Woden, from whom alle the regalle bloode of Northumbrelonde toke begynnynge, and reignede in Bernica xij. yere, havynge mony childre. That thynge happede in the tyme of this emperour Iustinian, that Gregory expressethe in his dialogges of the bischoppes, whiche Page  345, vol.5 heded at Affrike for the feithe of Criste, spake theire hedes kytte of, oon bischop excepte, whiche wontede that vertu for cause he hade fallen to the synne of þe flesche. Abowte this tyme also an archidiacon of the londe of Sicille, Theophilus by name, rewlede hym so nobly under the bischoppe, that he was electe to be bischoppe after the dethe of his lorde. Whiche refusenge hit, suffrede an oþer man to be bischoppe, by whom Theophilus was putte from his office withowte ryȝhte; where|fore he come to so grete impacience, takenge counsaile of a nigromancier of Hebrewe, that he wolde forsake Criste and Mary his moder in this condicion, that he myȝte reioyce the office that he hade afore, makenge homage to the develle, and [folio 252b] writenge the dede with his awne bloode. Whiche receyvenge his office in the morowe folowynge, compuncte in hym selfe and contrite, receyvede the dede taken to the develle, and also Page  347, vol.5 remission of his synnes, thro the meane of Mary moder of Criste. Whiche expressede afore the bischoppe and other peple his offense, causynge alle men to mervayle and to honoure Criste, dyenge in that place after the thridde day in whom oure lady restorede to hym the wrytenge. Pelagus the pope succeded Vigilius xj. yere. In whiche yere Totila, kynge of the Gothes, entrede in to Ytaly, and so in to Campany, goynge by the monastery of Seynte Benedicte, and after that to Rome, segenge hit soore, and entrenge in to hit in the nyȝhte by the ȝate Hostiense, causenge the trumpettes to blawe, that somme of the Romanes myȝhte avoide his cruellenesse. This Athila,*. [Sic in MS.] willenge to attempte wheþer blissede Benedicte hade the spirite of prophecy, toke a knyȝhte of his, settynge a diademe on his hedde, clothede also with regalle vesture, as if he hade bene the kynge, and sende hym to Seynte Benedicte. Page  349, vol.5 To whom he seide, "Put downe from the that þou dose use and were now, hit is not þyne that thow beres." After that Totila felle downe to the grownde afore Seynte Benedicte, and wolde not aryse un tille blissede Benedicte toke hym up from the grownde, seyenge to hym: "Thou hase doen mony ylle thynges; sease nowe: thow schalle entre in to Rome, and passe and reigne after this oonly ix. yere:" from whiche tyme he schewede moore mercy þen he did afore. Whom Narses the patricius overcomme in batelle. Then Cassiodorus, somme tyme chaunceler of Theodoricus kynge, floryschede in con|nynge, after that consulle, and also a senator, made a monke at Rome; after that expownede the sawter nobly amonge other noble werkes. Kynricus, kynge of Weste Saxons, diede, whom Ceaulinus, his son, succedede xxxiijti yere. This kynge chasede the Britons from the cites of Cirencestre, Gloucestre, and of Bathe, un to woodes in Wales. Willelmus de Regibus, libro primo. Whiche hatede bothe of Britons and of the Saxons in Page  351, vol.5 the ende, and his hoste sleyne, was putte in to exile, where he diede. In the tyme of whom Elle the xijthe from Woden, began to reigne in the province of Deira, reignenge þer alle|moste xxxti yere. At the name of whom the grete pope Gregory, seenge childer of Ynglonde to be solde at Rome, [folio 253b] seyde hit behovethe Alleluia to be songe there. ℞. Never|thelesse the grace of feithe come not to Elle, but un to kynge Edwynus his sonne. After that Adam, the firste geten son of Ida, reignede in Bernicia vij. yere, and Claspa v. yere, Theod|wulphus oon yere, Feotulphus vij. yere. Elle beynge in lyfe and his sonne Edwyne putte thryes to fliȝhte, Ethelicus, son of Ida, reignede v. yere on bothe provinces, Deira and Bernicea. Paulus, libro primo in fine. Audoenus, kynge of Longobardes, Page  353, vol.5 dwellenge in Pannonia, abowte this tyme ȝafe soore batelle to the Geppideies, in whiche conflicte Albinus, son of Audoenus kynge of the Longobardes, did sle the sonne of the kynge of Geppideies, and so they were dispersede. Wherefore the Longobardes preiede theire kynge to make a feste to his sonne. The kynge answerede seyenge þat hit was not conveniente that the sonne scholde sytte egally to the fader in eny feste withowte that he hade taken armes of somme straunge kynge. Albinus herenge that, and takynge with hym xlti noble yonge men, wente to the kynge of Geppideies, the sonne of whom he hade sleyne afore, desirenge armes of hym. Whiche receyvede with grete honor of the kynge, was sette in the place where the kynges son that was sleyne was wonte to sytte. The seide kynge sighenge soore seyde: "That place is amable to me, but hit grevouthe me to see the person sittynge þer." Then the son of the kynge seide to Abinnus,*. [Sic.] rekukenge gretely the Page  355, vol.5 Longobardes in his langage, seyenge theyme to be like to mares, the feete of whom be whyte nye to the thyes, in that the Longo|bardes usede that tyme whyte listes un to theire theiȝes. To whom oon of the Longobardes seide: "Goe into the felde, and thow schalle experte how worthyly these mares can spurne, where the boones of thy broþer do lye." Then the Geppideis ordeynede theym to fiȝhte, and the Longobardes sette hondes to theire swerdes. But the kynge arysenge from the table stillede that rumor, seyenge that hit is not an honeste victory to sle a geste in his ynne; takenge to Albinnus the armor of his son, sendenge hym to his fader in pease. Willelmus de [folio 253b] Regibus, libro primo. Ethelbertus, son of Ermenicus, reignede in Kente after Bede lvti yere; whiche was hade in derision Page  357, vol.5 of other kynges nye to hym in the begynnenge of his reigne, whiche loosenge victory in ij. batelles, cowthe unnethe kepe his awne cuntre. But after that he subduede to hym alle kynges nye to hym, the kynge of Northumbrelonde excepte; cow|plenge to hym blissede Francigena at the desire of Letardus the bischoppe, whiche come with her to reconsile vertu, and to correcte synne. At the laste he refusede infidelite at the prechynge of Seynte Austyn, and made lawes after the speche of his cuntre, ordeynynge to goode men rewardes, and peyne to synners; dyenge in the xxjti yere folowenge the tyme he hade receyvede the feithe. Martinus. Iohn þe iiijthe, pope after Pelagius, sate as presidente xiij. yere. In whiche tyme Priscian the gramarion, borne in Cesarea, floryschede at Constantinopole, whiche discussede not oonly gramer, but he describede the worlde also in a booke callede Cosmographia. Of whom Hugucio, Page  359, vol.5 capitulo Edo es, rehersethe that he forsakede the feythe of Criste for the luffe of a disciple longynge to hym, Iulianus by name. In whiche tyme Orator, subdiacon of the cite of Rome, did wryȝte the Actes of thapostles in versus exametre. Also Seynte Brendan thabbotte was this tyme in Irlonde, of whom mervel|lous thynges be redde, and specially of his purgatory, whiche is seide to be in the weste partes of Yrlonde. In whiche tyme the boones of Seynte Steven were brouȝhte to Rome, and putte into a place with the boones of Seynte Laurence. And, as the cronicles of the Romanes expresse, that Seynte Laurence lyenge un to that tyme upryȝhte, turnede hym then on his side, as to ȝiffe space to Steven his felawe.