De Asia et ejus provinciis. Isidorus, libro quarto decimo. Capitulum undecimum.
ISIDORUS seiþ þat Asia haþ þe name, and is i-cleped after a womman þat woned þerynne, þat was i-cleped Asia. In Asia beeþ many prouinces and londes, þe whiche I schal descriue and rekene al arewe,*. [al along, Cx.] and bygynne wiþ Ynde. Inde haþ in þe est side þe sonne risynge, in þe south þe see occean, in þe west þe ryuer of Inde, in þe north þe hulle þat is i-cleped Caucasus; and so Ynde is i-ended. In Ynde beeþ men of colour and hewe i-died. In Ynde is a brede þat is i-cleped phitacus, elephantis, peper, and a tree þat is i-cleped hebanus, euery, and precious stones,*. [stones] Added from α. and Cx.] beriles, criso|prassus, charbunculus,*. [charbonicles, α.; carbunclis, Cx., who has crisopassis (sic) just before.] adamantis, and goldene hulles, to þe whiche it is ful harde for to come for dragouns and grypes, and for dyuers manere of*. [α. and Cx. om. of.] men grisliche and wonderliche i-schape. Among alle þe londes of þis worlde Ynde is þe*. [α. and Cx. om. þe.]Page 81, vol.1 grettest and most richest,*. [ryche, Cx.] strengest and most ful of peple, yn wonder and meruayles most wonderful. In Inde a crop of a figge tree is so huge*. [grete, Cx.] and so wide i-sprad, þat meny com|panyes of men may sitte at þe*. [Cx. omits þe.] mete wel i-now þere vnder. Þat makeþ*. [causeth the, Cx.] goodnes of þe lond, temprure*. [So also α.; temperure, Cx.] of wedir and plente of watir. Plinius, libro sexto, capitulo decimo nono. In Ynde beeþ many kynges and peples; som of hem tilieþ*. [tylleth the, Cx.] londe, som vseþ chaffare and marchaundise, som knyȝthode and chyualrie, and som beeþ grete clerkes. In Ynde beeþ trees, þat haueþ coppis*. [toppis, Cx., which may be right.] as hiȝe as me schal schete wiþ an arwe. Also of a gobet bytwene tweie knottes of a rede in Ynde me makeþ a boot, þat ouer depe watres*. [a depe water, Cx. (after at ones).] bereþ þre men at ones. In Ynde beeþ men of fyue cubites*. [cubyte, Cx.] long, þat eueleþ nouȝt,*. [wexe not seke, Cx.] noþer*. [ner, Cx.] ȝildeþ vp þe breeþ. Also þere beeþ Satyri and oþer dyuers men grisliche and wonderliche i-schape. Þerynne beþ men of a cubite longe, and beeþ i-cleped Pigmei; þese Pigmei geten children and gendreþ*. [engenderen, Cx.] in þe fourþe ȝere, and horeþ*. [wexe hore, Cx.] in þe fifte ȝere;*. [α. and Cx. om. ȝere.] þei gadereþ a greet hoost and rideþ vppon wetheres and rammes to fiȝte wiþ cranes, and de|stroyeþ her nestes and her eyren;*. [egges, Cx.] for þe cranes þat beeþ hir enemyes schulde not encrese and wexe to many. Þere beeþ Page 83, vol.1 besy philosofres þat byholdeþ on þe sonne al þe day long. Also somme haþ hedes as it were houndes, and þe voys þat þey makeþ is liker to an*. [α. om. an and α; Cx. has to berkynge of houndes.] houndes berkynge þan to a*. [α. om. an and α; Cx. has to berkynge of houndes.] manis voys; þey beeþ i-cloþed in wylde bestes skynnes and i-armed wiþ hir owne teeþ and nayles, and lyueþ by huntynge and haukynge. Oþere þere beeþ þat haueþ no mouth, and lyueþ by odour and smelles, and beþ i-cloþed in mosse and hery tuftes þat groweþ out of treen.*. [trees, Cx., and so elsewhere.] Oþer horeth in ȝonþe, oþer*. [and, Cx.] wexeþ blak in elde. In som hulles of Ynde beeþ men þat haueþ*. [Cx. adds the.] soles of hir feet ouertorned and eyȝte fyngres in oon honde. Tull. de Tusc. 90.*. [The reference should be to Cic. Tusc. Quæst. lib. v. c. 27.] In oo con|tray of Ynde euerich man haþ many wyfes; but whan þe housbond is deed, þe wyfes schulle goo to gidres, and loke whiche of hem was best i-loued of þe housbonde; and sche schal be beried wiþ hym and putte*. [i-put, α.] on erþe*. [in the erthe, Cx.] quyk*. [Cx. adds and.] alyue; and in þat contray þat is acounted þe fairest hap and [fortune, and also]*. [Added from Cx., who places acounted after fortune.] worschippe þat eny wyf myȝte haue. Petrus, 196.*. [19o, 6, MS. and Cx.] In Ynde beeþ trees þat beeþ i-cleped þe trees of þe sonne and of þe mone; preostes þat ete of þe apples of þilke trees lyued*. [lyuen, Cx.] fyue hondred ȝere. Þey were i-cleped þe trees of þe sonne, for euerich of hem quaked Page 85, vol.1 and schoke as sone as þe sonne beem touched his cop,*. [toppe, Cx. (and possibly this may be the MS. reading.)] and answered men þat stood aboute. Þe same doynge was of þe trees of [þe]*. [þe] Added from α. and Cx.] mone. By þese trees þe grete kyng Alex|ander*. [Alysaundre, Cx.] was forbode, þat he schulde neuere come in Babylon. Isidorus libro quinto decimo. Offir is an ylond of Ynde; þerynne is greet plente of golde, and þe passage þerto out of þe grete see*. [þe grete see] Grece, Cx. (con|fusing c and t.)] is by þe Rede see.