De Parthia. Isidorus, libro quarto decimo. Capitulum duodecimum.
ISIDORUS scheweþ þat Parthia*. [The MS. looks like Parchia, and so Cx. prints it; but c and t are identical (or nearly so) in MSS.] þat kyngdom, for myȝt and strengþe of men of þat lond, þat her name spredde into þe londes Assyria*. [of Assiria, Cx.] and Media, and*. [and] Added from Cx.] was i-woned*. [woonte, Cx.] to con|teyne al þe lond of foure contrees, of Assyria, of Media, of Persida,*. [Cx. omits of before Media and Persida.] and of Carmania; þe which lond Parthia streccheþ in lengþe from þe see þat is i-cleped Caspius anon to þe*. [Caspius vnto the, Cx.] Rede see; and in brede from the ryuer of Ynde to þe ryuer þat is i-cleped Tigris. Þat is þe byginnynge of þe lond þat is i-cleped Mesopotamia. Trogus, libro decimo, capituloPage 87, vol.1quinquagesimo primo.*. [quinto, Cx.] Parthi,*. [Perchii, Cx.] þe men of Parthia, in þe langage of þe contrey Scythia, beeþ i-cleped outlawes;*. [of Scicia, Cx., who omits all following till were outlawes (by cle|rical or typogr. error). The MSS. of both versions usually write Scicia.] for in the byginnynge of men of Scythia Parthi, þat beeþ men of Parthia, were outlawes; and whan þe kyngdom was i-take from þe men of Media to þe men of Persida, þan were þe Parthi as it were pray to þe victores, and were as it were vnknowe amonge men of the est londes, and anon*. [and anon] om. Cx.] vnto þat*. [þat] the, Cx.] tyme þat men of Macedonia bycom*. [bycam, Cx.] kynges and lordes of londes. Þan afterward þey serued þe Macedonyes, when þe Macedoynes were victours in þe est londes. But at þe*. [Cx. omits þe.] laste þey were partyners wiþ the Romayns, and deled lordschipe wiþ hem. Þese Parthi vseþ*. [vseden, Cx.] þe maneres of men of Scythia, þat put*. [put] Added from α. and Cx.] ham ouȝte som tyme; þerfore her armes and wepene beeþ fethery*. [αCx.; veþery, γ] swellynge wittes, gileful aspies. Men þey acounteþ violent and wommen mylde, and euere þei beeþ vnesi to hir [owne]*. [owne] Added from α. and Cx.] neiheboures oþer to*. [So α.; þe, MS.; to straunge, Cx.] strong men. Þey beeþ comounliche stille and litel of speche, more redy for to doo þan for to speke. Þerfore þey holdeþ pryue good happes and boonchief, as wel as yuel*. [So α. and Cx.; of yuel, MS.] happes and meschief. Þey beeþ buxom*. [buxom] obedient, Cx.] to here lordes for drede and not for schame. Þei beþ al i-cast*. [disposed, Cx.] to leccherie wiþ hire owne wifes; eueriche Page 89, vol.1 of hem haþ many wifes; no trespas among hem is i-pun[i]sched so grevousliche as spouse breche*. [aduoultrye, Cx.] by here lawe. [Þerfore]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] þey forbedeþ hire wifes*. [open, add. Cx.] siȝt festes and companye of oþer men; þei leueþ scarsliche and by litel mete, and eteþ no flesche but venysoun. Giraldus, dist. 17. Þilke men, after þey lefte þe kyng Seleucus,*. [Soleucus, MS.] woned vnder þe kyng Arsaces; and þerfore þey were i-cleped Arsacide. Þat kyng Arsaces tauȝt hem first lawes; he gadered knyȝtes and bulde castelles, citees, and strong walled townes; and at þe*. [þe] om. Cx.] laste Arsaces þe kyng ioyned þe kyngdom of Hyrcania to his emperie, and so men of Hyrcania longed to his empere. Among þe whiche aftirward among oþer kynges come Mi|thridates. Mithridates*. [Mithridates] Added from α. and Cx. The MSS. of both versions write Metridates or Mitridates.] sone after þe slauȝter of Crassus, consul of Rome,*. [MS. adds he. The scribe has misunderstood the sense.] regned and helde þe kyngdom þre and fourty ȝere, in þe whiche tyme he dede many viage, and*. [viages and had, Cx.] many faire victories hadde, as hit is declared ynnere yn his place. Trogus, libro quadragesimo primo.*. [14, Cx. See note on text.] Parthi, þe men of Parthia, beeþ in þe myddel bytwene þe Scitis,*. [bytwene Scitas, Cx.] men of Scythia, and Medes, men of Media. That londe of Parthi haþ*. [that londe. And Parchii haue, Cx.] many bonde men amonge hem, for þey beeþ neuere i-made fre; here fre men alwey rideþ on hors,*. [riden alway on horsbak, Cx.] and hir Page 91, vol.1 bonde men gooþ on foot.*. [a foote, Cx.] And in bataile þey fiȝteþ on hors. Þey gooþ to priue offis and to comyn feestes, but þey techiþ besiliche here children to ride and to schete,*. [schote, Cx.] and euerich of hem by his richesse and power fyndeþ to hir power*. [king, α.; kynde, Cx.] horsmen*. [horsmen men, MS., by mere clerical error; (not α. or Cx.)] in bataile for to fiȝte. Þei konneþ nouȝt fiȝte in no*. [more, α.; in comyn, Cx.] comyn manere, noþer þei konneþ nouȝt bysege castelles noþer strong walled townes; þey fiȝteþ on hors rennynge*. [ernyng, α.] in ful cours and turnynge aȝe, and ofte in hardest and strengest fiȝt þey feyneþ for to flee and sodeyn|liche turneþ and riseþ*. [fyght, Cx.] aȝen, þat þey mowe þe slyloker*. [slylyer, Cx., who places theyr enemyes after slee.] here enemyes wynne and slee. In bataile þei vseþ taboures and no trompe, and þey mowe not dure*. [endure, Cx., and so usually.] longe for to fiȝte. No men schulde hem awelde and wiþstonde,*. [wiþ stonde (and so frequently), MS.] and*. [yf, Cx.] þey were as stronge and stalworþe to dure, as they beeþ angry*. [and hasty, added in α. and Cx.] to rese;*. [fyghte, Cx.] hire burienge is wonderful; for bestes [al] to haleþ and tereþ and eteþ þe*. [for beestes teren, eten, and al to halen theyr flessch, and they burye only but the bones, Cx., from whom the words in brackets, wanting also in α., are supplied.] flesch; and [þey] burieþ onliche þe bones.