De Assyriis. Isidorus, libro quarto decimo. Capitulum tertium decimum.
TAKE hede þat Assyria haþ þe name of Asur Sem his sone, for he was þe firste þat woned þerynne after Noes flood. Þis londe Assyria haþ in þe est side Inde, in þe south Media, in þe west þe ryuer Tigris, and in þe north þe hille þat is i-cleped Caucasus. Þere beþ þe ȝates of Caspy; þere þe hilles beeþ longe and narwe. Trogus, libro quadragesimo secundo. Egeus was kyng of Athenis; Medus was Egeus*. [his, add. in α. (not Cx.)] sone, and folowed þe dedes of Iason þat was his owne stepfader, and belde*. [buylt, Cx.] þe cheef citee of Media, and cleped þe citee Media also, in worschippe of his moder þat was i-cleped Media. Þat londe Media haþ in þe north side Parthia,*. [the see, Cx.] in þe est Inde,*. [So α. and Cx.; ende, MS.] in þe west Caldea, in þe south Persida. Isidorus, libro quarto decimo. Persida is i-nempned and haþ þe name of Perseus þat conquered þat londe, and made it a worþy lond þat was raþer*. [rather] to fore, Cx.] vnworþy. Persida haþ in þe est syde*. [syde] om. Cx.] Inde, and*. [and] om. Cx.] in þe west þe Rede see, in þe norþ Media, and*. [and] om. α.] in þe south Carmania. Page 95, vol.1 In þat Persida bygan first wicchecraft in Nemproot*. [Nemprot, α.; Nembroth, Cx.] þe geauntes tyme, þat after þe spredinge of many languages*. [langage, MS. and α.; languages, βγCx.] and tonges went into Persida, and tauȝt men of þat londe to worschippe þe fire and þe sonne, þat is i-cleped in her langage El. Þe cheef citee of þat londe was i-cleped Elam, after Elam Sem his*. [Sem his] Semmes, Cx.] sone; þat citee was afterwarde i-cleped Elamaide, and is now i-cleped Persipol.*. [Persipolis, α., Cx.] Of þat citee spekeþ Holy Writt in libro Machabæorum, and of þat citee þey hadde þe name, þat*. [they, Cx.] were sometyme i-cleped Elamyte in Actibus Apostolorum. Mesopotamia lyth bytwene Tigris in þe est side and Euphrates in þe west side, and bygynneþ out of þe north bytwene the tweye hulles Taurus and Caucasus, and haþ Babylon*. [The MSS. of both versions usually have Babilon and Babilonia.] in þe south side. Isid. libro quinto decimo. Þei Babylonia were afterward i-cleped a parte of Caldea; hit was first so solempne þat it con|teyned*. [conteyneth, Cx.] Assyria, Caldea, and Mesopotamia, þre londes. Þe cheef citee of Babylonia was Babylon, þe citee þat þe geant Nemprot*. [Nemport, α.; Nemproth, the geant, Cx.] bulde;*. [buylded, Cx.] and Semiramis þe quene aftirward made þat citee more. Petrus, capitulo 37. Þe citee is i-cleped Baby|lon, and þe londe Babylonia; þey þat oon be wel ofte i-take for Page 97, vol.1 þat oþer; bote þe tour is i-cleped and hatte*. [called and mamed, Cx.] Babel. Orosius,*. [Orocius, α.; Oracius, MS. and Cx.]libro secundo. Babylon was i-buld as a castel, and i-walled wiþ foure walles square al aboutes;*. [aboute, Cx.] eueriche wal was fifty cubites in brede, and foure tyme*. [tyme] added from Cx.] so moche in heiþe; þe lengþe of euery*. [So also α.; both forms occur in both MSS.] wal from oon corner to anoþer was sixtene myle. Þe walles were all aboute foure hondred and foure score forlong, þat is foure and fourty*. [fifty, α.] myle. Þe walles were i-made of brend tile and of glewe in stede of morter, so þat [noþer]*. [noþer, α.; nether, Cx.; om. MS.] water noþer fire myȝte ham to schifte noþer to dele.*. [myghte hem schyfte ne departe, Cx.] In þe*. [this, Cx.] citee were an hondred ȝates and a diche wiþ oute, þat was fer i-seie; þe ryuer Euphrates ran by þe myddel of þe citee þorwoute. Neuerþeles Cyrus, kyng of Persida, tooke þat citee aftirward and destroyed hit, as it is inner more*. [inner more] afterward, Cx.] i-write. Ierom seiþ þat of þe releef of þis citee were i-buld two grete citees in Persida, and þe place of Babylon is now wildernesse and ful of*. [ful of] om. α.] wylde bestes. Caldea, as Cassidea, haþ þe name of Casseth, Nachor his sone. Nachor was Abraham his broþer. Caldea is a grete kyngdom bysides Euphrates; in Sennaar,*. [Semaar, MS., α., and Cx.] a hile*. [So α.; hild, MS., apparently; felde, Cx.] of þat kyng|dom, þe toure Babel was i-buld. Josephus, libro primo. Þe*. [þat, α. and Cx.]Page 99, vol.1 toure Babel was i-buld two hondred þre score and twelf paas hiȝe, þe lengþe somdel þe*. [þe] om. Cx.] lasse to hem þat byhelde it nyh, for þe brede was so moche. ℞. Som men seiþ þat þis*. [the, Cx.] tour was þre myle hiȝe, but Iuo Carnotensis sciþ in his cronicle þat þis toure was fyue myle and almost two hundred paas hiȝe and foure myle brode. ℞. Arabia is i-sette by south Caldea, and haþ in þe est side Persida, and in þe west side þe Rede see. In Arabia is store, mir, and canel; and a brid,*. [byrde, Cx., who writes phenyx.] þat hatte*. [that is called, Cx.] fenix. Þe norþ est porcioun of Arabia hatte*. [is named, Cx.] Saba, [and is i-cleped*. [called, Cx.] Saba]*. [[. . .] added from α. and Cx.] after Sabacus*. [Saba Chus sone, Cx.] his sone. Þis Saba is i-clipped*. [byclipped, Cx.] in þre sides wiþ þe Rede see. Josephus, libro secundo.*. [primo, Cx.] In þis Arabia, in þe contray [of]*. [Added from α. and Cx.] Madyan, is þe hil*. [the mount of, Cx.] Syna. Þe mount of*. [of] om. Cx.] Oreb is a partie of þe mounte of Synay, and is hiȝe, and haþ grete plente of gras and of lese; but hit is harde to come þerto for hiȝe rokkes and skarres. Moyses was þe firste man þat ladde þyder bestes. Hit is i-cleped also þe mount of couenaunt and of drede: for God all myȝty þere vppon made þonderynge and liȝtnynge, and ȝaf þe lawe to þe folk of Israel, þat were at þe hulle Page 101, vol.1 foot; so þat no man durste neyhe,*. [approche to it, Cx.] but he were purified and i-made all*. [all] om. Cx.] clene. Trevisa. Fenix is a wonder brid, for of*. [of] added from α. and Cx.] al þat kynde is but oon alyue. ℞. In þe contray of Arabia toward Circius is þe hil þat is i-cleped Mons Libani. Þat hille departeþ þre londes atwynne,*. [a sonder, Cx.] Arabia, Iude, and Fenix.*. [So also α.; Fenys, Cx., which is better; and so MS. below.] Þat hul is ful hiȝe, so þat snowe*. [MS. repeats þat (clerical error).] lyeth all wey in som side of þat hille. [And it]*. [Added from Cx.] is certeyn merk and token to schipmen þat seileþ in þe grete see and ledeþ hem to dyuers mouþes and hauenes. Hit is an hille of helþe and of*. [of] om. Cx.] plente; for cipres, cedres treen, and herbes groweþ þeron, þat droppeþ gom and smelleþ swetely;*. [swete, α., Cx.] by þe whiche treen, gom, and swetnesse seke men beeþ i-heled and venyme destroyed. Syria haþ þe name of Cirus Abrahams neuew, and lieth bytwene þe ryuer Euphrates*. [Eufrates, MSS., as usual.] in þe est side and the grete see in the west side, and haþ in þe norþ side Armenia and Cappadocia, and in þe souþe side þe see þat is i-cleped Arabicus, and conteyneþ many prouinces þat beeþ Commagena, Palestina, Fenys, Canaan, Idumea, Iudea þat is þe Iuerie. Damascus was somtyme þe chief citee of þat prouince.*. [So Cx.; prouinces, MS. and α.] Eleezer*. [Eleaser, Cx.] Abraham's seruaunt Page 103, vol.1 bulde and made þat citee Damascus. Rasyn kyng of Dam|ascus*. [Damaske, Cx., but Damascus below.] helpe*. [halp, α. (not Cx.)] awey þe tenþe lynage*. [ten lynages, Cx.] of Israel aȝenst the kynges*. [So α. and Cx.; kyng, MS.] of Iuda. Damascus is to menynge*. [as moche to saye as, Cx. (who makes similar alterations every|where).]schedynge blood, for þere Caym slowh Abel and hyd hym in þe sonde.