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.

De Grœcia et eius prouinciis. Capitulum vicesimum secundum.

AUCTOURS telleþ þat Grees with þe prouinces*. [prouince, MS. (not Cx.)] þerof is lady of kyngdoms, norice of knyȝthode and of chiualrie, moder of philosofie, fynder and mayster of art and sciens,*. [of science, Cx.] and haþ þe name of oon Grecus þat reigned þere somtyme. Neuerþeles*. [Netheles, Cx. (and so often.)] þat lond is comounliche i-cleped Illyricus,*. [Iliricus, MS.] þe men þerof beþ i-cleped Greci, Graii, Achei, Achivi, Argivi, Attici, Iones, Ionii, and*. [and] So Cx.; et, MS.] Hellenes. But whan þe grete Constantyn made*. [Constantyn made] added from α. and Cx.] Constantinopolim þe cheef sete of þe empere*. [þe empere] α., β.; thempyre, Cx.; the empery γ. This is nearer the Latin than the Ms. reading þe emperour.] of Rome, þan were þe Grees*. [Grekes, Cx., and so below.] i-cleped Romanij,*. [So MS., α., and Cx.] as it were men of newe Rome, so seiþ Rabanus. And anon to þis day þe Grees clepeþ nouȝt hem self Grees, but Romayses,*. [the Grekes be but Romayses, Cx.] and were somtyme stalworþe and orped and best men of armes, and neuerþeles sugett*. [natheles subget, Cx.] to lawes. Isidorus,*. [Seemingly a clerical error for Giraldus. Cf. Præf. Dist. l. p. 6. (Ed. Brewer.) But the reference is uncertain.]Page  177, vol.1libro primo, capitulo septimo decimo. In þis lond was som|tyme þe studie and þe scole of Pallas and Minerua, of grettest art and sciens of knyȝthode and of chiualrie, and þe clergie and the chiualrie hilde*. [helde, Cx.] so to giders þat in þe comyn profiȝt was all way good spede. Also þe olde Graii auntrede*. [aventured, Cx.] and gat many þinges by clergie and dedes of armes, but þat vertue keled*. [So α. and Cx.; keleþ, MS.] and wiþ drowe ynne ham þat com*. [cam, α. and Cx.] afterward, and passede from þe Grees to þe Latyns, so þat þe raþer welles beeþ*. [So α.; is, MS.] now but lakes,*. [so that to fore where welles were, ben now but lakes, Cx.] oþer more vereyliche dreye chanels wiþ oute watir. For now þey holdeþ Sinonis*. [Synonis, MS.] feynynge, Vlixis*. [So α; Vlixus, MS.; Vlixes, Cx.] gile, Atreuis cruelnesse, and fiteþ wiþ sleiþe and wiþ cauteles and nouȝt wiþ armoure and wepoun. Þis lond Grecia is faste by þe grete see, and conteyneþ many prouinces, þat beeþ Thracia,*. [þat beeþ Thracia] Added from α. and Cx. The MSS. have Tracia, as usual; but Thessalia is correctly written in MS. (not Harl. MS.)] Lacedemonia, Macedonia, Achaia, Arcadia, Thessalia, Helladia, Beotia.*. [Boecia, MSS. of both versions, and Cx.] Thracia hatte Epirus also, for*. [for] added from Cx.] Epirote woned þerynne somtyme, and haþ in þe souþ side þe see Egeus,*. [Egedeus, MS.] in þe west Macedonia. In Macedonia woned somtyme dyuers men þat hiȝte Massagete, Sarmate, and Gothi. Isidorus, libro quinto.*. [15, α., Cx.] In þis lond is a welle þat quencheþ brennynge brondes, and tendeþ brondes þat beeþ a Page  179, vol.1 queynt.*. [acquenchyd, Cx.] Þe chief cite of þis lond is Constantinopolis in þe est side, openliche i-seie by twene þe tweie sees Ponticus and Propontides, and opounliche i-seie out of water and of lond, and was somtyme þe cheef citee of þe Est; riȝt as Rome was of þe West, and hiȝte som tyme Byzantium.*. [Bisancium, MSS.] Of þis citee Willielmus, libro quarto Regum, spekeþ in þis manere: Þe grete Constantinus bulde and made þis citee euene and pere to Rome*. [Rome] So α. and Cx.; Lon|doun, MS.] and demed þat þe Emperour schulde nouȝt be chief þere; þe Apostles were cheef, and nameliche i-crowned. And he brouȝt þider also meny relikes of holy seyntes, þat myȝte hem helpe aȝenst her enemyes. Ymages of false goddes and tripodes Delphicos þat were Apolynes ymages he brouȝte to byskorne*. [by skorne, MS., and similarly often.] and bysmere*. [busmere, α.] to hem þat byhelde hem and say.*. [he brought to be scorned and spyght to them that behelde hem and sawe, Cx.] So þis Emperour vouched sauf to bulde þe chief citee of þe empere in good corn contray, where þere is good tem|perure of heuene and of wedir, besides þe londe Mysia,*. [Misia, MSS. (of both versions).] þat haþ grete plente of corn and of fruyt. Þe*. [That, Cx.] citee is i-seiȝe and i-schewed to alle schipmen þat seilleþ þider ward out of what lond þat þey come of Asia and*. [and of, Cx.] Europa, and is wel nyȝ byclipped al aboute wiþ þe grete see, and is cornered wiþynne þe clippynge of þe walles faste by þe see side, and is*. [I is, MS. (not α. or Cx.)] byclipped wiþ a wal of twenty þowsand paas. Þere wiþ hupes of stones*. [ther with heepes and huppels of stones, Cx.] and of grauel, i-caste Page  181, vol.1 into þe see besides þe citee, þe lond i-serched*. [eched, Cx.] and i-made more. Also þe ryuer Danubius, þat hatte Hister also, is i-lete and i-ladde in to dyuerse places of þe cite by goteres vnder erþe in þis manere. Whan þe water schal torne*. [renne, Cx.] in to þe citee men takeþ out a barre, þat þe water is i-stopped wiþ, and letteþ þe water renne, and stoppeþ whan hem likeþ. And so Danubius fyndeþ water i-now to an hondred stretis. In þis citee Constantinus arered and bulde tweie famous chirches; but Iustinianus þe Emperour bulde afterward þe þridde chirche in worschippe of Diuina Sophia, þat is, oure Lord Crist, þat*. [þa, MS. (not α.)] Agia clepeþ Diuina Sophia, in*. [an, α.] Englisshe, Þe Wisdom of God. And men telleþ þat þe werk passeþ al þe buldynge of þe worlde, and is more noble þan men konne*. [kun, α.; can, Cx.] telle. Þeder Seint Eleyne*. [Helene, Cx.] brouȝte þe holy crosse þat oure Lorde Crist deied on; þere resteþ þe apostles Andrewe and Iames, þat is i-cleped Frater Domini;*. [Cx. adds: in Englisshe, oure lordes broder.] þere resteþ Mathias and prophetes also, Heliseus, Samuel, and Daniel; and also Luke þe euangeliste, and martires ful many; also confessours, Iohan wiþ þe gilden*. [golden, Cx. (not α.)] mouth, Basilius, and Gregorius Nazianzenus; and virgines, Agatha and Lucia.

Lacedemonia, þat hat Spartania*. [Spartania] So α. and Cx.; Speratonia, MS.] also, is a prouince of of Grecia faste byside Thracia. Men of þat prouince beeþ i-cleped Lacedemones of Lacedemon, Semelis*. [So Cx.; Samuelis, MS.; Samelis, α.] sone, and Page  183, vol.1 beeþ i-cleped Spartani also. Trogus, libro tertio. Þese men somtyme byseged þe citee Messena ten ȝere to gidres, and were wery and i-greued*. [agreued, Cx.] of pleyntes and grucchinge of her wyfes, and dradde also þat longe abidynge from home in werre and in bataille schulde make hem childrenlese*. [childeren, Cx. (typogr. error).] at hom, and ordeyned þerfore þat þe*. [þe] om. Cx.] maydenes of her londe schulde take ȝongelynges þat were i-left at home; so þat euery mayde schulde take many ȝongelynges,*. [þat were . . . ȝongelynges] om. Cx.] euerich after oþer; for þey hoped to haue þe strenger childeren, ȝif eueriche womman assayed many men. But for þe schameful doynge of the modres þe children þat were i-gete and i-brouȝt forþ in þat manere were i-cleped Spartani, and whan þey were þritty wynter*. [yere, Cx.] olde þey dredde sore of nede and of mes|cheef; for non of hem wiste who was his owne sire.*. [fader, Cx.] Þerfore þey toke hem a ledere and a chifteyn*. [capytayne, Cx.] Phalanthus, Aracus*. [Phalantis Aracius, MS.] his sone, and toke no leue of hire modres, but wente forþ and were i-cast hider and þider by dyuers happes,*. [fortunes, Cx.] and at þe laste cam in to Italia, and dryue*. [droof, Cx.] oute þe men þat woned þere, and made þe cheef sede*. [cyte, Cx. (not α.).] at Tarentum.

Macedonia haþ þe name of Macedo, Deucalions neuew, and hiȝt somtyme Emathia of Emathius the kyng, and haþ in þe est side þe see Egeus, in þe souþe Achaia,*. [Achaie, MS.] in þe west Dalmatia, and in þe norþ Mesia.*. [Misia, MSS. of both versions; and so below.] In þis prouince Page  185, vol.1 is þe hil mons Olympus, and to deleþ*. [departeth, Cx.] tweie londes, Thracia and Macedonia. Petrus, capitulo tricesimo septimo. Þe hul passeþ þe clowdes, in þe cop*. [vpprist, Cx.] of þat hil comeþ no clowdes, wynd, noþer reyn;*. [reine ne wynde, Cx.] vppon þat hulle lettres*. [So Cx.; lettre, MS.] þat were i-write in poudre were i-founde wiþ oute wem*. [hurtynge or wemme, Cx.] at þe ȝeres ende. Also foules*. [So fowles, Cx.] mowe not lyue*. [nouȝt libbe, α.] þere; for þe aier is to clere. And philosofres mowe not*. [nouȝt, α.] dwelle þere to lerne þe course of sterres*. [the sterres, Cx.] wiþ oute sponges i-watred and i-holde at hir nostrilles*. [her nose thirles, Cx.; nosetrils, α.] to make þikker þe ayer, þat þey draweþ to kele*. [cole, Cx.] wiþ here herte. Þere is also þe hille*. [Cx. omits þe hille.] mons Athos, þat reccheþ to þe clowdes; þe schadewe of þat hille arecheþ to the ilond Lemnum. Þat ilond is from þe*. [that, Cx.] hul þre score myle and sixtene.*. [lxx. myle, Cx.]

Dalmatia þat lond haþ in þe est side Macedonia, in þe west Histria, in þe norþ Mesia, and in þe souþ þe see Adriaticus.

Achaia haþ þe name of Acheus þe kyng, and is wel nyh an ylonde i-closed in þe see: for he*. [it, Cx.] haþ in þe est side þe see Tyrrhenus, and in þe norþ þe see Creticus, in þe souþ þe Page  187, vol.1 see Ionius, and onliche in þe norþ he*. [it, Cx.] ioyneth*. [So Cx.; ioyned, MS.] to Mace|donia and to Attica. Þe cheef citee of þat lond hatte Corinthus; þere kyng Alexandre*. [Alysaunder, Cx.] gadrede his oost for to wynne al þe world; þeder Poul*. [Paule, Cx.] wroot his pistil ad Corinthios.

Arcadia, þat hatte Sicyonia also, haþ þe name of Arcas,*. [Archas, Cx.; Archades, MSS. of both versions.] Iupiter is sone, and is an angul (þat is,*. [þat is] or, Cx.] a corner) of Achaia, and lieþ bytwene þe tweie sees Ionius and Egeus, and is i-schape as is*. [is] om. α. and Cx.] a plane leef. Þere ynne is Asbeston*. [Albeston, MS., α., Cx.] þat wil neuere quenche, be it ones i-tend; þere beeþ also white osels.*. [β.; oseles, γ.; ousels, Cx.; Ms. wesels.] þeyz*. [þei, α.; though, Cx.; Ms. Þe.] osels*. [β.; oseles, γ.; ousels, Cx.; Ms. wesels.] be blak among vs; þere þey beeþ white.

Thessalia ioyneþ in þe souþ side to Macedonia, and was somtyme Achilles contray, and þere bygonne Lapithe;*. [Laphite, MS., Cx.] þilke men chastisede*. [chastede, α.] and temede*. [tamed, Cx.] hors firste wiþ bridels, and sette*. [satte, Cx.] on hire bakkes; þerfore þe lewed peple wende*. [supposed, Cx.] þat it were*. [had be, Cx.] alle on*. [oon, α.; one, Cx.] body, man and hors þat þey sitte*. [sete, α.; satte, Cx.] on. And þerfore an hondred horsmen of Thessalia were i-cleped centaury. Þat name is i-gadered of tweyne, of centum, þat is, an hondred, and of aura, þat is, þe wynde. And so þat name was to hem i-schappe Centauri, as it were an hundred Page  189, vol.1 wynde waggers: for þey wagged þe wynde wel*. [wel] α., β., γ.; placed after wagged in Ms.; om. Cx.] faste in hir ridynge. Trogus, libro vicesimo quarto.*. [14, Cx.] In þis pro|uince is þe hille Parnassus; (poetis accounteþ þat hil noble and famous;) and hongeþ with tweie copped stones. In þe cop*. [toppe, Cx.] þerof is the temple of Delphicus Apollo;*. [Appolyn, MS.; Appollyn, Cx.] and in þe wyndynge*. [wendyng, Cx.] of þe myddel playn is a pitte, oute of þat pitte philosofres were enspired; and dyuers answeres were i-ȝeue out of þat pitte. Þerfore ȝif noyse of men oþer of trompes sowneþ in þe*. [þe] α, Cx.] valey, þe stones answereþ euerich oþer, and dyuers ecco sowneþ. Ecco is þe reboundynge of noyse. Isidorus, libro tertiodecimo. In þis prouince beeþ tweie ryueres; scheepe þat drynkeþ of þat oon schulle worþe*. [wexe, Cx. (thrice).] blak, and schepe þat drynkeþ of þat oþer schul worþe*. [wexe, Cx. (thrice).] whyte; and ȝif þey drynken of boþe, þey schulle worþe*. [wexe, Cx. (thrice).] spekked*. [splekked, α. and Cx.] of dyuers colour. Also in þis prouince beeþ þilke likynge places to walke ynne þat philosofres and poetes clepeþ tempe*. [tempore, Cx.]florida, þat is, likynge place wiþ floures. Of þis place writeþ Theodolus and Ouidius. Also in þis*. [So α. and Cx.; his, MS.] prouince of þat lond*. [of þat lond] om. Cx.] was þe þridde particuler flood, and ful*. [fille, Cx. (not α.)] in Deucalions tyme, prince of þat lond. Þat prince sauede men þat fleigh to hym in schippes and bootes; þerfore poetes feynede þat he and his wif Pyrrha cast stones and Page  191, vol.1 made men. Helladia þat londe haþ þe name of Hellen*. [Ellena, MS., α., Cx.] þe kyng, þat was Deucaliouns sone, and Pyrrha also. Of þis Hellen þe Grees hatte Hellenes. Þis lond hatte Attica also, of Atthis, þat was Cranaus*. [Gramys, MS., α.; Grauius, Cx.] his douȝter; and lieþ by twene Macedonia and Achaia and ioyneþ in þe north side to Arcadia. Þis londe is verrey Grecia, and haþ tweie parties; Beotia*. [Boecia, MSS. (as usual).] is þat oon, and Peloponnesus*. [Pelopenensis, MS.] þat oþer. Þe chief citee of þis lond hatte Athene:*. [Athenes, Cx., and so below.] þere was somtyme a grete studie of lettrure*. [lecture, Cx.] and of clergie, and men of all naciouns and londes come þider forto lerne. Athene þat citee was i-bulde in þis manere. Augustinus de Civitate, libro octavodecimo. Þat tyme þat Egipt was i-smyte wiþ God all myȝties wrethe vnder Moyses hond, som seiȝe*. [som Egipcians dredde lest, α.; somme Egypciens dradde leste, Cx.] Egipt schulde be lost, and flowe oute of Egipt in to*. [in to] to, Cx.] oþer londes. And so Cecrops*. [Sicrops, MS.; Cicrops and Sy|crops below. Similarly the rest, nearly.] fleigh*. [fledde, Cx.] out of Egipt into Grecia, and þere he bulde þe citee Atthen, þat was i-cleped after|ward Athene. In þis manere, as Varro*. [So Cx.; Pharro, MS., and α.] seiþ, an olyue was sodeynliche i-seie in þat citee Atthen, and a water brak oute sodeynliche in anoþer place. Þanne Cecrops axede Page  193, vol.1 counsaille of Appolyn*. [So MS. Trevisa seems to have considered this the nominative of Apollinis.] Delphicus, þat maumet, in þe hil mount Parnassus, and axede what þese þinges schulde be to menyng;*. [mene, α., Cx.] and he answerde and seide þat þe olyue bytokened þe Goddes Minerua*. [Mynerua, MS.; but Minerua below.] and þe water bytokened Neptunus; and seide þat it was in power and choys of þe citeceyns after wheþer of þe tweie goddes þe citee schulde hote.*. [hoote, α.] Þerfore þe citee,*. [citezeins, α., Cx.] boþe men and wommen [gadred hem to gyders, as it was the manere that tyme; that bothe men and wymmen]*. [Words in brackets added from Cx. [also present in β., γ.] They are absent from α.] schulde come to comoun counsaille; þanne in þat counsail*. [þanne . . . counsail] Added from α., Cx.] men ȝaf þe dome for Neptunus and wommen for Minerua; and for þere was o*. [one, Cx. (not α.)] womman more*. [moo, α., Cx.] þan were men, Minerua hadde þe maistrie, and þe citee was i-cleped by here name Athene;*. [Atthene, MS., and so below.] for Minerua in þe speche of Grewe hatte Athena. Þan was Neptunus wood wrooþ,*. [wroth wode, Cx.] and made þe flodes of þe see arise*. [tarise (i. e. to arise), Cx.] and ouerflowe and hele þe londes of þe men of þat citee Athena,*. [londes of them of Athenes, Cx.] as deueles mowe liȝtliche doo suche chekkes. Þan for to plese Neptunus and for to abathe his wreþþe and his anger wommen were i-punsched with double payne; þat oon was þat no womman schulde aftirward come Page  195, vol.1 to*. [in, α., Cx.] comyn counseil, þat oþer payne was þat no childe schulde aftirward bere his moder*. [moders, Cx. (not α.)] name. To þat prouince Helladia lyeþ*. [lyeþ] Added from Cx. (lyeth).] Hellespontus, þat greet mouth of*. [Four words added from α. and Cx.] þe grete see, and haþ þe name of Helle, Phrixus*. [Frixus, MSS. of both versions.] his suster, þat fleiȝ*. [fledde, Cx.] þe malice and pursuet*. [þe pursuyt, α.] of here stepdame, and was adraynt*. [drowned, Cx.] in þat mouth and see; and for þat hap þe*. [þat, α.] see and þe lond aboute hatte after Helle Hellespontus. Varro*. [So Cx.; Barro, MS., α.] seiþ þat faste bysides þat place beeþ men þat heleþ smytynge of serpentes wiþ touche or*. [and, α. and Cx.] wiþ spotel. Trogus, libro secundo. Athenienses, men of Athene, vsed first craft of wolle and*. [and] om. α.] of wyn and of oylle, and tauȝte erye*. [to eere, Cx.] and sowe and ete acharns;*. [acornes, Cx.] þei flo|risched first in lore of clergie and of lawe. Þe firste kyng of þat lond hiȝte Cecrops, after hym come Granus þat heet Cranaus also; þan his sone Atthis ȝaf his name to þe lond and cleped it after hymself Atheniensis. Þan after Atthis regned Amphigionides.*. [So MSS. of both versions, for Amphictyon.] In his tyme was þe grete flood in Thessalia. Þanne aftirwarde the kyngdom discendede to Erich|thonius.*. [Euritonius, MS.; Erictonius, α. and Cx.] After hym regnede Egeus, and after hym his sone Theseus; þat Theseus sone Demophon,*. [So Cx.; Demoson, MSS. of both versions.] he halp*. [helpe, Cx.] þe Grees Page  197, vol.1 aȝenst þe Troians. Beotia, oxe-lond, haþ þe name of bos, þat is an oxe. Whan Cadmus, Agenores sone, at his fader*. [faders, Cx. (who often has simi|lar variations).] heste souȝt his suster Europa, þat Iupiter hadde i-rauished, and myȝte nouȝt here fynde, he dradde his fader wrathe, and*. [he conthe, α.; he coude, Cx.] kouþe non oþer reed but fleiȝ*. [fledde, Cx.] as an outlawe; hit happed*. [hapned, Cx.] þat he folwed þe fore*. [foote, Cx.] of an oxe, and fonde þe place þat þe oxe lay inne, and cleped it Beotia, and bulde þere þe citee Thebe, in*. [in] Added from Cx.] þat citee bella civilia detonuerunt.*. [detenuerunt, MS. (not α. or Cx.)] And þere was Apollo*. [Appollo, MS.] i-bore and Hercules,*. [Ercules, MS.] in*. [in] Ms., β.; om. γ., rightly; or Trevisa may have misunderstood the text.] þilke more Thebanus also. In þat lond is a lake wonderful and wood, for who þat drynkeþ þerof he*. [he] om. Cx.] schal brenne in woodnesse of leccherie. Þere beeþ also tweie welles in þat lond; who þat drynkeþ of þat oon, he schal be forȝetful; and who þat drinketh of þat oþer, he schal haue good mynde. Petrus. Take hede þat men of Thebe, þat is in Egipt, hatte Thebey; men of Thebe, þat is in Grecia, hat Thebany; and þe men of Thebe, þat is in Iudea, hatte Thebite.*. [The sentence is slightly com|pressed in Cx.]