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.
Page  31, vol.1

Prœfacio Tertia ad Historiam.

To hem þat will haue ful knowleche of stories nedeþ*. [it nedeth, Cx.] eyþte þinges [to knowe: descrypcions of places, states of thynges],*. [[. . .] added from Cx., and α.] distinccion*. [distinccon, MS.] of tymes, aftir followynge of kyng|doms, dyuerste of liuynge, passynge of ages, maner of doynge, and in all þese verray acountynge of ȝeres.

Þe firste of þese in þe firste book, and þe oþere in þe oþer bookes beeþ oponliche i-write.

Touchynge þe secounde take hede of tweie states, oon from þe bygynnynge of þe world to Criste, and is i-cleped*. [i-cleped] called, Cx.] þe staat of mysgoynge; the secounde staat from Criste to þe worldes end, and is i-cleped*. [i-cleped] named, Cx.] þe state of grace and of mercy.

For þe þridde, take hede of þre tymes, oon to fore lawe i-write, þe secounde vndir þe lawe i-write, and þe þridde vnder grace and mercy.

For þe fourthe, take hede þat somtyme þere were foure principal kyngdoms*. [Cx. has "that is to wete of the Assyryens, Perces, Greeks, and Romayns."] Assyriorum, Persarum, Græcorum, Romanorum. Neuerþeles touchynge the*. [So the MS. See p. 63, note.] cours of the worlde and þe processe of Holy Writt, þe firste kyngdom was Page  33, vol.1 vnder oure fore fadres from Adam to Moyses; þe secunde vnder iuges*. [under iuges] wanting in Cx.] from Moyses to Saul; þe þridde vnder kynges from Saul to Zorobabel; þe fourthe vnder bis|shoppis from Zorobabel to Crist.

For þe fifte, take kepe of fyue manere of lyuing, þe firste was in þe firste age vndir þe lawe of kynde comyn to alle men; þe secounde in þe secunde age [was]*. [Added from Cx. (not in α.)] þe leuynge of mysbyleued men, whan mametrie bygan in Nynus tyme, kyng of Nynyue; þe [þridde in þe]*. [Added from α, and Cx.] þridde age vnder lawe i-write, whan circumsisioun and lawe departed þe children of Israel from laweles*. [lawes, Cx.] and mysbileued men: þe fourþe lyuynge of Cristen men bygan vnder Crist, whan byleue and grace of sacramente halwed hir lyf.*. [self, Cx.] Þe fifte leu|ynge of Sarazynes bygan vndir Makomete as it is in þe fifte*. [So α, and Cx.; firste, MS.] book, and after þe tyme of Heraclius þe emperour, openliche i-schewed.

For þe sixte, take hede of sixe ages; oon is from Adam to Noe; þe secounde from Noe to Abraham; þe þridde from Abraham to Dauid; þe [fourþe]*. [Added from α, and Cx.] fro Dauid to þe transmygracioun, þat was whan Israel was i-brouȝt into þraldom of Babiloyne; þe fifte from þe transmy|gracioun to Criste, þe sixte from Criste to þe worldes Page  35, vol.1 ende. And here take hede, þat ages of þe world beeþ nouȝt to-deled*. [delid, Cx.] by euenes of ȝeres, but by meruayles þat byfel in her bygynnynge; as þe firste age bygan from þe bygynnynge of the wor[l]de;*. [world, α.] þe secounde from Noes flood; þe þridde from þe circumsicioun; þe fourþe from þe bygynnynge of kynges; the fifte from þe transmi|gracioun; þe sixte from the Incarnacioun of Crist.

For the seuenþe, take hede of seuene persones whos dedes me writeþ*. [me writeþ] ben wreton, Cx.] in stories, þat beeþ,*. [beeþ] is to wete, Cx.] kyng in his rewme, knyȝt in bataile, iuge in plee, bisshop in clergie, lawefulman in þe peple, housbond in hous, religious man in chirche. Of þe whiche springeþ out seuen manere of famous doynge, buldynge of citees, victorie of enemyes, makynge of lawes, correccioun*. [In this and in other places cor|reccioun or correctioun suits the MS. equally well.] of trespas, help of þe comyn profiȝt, gouernynge of meyny*. [meyne, Cx.] and of householde, getynge of blisful mede, in þe whiche blaseþ and schyneþ rewardynge of gode men and punyschynge of euel men.

For the eyȝte, take hede of eyȝte dyuerse manere of Page  37, vol.1 acountynge of ȝeres. Þre þe Iewes vseþ, þre þe Grees, oon Romaynes, and Cristen men oon. For þe Iewes in tretys and couenauntes haueþ a ȝere vsual, and bygineþ in Ianuarie.*. [Ianuere, α.] In deuocioun and sacrifice þei haueþ a ȝer*. [aȝer, MS., and similarly else|where the article and noun are sometimes written conjunctim.] laweful, and byginneþ in Marche. Also þey haueþ a ȝere of apperynge þat þey vseþ in calculynge and in cronicle, and bygynneþ in May, whan þey passed out of Egipte. Also þe Grees in þre manere wise acounteþ hir ȝeres; first, for ioye of þe victorie þey accounteþ hir ȝeres from þe takynge of Troye; afterward þei accounted here ȝeres by Olympades, þat beeþ þe tymes of here iustes and tornementis; but after þat þey reignede, þei accounted here ȝeres by here reignynge, in þis manere "anno regni Græcorum, quinto vel tertio, tali vel tali," sicut patet in libro Machabæorum. Whan þe Romaynes wax*. [waxed, Cx.] in hir floures þey acounted hir ȝeres by here reign|ynge in þis manere, from þe buldynge of citee,*. [þe citee, α.] "ab urbe condita." But Cristene men from þe*. [þe] om. α.] Incarnacioun of Crist acounteþ her ȝeres.

But whan me comeþ to þat place, me mote*. [me mote] men muste, Cx.] take hede Page  39, vol.1 þat þe calculynge of Denys, þat Engelond and Fraunce fol|weþ, haþ lasse by xxii. ȝere þan þe calculynge of Ierom, þat folweþ þe gospel. William Malmesbury, libro quarto de Pontificibus,*. [Pontificis, MS. and α.] seiþ þat Marianus, Scotus and monok,*. [and monok] and the monke, Cx.] i-prisoned in Maguncia, a towne of Almayne, aboute þe ȝere of grace a þowsand and þre score and sixtene, loked besiliche in bookes and acounted*. [acountede and fonde, α.] þat Dionysius Exiguus acordeþ nouȝt with þe Gospel in acountynge of ȝeres. For þis Scot, Marianus, acounted all þe ȝeres from þe bygynnynge of þe worlde, and putte hit*. [hit] wanting in Cx. and α.] to xxii. ȝere, þat lakkede of Dionysius acountes, and wroot a grete cronicle and huge;*. [an huge, Cx.] þe whiche book Robert Bis|shop of Herforde deflorede, and þerfore*. [that for, Cx.] hit is þat þe comyn cronicles þat folweþ*. [foloweden, Cx.] Denys failleþ al day. For*. [So Cx.; From, MS.] Ierom, in transferendo chronicam Eusebii*. [in translatyng the cronyke of Eu|sebii, Cx.] seiþ þat ten ȝeres*. [that yeres, Cx.] lakkeþ be tweyne Cristes passioun and Vespasianus tyme. And also xij.*. [xij. ȝeres, α.] lakkeþ aboute Decius Cesar his*. [Cezars, Cx.] tyme as it is i-schewed in þe sixte age. Þis errour byfalleþ, Page  41, vol.1 for dayes and monthes were vnrekened þat kynges reign|ede ouer ful ȝeres. Also dayes and monþes þat voydede bytw[e]ne tweie kynges were forgendred.*. [forgoten, Cx.] Wherfore in þis book I schal marke as I may how and in what*. [and what, Cx. α.] ȝeres such defautes fille; so þat I schal hiȝte þe margyns by þe hedes of the stories som wiþ double and som wiþ treble rewes ȝeres.*. [treble ȝeres, α.] From Abraham to þe citee i-bulde, I sette to gidres þe ȝere of þe age of þe worlde and of þe ledere; from þe cite i-bulde to Crist, I sette to gidre þe ȝere of*. [þe ȝere of the age of, α.] þe citee and of þe ledere; and from Crist for|warde, I write to gidre þe ȝere of grace and of þe prince þat regneþ.*. [regned, Cx.]