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.

Capitulum vicesimum tertium.

PLATO, þe philosofre, deyde whan he hadde i-lyved four skore ȝere and ten in so grete reverence þat me dowtede*. [doubted, Cx.] long after his deth wheþer [that]*. [Cx.] he schulde be acounted*. [acompted, Cx.] among goddes oþer amonge half goddes. Plato was most excellent among Socrates [his]*. [From α.] disciples,*. [disciplis, β.] and was i-cleped Plato for he hadde a brood breest*. [brode brest, Cx.] and a brood space bytwene his browes;*. [browis, β.; brouwes, γ.] for platos is*. [is, β. and γ.; in, Cx.] Grewe [is]*. [Cx.] latum in*. [in] a, β. and γ.] Latyn, brood in*. [in] an, γ.] Eng|lische. Plato was i-bore in Athene.*. [Athenes, Cx.]Tullius de di, libroPage  343, vol.3primo, capitulo 16o. While Plato was a child, and lay in his cradel and sleep,*. [slepte, Cx.] bees sete*. [sate, β.] on his lippes, and dyvynours seide þat he schulde schyne in swetnes of bedes.*. [sweetnesse of eloquence, Cx.] [Valerius, libro primo, capitulo 4o].*. [From α., γ., and Cx.] Þat nyȝt þat Plato was i-sette to Socrates his lore, he mette*. [demed, Cx.] þat a swan lay on his kneen.*. [knees, β. and Cx.; knen, γ.]Policronicon, libro 8o. Þis*. [þes, γ.] Plato in his firste*. [furste, γ.] lore of lettrure was i-tauȝt of Denys, in wrastlynge of Ariston Argus. He despised nouȝt þe craft of peyntinge,*. [peynture, β. and γ.; picture, Cx.] he feynede hym self profitable to dyvynaciouns and to gestes, and he triste*. [trust, Cx.] on his endynge*. [enditynge, β.; endytyng, γ. and Cx.] and tellynges*. [teelingis, β.; telyngs, γ.; tel|yngys, Cx.] as*. [as] þat γ.] olde wifes useþ,*. [usiþ, β.] and wolde bycome*. [become, Cx.] a fiȝting man, but Socrates forbeed [hym].*. [From α. and β.]Valerius, libro 8o, [cap. 7o].*. [Cx.] Socrates deide*. [deyede, β.] at þe laste, and Plato tornede*. [turnde, γ.] to þe lore of hem þat folowede Pictagoras his lore, and worschipped hem nouȝt onliche for þey*. [α, γ. bis.] were konnynge*. [for here connynge, Cx.] but also for þey*. [α, γ. bis.] were contynent. After þat he wente to Theodorus Cirenensis, and lernede gemetrie;*. [geometrie, β., geometry, γ.] þan he wente to Egipt to lerne*. [leorne, γ.] astronomye. Policronicon, libro 7o. And meny troweþ*. [trowiþ, β.; wene, Cx.] þat he lernede þere*. [þare, γ.] þe pro|phecies Page  345, vol.3 of prophetes, but þe acountynge*. [þacountyng, γ.; acompting, Cx.] of tymes suffreþ hym not to be in tyme of prophetes; ffor Austyn, libro 8o de Civitate, capitulo 11o, seþ þat Plato was i-bore aboute an hon dred*. [hundride, β.] ȝere after þe deth of Ieremye þe prophete. Þanne aboute an*. [α, β. and Cx.] sixty ȝere after his deeth þe bookes of prophetes come into Egipt in Tholomeus þe kyng his*. [þe kynges, α.] tyme.*. [in tyme of the king Tholomeus, Cx.] Þere*. [þar, γ.] in þat pilgrymage*. [pylgremage, γ.] of Plato, [Plato]*. [From α. β.] miȝt nouȝt i-see*. [se, β.; y-seo, γ.] Ieremyas þat was deed longe tyme toforehond,*. [bifore, β. and Cx.] noþer rede þe bookes of prophecie þat were nouȝt ȝit i-torned into Grewe,*. [Greu, γ.; translate into Grue, Cx.] noþeles meny þinges beeþ i-founde in Plato his bookes þat acordeþ wiþ sawes of prophetes. Austyn, libro 16o [capitulo 20],*. [From α., β., and Cx.] et libro Confessionum ante finem, seiþ þat Seynt Iohn his gospel seiþ*. [seiþ] om. α., β., and Cx.] was i-founde in Plato his bookes þat acordeþ wiþ sawes of prophetes*. [that . . . prophetes] om. Cx.] anon*. [unto, Cx.] to þat place "Tenebre eam non comprehenderunt," þat is to mene*. [menyng, γ.; say, Cx.] derkenesse knewe nouȝt Page  347, vol.3 liȝt. For þe apostel seiþ*. [thapostle sayd, Cx.] þat suche philosofres vansched*. [vanyschiden, β.; vanysshed, Cx.] away in here þouȝtes, I*. [Ich, γ.] wolde nouȝt trowe it, nere þat it is i-rad*. [red, β.] in*. [trowt but that it is wreton in, Cx.] bookes of holy fadres. Þan Plato tornede out of*. [departed from, Cx.] Egipt [and came]*. [Cx.] in to Italy, and folwede Carentinus Arti|cus þat hilde*. [huld, γ.] Pictagoras his lore. And þan he wolde have i-goo*. [goon, β.] to þe Indes*. [Iudes, α., β., and Cx.] and Medes þat kouþe nygromancie and wicchecraft nere þat þe werre of Calet*. [Calett, γ.; but that the werre of Caldee, Cx.] lette hym forto passe, and þerfore whanne he fond Zeno and Parmenydes,*. [Ceno and Permenydes, Cx.] he*. [he] om. α.] abood*. [he abood] a bood, γ.] wiþ hem, and gadrede here*. [har, γ.] sawes. Schrewes remeneþ*. [remeveþ, γ.; remoeued this thre connyngys into Scicilia, Cx.] his þre comynges in to Sicilia by dyvers opiniouns. For som meneþ*. [moeued, Cx.] þat he com forto see þe storie*. [thystory, Cx.] of kynde and of*. [the, Cx.] resoun of brennynge on*. [on] in, β.] þe hille*. [in þe hul, γ.] þat hatte mount Ethna*. [of the montayne Ethna, Cx.]; þe secounde [sayd]*. [Cx.; seyn, β.; seggeþ, γ.] þat he come at þe prayer of Denys þe tyraunt to holde wiþ þe citee Siracusa*. [Ciracusa, Cx.] and forto teche þe*. [þar, γ.; theyr, Cx.] lawe; þe þridde seiþ*. [seyn, β.; seggeþ, γ.; sayd, Cx.] þat he come forto reconsile [one]*. [Cx.] Dyon to his contray by forȝifnesse and grace i-gete*. [geten, β.] of Denys. Ieronimus contra Iovinianum. Plato was riche for condicioun and tyme, and Dyogenes wiþ his foule feet trad*. [trade, β. and Cx.] on his bed þat was faire*. [wel besene, Cx.] araied. Þan Plato ches*. [chees, β. and Cx.] a litel toun þat heet Achademia a mile out of Athene. In þat toun Page  349, vol.3 was ofte pestilence and erþe*. [eorþe, γ.] shakynge, and þerfore [he chees]*. [β. and Cx.] þat dredful*. [dredful] om. γ.] place for suche dredful happes schulde wiþ drawe his scolers from temptacioun of leccherie, and for his scolers schulde fele*. [veele, γ.] non oþer likynge but of þinges þat þey schulde lerne.*. [hy scholde leurne, γ.]Macrobius, libro 3o. Þis Plato seide [that]*. [β. and Cx.] þere beeþ*. [buþ, γ.] tweie deþes, by oon deeþ þe soule [forsakeþ þe body, by þat oþer deth þe soule]*. [From α., β., and Cx.] while he*. [hit, β.; α, γ.; it, Cx.] is in þe body he*. [he] not in Cx.; α, γ.] for|sakeþ and despiseþ*. [dispisiþ, β.] bodilich likynges, wreþe and anger, and alle*. [alle] om. Cx.] unskilful doynges, and þis deþ*. [deþ] om. Cx.] schulde philosofres desire. Seil,*. [Seneca, α., γ., and Cx.]de Ira, libro 3o. Plato was ones wrooþ wiþ his servaunt, and heet hym doo of his kirtel,*. [curtel, γ.; kertill, Cx.] and make his schulders*. [schuldris, β.] naked and bare*. [baar, γ.]; but whan he understood þat he was wrooþ he wiþ*. [wiþ] om. β. and Cx.] helde*. [wiþhuld, γ.] his hond, and stood*. [stod, γ.] as þey*. [þey] om. Cx.; þouȝ, in β.] he wolde smyte. Þanne oon of his frendes Pseusippus axede hym why he stood soo, and what he dede and þouȝte; and he answerde and seide, "I am aboute to punsche*. [punysshe, Cx.] a man and am wrooþ and worþy to be punsched.*. [punysshed, Cx.] I pray þe," quoþ he, "bete þou þis servaunt, leste I bete hym more þan it nedeþ*. [neodeþ, γ.] [bycause Page  351, vol.3 of my wrath],*. [Cx., not γ.] for*. [for I am . . . servaunte. It] om. Cx.] I am wrooþ and worþy to be punsched. "I pray þe," quod he, "bete þou þis servaunt. It*. [It] om. α.] [Noo *. [man] servaunt, β. and γ.]man]*. [Cx.] is in his power þat is nouȝt in his owne [power].*. [From α., γ., and Cx.]" ℞. Helmand seeþ*. [saide, Cx.] þat Plato usede to title his bookes by names of his maistres,*. [mayster, γ.] for he*. [þei, β.; α, γ.; they, Cx.] schulde be of þe more auctorite, oþer by names of scolers þat he wel loved. Policronicon, libro 7o, seiþ þat men telleþ þat Plato deyde for schame, for he myȝte nouȝt assoille*. [coude not assayle, Cx.] þe questioun of schipmen. I*. [Y, γ.] trowe wel*. [wel] om. β., γ., and Cx.] bettre þat it was sooþ of Homerus, as Maximus [seiþ],*. [From α. and Cx.] ofte þe*. [þese, α. and β.; þeos, γ.; thes, Cx.] tweie men beeþ i-take eiþer in stede of oþer for here grete witte and wisdom and noble spekynge, and also for drede of restes,*. [brede of brestes, α., β., and γ.; breede of brestes, Cx.] for it is certayne þat noble men and worþy hadde many names. Polycronicon, libro 2o. Philosofres þat were i-cleped*. [y-clepud, γ., et infra.] Zenofontini hadde grete envie to*. [of, Cx.] Plato his kunnynge and his*. [his] om. Cx.] loos, and feyne*. [feynede, α. and β.; feyned, Cx.] of hym suche a tale. Flavianus, þe philosofre, libro de Vestigiis Philosophorum, seiþ þat þey*. [þey þat, α.; þouȝ þat, β.; þt þeyȝ, γ.] meny men tellen*. [telle, α.] þat Plato ȝelde*. [ȝuld, γ.] up þe goost wilfulliche*. [wylfolych, γ.] at a derk menynge of a noumbre þat was whan he hadde ful|filled*. [folfuld, γ.]Page  353, vol.3 ȝeres of his age nyne siþes nyne, þat is foure score and oon. Valerius, libro 9o, capitulo 13o. Homerus for he myȝte nouȝt assoille þe questioun deide for schame and for*. [for] om. Cx.] sorwe. [℞.]*. [From α. and Cx.] Gregorius Nauȝanȝenus, uppon*. [apon, γ.] þis word of þe apostel, seiþ*. [seiþ] om. β. and Cx.] "þe wisdom of þis world is folie tofore God," and seiþ þat Plato walkede*. [walkid, β.] uppon þe see clyve,*. [clif, β.; se clyf, γ.; clyf, Cx.] and byhelde*. [byhuld, γ.] hevene; þanne schipmen sigh hym, and lowh*. [saw hym and lough, Cx.] hym to scorne. "What have*. [habbe, γ.] ye," quod*. [sayde, Cx.] he. Þey answered and seide, "Al þat we haveþ*. [habbeþ, γ., et infra.] i-take we haveþ nouȝt, and al þat we haveþ not i-take we haveþ." Þey hadde i-lowsed*. [i-loused, β.; yloused har, γ.] her cloþes and i-slawe al þat þey myȝte take, and so þey hadde nouȝt what þey hadde i-take. Plato þouȝte on fische, and wondrede and ete nouȝt, noþer slepte,*. [sleep, α.] for he made hym so besy*. [bisye, β.; bysy, γ.] to fynde þe solucioun of þe questioun, and so he deide. Valerius, libro 4o. Plato herde telle þat his disciple Zenocrates hadde i-spoke moche Page  355, vol.3 evel of hym, and hugeliche*. [gretely, Cx.] despised hym, noþeles Plato took noon hede of þe pleynt,*. [this complaynte, Cx.] and þe iuge axede hym why he ȝaf no fey*. [credence, Cx.] to þe tale. "Hit is not to trowynge," quod*. [to be yeuen feyth unto, sayth, Cx.] Plato, "þat he*. [hym, Cx.] þat I*. [Ich, γ.] have i-loved so longe loveþ not me also." But þe iuge swoor þat he hadde i-herde*. [yhurd, γ.] suche tales of Zenocrates his mouth. Þan Plato answered and seide*. [β. inserts þ t after seide.] "Ze|nocrates wolde nevere telle suche*. [siche, β., passim.] tales, but*. [bote, γ., ut semper.] hym*. [it, Cx.] semede þat it were spedeful suche tale*. [tales, α. and Cx.] to telle." Valerius, libro 7o. After Plato in his stede come his suster sone, Pseusippus, and after hym Zenocrates, Plato his scoler þat he loved wel, in þe scole þat heet Achademia, and þerfore þey þat come after hem, Plotinus,*. [Politinus, Cx.] Porphirius, Apuleius, and after*. [affer, α., β., γ., and Cx.] hadde þe*. [that, Cx.] name of þe scole, and were i-cleped Achademici, as þey*. [hy, γ.] hadde þe name of Plato, and were i-cleped Platonici. Valerius, libro 10o. Of þis Zenocrates it is i-rad þat a faire hore*. [houre, γ.; redde that a faire comyn woman, Cx.] of Athene fenge*. [fang, β.; receyued, Cx.] mede and undertook to make hym ligge*. [lie, Cx.] by here, and come in*. [at, Cx.] a nyȝt and lay by hym in his bed, but sche*. [heo, β.] myȝte in no manere wise [make hym]*. [From α. and Cx.] abate [his chastete. Þanne ȝongelynges scornede here,*. [heore, γ.] for sche*. [α, γ.; heo, β., et infra.] myȝte in noon manner wise abate]*. [β. and Cx. omit in noon manner wise, and read not.] þe philosofres chastite. "I made Page  357, vol.3 "no covenant," quod sche, "of an ymage, but of a man." Ieronimus contra Iovinianum. Zenocrates lefte to þe men of Athene*. [Athenes, Cx.] but þre hestes of Trecolinus his lawes, to worschepe fader and moder, and herie goddes, and ete no flesche. Also in libro Dictis*. [also in the dictes, Cx.] Philosophorum, it is i-wrete*. [y-wryte, γ.] þat Zenocrates seygh*. [siȝ, β.; syȝ, γ.] oon i-lad to þe honging,*. [hongoyng, γ.] and lowh*. [sawe one ladde to be hanged and lough, Cx.] and sede, "þe gretter þeeves*. [þeoves, γ.] punscheth*. [punysshe, Cx.] þe lasse." Valerius, libro 6o in fine. Also oon Polemo,*. [Pollemo and Pollemius, Cx.] þat heet Polemius*. [Pollemo and Pollemius, Cx.] also, a ȝong man of Atthene,*. [Athenes, Cx.] was ful*. [fol, γ.] leccherous, so þat he hadde likynge and ioye nouȝt onlich of his evil doynge but also he hadde grete ioye of evel loos [and mysfame].*. [Cx.] In*. [on, Cx.] a tyme he come from a feste, nouȝt after þe goynge doun of þe sonne but after þe sonne rysinge and went home and sigh*. [siȝ, β.; sawe, Cx.] Zenocrates his ȝate opoun, and was wyn-dronke,*. [drongke, γ.] and anoynt wiþ oignementis, and i-hiȝt wiþ þe*. [þe] om. α., γ., and Cx.] gerlandes, and realliche*. [rialich, β.; realych, γ.] i-cloþed*. [enoynted with oynementes and aparaild, Cx.] and*. [and] om. Cx.] entrede in to þe scole [in this maner]*. [Cx.] ful of noble doctours, and satt [hym down]*. [Cx.] þere forto scorne þe faire speche of þe doctoures in his dronkenesse. At þe laste every man had indignacioun of hym, but Zenocrates chaunged not his semblant, but he lefte the mater*. [matyre, γ.; matier, Cx.]] [þat he spak of and tornede*. [turnde, γ.] his speche to þe matir]*. [From α. and β.] of sobernes, of pacience, and of*. [of] om. Cx.] sufferaunce, and by his resonable, faire, and noble speche Polemius was compelled to take hede, and first he drowe*. [drouȝ, α.; drough, Cx.] to hym his arme þat he helde*. [huld, γ.] stoutliche wiþ oute his mantel Page  359, vol.3 and þanne he þrewe doun þe gerland of his heed, and at þe laste he forsook al his evel likynge, so þat of a foule bollere and glotoun*. [fowle boller and goloton, Cx.] was made*. [maad, γ.] a grete philosofre. Policronicon, libro 7o, and Augustinus de Civitate Dei, libro 9o, capitulo undecimo.