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.

Of the Cite of Rome. Capitulum vicesimum quartum.

AUCTORES expresse that the cite of Rome is sette in Tuscia, whiche is a parte of Ytaly, of þe fundacion and gouernaile of whom auctores wryte diuerse thynges, specially Martinus, of the makenge of hit, but Maister Gregory Page  209, vol.1 towchethe mony thynges worthy to be hade in remem|braunce of the meruayles of that cyte. Martinus. Mony men be redde to haue reignede in the cyte of Rome. For after Estodius, after the towre of confusion made, Noe takenge a schippe with other men come to Ytaly, whiche makenge a cite there endede his lyfe in hit. Ianus with Iano the son of Iapheth made a cite callede Ianiculus ouer the water of Tiber, where a chirche is nowe callede Sti. Iohannis ad Ianiculum. Abowte that tyme Nemproth, oþer wise callede Saturnus, expulsede of Iupiter his son, commenge to the realme of Ianus, made a cite where the chiefe place of the cite is now. In those dayes kynge Ytalus commenge with Siculynes to Ianus and Saturnus made a cite nye the floode callede Albula, whiche was namede afterwarde Tiber. After that Hercules, the son of Italus, made a cite of Galerius vnder the Capitoly. After that kynge Tiberis and Euander commenge from Arcadia made that cite of Rome. After that Romulus redacte alle the cites in to oon causenge the Page  211, vol.1 nowble men of Ytaly to inhabite hyt with theire wyfes. Titus Livius. Whiche cite beenge in pouerte was noo cite moore holy neiþer more ryche in goode exemples, but afterwarde [folio 38a] rychesse enereasede lecchery and auarice. Martinus. Rome was made of ij. breþer, Remus and Romulus, in the mownte*. [Of þe meruayles of Rome.] Palatyne þe xj. kalendes of Maij, in the vijthe Olimpias, the iiijthe yere of the reigne of Achaz kynge of the Iewery begynnenge, in the iiijc yere liiij. after the takenge of the cite of Troye. ℞. But after Solinus cccc. and xxxiiijti yere. Martinus. Whiche cite made nowble in processe with towres, walles, temples, ȝates, and palice, hauenge towres of the walles ccc.lxj. within the circuite of whom be myles xxijti, excepte the edifienge ouer Tiber and the cite Leonine, with whom hit is seyde to conteyne in circuite xlijti myles. In Page  213, vol.1 that cite were xvj. principalle ȝates, x. abowte Tiber, Porta Capuana, Porta Apia, Porta Latina, Porta Asinaria, Porta Metronii, Porta Lauicana, Porta Numentana, Porta Sálaria, Porta Prinopana, Porta Collina. Also there were iij. ȝates ouer Tiber and iij. in the Cite Leonine. Gregorius. Vn to this tyme presente remayne mony signes in hit to be meruayles as edifienges and palice, that the versus of Hilde|berte, bischop Cenomacense may be verifiede of hit whom William Malmesbury puttethe in his boke of kynges seyenge in this wyse: O Rome, þer is noon oþer cite egalle to the nowe beenge in ruyne. Thou may teche nowe in confusion howe nowble thow was a fore. De Palatiis. In that*. [Of þe palices.] cite were nowble palice made in honor of emperoures, and of other nowble men amonge whom oon palice was made in the myddes of the cite in the signe of the monarchy of Page  215, vol.1 the worlde. Also thei made a palice of peace, where in Romulus put an ymage of golde, seyenge, this ymage schalle not falle tylle that a mayde haue a childe, whiche ymage felle down in the natiuite off Criste. The palice of Dioclitian hathe pyllers soe hie as a man may caste with a stonne, and soe grete that vnnethe oon off theyme may be kytte and putte down by a c. men laborenge dayly in hyt by a yere. Also þer was a palice of lx. emperoures the residu of whom alle Rome can not destroye. Of þe temples. Now the chirche of alle Seyntes is in Rome, where the temple of alle goddes was before, namede Panteon, hauenge in latitude the space of ijc. and lx. foote, nye to whom is an arche made of marbole, in whom the gestes of Augustus Cesar be wryten. Also þer is an arche of Scipio whiche ouercome Hanibal. Also there was a temple made of cristalle and golde, where in astronomy was graven with the signes of heuyn and sterres, whom Seynte Sebastian Page  217, vol.1 destroyede. ℞. Hyt is to be aduertisede that in Rome were oonly thre temples whom the byschoppes of ydoles hade in possession callede flamines, as filamines, of threde whom thei bounde in theire hedes when thei myȝhte not were a cappe in holy dayes for hete. The byschop Dialle*. [Dial., Harl. MS.; similarly Martial below.] ministrede in the temple of Iupiter, for he was callede Diespiter, that is to say, fader of þe day. The byschop Martialle was in the temple of Mars. And the byschoppe Quirinalle in the temple of Romulus, for Romulus was callede Quirinus. Of howses. In Rome was an howse consecrate onornede allemoste alle with golde and precious stones, whiche was seyde to be worthe the thrydde parte of the worlde, whiche place apperethe ȝitte as ferefulle and inaccessible, in whiche place the ymages of alle pro|uinces Page  219, vol.1 were putte by wycche crafte, euery ymage hauenge writen in the breste of hit the name of the prouince, and a belle of golde abowte the necke of hit. And if eny peple made insureccion ageyne thempire of Rome, the ymage of that prouince turnede the backe of hit to the ymage of Rome, and ronge his belle; the gentile pristes hauenge kepenge of the ymages schewede those thynges to the princes of thempire. In the hier partes of whiche place was an horse man made of brasse corespondente to the ymage of that prouince, hauenge a spere directe towarde the peple makenge þat insurreccion. Where fore the Romanes hade victory of theier enmyes, takenge theyme as sodenly. In whiche place men affermede fire to haue bene inextin|guible; þe maker of hit requirede how longe hit scholde dure, answerede and seyde, tyl a mayde scholde be delyue|rede of a childe. Wherefore hit was expressede that the man made of brasse felle down with the howse in the natiuite of Criste, and that fyre was extincte. Of CraftesPage  221, vol.1and Edifienges. There is a place made in Heraclea graven so of marbole in that hille, that the mansiones of hit and setes of hit were graven of oon ston, where a man can not speke so secretely with hymselfe or with eny other, but hit schal be herde in alle the circuite. The water of Tiber is Page  223, vol.1 wholsom for horses, but not for men, wherefore the Romanes made labor that fresche waters myȝte comme in to the cite in iiij. partes of hit. In Albisterio was a candellesticke where the emperoures were wonte to be chaungede, where the white stoles of emperoures were made also, whiche was made of a precious ston callede Albestes, whiche accendede and putte furthe in the aiere wylle not be extincte by eny crafte. ℞. In lyke wyse that thynge myȝhte happe that is redde of Pallas, þe gigante abowte the yere of our Lorde God mxlti, in which yere a body was founde of þe stature of a gigante beryede at Rome and incorrupte, the wounde of whom conteynede in longitude iiij. foote and a halfe. The longitude of that body excedede the altitude of the walles of that cite: fyndenge also a lampe brennenge at the feete off hit continually, whiche cowthe not be extincte þro blawenge Page  225, vol.1 or eny other humor, tylle they made a subtile hoole vnder hit with a nelde,*. [So Harl. MS.] where thro the aier commenge thro hyt causede hit to be extincte: whom a knyȝhte callede Turnus did flee, when Eneas did fiȝhte for Lauin[i]a. Of the Ymages at Rome. There was an ymage of Venus made in Rome, in that similitude as sche apperede to Parides, whiche was made so subtily that a man myȝhte see in that ymage as bloode decurrente. Also another off brasse transformede in to the similitude of Iupiter. Also there is the grave of Romulus, where he was beryede, nye to þe chirche of Seynte Petre, whom the commune peple calle the hepe of corne of Seynte Petre, whom Nero takenge aweye was restorede in to the state of hit a fore. Amonge the beryalles of whom Page  227, vol.1 the beryalle of Iulius Cesar dothe excede, conteynenge in altitude cc. and lti foote, in the hiȝhte of whom is a spere of brasse conteynenge the bones of Iulyus Cesar, of whom*. [Of the Collose.] hit is seyde in metre,—If that ston be oon say in what wyse and by what arte hit was elevate; if there be mony stones say where they be contiguate or ioynede to gedre. Mony pilgremes calle that beryalle of Iulius sette on iiij. lyones made of brasse, the nelde of Seynte Petre. Also in Rome be ij. grete horses made off marbole, whiche were made for this cause folowenge. In the tyme of Tiberius themperoure, ij. yonge philosophres, Praxitellus and Fibia, come to Rome. Tiberius inquirenge of theyme why they wente bare, they seyde, For we haue refusede alle thynges, and alle thynges be to vs bare and open that thow seyes Page  229, vol.1 or dose priuely. Themperoure knowenge that to be trewe at the desire of theyme made that memorialle for theyme, that is to say, ij. bare horses of marbole. Also there was an other signe a fore the palice of the pope, whiche is an horse made of brasse, and the sitter on hit as spekenge to the peple by the signe of the ryȝhte honde, and gouernenge the horse as with the lyfte honde, hauenge a brydde callede a cukkowe made betwene the eeres of the horse, and Nanus lyke to dye vnder his feete, whom pilgremes calle Theo|doricus, [folio 39b] the commune peple Constantyne, but clerkes of the cowrte calle hit Marcus or Quintus Curtius. That signe stode somme tyme on iiij. pyllers of brasse a fore the awter of Iupiter in the Capitoly or chiefe place of Rome. But Seynte Gregory put downe the horse man and that horse, and putte the pillars in the chirche Lateranense. The Romanes toke the horse man and the horse, and sette hit before the palyce of the pope. Men callenge hyt Marcus Page  231, vol.1 assigne this cause. A man callede Nanus, erudite in the arte of nigromancy, whiche subduenge to hym mony kynges and realmes wente to the Romanes, takenge a weye from theyme the vertu of smytenge and kyttenge, segede theyme longe schutte with in the cite. This Nanus wente from his felowschippe erly in the mornenge afore the rysenge of the sonne, and put his arte in exercise; whiche thynge percey|vede, the Romanes made promise to Marcus, a nowble knyȝhte, that he scholde haue predominy of the cite, and a per|petualle memory if he cowthe delyuer that cite. Marcus pereschenge the walle of the cite on that parte where Nanus vsede the arte of nigromancye goenge furthe on the nyȝhte taryede for Nanus vntylle the morowe, whom a brydde callede a cuckowe schewede by here voyce; whiche takenge hym brouȝhte hym in to the cite, whiche fallenge down amonge Page  233, vol.1 the feete of the horses supposede to have delyuerede hym by his arte; wherefore Marcus hade that memorialle. Men that calle hit Quintus Curtius*. [Cursius, Harl. MS. (twice.)] assigne this reason, seyenge that there was a place open in the myddes of the cite pereschenge mony men as with a brethe of sulphure, an answere ȝiffen to the peple that hit wolde not be schutte vn tylle that a man felle in to hit voluntarily. Then Quintus Curtius*. [Cursius, Harl. MS. (twice.)] armenge hym felle in to hit to delyuer the cite; that doen a cukko did flye owte from that pytte, and the erthe was closed anoon. An other signe is an ymage of Colossus,*. [Colloseus, MSS. and Cx.] whom they seye to be the ymage of the sonne or elles of the cite of Rome, of whom hit is to be meruaylede how that so hevy a thynge myȝhte be soe erecte, sythe hit is in longitude of c. foote and xxviti; whiche ymage was somme tyme in the yle of Rhodus,*. [Herodius, MSS. and Cx.] whiche was more hie in altitude by xv. foote then eny place of the cite. That ymage hade in the ryȝhte honde of hit a rownde thynge after the similitude of þe worlde, and a swerde in the signe of batelle in the lifte honde, in token that hit is lesse [folio 40a] Page  235, vol.1 vertu to gete then to kepe thynges y-geten. That ymage was made of brasse, but hit was ouer gilte with golde impe|rialle, schynenge contynually in derkenesse, movenge egally with the son in his circumference, hade the face of hit con|trarious alleweyes to the body of the sonne; whom alle Romanes worschippede in a signe of subieccion, whom Seynte Gregory destroyede with fyre; of whiche ymage the hede and ryȝhte honde remaynede, whiche be sette now afore the palice off the pope on ij. pyllers of marbole. Policronicon, libro 2o. The Romanes made an ymage of a woman, to make feire the maieste of the cite, in brasse; whiche performede, mony men seyde the legges of that ymage to be insufficiente to bere suche a burdon. To whom the smythe that made hit Page  237, vol.1 ȝafe answere and seyde, that the ymage scholde stonde tylle that a mayde scholde be delyuerede of a childe, whiche felle down in the natiuite of Criste. Nye to the place and palyce of Vespasian, where a whyte sowe made of ston with xxxti pygges ȝiffe the water to thynges to be waschen, is a table of brasse prohibetenge synne, where the myȝhty preceptes of the lawe bene wryten.