Of the Yles of the Grete See. Capitulum tricesimum.
THAT yle callede Gades is put firste amonge the yles of the grete see, whiche is sette in the weste ende of Speyne, as in the mowthe of the weste occean, where the grete occean brekenge vp diuidethe Affrike from Europe; whom men of Tire occupyenge callede hit Gades, whiche is in theire langage, compassede abowie, in so moche that hit is compassede abowte with the see, departede from the londe c. and x. passes; where Hercules putte mervellous pyllors as a memorialle in the extremite of the worlde, whiche be callede Gades, after the name of that yle. Hug. capituloPage 305, vol.1Gades. Where of a consuetude was taken, that pyllers sette of myȝhty men in those places whiche myȝhte not be paste were calledde Gades. After these the yles callede Baleares, Maiorica and Minorica, be sette towarde the este. After theyme the yle callede Sardinia, hauenge on the sowthe to hit Affrike, at the northe Sicille; in whiche yle be noo serpentes, neither venom, but an herbe whiche thei calle apium, causenge a man to laȝhe, and in laȝhenge to dye. That region hathe hoote welles and whollesom, the water of whom causethe blyndenesse to theves, after the sacramente recevede, if his eies be towchede with water there of. Corsica is an yle gendrenge nowble pastures, and a ston callede aconites; hauenge on the este to hit the see Tirene, and of the weste the yles callede Baleares, at the sowthe Liguria, a prouince of Italy; hauenge in longitude a c. lx. m. passes, and in latitude xxvi. m. passes. That yle, callede Corsica, toke the name of hit of a woman Page 307, vol.1 callede Corsa, whiche seenge a bulle departenge ofte from other bestes, and to comme ageyne better fedde then other, meruaylede, and, takenge a schippe, folowede the bulle in to that yle. The plentuosenes of hit knowen, sche brouȝhte men from the prouince of Liguria to inhabite hit. Aradia or Aradium is an yle whiche is alle a cite, not ferre from the cite of Tyrus, hauenge schippe men, worthy men in batelle. There be liij. other yles, callede Cyclades, of this word, ciclon, in Grewe, that is, a cercle, in Latyn, sette abowte the yle callede Delon. Somme men wylle they be soe namede for stones beenge in theyme. The firste yle of theyme towarde the este is the yle of Roodes, and thei be finischede in the northe in the brynkes of the lesse Asia, whiche haue from the sowthe in to the northe a m. and lti myles, from the este to the weste ijc. myles. The myddel yle of theyme is callede Delon, whiche sowndethe open, in that hit was illuminate of the son a fore other londes after Page 309, vol.1 Noe floode. That yle was callede other wise Ortygia, for curlewes be there habundante, where Latona childede Apollo Delphicus. Samos or Samias ys an yle, where Pythagoras*. [Pittagoras, MSS.; Pyctagoras, Cx., omitting þe philosophre.] the philosophre and also Sibille the prophetisse were borne. That londe bryngethe furthe white clay and redde, of whom pottes or godardes be made. Cyprus is an yle, whiche*. [Either whiche should be can|celled, or is inserted.] other|wise callede Paphon or Cethim, cincte on the sowthe parte to hit with the see of Phenicia,*. [Fenicea, Harl. MS.] on the weste with the see Pamphilike, conteynenge in longitude c. and lxxx. myles, and in latitude c. xxti and v. myles. There brasse and the use of hit were ffounde fyrste. The wyne of whiche [folio 47b] londe is moste stronge and myȝhty. The yle callede Creta toke the name of hit of a man inhabitenge hit, whose name was Cretus; whiche was callede somme tyme Centa|polis, in that hit hade a c. nowble cites in hit. The londe of Saturne and Iupiter, whiche longede to Grece in Page 311, vol.1 olde tyme, hauenge on the sowthe to hit the see of Libya; in whiche yle be mony schepe and gaytes or gootes, but there be fewe hertes and hyndes; gendrenge not foxes, wulfes, or nyous serpentes. And also bestes replete with venom dye anoon after thei be brouȝhte þider. Neuerthe|lesse that cuntre gendrethe gravelle with venom, whom they calle Spalingeas. Orosius. That yle conteynethe in longi|tude c. lxxx. and vij. m. passes, and in latitude a m. and vj. In that yle is also oon of the iiij. mases, as hit Page 313, vol.1 schalle be expressede afterwarde. That yle Sicilia*. [Pathnium, Harl. MS.] was callede somme tyme Trinacria, of thre hilles schewenge in hit, whiche be namede Pelorum, Pachynum,*. [Pathnium, Harl. MS.] and Lilybeum. After that hit was callede Sicilia,*. [Scicilia, Harl. MS. (twice.)] of Siculus broþer to Italus. Also hit was callede Sicania, of Sicanius kynge, hauenge on the northe to hit Apulia, a parte of Ytaly, now diuidede by an arme of the see. But after Salustius, Scicille was coniuncte somme tyme to Ytaly, but after|warde hit was diuidede auþer thro invndation of water, other thro the movenge of erthes, in so moche that a see diuidethe now Ytaly from Scicille by the space of iij. myles. That Page 315, vol.1 see hathe ij. famous wondres and fulle of fables, that be Scylla and Charybdis. This Scylla, as men dwellenge there expresse, seyen that hit is a ston apperenge in the see lyke to the forme of man with hedes lyke to dogges. Wherefore thei seyne that thynge as to berke for the collision of waters metenge there. Charybdis is callede properly a turnenge water, and perellous for destroyenge of schippes, evometenge waters thryes in the day, and de|vourenge theyme. Isidorus, Eth., libro quarto decimo. That londe occupiede tyllenge of the londe with a plowe firste of alle other londes. Isidorus, libro quarto decimo, capitulo septimo. In this Scicille is the mownte callede Etna,*. [Ethna, MSS. and Cx.] hauenge in hit towarde the sowthe weste pyttes of Page 317, vol.1 sulphur,*. [Perhaps sulphure is the reading of Harl. MS.] whiche receyvenge wynde gendre a fumose fyre. ℞. In whiche place figures do appere and lamentable voices be herde ofte tymes; where fore mony men suppose that þer be places of peynes for sawles, as Seynte Gregory semethe to afferme in his dialogges. Gir. in Top. Also in Scicille is a welle to whom a man commenge in redde clothenge anoon that water movethe vp, not movenge to other coloures. Also in hit be gressehoppers, hauenge streyte veynes vnder the throte; whiche, hauenge theire hedes kytte of, synge more swetely, as hit is seyde, then when thei haue theire hedes, and dedde better then on lyve. Wherefore the schepardes, wyllenge to make theyme to synge swetely, kytte of theire hedes. In hit is a cite callede Palerna, whiche yeldethe more rente yerely to the kynge þer of, more then alle Englonde yeldethe to the kynge of certenty. Isidorus, libro tertio decimo. Also in Scicille be ij. welles, oon of theyme makethe plentuous a bareyne thynge; that other welle makeythe bareyne a Page 319, vol.1 thynge plentuous. Also in Scicille is white salte, contrary to the nature of other salte, whiche, beenge soluble in the fyre, brestethe and brekethe in the water. Also there is an yle nye to Scicille callede Eola, takenge the name of hit of a man callede Eolus, whom poetes feynede to be god of wynde, in so moche that he, beenge gouerner of the seide ix. yles, seyde ofte tymes when wyndes scholde folowe by fumose vapores ascendenge. Where fore indis|crete men supposede hym to haue the wynde in his go|uernaile and powere. These ix. yles be namede and callede Walcane, in that fire brennethe in theyme continually. Also there be other yles in the see Eusyne, whiche is a grete parte of the grete see, amonge whom the yle callede Colchos, where Iason did seche the fleese of golde, as hit schalle be towchede abowte þe batelle of Troye, ys moste of fame; and Patmos,*. [Pathmos, MSS. and Cx.] where Seynte Iohan was in exile.