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 Insulis Maris Magni. Capitulum tricesimum.

GADES is couenableliche first i-sette among þe ylondes of þe greet see, and stondeþ in þe west ende of Spayne in a mouþe of the west occean. Þere þe grete occean brekeþ in to þe ynner londes, and departeþ atwynne*. [a sonder, Cx.] Affrica and Europa. Tiries come, seilled*. [seyling, Cx., which is better; seyle, β., γ.] out of þe Rede see, and oc|cupied þat lond*. [ilond, α.] and cleped it Gades in hir langage, and Gades is to mene*. [saye, Cx.]byclipped, for it*. [he, α.] is byclipped [al]*. [al] Added from α. and Cx.] aboute wiþ þe see, and is from þe lond an hondred paas and ten. Þere*. [There as, Cx.] Hercules sette his pileres, þat beeþ wel*. [right, Cx.] wonderful, as it were in þe vttermeste*. [otmeste, α.] ende of all þe erþe;*. [of the world, Cx.] and þe same pileres beeþ i-cleped after þe name of þe ilond Gades also. Hugutio, capitulo Gades.*. [Cx. gives the first sentence thus:—And to gyue knowleche that there is no place ne lond ferther westward that stronge man Hercules sette the pylers there by Gades; thenne est|ward from these pylers, &c.] And þerof it come Page  305, vol.1 þat*. [þat] Added from α.] þe pilers, þat þe orped men and stalworþe setteþ in place þere þey mowe no furþere passe, beeþ i-cleped Gades; þan aftir|ward*. [estward, read by Cx., is probably right.] from þese pileres and from þe ilond Gades by*. [ben, Cx. (in the same sense.)] þe ilondes Baleares, þat hatte Maiorica and Minorica. Þan is þe*. [is there the, Cx.] ilond Sardinia, and haþ in þe souþ side Affrica, and in þe norþ Sicilia, and haþ noþer addres noþer venym, but þey haue*. [þei haþ, α.; ther growth, Cx.] an herbe þat hatte apium, þat*. [whiche, Cx.] makeþ men laughe hem selue to deþ. Þis lond*. [ylond, α. and Cx.] haþ hoot welles and heleful*. [holsom, Cx.] þat makeþ*. [which water maketh, Cx.] þeues blynde, and þey forswere hemself and touche hir eiȝen wiþ þe water of þilke welles.*. [theuys and men that forswere hem self blynde, yf theyr eyen touche the water of thylke welles, Cx.] Þe ilond Corsica is cornered wiþ many forlondes schetynge*. [stretchyng, Cx.] in to the see; þerynne is noble lese and pasture for bestes; þereynne is a stone þat hatte aconites.*. [aconiþtes, MS.] Corsica haþ in þe est side þe see Tyrrhenus, in þe souþ þe ylond Sardinia þritty mile þennes, in þe west þe ylondes Baleares, and in þe norþ þe see Ligusticus and Liguria a prouince of Italia, and is eiȝte score myle in lenȝþe and sixe and twenty in brede, and haþ þat name Corsica of a womman þat heet*. [heyght, Cx., and highte below, contrary to his custom.] Corsa. Þis Page  307, vol.1 Corsa hadde a bole þat ofte lefte companye of oþer bestes, and swam in to þat ilond and com home in wel*. [moche, Cx.] better poynt þan he ȝede*. [wente, Cx.] oute. Corsa say*. [sey, α.; sawe, Cx.] þat, and wayted hir tyme, and took a boot, and folwed*. [folowed after, Cx.] þe bole in to þat ilond, and sey*. [seie, α.; sawe, Cx.] þat þere was good*. [good] om. Cx.] lond for to bere corne and gras, and brouȝt þider first men þat were i-cleped Li|gures. Aradia, þat haþ*. [So MS.; is called, Cx.] Aradium also, is an ilonde þat is al oon citee nouȝt fer from þe citee Tyrus, and haþ many schip men þat beeþ ful stronge in fiȝtinge. Cyclades beeþ many ilondes to gedres, þre and ffifty, and beeþ*. [ar, Cx.] so i-cleped of þat Grew word ciclon þat*. [of cyclon in Grewe whiche, Cx.] is a cercle in*. [and, α.] Englisshe. For þey beeþ i-sette all rounde as it were a cercle aboute þe ilond þat hatte Delon. Noþeles som men seiþ þat þei beeþ so i-cleped by cause of hiȝe rokkes þat beeþ al aboute hem. Þe firste of hem is Rode*. [Rodes, Cx.] toward þe est; and þese*. [So α. and Cx.; þe see, MS.] ilondes endeþ toward þe north in þe clyue*. [clyf, Cx.; and hath, below.] of þe lasse Asia, and haueþ out of þe souþ in to þe north fifty myle, and out of þe*. [þe] om. MS. Added from α. and Cx.] est in to þe west two hundred myle. The myddel ilond of hem hatte*. [is named, Cx., as usual.] Delon, þat is to menynge i-schewed; for he was by schewed*. [beschyned, α.; it was somtyme byschyne with the sonne, Cx.] to fore oþer londes after Noes Page  309, vol.1 schippe. Þe same*. [same] Added from α. and Cx.] Delon hatte Ortygia; for ortigie, (þat beeþ*. [ben called, Cx.] coturnicies, curlewes,) beeþ þerynne*. [whiche ben there, Cx.] greet plente. Also þere*. [in that place, Cx.] Latona bore Appolyn Delphicus. Samos, þat hatte Samia also,*. [otherwyse called Samia, Cx.] is an ilond. Þere ynne*. [in whiche, Cx.] Pythagoras*. [Pittagoras, MSS.; Pyctagoras, Cx., omitting þe philosophre.] þe philosofre and Iuno and Sibylla were i-bore. In þat lond is whyte cley and rede cley;*. [cley] om. α. and Cx.] of þe*. [þe] om. Cx.] whiche cley men*. [me, α.] makeþ erþene vessel good wiþ þe beste.*. [vessel at beste, Cx.] Cyprus þat ilond*. [lond, Cx.] hatte Paphon and Cithim*. [Cichym, Cx.] also, and is byclipped in þe souþ side wiþ þe see of Phenicia, in þe west wiþ þe see Pamphylicus, and in þe north west with Sicilia,*. [So MSS. and Cx. for Cilicia.] and is eiȝte score myle in lengþe and six score and fyue in brede. Þere*. [In that yle, Cx.] bras and craft of bras was firste i-founde. Þe wyn*. [wynes, Cx.; who, however, has is below.] of þat lond is strengest of alle wynes. Creta þat ylond*. [þat ylond] om. Cx.] haþ þat name of oon Cretus, þat wonede þerynne. Þat ilond hatte Centapolis also, þat is a lond þat haþ an hundred citees. For þere were þerynne an hondred citees somtyme, and þere*. [þere] Added from Cx.] was somtyme Iupiteres*. [Iubiteres, MS. (not α.)] and Saturnus Page  311, vol.1 lond, and it*. [it] Added from Cx.] longeþ to Grecia riȝtfulliche*. [Cx. reads thus: For therin were somtyme an C cytees somtyme (sic), and there was Saturnus and Iupiter born, and were first kynges there, and of right it longeth to Grecia of old tyme, and hath, &c.] of olde tyme, and haþ in þe south side þe see Libycus, and in þe norþ side it is bygoo wiþ þe see of Gres,*. [and in the north the see of Grecia, Cx.] and streccheþ out of þe est in to*. [oute in to the eest, and in to, Cx.] þe west, and was þe firste lond þat was parfite and noble in craft of ores and of armes and of arwes,*. [crafte of rowyng with oores, armes, and shotyng with arowes, Cx.] and ȝaf lawe i-write in lettres and tauȝte horse men to ryde in rotes;*. [routes, α.] and [þer was] musyk and craft of syngynge*. [lawe wreton, and taughte men ride on horsbak; and ther was the craft of musike and syngynge, Cx.] of Ideis dactalis i-founde. Men*. [They, Cx.] of Creta made it more, and communede it in to*. [yaf it in knowleche to, Cx., who adds: That lond is now called Can|dia, after aboute.] oþer londes aboute. In þat londe*. [ylond, Cx.; and so elsewhere in the chapter, and conversely.] beeþ many scheep and geet and fewe roos and hertes; þerynne is*. [be, Cx.] no foxes noþer wolfes noþer addres noþer non suche*. [ne such, Cx.] venemous bestes. And þat lond hateþ so venym, þat ȝif me bryngeth þider*. [þider] om. Cx.] eny venemous bestes oþer wormes out*. [out] om. Cx.] of oþer londes he deieþ*. [they deyen, Cx.] anon; but þeyȝ þere be no grete bestes of venym, ȝit þere beeþ venemous attercoppes*. [and though ther be no grete vene|mous beestes in that lond, yet ben ther attercops, Cx.] þat beeþ i-cleped spalangia*. [So MSS. and Cx.] in þat ilond. Þis*. [Orosius seith that this, Cx.] ilond is eiȝte score myle and seuene in lengþe and an hundred myle in brede. In þis ilond is oon of the foure laborintus, as it schal be ynner more declared.*. [be sayd afterward, Cx.]Treuisa. For to brynge here hertes out of þouȝt þat hereþ speke of laborintus, here I telle what laborinthus is to menynge. Page  313, vol.1 Laborintus is an hous wonderliche i-buld wiþ halkes and hernes,*. [hirnes, α.] wiþ tornynges and wendynges and wonderful weyes so dyuersliche and so wrynkyngliche i-wroȝt, þat who þat is wiþ ynne þat hous and wil out wende, [þey he wende] wel faste oo wey and oþer, hiderward and þiderward, estward and*. [and] om. α.] westwarde, norþward and*. [and] om. α.] souþward, whider euere þey drawe, [and] of [alle] þe weies chese þe faireste; þey he trauaile neuere so sore, al is for nouȝt. For out gooþ he neuere, but he haue a craft þat nedeþ þerfore.*. [In the preceding extract from Trevisa the words in brackets are added from α. Caxton's text has been very much altered thus: "For to late men haue knowleche what laborintus is, it is an hous won|derly buylded and wrought with halkes and huyrenes, tornynges, and windynges so diuersly by won|derful wayes and wrynclis, that who, that gooth in to that hows and wold come out agayn, though he retorne hytherward and thy|derward eeste, west, north, or southward, whyther euer he drawe and for alle the wayes he can chese, though he trauaylle neuer so sore, he shal be so mased that out can he not goo, but yf he haue the craft that serueth therfore."] ℞. Sicilia þat ilond was somtyme i-cleped Trinacria, as it were þre square, bycause of þre hiȝe hilles þat beeþ þerynne. Þe hilles hatte Pelorum, Pachynum, Lilybeum, and afterward was i-cleped Sicilia of Siculus þat was Italus his broþer, and þat londe heet somtyme Sicania of Sicanus þe king; and haþ in the norþ side Apulia, a party of Italy, and is departed bytwene wiþ an arm*. [departed fro that part with grete waters of an arme of the see or clouen by erthshakyng, Cx., who has slight variations in the words following.] of þe see and ioynede somtyme to Italy, and*. [and] Added from α.] afterward was i-cloue and i-parted þere fram wiþ grete wateres oþer wiþ erþe schakynge, so seiþ Salustius; and þe see þat is now bytwene Sicilia and Italy is þre myle brood, and hatte Rhegium, þat is to menynge, i-broke of. Page  315, vol.1 In þat see beeþ tweie greet periles and*. [and] om α., Cx.] wonderful and wel wyde i-knowe; þat oon is Scylla, þat oþir is Charybdis. Men of þat lond clepeþ Scyllam a greet stoon, þat is þere i-seie aboue þe water, i-schape as a man, byclipped aboute wiþ hondes,*. [houndes heedes, Cx.] and feyneþ and seieþ þat it semeþ þat þe wawes berkeþ,*. [So α. and Cx.; brekeþ, MS.] þat beteþ þere vppon. Charybdis is a perilous whirlynge see þat casteþ vp water and wawes, and swoloweþ hem yn þries a day.*. [in agayn thryes in a day, Cx.]Isidorus, libro quarto decimo. In þis ilond me*. [men, Cx., as usual.] erede firste wiþ plowȝ for to sawe*. [sowe, α., Cx.] in corn and oþer sedes, and þere was commedy a song of gestes firste i-founde. Beda de Naturis. Þe lond of Sicilia is holow and ful of dennes, and haþ moche*. [caues and moche sulphur or brymstone, Cx.] brymstone and glewe, so þat the eier and feire*. [fire, α.] haþ wey i-now þerto, and fuyre i-closed in þe dennes and chenes*. [in the caues and in the chinnes, Cx.] wiþ ynne þe erþe stryueþ wiþ þe*. [þe] om. α.] ayer and wiþ*. [wiþ] om. Cx.] oþer þinges þat beeþ contrarye to þe fuyre and makeþ ofte and in meny places breke out a*. [greet, α.] smoke and brennynge leie.*. [to fyre, and that causeth ofte smoke and brennyng leyte to breke out in many places, Cx.] And somtyme the strengþe of þe wynd þat is wiþ inne makeþ breke vp*. [to breke oute, Cx.] hepes of grauel and of stones; for suche doynge it is þat þe brennynge of þat hil*. [hille that is called the mount, Cx.] mont Etna*. [Ethna, MSS. and Cx.] dureþ so longe. Isidorus, libro quarto decimo. Þat hille mount Etna toward þe souþ est haþ many chenes and holow*. [holw, MS.] dennes*. [chynnes and holowe dennes or caues, Cx.] wiþ inne þe erþe ful of Page  317, vol.1 brymston, þat fongeþ*. [resseyneth, Cx., as usual; and engendryth below.] moche wynde and gendreþ fuyre and smoke. ℞. In þat place beeþ i-seie dyuers figures and schappes and i-herd reweful*. [rufol, α.] voys and gronynge. Þerfore some men weneþ þat soules beeþ þere in peyne, as it semeþ þat Seint Gregorie makeþ mynde in his dia|logo.*. [dyaloge, Cx.]Giraldus in Topographia. Þere is a welle in Sicilia, ȝif a man comeþ þerto i-cloþed in reed, anoon þe water of þat welle springeþ vp as hiȝe as þat manis hede; and for oþer colour and*. [and] or, Cx.] hewe þe water meueþ nouȝt. Þere beeþ also cicade bryddes þat syngeþ at þe*. [wel in the best wyse, Cx.] beste, and haueþ a pipe open vnder þe þrote, and syngeþ better whan þe hede is offe þan while*. [whan, Cx.] it is onne, and better whan þey beeþ dede þan while þey beþ on lyue.*. [a lyue, Cx.] Þerfore herdes of þat lond byhedeþ hem forto haue þe swetter song. Also*. [And, Cx.] in þat lond is a citee þat hatte Palarna,*. [So MSS. and Cx.] and*. [that, Cx.] ȝeldeþ euery ȝere more of certeyn rente to þe kyng of þat lond*. [to þe kyng of þat lond] om. Cx.] þan þe kyng of Engelond haþ of certeyne*. [siker, Cx.] rente of Engelond.*. [of al Engelond, α.]Isidorus, libro tertio decimo. In Sicilia beeþ tweie welles, þat oon of hem makeþ a bareyn womman bere*. [to bere, Cx.] children, Page  319, vol.1 and þe oþer makeþ a childyng womman barayn. In Sicilia is salt Agrigentinus,*. [So α. and Cx.; arigentinus, MS.] wonderful and contrarie to oþer salt. For þey*. [it, Cx.] melteþ in fuyre, and lepeþ and sprankeleþ*. [sprancleth, α.; sperclyth, Cx.] in water. Byside Sicilia is an ilond þat hatte Eola, and haþ þe name of Eolus. Poetes feynede and cleped*. [feynen and saye, Cx.] [þat]*. [þat] Added from α. and Cx.] Eolus god*. [is god, Cx.] of wyndes; for while he was rulere of*. [of the, Cx.] nyne ilondes, euerich of hem heet Eola; by risynge of moisture of myst and of smoke he wolde telle whan it schulde reyne; and þerfore men, þat kouþe but litel good, wende þat*. [therfore symple men supposed that, Cx.] he hadde þe wynde in his power and myȝt. Þe same nyne ilondes hatte volcane,*. [So Cx.; vlcane, MS., α.] that is fuyre,*. [fyry, Cx.] for fire brenneþ þere all wey. Þere beeþ oþer ilondes in þe see Euxinus.*. [Eusinus, MSS. and Cx., as usual.] Þat see Euxinus is a grete partie of þe grete see of myddel erþe; among þe whiche ilondes þe ilond Colchos is famous. Þere Iason*. [as Iason, Cx.] fette þe golden flees, as it is*. [shal be, Cx.] declared wiþ ynne*. [after, Cx.] aboute þe batayle of Troye. And Patmos*. [Pathmos, MSS. and Cx.] is an ilond in þe same see; þere Seynt*. [as seynt, Cx.] Iohan þe Euangeliste was, whan he was outlawed*. [exyled, Cx.] oute of oþer londes.