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 undecimum.

PICTHAGORAS,*. [Pictagoras, Cx. and β.; Pitta|goras, γ.] þe philosofre, deide*. [deyede, β.] þat tyme. Trogus, libro primo.*. [22, Cx. The reference in the Latin text is the correct one.] Þis was [of]*. [From α.] the nacioun of Samia, a riche mar|chaunt his sone, þat heet Maratus; but Picthagoras was wel richere*. [rychcher, γ.] þan his fader, for he myȝte forsake more þan his fader Page  191, vol.3 myȝte gete. Þis wente first in to Egipt, and siþþe*. [after, Cx.; seththe, γ.] in to Babilonia, for to lerne*. [Babilon to lerne, Cx.] þe cours of [the]*. [Cx.] sterres, and for*. [for] om. Cx.] to knowe þe bygynnynge of þe worlde; þennes he tornede ageyn into Creta and Lacedemonia, forto*. [forto . . . Lacedemonia] om. in Cx. and γ. It is evidently an error of the scribe.] knowe þe bygynnynge of þe world; þennes he torned agayn in to Creta and Lacede|monia,*. [forto . . . Lacedemonia] om. in Cx. and γ. It is evidently an error of the scribe.] forto knowe Mynoys and Ligurgis*. [Lycurgus his, α.] lawe. Þanne he torned to þe citee þat hatte ciuitas Crotoniorum,*. [Croniorum, γ.] þat was al out of rule,*. [reule, γ.] and þere he was twenty ȝere, and tauȝte þere vertues and þewes, and tauȝte [their]*. [Cx.] fader and moder, chil|dren, and olde wommen eueriche by selues,*. [every by hym self, Cx.] and at þe laste he wente to Methapontus, and deide*. [deyede, β.] þere. [℞.]*. [℞] om. Cx.] Þe*. [this, Cx.] same sentence is i-write of hym, Polichronicon, libro 7o, capitulo 4o; but þere is more i-putte*. [pot, γ.] to, in þis manere. Picthagoras wiþ ofte desputynge*. [disputynge, Cx.] brouȝte abouȝte þat olde modres dede*. [put, Cx.; dude, γ.] awey hir*. [har, γ.] noble array*. [aray, Cx.] of golde and of oþer realte, as þey*. [royalte as though, Cx.] suche array were instrumentis to leccherie,*. [instrumnet to lecherye, Cx.] and þerfore he dede*. [they dyde, Cx.; a dude ham, γ.] hem awey, and offred hem in the temple of Iuno. Picthagoras seide þat chastite is verray noble array of olde modres. Þre hondred ȝong men were i-swore*. [weren sworn, β.] to gidres, and Page  193, vol.3 lyuede in [a]*. [Cx.] felawschippe*. [yn on felouȝschyp, γ.] by hemself, as it were a companye of priue*. [preuey, γ.] conspiracie aȝenst þe citee,*. [þe citee] om. α.] and torned*. [conspyracy ayenst hym, and toruned, Cx.] þe citee aȝenst hem self, as it were a companie;*. [as it . . . companie] om. Cx., β., and γ.] so þat þe peple of þe citee gadrede hem into an hous,*. [one hows, Cx.] and wolde haue i-brend hem: and in þat strif were sixty dede, and þe oþere were i-exiled. Þis Pictagoras*. [Picthagorax, α.] was of grete auctorite in olde tyme, þat his opi|nioun passed alle oþer menis*. [men, γ.] sentence;*. [mennes sentences, Cx.] also it was i-now*. [ynowȝ, β.] to conferme eny sentence with,*. [with] om. α., γ., and Cx.] ȝif Pictagoras seide soo. Valerius, libro 3o, capitulo 7o. Þei*. [hy, γ.] þat herde hym dede hym so grete worschippe þat þei seide þat*. [þat] om. Cx.] it was*. [is, Cx.] nouȝt laweful to make noþer douȝte no questioun of lore*. [loore, Cx.] þat he hadde i-tauȝt; and ȝif*. [ȝif] om. Cx.] me axede hem any resoun of sawes þat me*. [he, γ.] seide, þei*. [hy, γ.] ȝeue noon oþer answere, but þat Pictagoras seide soo. Isidre,*. [Isidorus, Cx.] libro primo, seiþ þat Pictagoras fonde firste þis lettre Y to þe liknes of manis lif. Agellius, libro 8o, capitulo 8o. Al*. [Alle, Cx.] þe money þat eny of Pictagoras his companye hadde Page  195, vol.3 it is*. [was, Cx. and γ.] openliche i-putte forþ among hem, and so þe companye was stedefast and trewe.*. [stydfast and true, Cx.] Also þey*. [hy, γ.] þat come to his lore*. [loore, Cx.] axede besiliche*. [busylych, γ.] of þewes, and of kynde of castynge of mouth, and of semblant of array and schap of body. Also he or|deyned couenable tyme to be stille, and [to]*. [Cx.] speke nouȝt,*. [nouȝt and . . . nouȝt speke] om. Cx.] and in*. [in] om. α., β., and γ.] tyme no man so hardy to axe noþer resoun ne skile, but besiliche*. [bysylych, γ.] herkene what he seide. And Seneka, Epistola 55, and Ambrosius, libro primo de officiis, capitulo 5o, þey*. [hy, γ.] þat come to Pictagoras his lore schulde fyue ȝere be stille and nouȝt speke.*. [nouȝt and . . . nouȝt speke] om. Cx.] Hugucio Diasc.*. [Hugo didascolus, Cx.] Pictagoras hadde þis manere by [the]*. [Cx.] seuene sciences:*. [sciens, γ.] non of his scoleres schulde to fore þe seuenþe ȝere*. [before seven yere, Cx.] axe resoun noþer skile*. [skylle, Cx.] of his lore,*. [of his lore] om. Cx.] but [besyly herkynge what he sayde. And]*. [Cx.] he schulde trowe*. [byleue, Cx.] what þe maister seide forto*. [til, Cx.] þat [he]*. [Cx.] i-hadde al*. [al] om. Cx.] i-seide, and so þat*. [þanne, α.; than, Cx.] he myȝte hym self fynde skile and resoun. Polichronicon, libro 7o. Þis Pictagoras usede so grete con|tynence and abstinence þat he ete*. [eet, β.] noþer fische ne flesche.*. [fleysch, γ.] Also after his deth men wondrede so moche of hym, and his auc|torite was so grete, þat men made a temple of his hous, and wor|schipped*. [worschipiden, β.]Page  197, vol.3 hym instede of God, and on*. [in, Cx.] caas took*. [tok, γ.] occasioun of his sawe, for he seide, while he was on lyue, þat a philosofer his hous is a*. [an, Cx.] holy place of witt and of wisdom, and verrey*. [veray, Cx.] temple of God. Also me*. [he, Cx.] tauȝte men for to trowe*. [to byleue, Cx.] þat manis soule*. [mennes sowle, Cx.] schal neuere deie, but lyue*. [bote lybbe, γ.] for euere more, and fonge mede*. [fange meede, β.; fange mede, γ.] for þe lif þat he lyuede here;*. [and for to haue mede or peyne after the deseruyng in theyr lyf, Cx.] noþeles me seiþ þat he brouȝte first*. [first] om. Cx.] wickedlyche þe fable of a þowsand ȝere after þe dethe. Ieronimus contra Rufum. Pictagoras seiþ þat soules after þe deth passeþ from þe*. [þe] om. α. and Cx.] body to body, and Virgil, sextus Eneid,*. [sexto, α.; sexto Eneydis, Cx.] seiþ ofte þey*. [hy, γ,] bygynneþ and wil|neþ*. [begyn to wylle. Cx.; to wylne β.; bygynneþ to wylne, γ.] to torne to body. Tullius, de natura Deorum, libro 3o. Whanne Pictagoras fonde newe conclucioun in gemetrie, he wolde offre an oxe to þe Muses; and þat I trowe was i-doo*. [doon, β.] for he wolde offre not to Appolyn Delphicus, for he wolde nouȝt springe þe auȝter*. [sprynge the aucter, Cx.] wiþ blood. Trevisa. Hit is won|der to speke of þe Muses, ffor some poetes*. [poetis, β.] feyneth þat þe Muses were the douȝtres*. [douȝtris, β.] of Iubiter*. [doughters of Iupiter, Cx.] and of mynde;*. [muynde, γ.] and Page  199, vol.3 som feyneþ*. [seyn, Cx.] þat þey*. [α, γ.] were þe douȝtres*. [douȝtris, β.] of Meno and Thes|bya.*. [Tesbia, Cx.]Polichronicon, libro 5o, capitulo 4o. Men of Athene brende Pictagoras his bookes, and exiled hym also, for he*. [they, Cx.] doutede of here godes, where*. [whether, Cx. and γ.] it were sooþ or no, som|what þat me spekeþ*. [speke, α. and γ.; spak, Cx.] of hir goodnes.*. [goodes, α.; goddes, Cx.; godes, γ.]Agellius, libro 5o. Whanne [that]*. [Cx.] Pictagoras was ȝong, and was besy to gete spedeful manere*. [maner, Cx.] berynge of burþens, for to gete his liflode þerwiþ,*. [lyuelode with, Cx.] he bare a burþen of meny yuy*. [Iuy, Cx.] stalkes i-bounde in a schorp rope.*. [a short roop, Cx.; a schort roop, γ.] Democritus, þe philosofer, mette hym, and sighe*. [sawe, Cx.] þe ȝongelynge dede spedeliche*. [doo spedyly, Cx.] his dedes, and hadde his burþen i-bounde as it were by craft of gemetrie,*. [geometrye, Cx.] and axed [hym]*. [Cx.] who had i-founde*. [bounde, α.; bounden, Cx.] þat faget.*. [fagott, Cx.] "I,"*. [ich, β.] quod*. [sayde, Cx.; Ich, quaþ, γ.] Pictagoras. Þan he made hym undo þe burþen and bynde it aȝen, and seide,*. [sayth, Cx.] "Siþþe þou hast wit forto doo wel, ȝif þou wilt*. [wolde, Cx.] folowe*. [volwe, γ.] me, þou schalt doo well better dedes;" and he graunted, and lerned*. [leurnede, γ] of hym philosofie. Polichronicon, libro 5o. Page  201, vol.3 Oon Anallius,*. [Enallius, α. and γ.; Auallius, Cx., et infra.] riche and ȝong, come to Pictagoras forto lerne*. [leurne, γ.] perfiȝt*. [parfyght, Cx.; parfyt, γ.] manere of spekynge, and payed hym half his money to fore honde, or he lernede,*. [ar he gan to leurne, γ.] and þe oþer haluendel*. [before er he lerned, and that other half, Cx.] he schulde paye þat day þat he pletede to fore*. [made plee bifore, Cx.] a iuge, and hadde þe maistrie. At þe laste, whanne he hadde konnynge of speche, he forsoke his facounde*. [facunde, Cx.] and his connynge to fore pledours,*. [bifore pleders, Cx.] as me trowed,*. [troweth, Cx.] for he nolde not*. [wold not, Cx.] paye þat he owede to his maister. Pictagoras took*. [tok, γ.] counsaile, and somnede*. [sommoned, Cx.] hym to fore iuges*. [bifore pleders, Cx.] and bygan in þis manere: "Lerne, þou ȝonge fool, þat þat I*. [ich, γ.] axe is dette*. [detty, γ.] to me by oþer*. [eiþer, α. and Cx.; eyþer, γ.] wey: for ȝif I*. [ich, γ.] ouer|come þe in þis cause, þan by dome it is detty to me;*. [by right is it dette to me, Cx.] and ȝif þe dome is i-ȝeue for þe, þanne is his detty to me*. [than is it dette to me, Cx.; þanne hyt ys detty, γ.] by couenaunt, for þanne þu ouercomest and hast þe maistrye." "Nay," quod*. [Naye, sayd, Cx.] Anallius, "but lene,*. [lerne, α., β., and Cx.; lern, γ.] wise maister, þat by neuere*. [ner, γ.] noþer weie*. [nether waye, Cx.] I schal paye þe þat þou axest: [for ȝif]*. [Cx.] it is i-demed*. [be demed, Cx.]Page  203, vol.3 aȝenst me,*. [A mistake for þe.] þanne I owe þe*. [y schal, γ.] nouȝt [by dome;*. [than shal I not paye by dome, Cx.] and ȝif it is i-demed*. [be demed, Cx.] aȝenst me, þanne I owe þe*. [y schal, γ.] nouȝt]*. [From α.] by couenant,*. [than shal I not by couenaunt, Cx.] for I have nouȝt þe maistrie." Þan þe iuges sigh þat þe cause was brigons,*. [brygous, Cx.; brigous, β. and γ.] as it were an insolible, and put it ofto a wel longe day.*. [an insoluble, and continued the sentence of iuggement to a long day, Cx.] So it is i-rad*. [redde, Cx.] among þe men of Athene þat a womman poysonede hire housbonde and hire owne sone, for þey hadde wickedliche i-slawe hir sone and here eyre þat sche*. [heo, γ.] hadde by hir raþer housbonde.*. [fyrst husbande, Cx.] Þe olde iuges tariede*. [trayede, α.] þe cause to an*. [respyted theyr iuggement till an, Cx.] hondred ȝere; for in þe oon*. [on that one, Cx.] side was grete sorwe to assoile, and in þe*. [that, Cx.] oþer side a cruel*. [cruwel, γ.] dede to be dampned. Ysidre,*. [Ysidorus, Cx.]libro 2o, capitulo 24o. Þey menede*. [me rede, α. and γ.; Though men rede, Cx.] þat Tubal of Caym is*. [caimes lygnage, Cx.] lynage*. [hys lynage, γ.] was fyndere of consonancie and of musyk to fore*. [music bifore, Cx.] Noe is*. [caimes lygnage, Cx.] flood;*. [Noes flode, Cx.] noþeles me redeþ among þe Grees*. [Grekes, Cx.] þat Pictagoras fonde þe craft of musyk by soun of hameres,*. [sowne of hamers, Cx.] and by strecchynge of cordes and of strenges. Mar.,*. [Marian, Cx.; Macr., β. and γ.]libro 2o. Hit happede þat Pictagoras passede forþ openliche Page  205, vol.3 and herde smethes*. [smythes, Cx.] bete wiþ hameres on*. [an, β.] hoot iren,*. [yre, γ.] and euerich hamer to oþer accordeþ in certeyn*. [hote yron, and acorde eueryche to other in certayne, Cx.] ordre of soun, [for þe scharpe soun]*. [From α.] acorded to þe grete; and he*. [he] om. Cx.] made þe smethes*. [smythes to, Cx.] chaunge hameres, but þe same acorde of sownynge folowed alwey. Þanne he took heede þat þe hameres were of dyuers weiȝtes,*. [wyȝtes, γ.] and hete hem*. [weyght, and bade hym, Cx.] make grettere hameres: and from hameres he tornede hym to examyne strenges, and streyned guttes*. [gottes, γ.] and senewes of schepe*. [shepe, Cx.] and of reþeren*. [beestes, Cx.; riþeren, β.; roþe|ron, γ.] i-fastned to dyuers wiȝtes,*. [weyghtes, Cx.] suche wiȝtes*. [weyghtes, Cx.] as he hadde i-founde in þe hamer; and hadde suche song and acorde as þe raþer acordinge of hameres, made wiþ swetnesse of kyndeliche soun*. [sowne, Cx., et infra.] of strenges. Þan whan he was konnynge of so grete priuete,*. [priueyte, γ.] he gan to fynde noumbres*. [nombres, Cx.] by þe whiche sownes accordeþ,*. [acorde, Cx.] and so he spedde to make þe craft of musyk. [℞.]*. [Cx.] Þerfore Tullius de Tusculanis quæstionibus,*. [Tusculis questio, Cx.] libro 4o, spekeþ of hym, and seiþ þat Pictagoras scoleres*. [his scolars, α.; scolers, Cx.] couþe brynge here mynde out of strif of þowȝtes to reste, by song and soun of strenges. Augustinus, Epistola 5o, contra Iulia|num.*. [contra Rut., Cx.]Page  207, vol.3 When ȝong men*. [ȝonglinges, α. and γ.; yong|lynges, Cx.] were wyndronken, and wolde breke þe ȝates of a chast*. [chaast, β.] womman,*. [of chast women, Cx.] Pictagoras hiȝte*. [bade, Cx.; het, γ.] pipers*. [pypars, γ.] to*. [to] om. Cx.] pipe a song i-made by þe enditynge*. [thendytyng, Cx.] of spondeus, and whanne þei dede*. [hy dude, γ.] so, þo þe bestialte of leccherie stynte by þe sleuþe*. [bestyaligte of moeuyng of lechery cessed by the slouth, Cx.] of þe manere of tunes.*. [teones, α. β. and γ.; tewnes, Cx.]Seneka, libro 3o, [de]*. [From γ.]ira.*. [de lira, Cx.] Pictagoras wiþ harpe and strenges cessede þe destourbaunce of wittes. ℞.*. [℞] om. α.] Here wise men telleþ þat Pictagoras passede som tyme by a smethis hous,*. [smythes hows, Cx.] and herde a swete soun, and accordynge and the smyȝtynge*. [in the smytyng, Cx.] of foure hamers [uppon an anuelt,*. [anueld, Cx.] and þerfore he lete weie*. [wey, Cx.] þe hameres],*. [From α.] and fond þat oon of the hameres weiede*. [wey, γ., et infra.] tweie so moche as anoþer; þat oþer*. [another, Cx.] weyed*. [anoþer weyȝ, α.] oþer half so moche as þat*. [anoþer, α. and Cx.] oþer,*. [The words—anoþer weyed oþer half so moche as anoþer, occur twice in the MS. where also a part of the previous clause has been repeated but is erased.] [and]*. [From α.] anoþer weyed*. [wey, α.] oþer half so moche as an oþer, and þe þridde deel of anoþer; as þey þe firste hamer were of sixe pound, the se|counde of twelue, the þridde of eyghte, the fourþe of nyne, as this figure scheweþ that is here nex folowynge.*. [that is here nex folowynge] om. α. and Cx.] Whanne*. [Cx. leaves a space but gives no figure.]Page  209, vol.3{illustration}
þese acordes were i-founde Pic|tagoras ȝaf hem names, and so þat he cleped*. [clepede, Cx.; clepuþ, γ.] in noumbre double, he clepeþ [dyapason and that he clepeth in nombre other half he clepeth]*. [From Cx., and similarly in β.] in sownes dya|pente;*. [dyapason, and þat a clepede in numbre oþer half a clepeþ in souns diapente, γ.] þat hatte in noumbres al and*. [MS. and al, by a mistake.] þe þridde deel hatte in sownes*. [and that that in nombre is called al and the thryd dele hete in sownes, Cx.] dyatesseron, [and þat hatte in noumbris al and þe eiȝte del, hatte in sownes tonus]*. [From β.; al and þe eyȝteþe del a clepeþ in souns tonus, γ.] and þat hatte in noumbres foure siþes al hatte in*. [y, α.] sownes double dyapasoun;*. [and that that in nombres is called al and the eyghteth dele heete in tewnes double dyapason, Cx. A mistake. In none of the versions is there any translation of the tripla proportio.] as in Page  211, vol.3 melodie of oon streng ȝif þe streng is i-stranȝt*. [straut, β.] ende|longes*. [stryng be streyned end longe, Cx.] uppon*. [apon, γ.] þe holownesse of a tree and departede evene a two by a brugge*. [brygge, α.; brydge, Cx.] i-sette þere under [in eiþer party of þe streng þe soun schal be diapason ȝif þe streng is y-streyned and touched, and ȝif þe streng is*. [be, Cx.] departed euene a*. [in, Cx.] þre and þe brygge y-sett under]*. [From α.] so þat he de|partede*. [it departe, Cx.; a departe, γ.] by [twene þe]*. [From α.] tweie deles and þe þridde, þanne þe lenger del of þe streng if it is*. [be, Cx.] touched schal ȝeue a sown þat hatte diatesseroun, and ȝif he is*. [it be, Cx.] departed in*. [α, γ.] nyne, and the brugge*. [brigge, Cx.] y-sette under bytwene the laste partie and þe oþer deel, þanne the lenger deel of þe streng if it is*. [be, Cx.] i-touched schal ȝeue a soun þat hatte tonus, for nyne conteyneth eiȝte and þe eiȝteþe*. [eyght, Cx.] partie of eyȝte, as in þis figure þat foloweþ.*. [Cx. omits the figure.]{illustration}
Page  213, vol.3 [Jeronimus contra Rufum.]*. [Cx. A space is left in the MS. as if for a reference.] Men*. [meny, α. and γ.; many, Cx. and β.] of Pictagoras his disciples kepte here maistres hestes yn mynde [and usede here witte and mynde]*. [From α.] in studie*. [stude, γ.] of bookes, and tauȝte forþ*. [that, Cx.] meny suche prouerbis: [me]*. [Added from γ.] schal kutte*. [kytte, Cx.; kitte, β.] and departe sorwe from the body, unkonnynge from þe witte, leccherie from þe wombe, tresoun out of þe citee, strif out of [the]*. [Cx.] hous, incontynense and hastinesse out of alle þinges; also al þat frendes haueþ*. [habbeþ, γ.] schal be comyn; a frend is þe oþer of tweyne; me mote take hede of tymes; after God soþnesse schal be worschipped, þat makeþ men be next to*. [to] om. Cx.] God. Ysidorus, libro 8o, capitulo 6o.