annos tradente

Novanas

Senior Member
English AE/Ireland
A question from Book XIV, Ch. 20 of William of Tyre.

The situation here is fairly complicated and I'll do my best to explain it. Bohemond, the prince of Antioch, had died, leaving his widow, Alice, with a young daughter, Constance/Constantia. Alice wanted to take over and rule the city in his place, but there was considerable opposition to this move. She was ousted and assigned the coastal cities of Laodicea and Jabala to rule. Raymond, son of the count of Poitou, then living in England, was chosen to come to Antioch and marry Constance and rule the city. He was willing. But in the meantime, Alice had found plenty of supporters and had returned to Antioch and was ruling it quite illegally. Raymond, on his arrival in the area, gained the support of Ralph, the patriarch of Antioch. Ralph, to put Alice off her guard, told her that Raymond had come to marry her--and she believed him. So Raymond entered the city without opposition and immediately married Constance, leaving Alice with no choice but to return to the two cities assigned to her.

So that's what this sentence is all about. I'm quite mystified as to what "annos tradente" might mean. An English translator has rendered it as "bestowing the bride on the groom", but how she arrived at that conclusion is beyond me. Perhaps she had an alternate reading available. If anyone has any ideas here, I'd be very happy to hear them.

Sic ergo pactis interpositis et jurejurando roboratis, admissus est in urbem, adhuc exspectante matre ut sibi omnis ille nuptiarum fieret apparatus; et confestim ad basilicam apostolorum Principis deductus, dominam Constantiam adhuc intra nubiles degentem, annos tradente domino patriarcha et id fieri postulantibus magnatibus universis, duxit uxorem.

(It might be mentioned that Constance was apparently still under 10 years old at the time of these events.)
 
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  • Snodv

    Senior Member
    English - Mid-Southern US
    I'm not sure annos and tradente go together. I suspect the part after deductus is something like "he married the Lady Constance [who was] still living within (before?) the marriageable years, the Lord Patriarch handing her over and all the vassals/magnates demanding that it be done." Or something like that. Maybe someone else can make more sense of it, but I think your note about the girl's age is an important clue.
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    saluete omnes!

    Yes, this is somewhat mystifying, and at one with Snodv about the riddle (# 2), I agree with him that annos and tradente cannot belong closely together.

    That said, I am worrying about the punctuation—for I wonder whether the comma should come after annos, thus making nubiles degentem annos mean (at the age of 10 or so) 'still of premature years for marriage'. I am assuming, but ready to be convicted of a soloecism, that tradente...patriarcha is an ablative absolute (parallel with postulantibus magnatibus), and domino ('to her Lord and Master [i.e. 'husband']') a dative.

    From previous excerpts of William of Tyre which Novanas has asked about here, I have the impression that he is usually quite a careful composer of Latin syntax, and as she, Novanas, says, it's a pretty complicated historical tangle—probably best to be unravelled by someone more expert than I in the language and historical literature of the period and milieu. I only wish I were better skilled in the Latinity of the time.

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    Novanas

    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    Thanks to both of you for your replies. I think I'd go along with what you're saying here. It certainly makes more sense than any theory I've come up with. As for altering the punctuation, there's no need to hesitate to do so if you feel it appropriate. As I've said before, I think, I have this history stored in my computer as a word document, and I've edited the punctuation considerably. It's a nuisance. I don't know how many times I've failed to understand a sentence because of, e.g., a comma or semi-colon that separated two phrases that should have remained linked.

    As for this,

    "domino ('to her Lord and Master [i.e. 'husband']') a dative,"

    this is of course possible, but I think I'd take it as an ablative. William routinely uses the words "dominus" and "domina" when referring to noblemen and women, as here, for example:

    "Vocato igitur ex hac luce domino Balduino, Hierosolymorum ex Latinis rege secundo, qui cognominatus est de Burgo, successit in regno dominus Fulco gener ejus . . . "

    And of course in the sentence quoted above, he refers to a very young girl as "dominam Constantiam". So I myself would be tempted to take the "domino" connected to "patriarcha" as an ablative. Perhaps if we take the phrase as an ablative absolute, we can consider that "Constantiam" is understood:

    "(Constantiam) tradente domino patriarcha" = "the lord patriarch giving (Constance) away."

    Perhaps that will work.

    At any rate, just in case someone is curious about the significance of this episode, I can point out that Antioch was always under extreme pressure from the Turks, and the nobles and common citizens alike of the city were very concerned to have a strong ruler--"strong" in this context meaning a competent soldier and general. They'd even go to England to find one if necessary, so Alice was simply out of luck.
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    gratias, Novanas, for this further clarification (# 4).

    At first I tried to make sense of annos tradente as meaning something like 'waiving [as an obstacle to marriage] her immature years'. But despite the point Novanas makes about 'the lord patriarch', the longer I look at it, the more obstinately persuaded I become that domino is dative. Without being able to cite chapter and verse for this, my feeling is that it is stylistically neater to have 'the patriarch giving [Constance] away to her husband-to-be', as appears to be the construal of the translator Novanas quoted in her original query. I know William's is not classical Latin (though he has his claims as a stylist), but OLD s.v. trado, § 5 (c), glosses the verb in precisely this sense, of 'giving away in marriage', with respectable citations from Horace, Ovid, Tacitus, Apuleius and Juvenal. A sentence from Ovid (Met. 14.336f.) seems particularly apposite here: 'haec ubi nubilibus primum maturuit annis / tradita Pico est'.

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    Snodv

    Senior Member
    English - Mid-Southern US
    For what it's worth, if anything, I don't think we'll ever know. I first construed the tradente domino patriarcha as all one ablative phrase, but I would bet since Raymond was a count's son, not only Constance's "lord"as husband (although there's a little hysteron proteron there, since he wasn't her lord until after she was given in marriage) it wouldn't be inappropriate to call him "dominus" either. So the construction with the dative is legit, but I find it curious that the dative is between the two elements of the ablative absolute--odd for prose, anyway.
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Greetings again—this with ref. here to Snodv's # 6 in the Thread:
    I don't think we'll ever know...
    Perhaps indeed not. But as minor support for my suspicion (that domino is dative) I would claim the near-juxtaposition / contrast of 'dominam Constantiam...domino' in the principal clause at the end of the passage as Novanas quoted it.
    Also, although I can think of no obvious parallel to cite for this, and find no authority for it in e.g. Gildersleeve and Lodge, I don't find 'tradente domino patriarcha' any odder than e.g. rege nondum mortuo or castris statim relictis. Next time I have a chance to consult Kühner/Gerth I'll return to this.
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    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Hello again everyone

    I finally got round today to redeeming my undertaking at the end of # 7. Further to my previous comments (especially in ## 3, 5), Kühner/Stegman's examples (vol. I § 136.4α) of what might be termed 'interrupted' ablatives absolute (in a sense a variety of the figure known as traiectio verborum) include:
    Cic. ND 1.116, nullo nec accepto ab iis nec sperato bono;
    Caes. BG 5.11.6, ne nocturnis quidem temporibus ad laborem militum intermissis;
    Liv. 4.2.7, consul triumphans in urbem redit Cluilio, duce Volscorum, ante currum ducto...;
    —21.37.4, iumentis prope fame absumptis;
    And for a dative 'interruption' (cf. 'tradente domino patriarcha' in the text of the original enquiry):
    Curt. 4.1.10, Dareus cum magno exercitu mare traiecit illato Macedoniae et Graeciae bello.
    It appears this is not at all 'odd for prose', as Snodv put it in #6.
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    Novanas

    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    I myself wouldn't imagine contesting this notion of "interrupted ablatives absolute", as we're calling them. On the contrary, for me, that's bread-and-butter stuff. Here are a few examples I've gathered from just the last 2-3 pages of William's history that I've read:

    Transcursis igitur circa partes Ciliciae mensibus hibernis
    vere jam reducto et gratam exercitibus referente temperiem
    convocatis ex universa regione suorum copiis
    Unde a laeva et a dextra demissis usque in fluvium moenibus
    dispositisque in gyrum agminibus
    Hic demum machinis congrua provisione dispositis
    caeteris in praelio et re militari desudantibus
    Sic ergo civitate ex parte quadam impugnata
    missis occulte ad imperatorem nuntiis
    Suscepta igitur pacta pro dissolvenda obsidione pecunia


    There are two reasons why I initially took "domino" to be an ablative: (1) as I've already mentioned, the fact that William routinely uses this word "dominus" in reference to noblemen of any rank. (2) I've asked myself if William ever refers to a woman's husband as her "dominus", and off the top of my head I can't recall any example. But it's not impossible, and at this point I'm hardly going to review the 14 books of history that I've already read in order to decide the issue.

    On the other hand, I see no reason why "domino" in this instance can't be a dative. I myself am content to leave the issue undecided. The real question for me here was "annos tradente", and the suggestion that "annos" is linked to "degentem" rather than "tradente" makes perfect sense to me.
     
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