proposito igitur satisfacientes

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Novanas

Senior Member
English AE/Ireland
Hello to all!

I've come across the above phrase in Book XV, Chapter 25 of William of Tyre's history.

This is the context: the town of Ascalon, still held by the Muslims, has long been a thorn in the side for the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Very close to Jerusalem, it's a base from which the Muslims can easily raid Christian-held territory. To try to contain the threat, the Christians have built two fortresses in strategic locations, and this measure has proven to be very effective. So now they're proposing to build a third fortress (which William alternately refers to as a "castrum", "praesidium", "oppidum" or "municipium").

Hic complacuit prudentioribus praesidium fundari, eo quod aliis quae ad usus similes facta erant municipiis et civitati [Ascalon] vicinius, et loco situque munitiore videretur. Proposito igitur satisfacientes, dominus rex et principes ejus, una cum domino patriarcha et praelatis ecclesiarum, circa veris initium, hieme transcursa, ad locum unanimiter conveniunt, et vocatis artificibus, simul et populo universo necessaria ministrante, aedificant solidis fundamentis et lapidibus quadris oppidum, cum turribus quatuor congruae altitudinis.

For "proposito igitur satisfacientes" the translation I have gives "Well satisfied with this idea, the king . . .", and I simply can't see this. It seems to me that satisfaciens is active, "satisfying, giving satisfaction, making amends, etc." Nothing I find in Lewis and Short would justify interpreting it passively as "satisfied".

My initial interpretation was along the lines of "making good on their proposal". I.e., they've proposed something and now they have to do the necessary "to satisfy it", to carry it out. I might simply translate it as, "In order to carry out the project, the king . . ." It doesn't appear to me that the word would have been used like this in classical times, but this is William of Tyre.

Any comments would be most welcome.
 
  • Snodv

    Senior Member
    English - Mid-Southern US
    Hmm. I don't have the whole thing yet, but it seems that "satisfying" is the only possibility--satisfacti would be "satisfied." And it seems to modify "the lord king and his chief men," so yes, it appears you are right: they are satisfying 'the thing proposed."
    But hark! I see here "together with the Lord Patriarch," where domino and patriarcha go together. This echoes a passage there was a controversy about not too long ago.
     

    Scholiast

    Senior Member
    Scholiasta Novanae, Snodvio collectoribusque S.P.D.

    OLD s.v. satisfacio has the following:

    '3 To give all that is required, pay sufficient attention to (a) a person (b) a thing', and has in sense (b) a string of references to respectable authorities such as Caesar and particularly Cicero (lots of instances both in speeches and philosophical tracts).

    I am inclined to think therefore that the phrase means 'Carefully considering* the proposal, therefore...', and I certainly agree with Novanas (and Snodv) that the translation 'Well satisfied...&c' is wrong.

    May I add that in the light of other passages from W. of T. which Novanas nostra has asked about here, and my own delvings as a result, I am increasingly impressed by the 'classicism' of his style, and even before printing technology and the Renaissance revolutionised education, Cicero was widely studied in the monasteries which in the Dark and Middle Ages carried the torch for preservation and transmission of secular or pre-Christian Latin learning—so it does not appear odd that William should have picked up distinctly Ciceronian tropes of vocabulary or syntax.

    Σ

    *Edit: or 'Doing justice to...'.
     
    Last edited:

    Novanas

    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    Many thanks for this note, Scholiast, which is very helpful. This translation I use is on the whole solid enough, but there are times I find it unsatisfactory.
     

    Novanas

    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    I see here "together with the Lord Patriarch," where domino and patriarcha go together. This echoes a passage there was a controversy about not too long ago.
    Yes, as I pointed out in an earlier thread, William routinely uses the word "dominus" in connection with the king, emperor, noblemen and even the patriarchs of the churches of Jerusalem and Antioch.
     
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