Si Italia modo esurit legem, concedente Deo bene legibus hanc satiabo

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cherine

Moderator
Arabic (Egypt).
Hello,

In a text about Archbishop Aribert II of Milan (ARCHBISHOP ARIBERT II OF MILAN on JSTOR) there's a paragraph, in English, about a battle between Milanese (the vavassours) and their archbishop, where both parties called for the Emperor Conrad's help. The vavassours said that if the emperor would not give them justice, they would enforce the law on their own behalf.
So the emperor answered: Si Italia modo esurit legem, concedente Deo bene legibus hanc satiabo.

Could someone please help me understand the sentence? I can only understand "si Italia" = if Italy, "legem" = something about law, "Deo" = God and "bene" = well. But this of course is not enough to understand what the emperor said. :)

Thank you.
 
  • bearded

    Senior Member
    Hello cherine
    I understand it as follows: If Italy is just hungry for law, by the grace of God I will satiate it well with laws.
    Less literally: if Italy needs laws, with God's permission I will provide it with laws.
    ''Concedente Deo'' corresponds to ''in sha' Allah'' ;).
     

    Snodv

    Senior Member
    English - Mid-Southern US
    Bearded is right on. I suspect, but would have to know more historical context to be sure, that the satiabo might have our sense of "satiate" meaning "overfill, fill to satiety." If so it would mean something like "I'll give it more law than it can stand."
     

    bearded

    Senior Member
    Snodv's interprettion is plausible. After ''esurit'' (is hungry), ''hanc satiabo'' undoubtedly means I will satisfy its(Italy's) hunger. But I do agree that ''bene...satiabo'' (I will well satiate) might be slightly sarcastic, depending on context, like ''I will provide plenty of law/more than enough!''.

    Cherine: glad that I've been of help :)
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Thanks again Bearded, and thank you, Snodv. :)
    My first understanding of the sentence was also that it's either sarcastic or menacing. But then later on in the text, it says that Conrad did indeed promulgate a few laws to their favor:
    "On Pentecost Eve (28 May) he promulgated his Constitutio de feudis which is usually said to have been issued in favour of the vavassours, whose support Conrad especially wanted. […] They were given their coveted claim to inherit their paternal fiefs; no knight who was the tenant of a bishop, abbot, marquis, count or any other might be deprived of his fief unless he were convicted of a grave fault by the law and by the judgement of his peers […]This clearly met the vavassours' hunger for law"

    I think adding the "well", or "fill to satiety" would work.
     
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