I'm reading Ratpertus' Casus Sancti Galli
, a history of the monastery from its foundation to the year 883 and have some questions about this text.
1) In §5, the monks are in conflict with the local bishop who is trying to take control of the monastery. The monks have a document supporting their claim to independence and entrust this document to Engilrammus, a trusted man, so that he brings it to the king in order to settle the dispute.Qui (=Engilrammus) etiam in altario Sancti Galli iuravit, se ipsam cartam regi perlaturum, atque ipsis monachis cautissime esse redditurum ; quod, suadente diabolo, aliter quam promisisset effecit.
"He even swore on the altar of St Gall, that he would bring this document to the king and would come back very cautiously to the monks. Pushed by the devil, he acted otherwise than he had promised".
In the edition (MGH
is followed by this footnote "Per Teutonismum ponitur Plusquamperfectum pro Imperfecto
This misuse of the subjunctive is not uncommon in the text (cf. a few lines further ad ispum monasterium venit, atque cautissima investigatione perquisivit si alicubi aliquod exemplar ipsius cartae inveniri potuisset
) but in this particular case, I don't understand the editor's footnote. The promise took place before the action, so why should it be aliter quam promitteret effecit
, implying that the two actions took place at the same time ? I've always been a bit shaky on this matter (but thought I had grasped it now) so I guess this will be a good occasion to clarify it.
2) In §6, Cozbertus, a monk of Saint Gall, has been elected abbot of the monastery. Contrary to the previous abbot he is from the monastery, so the monks think he will protect them against the rapacious local bishop.Cum igitur Wolfleoz episcopus more antecessorum suorum etiam causas monasterii suae subiceret dicioni, incolae monasterii, quasi in proprio fratre et conservo, consolationem in eo (=Cozbertus) se habere posse confisi sunt ; ille vero non solum mitior ceteris non existens, aliqua in parte illis de quibus venit pepercit, sed etiam, in quantum potuit, more Hieroboam digitum suum dorso antecessorum suorum erga sibi subiectos grossiorem exhibere temptavit, monachosque de quibus exivit, cessante priorum exemplo, affligere non destitit.
"So when Bishop Wolfleoz, following the custom of his predecessors, took over the administration of the monastery, the monks were confident that, as their own brother and companion, they could rely on him (=Cozbertus). But, being the meekest of men, he not only ?spared in some way? those from which he came, but he even tried, following Jeroboam's exemple, to show that towards his subjects his finger was bigger than his predecessors' back (I Kings 12:10) and he did not cease to afflict the monks, from which he came, as much as he could".
I'm having trouble with aliqua in parte illis de quibus venit pepercit
because as I read it it seems to contradict the following assertion that Cozbertus himself afflicted the monks. I guess my problem stems from a misunderstanding of parco/peperci
, which I routinely translate as "to spare/protect". Could this sentence mean that "he spared (=acted with restraint?) towards those from which he came", i. e. "he did nothing to help" ?
The text can be found here
(Sorry for the clumsy translations).