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"Der Eid des Nominoë"
(illustration from the Barzaz Breiz , a collection of Breton folk songs from the 19th century)

Nominoë or Breton Nevenoe (* unknown; † March 7, 851 not far from Vendôme ), Count of Vannes since July 819 , was named the Pious in 826 at the Diet of Ingelheim by Ludwig I , called the Pious, to the missus imperatoris ( imperial messenger ) and in 831 to the ducatus ipsius gentis (prince of his own tribe) of the Bretons . He is often referred to as the first king of Brittany, for the first time by the medieval chronicler Regino von Prüm .

Prince, king or “father of the country”?

The legitimacy of the royal title is scientifically disputed, especially since it is a permanent one, from the tribes or their leaders - Chardronnet calls them "war kings"; there were four Celtic- Breton and three Gallo-Franconian counts - recognized rule among the Bretons did not yet exist at that time. Rather, they only got together on occasion to “make life difficult for the Franks” (for example 818 under Morvan or 826 under Wihomarc'h ). In times of peace the rule was even more decentralized: at least 34 families, the so-called machierns , acted as secular community leaders and judges, deciding on taxes and the distribution of unused land in the church districts , the plou . It was rather these respected, influential, but only locally ruling heads of families who - “endowed with inheritable authority and quasi-royal prerogatives” - represented the popular belief in the continued existence of kingship in Brittany since the submission by the Merovingian Clovis .
During the lifetime of Louis the Pious, Nominoë played a balancing role between the Breton leaders and the West Franconian suzerainty .

In the registers of the Abbey of Saint-Sauveur in Redon , Nominoë is successively referred to as Duke ( ducatus , French duc ) of the Bretons, Duke in Brittany, Duke of the whole of Brittany, as Prince ( princeps , French: prince ) of Brittany or the throughout Brittany and as a master ( magister , French: maître ) of Brittany. It also contains the earliest written source mentioning Nominoë's title of Count after he had bequeathed a donation to the abbey in February 833. Breton nationalists apply Nominoë to the present day as Tad ar Vro , d. H. "Father of the Country"; Arthur de la Borderie gave him this nickname in his Histoire de Bretagne (1896 ff.).

Origin and rule

Settlement areas of the early medieval Breton peoples
  • Osismi
  • Veneter
  • Curiosolites
  • Redones
  • Namneten
  • Its origin is also in the dark. Assumptions that his family were of Venetian origin are based mainly on the geographical proximity of his count's seat near Vannes to their settlement area in southern Brittany ; the u. a. Descent from the north Breton area around Dinan in the area of ​​the Curiosolites , quoted in Chardronnet, is derived from the fact that he made a donation to the monastery of Léhon (in the year 833). Recent research consider an origin from the Poher (area around Carhaix (then Vorgium ) ) to be more likely. Regino von Prüm wrote of a treasure trove that brought Nominoë's peasant ancestors to prosperity; this thesis was later spread by the Plantagenet . He was married to Arganthael / Argentaela at least since 836.

    After the death of Ludwig (840), Nominoë supported Charles II in the succession disputes before he claimed his own sovereign position, which Charles "the Bald" had to recognize after the Battle of Ballon (November 22, 845). He was crowned in Dol in 848 at the latest , as shown on the historicizing drawing at the top right. In 850 he conquered Nantes , supported by Lambert II , who wanted to assert his claim to the title of count there. After taking the city and razing its walls, Nominoë undertook raids on the Norman Bessin and Anjou . At the same time he pursued a settlement policy adopted by the Franks : he gave Breton farmers and monks conquered land and thus expanded his area of ​​influence to the east, into the county of Rennes (part of the Breton Mark ). This also included the establishment of the Redon Monastery under Abbot Conwoïon . The marriage of his granddaughter to Gurvand , the later Count of Rennes , also strengthened his position.

    Nominoë, undefeated in battle, died in 851, according to Chardronnet, of a stroke or poison. He was succeeded as ruler of Brittany by his son Erispoë , who defeated Charles the Bald in the battle of Jengland-Beslé in the same year .

    Posthumous appreciation

    Nominoë statue at the cathedral in Dol-de-Bretagne

    In 1954, a statue by Rafig Tullou was erected in Bains-sur-Oust ( Ille-et-Vilaine ), near the Ballon battlefield , in honor of Nominoës . Another has stood next to Saint-Samson Cathedral in Dol-de-Bretagne since the early 21st century .

    See also


    • Jean-Christophe Cassard: Les Bretons de Nominoë (= Les bibliophiles de Bretagne. 7). Beltan, Brasparts 1990, ISBN 2-905939-17-6 .
    • Joseph Chardronnet: Histoire de Bretagne. Naissance et vie d'une nation. Nouvelles Éditions Latines, Paris 1965, here after the 6th edition, 1974.
    • André Chédeville, Hubert Guillotel: La Bretagne des saints et des rois. V e –X e siècle. Ouest-France, Rennes 1984, ISBN 2-85882-613-7 .
    • Joël Cornette: Histoire de la Bretagne et des Bretons. 2 volumes. Seuil, Paris 2005, (especially volume 1: Des âges obscurs au règne de Louis XIV. (= Points. Histoire. 401). ISBN 2-02-054890-9 ).
    • Arthur Le Moyne de La Borderie: La Bretagne. Les Origines bretonnes (jusqu'à l'an 938 de notre ère). Plihon et Hommay, Rennes 1903.
    • Julia MH Smith: Province and Empire. Brittany and the Carolingians (= Cambridge Studies in Medieval Life and Thought. Ser. 4, 18). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge et al. 1992, ISBN 0-521-38285-8 .
    • Noël-Yves Tonnerre: Naissance de la Bretagne. Géographie historique et structures sociales de la Bretagne méridionale. (Nantais et Vannetais) de la fin du VIII e à la fin du XII e siècle. Presses de l'Université d'Angers, Angers 1994.


    1. Chardronnet: Histoire de Bretagne. 1965, p. 38 ff.
    2. ^ After Cornette: Histoire de la Bretagne et des Bretons. Volume 1. 2005, p. 191 ff., There are countless information on the importance of the machtierns in all contemporary sources such as the registers of Saint-Sauveur, the Chronicle of Nantes and the "Lives of the Saints". In the latter they are referred to as tyranni .
    3. ^ Jean-Christophe Cassard: La tradition royale en Bretagne armoricaine. In: Revue historique. Vol. 281, No. 1 = No. 569, 1989, ISSN  0035-3264 , pp. 15-47, ( digitized version ); here after Cornette: Histoire de la Bretagne et des Bretons. Volume 1. 2005, p. 194.
    4. ^ Cornette: Histoire de la Bretagne et des Bretons. Volume 1. 2005, p. 167.
    5. ^ A b Cornette: Histoire de la Bretagne et des Bretons. Volume 1. 2005, p. 165.
    6. ^ Cornette: Histoire de la Bretagne et des Bretons. Volume 1. 2005, p. 166.
    7. Charles's military actions in Brittany have already been handed down in the annals of St. Bertin (see here ).
    8. Chardronnet: Histoire de Bretagne. 1965, p. 42
    9. Chardronnet: Histoire de Bretagne. 1965, p. 255, image of the statue in front of p. 81.