|Discovery:||first mentioned, 1854 Cayot-Delandre|
|History:||Davies et al/2000, 172--173: `Cayot-Delandre seems to have been the first to refer to this stone -- as a `menhir', inscribed with crosses -- on the road to Auray, 3km from the town. Keranflec'h first saw the inscribed pillar in 1854, standing at the foot of the `Montagne de la Justice' (Mané-Justice), beside the road that crosses Le Lac'h to Auray. He presented a brief description at the Brest congress of the Association bretonne in 1856, citing a somewhat inaccurate drawing of the stone by Jorand, published without explanation in E. Breton and A. Jouffroy's Introduction à l'Histoire de France. When Keranflec'h saw the stone it was already broken and the lower part had disappeared (as seems to have been the case when Cayot-Delandre saw it), but within a few years the missing portion had been recovered. In 1857 or 1858 Louis Rosenzweig, archivist of the Morbihan, noticed incised letters on a lump of stone then used as a seat outside the château of Plessis-Kaer, less than 1km to the south east of Mané-Justice, and previously used as a hearthstone. Keranflec'h took an impression of the Plessis-Kaer stone which, when put together with the fragment at Mané-Justice, proved a perfect fit. Now able to offer a reading, Keranflec'h presented a full account to the 1858 Quimper congress of the Association bretonne. That year the two parts of the stone were presented to the Société Polymathique du Morbihan by Comtesse Henriette de Gouvello of Kérentré, proprietor of Mané-Justice, and by M. Cauzic, proprietor of the château of Plessis-Kaer. The two halves were cemented together and now stand in the courtyard of the Château Gaillard, Vannes, home of the Société Polymathique and its archaeological museum. Le Mené's illustration of 1888 shows the two halves of the stone reunited and standing in open countryside. This seems to be a reconstruction rather than a record of the stone in situ since, by that time, the stone had been in the Vannes museum for 25 years.|
Keranflec'h maintained that the fracture bore the traces of iron wedges and that the stone had been deliberately broken up by a stone-mason for use in a structure. The stone certainly seems to have been deliberately split, since the fracture is clean. Marsille's discussion of palaeography, language, names, and parallels is by far the fullest extant treatment, and he includes both a drawing and a cross-section.
Former site and the stone were visited by members of the CISP team in May 1997, September 1998, and June 1999'.
|Geology:||Davies et al/2000, 173: `rough coarse-grained granite'.|
|Dimensions:||2.7 x 0.5 x 0.34 (Davies et al/2000)|
|Location:||Societe Polymathique, Vannes (Cat: Cat. no. 3033)|
Davies et al/2000, 173, state that the stone now stands `in the courtyard of the Chateau Gaillard, Vannes, home of the Societe Polymathique and its archaeological museum'.
Davies et al/2000, 173--174: `The stone is fashioned from rough, coarse-grained granite and is a tall pillar, of trapezoidal section. … The visible height of the stone is 270cm (the full height is recorded as 300cm by Marsille). The width at its base is 50cm; it narrows at the back, the maximum width of the intact part being about 33cm. It is 34cm deep on the left and 30cm on the right'.
|Condition:||complete , some|
Davies et al/2000, 174: `broken into two pieces a third of the way up from the bottom. There is a triangular patch of cement in the bottom right corner concealing the face of the stone and the lower third of the back is covered in cement; some of the stone has flaked off at the top, at the sides, either in antiquity or more recently'.
|Crosses:||1: equal-armed; outline; expanded; curved; square; none; none; tenon; plain|
2: equal-armed; outline; expanded; curved; square; none; none; tenon; plain
Davies et al/2000, 175: `An equal-armed cross on an elongated shaft, with expanded terminals, surmounted by two crosslets, is incised on the front; it is confidently executed. Its vertical arms are straight and expanded, while the horizontal arms are made from arcs; all the terminals curve inwards. The whole is 109cm high, the main cross being 36cm high and 27.5cm wide, the shaft and tenon 51cm high, and the crosslets 22cm high. A similar `processional' cross, without the crosslets, is incised on the back; starting c.125cm from current ground level, its total length is 67cm and the width of the cross head 28cm'.
|Marsille, L. (1921):||LAPIDEM: | HERANISEN: | FIL:HERANHAL: | AMIE[--]RAN:HUBRIT |
Marsille/1921 169 reading only
|Marsille, L. (1936):||LAPIDEM | HERANNUEN | FILHERANAL | AMIE[--]RANHUBRI |
Marsille/1936 31 reading only
|Bernier, G. (1982):||LAPIDEM | HERAN N[..]UEN | FILHERAN[…]AL | AMSE[…]ERANHUBRIT |
Bernier/1982 177 reading only
|Pietri, L. (1983):||LAPIDEM | HERAN N[..]UEN | FILHERAN[…]AL | AMSE[…]ERANHUBRIT |
Pietri/1983 11 reading only
|Davies, W. et al. (1999):||LAPIDEM | HERAN//UEN || FILHERA[N/H]//AL | AMSE[.]//RANHUBRI:T:|
LAPIDEM HERANNUEN FILIA HERA[N]AL ANNUM MENSES SE[P]TEM RANHUBRIT
The stone of Herannuen (PN) daughter of Heranal (PN); (she lived) one year seven months; (buried in) Ran Hubrit.
Davies/etal/2000 177 reading only
|Position:||n/a ; broad ; beside cross ; separated|
Davies et al/2000, 175: `The inscription is in four vertical lines, two on either side of the front cross shaft, and is fitted around the cross'.
Davies et al/2000, 175: `Lines 2 and 4 appear to have been carved first, using the cross shaft and the edge of the stone as a guide. Lines 1 and 3 were then fitted, somewhat unevenly, into the available space. The cutting technique is pocked and smoothed'.
|Date:||600 - 799 (Davies/etal/2000)|
Davies et al/2000, 182: `language and letter forms clearly indicate carving in the 7th or 8th century'.
|Ling. Notes:||Davies et al/2000, 175--177: `the abbreviation fil for filius occurs on Gallic inscribed stones of 3rd/4th to 7th/8th centuries (LeBlant/1865 no. 551B; Descombes/1985 no. 289; cf. Nash-Williams/1950, no. 148, reading fi for fili); and fil for filia occurs on 3rd/4th-century Gallic stones and a 5th-century Italian stone (LeBlant/1865 no. 86C#2; AE (1981) no. 608; Diehl/1927--31 no. 4026B; Binazzi/1989 no. 118)|
line 4: the second letter could be read as Roman numeral III or, more likely given the M in line 1, an M; following E there is an upright, with middle and lower portion only, making P a more likely reading than X. Given the date of the inscription (see below), AMSE[.] is most easily read as an age clause: A for anno/um occurs in Roman and early medieval inscriptions (e.g. Collingwood/Wright/1965, no. 295; AE (1972) no. 316; AE (1983) no. 699; AE (1991) no. 943; Boppert/1971 no. -lindis; Alföldy/1973 no. 949; Diehl/1927--31 no. 2750A; Carletti/1985 nos. 7, 58; Buonocare/1987 no. 37 etc. M for menses occurs 39 times in inscriptions from France, the Rhineland, and Spain (e.g. Vives/1969 nos. 13a, 22, 24, 25, 57, 74, 99, 138, 139, 526). More than 220 inscriptions from these areas of western Europe record the number of months lived by the commemorand; of these, 52 state the number of months in words rather than numbers and 65% of this 52 are for children aged 10 and under'.
Davies et al/2000, 180--81, `AMSE[.]. If we were to treat this as a single Brittonic word, noting that the missing letter at the end has an ascender, we could read amser. If this were correct, it would possibly represent the common word OWB amser, OIr. aimser, in which case there would be a macaronic mix of common nouns in Latin and the vernacular. The usual sense is `time', also `weather' in Ir. and Breton but it can also mean `lifetime', which might make more sense in this context.
RAN(N) `part, portion' is very common in the sense of `portion of land' in the names of small arable properties in the Morbihan in the 9th-century charters of CR (Davies/1988: 39--46; Tanguy/1998: 67).
HUBRIT is the equivalent of the common Welsh adjective hyfryd `lovely, pleasant'. It occurs in early personal names, e.g. OB Iarn-hobrit `iron' + `pleasant' (a combination of elements relevant to the present interpretation), Archaic W Con-hibrit (Lib. Land. no. 144) c. 635-65 (Tanguy/1998: 52). Hubrit consists of the optative prefix hu- (< Celt. *su-, Mod. B he-) + brit `mind, attitude, etc.' (GPC sn. hyfryd). The placename therefore could mean `the lovely piece [of land]'. However, as most of the ran-names have personal names as their second element, `the ran of someone named Hubrit' is more likely'.
|Palaeography:||Davies et al/2000, 178--179: `The inscription is in Insular half-uncial, as exemplified by the wedge-shaped finials on the L, D, H, N, R, and M. The F is also Insular, with an outwardly curved top stroke and an elongated cross stroke which joins with the following I. This is paralleled in an 8th- or 9th-century Breton gospel book (Lowe/1934--72 vol. 5 no. 684), and is a common feature of early medieval Insular scripts. The B of the last line is open-bowed, a form found elsewhere in this corpus [LDVEZ/1, LDAUL/1, LGUID/1, STGRH/1]. The Es are all majuscule. The third letter of the last line appears to be half-uncial S. The final letter of the inscription has a dot placed on either side of its ascender.|
There are four quite different Rs: the first is half-uncial, with a wedge-shaped finial at the bottom of the ascender, and an up-turned end to the rightward stroke; the second has a rounded bow with an oblique stroke and no elongated ascender; the third has an elongated ascender, but has no bow, being closer to minuscule R; the fourth is certainly a minuscule R, and is paralleled by Rs from the inscription at Llangadwaladr, dated to around AD 625 (Nash-Williams/1950 no. 13). This degree of variation suggests the lack of a fully developed canonical script.
The As all have a flat, or slightly sloping, top stroke, a vertical right-hand ascender and a curved L-shaped stroke to join them. A short diagonal stroke extends outwards from the bottom right corner, and each of the letters appears to have a slight lean to the left. This is a rare letter form, but it is paralleled on the inscription from Languidic [LGUID/1], and in Ireland (Macalister/1949 nos. 592, 651, 869), and in a number of Insular manuscripts dated to the 7th and 8th centuries, including the Cathach of Columba (Lowe/1934--72 vol. 2 nos. 157, 213, 218, 266, 271, 275).
The palaeography of this inscription therefore suggests carving of the stone during the 7th or 8th century'.
Davies et al/2000, 175: `Most of the letters are well preserved, although there is some wear and possibly some loss at the fracture'.
-UEN. The second element of the first name is probably the very common Celtic uindo-, uinda `white, bright, fair, blessed', Mod. gwenn. After the mid-9th century, it is more common for this element to occur as uuin, guin in masculine names, with uuen, guen as feminine. In the inscriptions from Wales, the Celtic name element uindo- is often spelled vend- in pre-syncope examples, probably pre-c. 650: e.g. Macalister/1945 no. 390 vendesetli, no. 376 vennisetli; thus, -uen here would not decisively indicate a post-c. 850 date. However, as the analogous lowering of i to e does not appear in Hubrit, Herannuen is most easily taken as a feminine name.'