|Discovery:||first mentioned, 1640 Le Grand, A.|
|History:||Davies et al/2000, 105--106: `The inscribed stone at Argenton was one of four published in 1640 by Albert Le Grand in his work on the Life of the patron saint of Plourin, St Budoc. It was set in the ground near the chapel of Saint Gonvel, Argenton, in the parish of Landunvez.|
Le Grand had information regarding four inscriptions in the vicinity of Plourin: one in the parish of Landunvez and three 5.5km to the south east, in the parish of Plourin itself [PLOIN/1, PLOIN/2, PLOIN/3]; he thought these had been erected at, or not long after, the arrival of St Budoc in the very early middle ages. He described the stones, which he stated to be still standing in his day, and illustrated each one from a sketch made by the local seigneur, the Baron de Kergroadès, whose seat lay 3.5km from the parish church of Plourin.
It is clear that no-one at that time was able to read these inscriptions because Le Grand describes the lettering as `unknown to the most curious antiquaries of today'; he declared the antiquaries to be agreed that these were `letters of some northern language, the usage of which was abolished by time's abuse and the negligence of men'.
That Kergroadès and Le Grand did not understand what they were copying enhances the value of their testimony, since they are unlikely to have normalized unfamiliar letter forms, whether consciously or unconsciously; they did not even recognize the Landunvez inscription as Latin. More reliance can therefore be placed on Kergroadès's sketch than might otherwise be expected (although, of course, we do not have the sketch itself, but merely what the engraver made of it, and we might therefore expect some loss of detail). Le Grand comments that the Baron de Kergroadès copied down what he saw `with an accurate observation of the dimensions, position, punctuation, individual letters, and other circumstances'.
This assertion of accuracy does, in fact, appear well founded for Kergroadès reproduced 6th- and 7th-century letter forms, such as A with angled-bar, horizontal I and retrograde S (LeGrand/1640, 83).
The site was visited by members of the CISP team in May 1997 and October 1998'.
|Geology:||Davies et al/2000, 106: `granite'.|
|Dimensions:||1.92 x 0.8 x 0.8 (Davies/etal/2000)|
|Setting:||Lost (present 1640, missing )|
|Location:||Davies et al/2000, notes that it was recorded by Albert Le Grand in 1640, and lost some time after that.|
Davies et al/2000, 106: `Le Grand described the stone as a granite pillar standing 6 [Breton] feet tall (192cm), square [in section], with four equal sides 2½ feet wide at the base (80cm); the pillar narrowed `like a pyramid', with the top being 28 inches (74.7cm) (see above, 00, for Breton feet). This appears to mean that at the top the total circumference was 28 inches, giving each face a width of 7 inches (18.7cm). This is in keeping with his illustration of the front face of the stone, which shows the width at the top as about one quarter of that at the base. Clearly visible in the illustration is a mortice, 4 inches square (10.7cm), which Le Grand says was made to hold a cross'.
|Condition:||n/a , n/a|
|Crosses:||1: equal-armed; outline; expanded; plain; square; none; none; none; plain|
Davies et al/2000, 107: `There are eight horizontal lines of text on the west face, with a cross (croix pattée) at the top. Between the second and third lines is a blank line with a central interpunct. This may indicate something missing or damaged, although it is more probable that it is an example of the punctuation which Le Grand records that Kergroadès drew'.
|Couffon and Le Bars (1959):||HEC | CRUX | GUDNOU | ENUS | ABAX | JUBSIT | FACERE|
HEC CRUX GUDNOUENUS ABAX JUBSIT FACERE
Couffon/LeBars/1959 179 reading only
|Bernier, G. (1982):||HEC | CRUX | BUDNOU | ENUS | ABAX | JUBSIT | FACERE | JSTAM|
HEC CRUX BUDNOUENUS ABAX JUBSIT FACERE JSTAM
Bernier/1982 167 reading only
|Davies, W. et al. (2000):||+ | HEC | CRUX | : | BUDNOU | ENUS | ABAX | IUBSIT | FACERE | ISTAM|
+ HEC CRUX : BUDNOUENUS ABAX IUBSIT FACERE ISTAM
This cross, Abbot Budnouenus (PN) ordered it to be made.
Davies/etal/2000 108 reading only
|Position:||W ; broad ; below cross ; separated|
|Date:||850 - 999 (Davies/etal/2000)|
Davies et al/2000, 112: `Since the script is best seen as of 8th- to 10th-century date and the text appears to be no earlier than the mid-9th century, the most likely date for the carving of this inscription is the later 9th or 10th century; this date is supported by the occurrence of crux-type formulas elsewhere at this time'.
|Ling. Notes:||Davies et al/2000, 109--110: `ABAX for abbas indicates that the pronunciation of Latin -x was /s/ , and therefore that Latin CRUX was probably pronounced as OB croes.|
With respect to dating, the loss of lenited -g- (at least once, maybe twice) would point towards the usage of the mid-9th century or later.
There are no exact parallels for HEC CRUX or IUBSIT FACERE ISTAM but at least 30 inscriptions with crux, crucem, or crucis are known from south Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Scotland, Ireland and Brittany; they are largely of 9th- to 11th-century date, with only a few either earlier or later than this...There is no parallel elsewhere in France or in Spain for using crux to refer to a monument: use of crux in this way was distinctively Insular'.
|Palaeography:||Davies et al/2000, 108--109: `The inscription is in Insular half-uncial. The Insular nature of the script is made clear by the `OC' form of A, and the possible indications of wedge-shaped finials on top of the Is at the beginning of lines 6 and 8. Most of the letters are reasonably standard, such as the D with a vertical ascender, the majuscule S, the T, and U, as well as the A. The inscription also contains three Bs with ascenders that bend to the right over an open bow, two `wayward' Xs, an H with a short ascender, Cs with serifs, and uncial Es, three examples of which have a disconnected middle-bar. The illustration also shows particularly florid forms of half-uncial R, N, and M, as well as the rare J-shaped I, which reappears on F3 [PLOIN/1] from Plourin.|
While it is difficult to be specific without the original, the lack of any capitals, combined with the use of Insular half-uncial, makes a date in the 8th, 9th or 10th century most likely for the carving'.
BUD-. The first element is attested as an Old Breton common noun bud /büdh/ `gain' (Fleuriot 1985: 91). It is a common theme in personal names, signifying `profit, victory', as in the British queen's name Boudica:, OB Budic (CR nos. 70, 97, 120, 257, 266, 274, 123), Budien (CR no. 136), MW budic `victorious'.
-NOU- is from older -gnou with loss of -g- through lenition (regular Celtic consonant softening). The -g- is still found, for example, in Gur-gnou (CR no. 276, a copy of a charter of AD 913). It is already gone in Arth-nou (no. 47), the same name as the earlier ARTOGNOU[ on the Tintagel stone (Morris 1999); cf. also OW Signou in the 9th-century `Surexit Memorandum' (Jenkins/Owen/1984: 91). The element means `known, manifest'; cf. Latin cognosco, OE knawan `know' (Fleuriot 1964b: 80).
-ENUS. The last two letters are the nominative singular case ending of the Latin second declension and not part of the OB name or its British forerunner. The -en could be a suffix, as for example in the common personal name element uue(i)then, derived from uueith `battle', OW gueith (Fleuriot 1964b: 353). Alternatively, Celtic -genos `born, offspring' is frequently found with softening of the -g- to /y/, written i, for example Uur-ien (CR no. 169), which is the same name as Uur-gen (CR nos. 40, 86, 102, 185, etc.; Fleuriot 1964b: 185). After sounds with lip-rounding, as is the case here, the lenited -g- can simply disappear, as in OB buorth `cattle enclosure' < *bü-gorth. However, such a three-element compound would be an uncommon formation'.