|Discovery:||recognised, 1857 Keranflec'h, C. de|
|History:||Davies et al/2000, 137--138: `Charles de Keranflec'h discovered this pillar in the parish churchyard of Louannec in 1857 and announced his find at the Association's congress that year [Keranflec'h/1858, 340].|
Gaultier du Mottay subsequently mentioned a small menhir in the cemetery at Louannec known locally as 'King Arthur's tomb'). Since there are no other stelae there today it is possible this is a reference to the inscribed pillar (which he does not otherwise mention), but the churchyard has undergone substantial changes in the interim. La Borderie published a sketch by Keranflec'h, the earliest illustration of the stone, and an updated reading. The stone was removed from the churchyard in the 1890s when the medieval church was demolished and a larger replacement built. It stood for almost a century in the garden of the neighbouring presbytery and is depicted there in the photograph published by Bernier in 1982. Soon after this, however, the late lamented rector of Louannec, l'Abbé Louis Le Floc'h, had the stone moved inside the church for its greater protection.'
|Geology:||Davies/etal/2000, 138: `The stone is a coarse-grained granite, with mica crystals clearly visible. It shows signs of a long period outside and is much weathered'.|
|Dimensions:||1.42 x 1.64 x 0.0 (Davies/etal/2000)|
Davies et al/2000, 138: `When visited by members of the CISP team (April 1997, October 1998, and June 1999) the stone was standing, set into concrete, in the west corner of the south transept of the church.'
Davies et al/2000, 138: `This large pillar is a re-used Iron-Age stele of recognizable grooved type. At its base it is trapezoidal in section with four straight sides of similar width (the west face being slightly narrower) but at the summit it is almost circular in section. The vertical faces taper to the top, with the total circumference diminishing from 164cm at ground level to 92cm. The pillar stands 142cm high, with a portion of unknown length embedded in the ground. In its current position the stone is in a corner of the church and is open on its front (north) and left (east) sides; the church wall runs 50cm from its west side and less than 10cm from the back of it.
There is a sub-circular depression in the top of the stone (diameter 12-13cm) with a second smaller depression within this. There are traces here of what appears to be old cement: a stone cross may once have been attached to the top of the pillar in what may originally have been a cup mark.
The stone is a coarse-grained granite, with mica crystals clearly visible. It shows signs of a long period outside and is much weathered. All the faces are inhabited by lichens and, in the damp environment of the church, moss is growing on its south face, the face closest to the wall.'
|Condition:||complete , good|
Davies et al/2000, 138--140: `About 25cm from the top there is a horizontal groove, most prominent on the north (inscribed) face, with traces on the west face, although the south and east faces are too worn to make out. Above this groove the surface is smooth; below it, all four sides are carved with vertically aligned ridges 5-6cm apart, 6 or 7 per side, plus one down each quasi-chamfered corner (in total 29 ribs). These are all worn. The ridges continue to a lip about 12-15cm from the floor; below this lip the visible surfaces are smooth.
The inscription consists of two lines of text arranged vertically down the middle of the north face. Both lines begin 14cm below the horizontal groove and the first continues to within 33cm of the floor, and the second to within 28cm of it. The ridges have been used as guide-lines and as they flare out towards the base the letters increase slightly in size (hence, the first letters of each line are 7cm high, while the final S is 10cm).
The layout is not rigid but has been well planned. The two lines begin exactly level with each other and the nine letters of the second line are spread out to cover almost the same span as the twelve in the first. The final I in the first line is directly in line with the inner edge of the final S of the second line.
All the letters are well preserved and clearly legible. The carving has a shallow, open profile, the width of the incision being approximately 1.5cm. It appears to have been roughly pocked but not smoothed.'
|Davies, W. et al. (1999):||DISIDERIFILI | BODOGNOVS|
DISIDERI FILI BODOGNOUS
of Disiderius(PN) son (of) Bodognous(PN).
Davies/etal/2000 140 reading only
|Position:||n/a ; broad ; n/a ; undecorated|
Davies et al/2000, 140: `The inscription consists of two lines of text arranged vertically down the middle of the north face. Both lines begin 14cm below the horizontal groove and the first continues to within 33cm of the floor, and the second to within 28cm of it. The ridges have been used as guide-lines and as they flare out towards the base the letters increase slightly in size.'
Davies et al/2000, 140: `The carving has a shallow, open profile, the width of the incision being approximately 1.5cm. It appears to have been roughly pocked but not smoothed.'
|Date:||500 - 699 (Davies/etal/2000)|
Davies et al/2000, 144: `The combined implications of palaeography and language suggest a date for the inscription in the 6th or 7th century'.
550 - 599 (Tedeschi/1996)
|Palaeography:||Davies et al/2000, 141: `The inscription is in capitals but includes a number of half-uncial letters. The initial letter of the first line is a backward capital D. The two further examples of D could either be half-uncial, with very short ascenders, or further examples of the backward capital. The two examples of S are also backward, and indeed are almost figure-of-eight. The E, I, L, and V are all standard capitals. The 'foot' of the R is horizontal, rather than oblique, a common Insular letter form, unknown in the Rhineland and France outside Brittany. The lower cross-stroke of the F is oblique rather than horizontal. The initial B of the second line is larger than the other letters of this line, a point accentuated by the small O following it. This B has two quite separate bows, the lower larger than the upper; this was a well-known letter-form in early medieval inscriptions. |
The N is half-uncial, with a shortened right ascender joined at the bottom by the cross stroke. The G is also half-uncial with a flat top stroke and a sloping rather than curved 'tail'.
The lettering is early medieval, as indicated by the use of the double-bowed B, the 'horizontal' R, and the half-uncial lettering. These features, combined with the predominance of capitals and the backwards lettering, suggest a date in the 6th century.'
Davies et al/2000, 140: `All the letters are well preserved and clearly legible.'
BODO-. There is more than one possible root. Perhaps the most likely is bodu-, meaning 'crow'; cf. OIr. Bodb, later also Badb, used of the 'war-goddess' when appearing as a crow in the sagas. It also occurs in OW Elbodug, Elbodg, the same name as Elbodgu; Artbodgu map Bodgu also occurs. In OB, one finds Boduuan, the same name as Bodguan, and also Boduuoret. If the base is indeed this Brittonic bodwo-, then Bodognous shows loss of -w-; cf. OB Bodan alongside Boduuan/Bodguan. However, bod meaning 'free will, pleasure' is also a possible root. For a third possibility, note that Gregory of Tours, in the 6th century, wrote Bodicus for a Breton name that probably corresponds to the common OB Budic, MW budic 'victorious'. If this third possible root, namely bud 'victory, gain', were the most appropriate, then Bodognous would be the precursor of OB Budnou in the place-name Bron-Budnou. Cf. also Budnouenus [LNVEZ/1]
-GNOVS. For the second element, see the discussion of [LNVEZ/1] above. The preservation of lenited -g- in -gnou- is an early feature but, as discussed above, 9th-century examples are known.