|Discovery:||first mentioned, 1858 Keranflec'h, C. de|
|History:||Davies et al/2000, 230--231: `Charles de Keranflec'h first brought this stone to public attention, including it in his address to the Quimper Congress of the Association bretonne [Keranflec'h/1858, 337]. The stone then stood, as it does today, near the chapel of Sainte-Brigitte on the Le Plec peninsula. Rosenzweig described the stone again a few years later, without attempting a reading. The Le Plec monument attracted little further attention, La Borderie and Loth reproducing the information already given by Keranflec'h; indeed, there was no published illustration of the stone until Bernier's discussion [Bernier/1982: 172]. Daniel Tanguy subsequently included a brief description and sketch of it in his corpus of stelae, repeating Bernier's reading and stating that the stone is called the 'stèle de Saint Jagu', although no other authority mentions this label [Tanguy/1997: 36].|
Although Bernier's photograph shows only a detail of the stone, it appears to have been lying on its side in some undergrowth. From Rosenzweig's description it sounds as if it was also on its side when he had seen it, more than a century before. This, however, is not the position it occupies today, for the boulder stands upright outside the chapel, a few centimetres from the wall, at the northern end of a small flower bed which runs the length of the west gable; it is also reported locally that the stone formerly stood slightly to the north. According to Canon Danigo, the church was renovated in the mid-1980s, and it seems likely that the area was cleared of vegetation and the stone re-positioned at this time.
The site was visited by members of the CISP team in May 1997 and June 1999'.
|Geology:||Davies et al/2000, 231: `pink granite'.|
|Dimensions:||1.8 x 2.37 x 0.0 (Davies/etal/2000)|
Davies et al/2000, 231: `the boulder stands upright outside the chapel, a few centimetres from the wall, at the northern end of a small flower bed which runs the length of the west gable'.
Davies et al/2000, 231: `The stone is a large irregular boulder of pink granite, profusely covered with thick lichen. The south face is smooth and flat, but the other surfaces are bulbous and uneven. Tanguy maintained that the top was relatively smooth and that the upper part of the stone had been worked; whether or not the stone has indeed been worked is arguable but some shaping seems possible, whether of prehistoric or early medieval date. Tanguy also tentatively suggested that the stone was an Iron-Age stele (a suggestion followed by SRAB), but this too is uncertain: the Le Plec stone is completely unlike the others in his corpus which, despite their great diversity of shape and size, are all significantly more regular and symmetrical'.
|Condition:||complete , good|
Davies et al/2000, 231: `The … stone is well preserved'.
|Crosses:||1: inc; linear; straight; n/a; plain; none; none; none; n/a|
Davies et al/2000, 231--233: `Three incised `cup-marks' are clearly visible on the north face of the stone below the inscription. Such cup-marks are incised singly or in groups of up to twenty, or more, on Neolithic and Iron-Age monuments, and on natural rocks, throughout Brittany.
Both Keranflec'h and Rosenzweig mention an incised cross, Keranflec'h describing it as of a very simple shape, two lines intersecting at right angles [Keranflec'h/1858: 337]; this could have been inscribed at any period. Rosenzweig, however, described the cross as a croix pattée, which would imply a medieval date [Rosenzweig/1863: col. 22]. There also appears to be some divergence of opinion about its exact position on the stone. Keranflec'h recorded that the inscription was `below' the cross, which would mean it should still be visible on the top. However, Bernier, Danigo, and Tanguy do not mention this cross and members of the CISP team could not see it when they examined the stone in 1997 and 1999. Rosenzweig, by contrast, remarked that one end of the stone was rounded and that the cross was carved at the other end. By `the rounded end' he presumably meant the top of the stone as it currently stands, which means that the cross would be on the end now embedded in the ground (and unable to be examined). Rosenzweig's record is therefore more credible'.
|Keranflec'h, C. de (1858):||IAGV|
Keranflec'h/1858 337 reading only
|Bernier, G. (1982):||JAGU|
Bernier/1982 inc reading only
|Davies, W. et al. (1999):||LAGU|
Davies/etal/2000 233 reading only
|Position:||n/a ; broad ; n/a ; undivided|
Davies et al/2000, 231: `The inscription, which faces north-north-west, is carved across the face of the stone, 60-70cm from current ground level'.
Davies et al/2000, 232: `The letters are narrow and the incision profile is distinctive: a flat and shallow groove flaring out from a narrow bottom; the carving appears to have been roughly chiselled, rather than pocked and smoothed. Since the surface of the stone is uneven, the width of the incision is difficult to assess, but it is roughly 1.5cm'.
|Date:||700 - 999 (Davies/etal/2000)|
Davies et al/2000, 235: `Palaeographic and linguistic considerations make it clear that the inscription was carved in the early middle ages but a more precise date is impossible; the closest palaeographic parallels are of 8th- and 9th century date and the strongest linguistic indications point to the 8th, 9th, or 10th century.
|Language:||name only (rcaps)|
|Palaeography:||Davies et al/2000, 234: `The inscription is in capitals, although with only four letters there is little scope for dating. The initial L has a small `kink' at the bottom of the ascender; the A has a flat top and a squarish appearance; the G is angular and the final U is rounded and smaller than the other letters. The angular G, as well as the square A and the rounded U, make the inscription unlikely to be of classical Roman date. Within the early middle ages, however, examples of the angular G appear to be largely limited to the 8th or 9th century, as for example from 8th-century Trier and from `Carolingian' Bourges. It is perhaps significant that three 9th-century Breton Gospel books use a similar angular G in their capitals (New York, Public Library, MS 115 f.14r; Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, Bradfer-Lawrence Gospels, f.23v, and Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery, W.1, f.1). While dating based on such a short inscription cannot be certain, a carving made within the early middle ages is likely, and the inscription could well have been produced in the 8th or 9th century'.|
Davies et al/2000, 231--232: `The inscription ... is complete and legible, consisting of a single horizontal line of four letters. The first two letters are very clear, the other two less so, due to lichen growth, but are not in doubt.'.