|Discovery:||first mentioned, 1858 Keranflec'h, C. de|
|History:||Davies et al/2000, 237--238: `When Charles de Keranflec'h first saw this stone, it was in the cemetery at Plumergat. He noted two inscriptions and a cross. The more recent of the two texts presented no difficulties and he read it with ease, dating it at that stage to the 8th or 9th century. The more ancient, however, was problematic. He thought that the first line was missing, but the script -- rustic Roman capitals -- indicated a pre-6th-century date to him. All this he presented to the Quimper Congress of the Association bretonne [Keranflec'h/1858: 338-39].|
Louis Rosenzweig gave a presentation on the stone at the Sorbonne in Paris a few years later. He was the first to attempt a reading, but could not identify the language in which it was written [Rosenzweig/1864: 156, 158]. Keranflec'h returned to the topic at the end of his life at the Saint-Brieuc Congress of the Association bretonne; he made a rubbing and attempted a reading, interpreting the language as `Old Armorican' [Keranflec'h/1897: 4--6]. Marsille later suggested that this text was pre-5th-century AD. … It has been edited … by Lambert [Lambert/1994: 107].
The site was visited by members of the CISP team in May 1997, and May and June 1999'.
|Geology:||Davies et al/2000, 238: `very hard-grained pink granite'.|
|Dimensions:||0.89 x 1.98 x 0.0 (Davies/etal/2000)|
Davies et al/2000, 238: `The stone is now set into the ground outside the parish church of Plumergat, on the east of the path to the south door'.
Davies et al/2000, 238: `It is a squat, slightly tapering pillar of very hard-grained pink granite, of irregular octagonal cross-section, with a domed cap; it is rounded in general appearance'.
|Condition:||complete , some|
Davies et al/2000, 238: `There is a hole or cup-mark in the crown of the dome, with some concrete within it; this may perhaps have formerly held a cross. The arrises are visible but not sharp, from normal weathering; the upper two thirds of the west face is severely weathered, indicating that the stone was previously set much more deeply in the ground. Substantial parts of the stone are covered in lichen and a few chunks are missing, but not a large part of the surface'.
|Crosses:||1: equal-armed; linear; expanded; plain; square; none; none; tenon; n/a|
Davies et al/2000, 239: `There is an equal-armed cross (17cm x 17cm), with expanded terminals, and a short shaft with an expanded foot (6cm long), inscribed on the current north face 42cm from the top and 20cm from ground level'.
|Keranflec'h, C. de (1897):||ALMO | AENNAB | EOFVRN | EOGNAPO|
ALMO AENAN EOFVRN EOGNAPO
Keranflec'h/1897 6 reading only
|Lambert, P.-Y. (1994):||VABROS | IIIOOVT | ATREBO | AGANNTO | BODURN | EOGIAPO|
VABROS IIOOVT ATREBO AGANNTOBO DURNEO GIAPO
Lambert/1994 107 reading only
|Davies, W. et al. (1999):||V[..]PQS | RI[.]OVT | AT/ER/EB/O | AT/E[NN/MN/MI]N/T/O | B/OD/VRN | B/OGIAPO|
U[..]PQS RI[.]OUT ATEREBO ATE[MI]NTOBO DURNBOGIAPO
...bestowed [this] stone as hand carvings memorializing the fathers.
Davies/etal/2000 241 reading only
|Position:||n/a ; broad ; n/a ; undecorated|
Davies et al/2000, 238: `The earlier inscription is inscribed on the current western face, which is clear of lichen; the height of this face, excluding the dome, is 76cm. There are six horizontal lines of unequal length, sometimes extending to the right beyond the face, as happens in the last line. The bottom line is 18cm from current ground level and the top line is 14cm from the summit'.
Davies et al/2000, 238: `deeply cut'.
|Date:||200 - 399 (Davies/etal/2000)|
Davies et al/2000, 246: `[A] 'Late Antique' date for the earlier inscription still looks appropriate and can be refined to the 3rd or 4th century AD'.
|Ling. Notes:||Davies et al/2000, 242--244: `Where readable and susceptible to interpretation, the inscription is definitely Old Celtic, rather than Dark-Age Brittonic or Old Breton.|
V[..]PQS. Unlike the earlier readings, the form on the first line cannot be so readily made into a name.
RI[.]OVT could be a verb, verb-second being the most common syntax in Gaulish sentences. One is reminded of the very common Gaulish dedicatory element auot, which perhaps means `granted', like the Early Welsh aw `grant, bestow'. The development of auot to -out would be consistent with the proposed Late Gaulish dating. If so, ri- may be the Celtic `perfective' preverb, corresponding to OB and OIr. ro, Celtiberian ro, OW ri, Gaulish ro and re. Hence, we may consider translating `has granted' or the like, a plausible sentiment in a dedicatory inscription.
AT/ER/EB/O. As previously recognised by Bernier, Lejeune, and Lambert, this is clearly the Old Celtic word for `father' in the native, as opposed to Latin, dative plural, hence `to the fathers'. The second syllable in the present reading is likely to be a secondary development from older *atribo, *atrebo, under the influence of the nominative singular atir (Larzac) and the stem *ater-. It is also possible that in a Late Old Celtic language that was losing internal unstressed syllables, aterebo might have arisen by what is called a hypercorrection, i.e. a false restoration.
AT/E[MI]N/T/O-B/O is most easily taken as another dative plural, in agreement with aterebo `the fathers'. There is an Early Welsh adjective etuynt, which has been taken to mean `wise, prudent, discreet, deliberate, thoughtful' (GPC sn. edfynt), hence implying an old compound *ate-mento- `back again' + `mind', so `thinking back, reflecting' or perhaps `remembered, commemorated'. Thus, ...ri[.]out aterebo atem[.]ntobo may be translated `X has granted [this] to memorialize [his] male ancestors...
D/VRN-BO. Breton dorn means `hand' (from older *durn), equivalent to Welsh dwrn `fist'. In the former sense, `hand' may be used to signify possession in the Celtic languages. If -bo is again the dative plural ending, `in the hands of X' would mean `in possession of X', as in the OW `Surexit Memorandum', where i.lau Elcu, literally `in the hand of Elcu', means `in the possession of Elcu'.
D/VRN-BOGIAPO. Alternatively, durn + bogia- may be a compound of `hand' + `break', cf. OIr. bongaid `breaks'. If so, durn(o)bogia- could signify an object carved by hand, a sculpture or inscription. -Po here is likely to be an orthographic variant of the dative plural ending -bo, occurring repeatedly earlier on. Altogether then, one would translate `X bestowed [this stone] as hand carvings memorializing the male ancestors'.
However one takes the segment with durn, the word is more likely to mean `hand' rather than `fist' here. This is interesting in showing that on this one point the dialect of Armorica in Late Antiquity anticipates Breton usage in a way that innovates from Common Celtic and differs from Welsh.
Whether the language of the inscription is Gaulish, rather than Brittonic, cannot be put beyond doubt by purely linguistic criteria. At some point before the emergence of Welsh, Breton, and Cornish, Brittonic replaced the inherited form atir `father' with the homely baby-talk word tat. However, there is no certainty that the older word atir (or its dative plural at(e)rebo) had disappeared in Brittonic as early as the 4th century'.
|Palaeography:||Davies et al/2000, 242: `The inscription is in capitals, although the lettering is different from the slimmer and more ordered Roman capitals of other Gallo-Latin inscriptions. It is largely comprised of heavily ligatured letters, a feature seen by Knapp to date from the 3rd century AD onwards [Knapp/1992: 383]. Some of these ligatures are common elsewhere, such as RE with the R facing backwards; others, such as NTO, DV, and BO, are less so. The quality of the lettering is quite poor, with letters such as the P of the first line leaning to the right, while the middle characters of the fourth line have been carved in such a way as to make a reading problematic. There is a probable backwards S in the first line. The presence of an open-bowed R, as well as an R with shortened and wide-angled oblique strokes, points to a Late Roman date, while the poor quality of the lettering, the large number of ligatures, and the inconsistent slope of the letters are all reminiscent of Roman mile-stones such as RIB [Collingwood/Wright/1965] nos. 2222 and 2249, of the 3rd and 4th centuries respectively. [A] dating of 'Late Antique' appears corroborated, with a probable date for this carving in the 3rd or 4th century'.|
Davies et al/2000, 238--239: `Some of the letters are deeply cut but all are weathered, to varying degrees, with those closer to the top more affected. The top two lines are particularly badly weathered and were unnoticed by all authorities before Bernier. The third and fourth lines are in quite good condition; the fifth is only fair and the sixth is again quite good. The damage and poor preservation of the text sometimes make it difficult to read'.
|Davies, W. et al. (1997):||RIMOETE|
Of Rimoeta (PN).
Bernier/1982 inc reading only
Davies/etal/2000 244 reading only
Lejeune/1988 177--81 reading only
|Position:||n/a ; broad ; beside cross ; undivided|
Davies et al/2000, 239: `The second inscription is cut in a single vertical line, reading downwards, on the north-east face of the monument'.
Davies et al/2000, 239: `The carving technique is pocked and smoothed'.
|Date:||600 - 999 (Davies/etal/2000)|
Davies et al/2000, 246--47: `on the basis of the palaeography and of the language the date of carving this later inscription is likely to have been during the later 7th to 10th-century period'.
|Language:||name only (rbook)|
|Palaeography:||Davies et al/2000, 245: `The inscription is in half-uncial. The initial R is similar to that found on a number of other Breton stones [PLAGT/1, CRACH/1, BAIS/1], although this example has a short leftward extension from the top of the ascender, and a pronounced upturn at the end of the 'horizontal' stroke. The following I is short and vertical, followed by a half-uncial M of much the same height. The short ascenders give the M a squat appearance and the arches are only slightly rounded. The O is not quite circular, while the E is majuscule and rounded, the second example being slightly more open. Between the two Es is a half-uncial T. The use of half-uncial makes a date between the second half of the 7th and the 10th century the most likely'.|
Davies et al/2000, 239: `all the letters are well preserved'.
RI-. The first element is the very common name element ri, OW ri, OIr. ri, British rix, etc. Here, it is probably the first element of a close compound, thus going back to Celtic rigo-. Spellings, like Riothamus < *Rigotamos, show that the -g- had already been lost amongst the continental Britons by the mid-5th century. Here, the following syllable has also dropped, probably putting the language past the middle of the 6th century.
-MOETE. a muoet is found as a 9th-century OB gloss on Latin fastu, thus meaning 'by ostentation'. Moet is common in OB personal names, presumably in a more positive sense, `majestic, noble': e.g. Moet-gen (CR no. 30), Moet-nou (no. 252), Uuor-moet (nos. 96, 13). The final vowel -e is probably the Latin first-declension genitive ending, classical -ae.
The declension suggests a feminine and women's names with Celtic `king' are attested, e.g. the Tancorix commemorated near Hadrian's Wall [OLDCA/1]. Hence, although there are no OB women's names with Ri- in Claude Evans's collection, it is best understood as a woman's name [Evans/1988].
The initial -m- is probably lenited, that is pronounced as a nasalized /v~/. The fact that this is still written m, and not u or v, rules out a Middle Breton date and makes a date of 10th-century or earlier the more likely'.