Corpus Refs:Davies/etal/2000:J1
Discovery:non-arch dig, 1891 Unknown
History:Davies et al/2000, 298--99: `In the course of restoration work beneath the floor of the nave at St Lawrence's church on Jersey, a column was discovered in 1891, buried vertically at a depth of '2 to 3 feet' (0.6-0.9m), the inscribed face pointing downwards. A brief report of the find was published the following year in the Bulletin Société Jersiaise, and discussed by Godfray in a paper published two years later. It came to the attention of Ralegh Radford in the late 1940s, whose sustained interest in the column culminated in a study, jointly authored with Stevens, Mallalieu, and Bernier [Stevens/etal/1975]. They provided a number of readings of the inscription, and presented parallels for the column, the decorative carving, and the lettering, concluding that the inscription was the epitaph of a priest who died c.600, in a script displaying Insular symptoms, possibly deriving from Ireland or Cornwall, though not Wales. Breton influence was also discounted [Stevens/etal/1975, 356]. The interlaced strapwork on the column's flattened back was dated to the 8th or 9th century and marked for them the column's re-use at that time as an architectural element [Stevens/etal/1975, 344]. … The site and stone were visited by members of the CISP team in August 1999.

Davies et al/2000, 306: `the carving on the monument is best explained as follows: the Roman column was first re-worked to become a piece of church furnishing, such as a reading desk, intended to be seen from the ornamented side, and was subsequently re-utilized for an inscription on the only remaining plain surface. However, given the fact that the carving technique of ornament and inscription is the same, it is likely that both were done at the same date ... While the column could originally have come from one of the sites producing Roman material on Jersey, there is no need to suppose this and it may have been brought from nearby Normandy ir from Brittany .. Given that there is no indication of the period of the column's arrival at St Lawrence's, other than pre-14th century, it is difficult to draw conclusions about the origins of the inscription and its connection with this place. However, given the features of the script that do not occur in Insular contexts, and those that have continental comparanda, and given the standard Western European character of the interlace, there is no compelling reason to assign the interlace or the inscription an Insular origin'.

Geology:Davies et al/2000, 299: `The stone is...made from biotite-muscovite granite, a type of stone not known to be present on the Channel Islands, but found in Normandy and Brittany'.
Dimensions:1.01 x 0.94 x 0.0 (Davies/etal/2000)
Setting:in display
Location:on site
Davies et al/2000, 299: `Since its discovery the stone has stood inside the church, and currently rests in a purpose-built frame in the south-eastern corner of the crossing.'
Davies et al/2000, 299: `The stone is a broken Roman column with a Doric capital and a square abacus... It is 101cm high, with the external measurement of the partial circumference 94cm. The flat top of the capital, which was subsequently utilized for the inscription, is 48cm by 31cm on the right and 32cm on the left. The abacus is 8.5cm thick before the taper.'
Condition:incomplete , some
Davies et al/2000, 299: `There is possible wear to the top right-hand corner of the inscribed face, and extensive chipping to the capital's lower moulding. The break at the column's base is irregular. The capital's abacus appears complete, however, suggesting that there has been no loss to the inscription itself.'
Decorations:geometric ribbon interlace

Davies et al/2000, 299--300: `The column's flattened back is decorated with a double-interlace design along its length. An enlarged version of this interlacing forms a double-knot on the expanded back of the capital. This is simple interlace of standard western European type and is compatible with the 7th- or 8th-century date suggested below for the inscription; compare the interlace of Merovingian and Carolingian sculptured monuments'.



STLAW/1/1     Pictures


Stevens, C.G. et al. (1975):USELI | SAC*:B:SER | RITON D
Stevens/etal/1975 347 reading only
Stevens, C.G. et al. (1975):[FAMUL]US DI | [--]LIAUSI R | [--]RITON
Stevens/etal/1975 346 reading only
Bernier, G. (1982):US[D^EL]I | [S^L]AU:SER | RIGOND
Bernier/1982 183 reading only
Davies, W. et al. (1999):USDI | LAU{L}:SER | RIGOND
Laula(PN), virgin consecrated to God, (from) Serrigond.
Laulus(PN) man consecrated to God, (from) Serrigond.
Laurentius(PN), man consecrated to God (aged) 50 (from) Serrigond.
Dilau(PN), a most holy man, (aged) 50, (from) Serrigond.
Davies/etal/2000 302 reading only


Position:n/a ; top ; n/a ; undecorated
Davies et al/2000, 300: `The inscription consists of three lines of text arranged horizontally on the top surface of the capital'.
Davies et al/2000, 300: `Both the inscription and the decoration are pocked and rubbed, and of comparable thickness.'
Date:600 - 799 (Davies/etal/2000)
Davies et al/2000, 305: `The column bears a 7th- or 8th-century inscription in Insular half-uncial script'.
Language:Latin (rbook)
Ling. Notes:Davies et al/2000, 304: `The interpretation and affinities of the names are doubtful.

SERRIGOND. For the last two syllables, one might compare the unique OB Ricun. Alternatively, there is a comparable Frankish woman's name: thus, Rigunthis, daughter of King Chilperic and Fredegund, mentioned several times in [Gregory of Tours'] DLH.

If an initial element Ser- is to be segmented at the front, there are few promising comparisons. OB Serchan is probably a diminutive built on the Brittonic noun serch 'love, passion, etc.' and thus not relevant here. Ser, the Welsh word for 'star' (cf. the Gaulish theonym Sirona), is not common in personal names, and the Breton and Cornish equivalent is in any case ster.

If Serrigond is a place-name, it is, at most, vaguely reminiscent of the Caesarea, Sarmia or Sarnia, and Riduna (less still Barsa, Lisia, Andium) that the Antonine Itinerary attaches to the Channel Islands. In early medieval texts, Angia or Augia is used of an island in this neighbourhood and is possibly Jersey. It is not really certain whether a pre-Norse name lies behind the initial element of Jer's-ey, attested as Gersoi in the 11th century. If Serrigond were a place-name, it need not of course refer to Jersey, but to some smaller locality or to the home of the deceased. Notably, medieval spellings for Sark include Sargia, Serc, and Cerqueyo; Serrigond might perhaps reflect a pre-Norman form of that name. ...For the formula, compare virgo sacrata d(e)I, vir sanctissimus, [and] v(ir) s(anctus).'

Palaeography:Davies et al/2000, 303--04: `The inscription is in Insular half-uncial, but is distinct from the half-uncial forms used on the Breton stones. In line two there is an A in the Insular 'OC' form, here carved in an angular manner with an upward flourish from the top left-hand corner. Half-uncial S and R are also present. The U in line one leans slightly to the left and has a short rightward stroke from the bottom of the right ascender. Also present is a rounded uncial E, with an extended middle cross-stroke, vertical Is, and a round O. The two half-uncial Ds each have an almost leaf-shaped bow, thereby accounting for Radford's reading of a hedera at the end of the third line [Stevens/etal/1975, 346].

In the second line there is an L with a stroke through it. Letters with strokes through them are a relatively common Continental means of marking abbreviation. This form of contraction begins in the very late 5th century, but is most common in the 7th and early 8th centuries. Occasionally, as here, a single L was struck through to mark it as 50. This form of abbreviation is not known among Insular inscriptions. On the right side of this L there is a probable interpunct and on the left another possible interpunct. This again is a common way to separate an age from the rest of a text.

In the final line the N is majuscule with a cross stroke joining the ascenders medially and with two short strokes to the left of each of the ascenders. The third letter of this line is a half-uncial G, similar to that from Lanrivoaré [LRVOA/1].

Many of the letters are serifed, or have decorative flourishes and extensions to strokes. The first character of line two is probably an L [compare LRVOA/1, PLOIN/3, GUER/1] The third letter of this line is also difficult to interpret but appears to be a small U with a left ascender higher than the right [see PLAGT/1, SMGRV/1, BAIS/1] This letter is smaller than other letters of the inscription.

The combination of Insular half-uncial forms, the decorative flourishes, and the strike-through abbreviation indicates a date for the inscription in the 7th or 8th century. … The barred Insular L could be the abbreviation of Latin uel 'or', common in Irish manuscripts of the Old and Middle Irish periods'.

Davies et al/2000, 300: `Most of the letters are well preserved and legible'.
Carving errors:0