[EN] In his Histoire de la Bretagne, Arthur de La Borderie presents the foundation of Redon abbey in 832 as a political act of Nominoe : it was meant to become the centre of a marcher (the Gallo-frank Vannetais), bound to the defense of Breton border. This interpretation would now seem an anachronism for many reasons. Redon is situated on a communication line (at the confluent of Oust and Vilaine), but Vilaine river could hardly be considered as a real frontier in Carolingian times. A careful examination of the sources (Redon Cartulary, Gesta sanctorum Redonensium, St. Conwoion’s Life, and some Annals from Redon) would lead to completely revise La Borderie’s opinion. Conwoion, the first abbot, was connected with Rennes bishop Melaine, and among his first fellows, some are linked with powerful Frankish families : Wincalon is a friend of Rorgon count of Maine – formerly count of Pou-tro-coet, and Condeloc is a friend of Guy, count of Vannes. The emperor Louis le Pieux was not prone to accept Redon foundation, probably because a part of fisc domain had been used for that. The foundation charter however was confirmed in 834 by Nominoe, acting as missus, consequently with the emperor’s agreement. Vannes bishops kept a rather hostile position towards the abbey, but Alet bishops (also labelled Pou-tro-coet bishops) kept good relations with Redon abbots throughout the IXth c. This study revisits the rôle of Nominoe, (who had his dwelling at the border between Cornouaille and Vannetais, in the high valley of Ellé) and the adoption of the Benedictine rule, as soon as the abbey is founded. Conwoion benefited from the presence of a monk from Glanfeuil abbey (Saint-Maur-sur-Loire), named Gerfred, to help him to install S. Benedict’s rule. One can trace out other connections with the same abbey, which was richly endowed by the Rorgonides. Gerfred moreover had lived some time as a hermit in the neighbourhood of Landévennec abbey properties, so that he may have brought the Benedictine rule from that abbey, where Louis le Pieux had instaured it as soon as 818.
[EN] «The Age of the Saints» : Millenarism and Breton migration.
Analyzing some Breton hagiographical files from the High Middle Ages (Vitae Samsonis, Machuti, Winwaloei ), one might enhance how Easter-connected eschatological meanings were carried about by monastic hagiographers in the 8th and 9th c. Moreover, recent research by computists has established that the so-called «Celtic » computus had been elaborated by Sulpicius Severus, and transmitted to the Churches over the Channel by Martin's followers in the Gaulish Church. The millenarist aspiration which underlies Sulpicius' speculations recovered a fresh momentum when Clovis was baptized, this event being presented as the beginning of the exspected millenium. The second Breton migration (that of the «saints») started precisely when the Frankish king converted himself. Could it be infered that if the Breton «saints» migrated to the Continent after Clovis' baptism, it was because Insular clerics accepted the idea that the conversion of the Frankish king had initiated the expected millenium ?
French translation of the vita of St Cunwal, by Anne Certenais; with facing translation ino modern Breton by Hervé Le Bihan; and introduction by Bernard Merdrignac.
La traduction française a été faite par Anne Certenais dans le cadre de son mémoire de maîtrise en 1993. Ce texte resté quasi inconnu jusqu’alors apporte des éclaircissements sur la société et les croyances en Trégor au haut Moyen Âge.
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