|Alan II, Duke of Brittany|
|Duke of Brittany|
|Spouse||Roscille d'Anjou de Blois|
|House||House of Nantes|
|Father||Mathuedoï I, Count of Poher|
|Mother||unnamed daughter of Alan I|
Alan II (c. 900–952),  nicknamed Wrybeard or Twistedbeard, Alan Varvek in Breton, was Count of Vannes, Poher and Nantes, and Duke of Brittany from 938 to his death. He was the grandson of King Alan the Great by Alan's daughter and her husband Mathuedoï I, Count of Poher. He expelled the Vikings/Norsemen from Brittany after an occupation that lasted from 907 to about 939.
Alan had to take refuge, along with his father Mathuedoi I, with King Æthelstan of England because the Norsemen had invaded Armorica. The Chronicle of Nantes reports:
|Fugit autem tunc temporis Mathuedoi, comes de Poher, ad regem Anglorum Adelstanum cum ingenti multitudine Britonum, ducens secum filium suum, nomine Alanum, qui postea cognominatus est Barbatorta, quem Alanum ex filia Alani Magni, Britonum ducis, genuerat, et quem ipse rex Angliae Adelstannus jam prius ex lavaero sancto susceperat. Ipse rex pro familiaritate et amicitia hujus regenerationis magnam in eo fidem habebat. (Chronicle of Nantes, chapter 27)||"... Among the nobles who fled for fear for the Danes, Mathuedoi, the count of Poher, put to sea with a great multitude of Bretons, and went to Æthelstan, king of the English, taking with him his son, called Alan, who was afterwards surnamed "Crooked Beard". He had had this Alan by the daughter of Alan the Great, duke of the Bretons, and the same Æthelstan, king of England, had lifted him from the holy font. This king had great trust in him because of this friendship and the alliance of this baptism." |
Alan became ruler of Brittany at the end of a 33-year interregnum after the death of his maternal grandfather, Duke Alan the Great.
Alan landed at Dol in 936, at the invitation of a monk, Jean de Landévennec, and with the aid of Æthelstan. By 937 Alan was master of most of Brittany, having forced the Norsemen back to the Loire.
|Sique civitas Namnetico per plures annos derelicta, vastata et vepribus spinisque occupata remansit, donec Alanus Barbatorta, Alani Magnus nepos, surrexit et hos Normannos ab omni regione Britannien et a fluvio Ligeris, qui illis erat nutrimentum magnum, omnino depulsos dejecit. Iste vero Alanus cum rege Anglorum Adelstano ab infantia fuit nutritus, corpore validus et fortitur audax, apros et ursos in silva minime curans eos cum ferro occidere nisi cum lignis silvae. Congregata navium parvitate, cum his Brttannis, qui libidem adhue superstites erant, venit per licentiam régis revisere Britanniam. (Chronicle of Nantes, chapter 29)||"... The city of Nantes remained for many years deserted, devastated and overgrown with briars and thorns, until Alan Crooked Beard, grandson of Alan the Great, arose and cast out those Norsemen from the whole region of Brittany and from the river Loire, which was a great support for them. This Alan was brought up from infancy with Athelstan, king of the Anglo-Saxons, and was strong in body and very courageous, and did not care to kill wild boars and bears in the forest with an iron weapon, but with a wooden staff. He collected a few ships and came by the king's permission with those Bretons who were still living there, to revisit Brittany." |
In 938, Alan was elected Brittonum dux. On 1 August 939, with the aid of Judicael (Berengar), count of Rennes, and Hugh I, Count of Maine, his victory was made complete by defeating the Norse at the Battle of Trans-la-Forêt.  Alan declared that date a national holiday.
Alan II was closely allied with King Louis IV of West Francia, as both were exiles in England together at the court of Edward the Elder and Edward's son and successor Æthelstan. Alan renounced the Cotentin, Avranchin and Mayenne and paid homage to Louis IV in 942.  He was also allied to Theobald the Old, the count of Chartres.
Alan II was the grandson of Alan I, King of Brittany and the great-grandson of Ridoreth, Count of Vannes. He was the grand-nephew of Pascweten.
His wife was Roscille d'Anjou de Blois, the sister of Theobald I, Count of Blois. Their son, and Alan's immediate successor, was Drogo, Duke of Brittany.
He also had at least two illegitimate sons, Hoël and Guerech, who would each succeed Drogo during the fractured rule of Brittany after Drogo's death.
Alan was buried in his capital, Nantes, in the church which he constructed to honor the Virgin Mary for his victory in liberating Nantes, initially known as la Chapelle de la Très Sainte Mère de Dieu, [lower-alpha 1] now known as the Basilique Notre Dame in the parish of St Thérèse in Nantes. He was succeeded by his son Drogo.
The Duchy of Brittany was a medieval feudal state that existed between approximately 939 and 1547. Its territory covered the northwestern peninsula of Europe, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the English Channel to the north. It was also less definitively bordered by the river Loire to the south, and Normandy, and other French provinces, to the east. The Duchy was established after the expulsion of Viking armies from the region around 939. The Duchy, in the 10th and 11th centuries, was politically unstable, with the dukes holding only limited power outside their own personal lands. The Duchy had mixed relationships with the neighbouring Duchy of Normandy, sometimes allying itself with Normandy, and at other times, such as the Breton-Norman War, entering into open conflict.
Nominoe or Nomenoe was the first Duke of Brittany from 846 to his death. He is the Breton pater patriae and to Breton nationalists he is known as Tad ar Vro.
Alan I, called the Great, was the Count of Vannes and Duke of Brittany from 876 until his death. He was probably also the only King of Brittany to hold that title by a grant of the Emperor.
During the Middle Ages, the counts of Blois were among the most powerful vassals of the King of France.
Fulk II of Anjou, called le Bon was Count of Anjou from 942 to his death.
Conan I nicknamed Le Tort was the Duke of Brittany from 990 to his death.
Drogo was the count of Vannes and Nantes and duke of Brittany from 952, when he succeeded his father, Alan Wrybeard, until his death in 958.
Theobald I (913–975), called the Trickster, was first Viscount of Blois and Viscount of Tours, and then from 956, Count of Blois, Chartres and Châteaudun, as well as Count of Tours.
Judicael, thus called in Breton sources, alias Berengar his name in Frankish sources, and sometimes known as Judicael Berengar, with both names being used together, was a Count of Rennes in the 10th century.
Chronicle of Nantes is an eleventh-century Latin chronicle of history extending from 570 to about 1049 AD. The original manuscript, kept in the city of Nantes, has not survived, but there exist:
Count of Vannes was the title held by the rulers of the County of Vannes.
The Kingdom of Brittany was a short-lived vassal-state of the Frankish Empire that emerged during the Norse invasions. Its history begins in 851 with Erispoe's claim to kingship. In 856, Erispoe was murdered and succeeded by his cousin Salomon.
The Battle of Trans-la-Fôret was fought on 1 August 939 between the occupying Norsemen and the Bretons, led by a joint army of Alan II, Hugh II of Maine, and Judicael Berengar.
Hoël I of Brittany was an illegitimate son of Alan II and Judith. He was Count of Nantes and Duke of Brittany from 960 to 981.
Mathuedoï I was a Count of Poher. He was the son - in - law of Alan I, King of Brittany, known as Alan the Great through his marriage to Hawise of Vannes. He obtained his countship at Alan's death circa 907. He is listed in several ecclesiastical records at Redon Abbey.
The sieges of Vannes of 1342 were a series of four sieges of the town of Vannes that occurred throughout 1342. Two rival claimants to the Duchy of Brittany, John of Montfort and Charles of Blois, competed for Vannes throughout this civil war from 1341 to 1365. The successive sieges ruined Vannes and its surrounding countryside. Vannes was eventually sold off in a truce between England and France, signed in January 1343 in Malestroit. Saved by an appeal of Pope Clement VI, Vannes remained in the hands of its own rulers, but ultimately resided under English control from September 1343 till the end of the war in 1365.
Guerech of Brittany, was Count of Nantes and Duke of Brittany from 981 to 988.
Alan was the only known son of Guerech, Duke of Brittany, and Aremberg. With his mother he founded the castle of Ancenis around 987, according to the Chronicle of Nantes. In 988, he succeeded his father as Count of Nantes and perhaps nominal Duke of Brittany, after his father was murdered by Count Conan I of Rennes. The following two years were marked by endless warfare between Rennes and Nantes. In 990, Alan died, either of an illness or else killed by Conan, who took Nantes and had himself proclaimed Duke of Brittany by the bishop of Nantes, Orscand de Vannes.
Vikings were active in Brittany during the Middle Ages, even occupying a portion of it for a time. Throughout the 9th century, the Bretons faced threats from various flanks: they resisted full incorporation into the Frankish Carolingian Empire yet they also had to repel an emerging threat of the new duchy of Normandy on their eastern border by these Scandinavian colonists.
Louis IV, called d'Outremer or Transmarinus, reigned as King of West Francia from 936 to 954. A member of the Carolingian dynasty, he was the only son of king Charles the Simple and his second wife Eadgifu of Wessex, daughter of King Edward the Elder of Wessex. His reign is mostly known thanks to the Annals of Flodoard and the later Historiae of Richerus.