Morman

Last updated

Morman (also spelled Morvan, Morwan, or Moruuan) [1] (died 818) [2] was a Breton chieftain who was declared king (rex) after the death of the Bretons' Frankish overlord Charlemagne in 814. He is the first person known by name to be described as a Breton "king". He probably ruled a warband with members drawn from throughout Brittany. [3] He had a stronghold defended by ditches, hedges and marshes. [4]

Morman had been a faithful follower of Charlemagne, having sworn oaths to him and performed the giving of hands, probably becoming his vassus , although the Bretons rose up in rebellion in 811. [5] Morman's rebellion against Frankish lordship in 814 threatened the integrity of Charlemagne's empire, recently inherited by Louis the Pious. While the Bretons may have viewed the elevation of Morman as king on the death of Charlemagne as legitimate, the Frankish writers Astronomus and Ermold the Black saw it as a usurpation. [6] Louis sent Abbot Witchar to negotiate with Morman. According to Ermold, the abbot asked, "Do you not remember your sworn fealty, or your right hand to the Franks / often given, and to Charles the service you showed?" [7] After failing to bring Morman to accept Frankish rule through diplomacy, Louis prepared to invade Brittany. [6]

In the spring of 818, Louis's army, composed of forces from all the Frankish regna (literally "kingdoms", but actually subkingdoms), assembled at Vannes, the westernmost point of actual Frankish control, and marched to Priziac in the far west of the county of the Vannetais on the bank of the river Ellé. The Franks launched a series of attacks on various Breton fortresses. After Morman was killed in battle, resistance collapsed. According to the Chronicle of Moissac , Louis returned with a "triumph of victory", although the Bretons revolted again in 822 under Wihomarc. [8]

Notes

  1. The spelling Morman is from the cartulary of Redon Abbey.
  2. Regino of Prüm refers to a Murmanus rex Brittonum ("Murman, king of the Bretons") who died in 837, but Regino's chronology is notoriously wrong.
  3. Smith, 7374 and 116.
  4. Smith, 21 n54.
  5. Smith, 68 and n34.
  6. 1 2 Smith, 65.
  7. Smith, 65 and 68 n34 ("Non memorat jurata fides, seu dextera Francis / Saepe data, et Carolo servitia exhibita?").
  8. Smith, 66.

Related Research Articles

Charlemagne King of Franks, founder of Carolingian Empire

Charlemagne or Charles the Great, numbered Charles I, was King of the Franks from 768, King of the Lombards from 774, and Emperor of the Romans from 800. During the Early Middle Ages, Charlemagne united the majority of western and central Europe. He was the first recognized emperor to rule from western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire around three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state that Charlemagne founded is known as the Carolingian Empire. He was later canonised by Antipope Paschal III.

Louis the Pious Emperor of the Carolingian Empire from 813 to 840

Louis the Pious, also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was the King of the Franks and co-emperor with his father, Charlemagne, from 813. He was also King of Aquitaine from 781. As the only surviving son of Charlemagne and Hildegard, he became the sole ruler of the Franks after his father's death in 814, a position which he held until his death, save for the period 833–34, during which he was deposed.

810s

The 810s decade ran from January 1, 810, to December 31, 819.

778 Calendar year

Year 778 (DCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 778 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.

Carolingian Empire Frankish empire in Western and Central Europe (800-888)

The Carolingian Empire (800–888) was a large Frankish-dominated empire in western and central Europe during the early Middle Ages. It was ruled by the Carolingian dynasty, which had ruled as kings of the Franks since 751 and as kings of the Lombards in Italy from 774. In 800, the Frankish king Charlemagne was crowned emperor in Rome by Pope Leo III in an effort to transfer the Roman Empire from east to west. The Carolingian Empire is considered the first phase in the history of the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted until 1806.

Carolingian dynasty Frankish noble family founded by Charles Martel

The Carolingian dynasty was a Frankish noble family named after Charlemagne, grandson of mayor Charles Martel and descendant of the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD. The dynasty consolidated its power in the 8th century, eventually making the offices of mayor of the palace and dux et princeps Francorum hereditary, and becoming the de facto rulers of the Franks as the real powers behind the Merovingian throne. In 751 the Merovingian dynasty which had ruled the Germanic Franks was overthrown with the consent of the Papacy and the aristocracy, and Pepin the Short, son of Martel, was crowned King of the Franks. The Carolingian dynasty reached its peak in 800 with the crowning of Charlemagne as the first Emperor of Romans in the West in over three centuries. His death in 814 began an extended period of fragmentation of the Carolingian Empire and decline that would eventually lead to the evolution of the Kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire.

Charles the Fat Emperor of the Carolingian Empire (839-888) (r.881-888)

Charles III, also known as Charles the Fat, was the emperor of the Carolingian Empire from 881 to 888. A member of the Carolingian dynasty, Charles was the youngest son of Louis the German and Hemma, and a great-grandson of Charlemagne. He was the last Carolingian emperor of legitimate birth and the last to rule over all the realms of the Franks.

Francia Territory inhabited and ruled by the Franks during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks, Frankish Kingdom, Frankland or Frankish Empire, was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It was ruled by the Franks during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, West Francia became the predecessor of France, and East Francia became that of Germany. Francia was among the last surviving Germanic kingdoms from the Migration Period era before its partition in 843.

Nominoe 1st Duke of Brittany from 846 to 851

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.

Erispoe was Duke of Brittany from 851 to his death. After the death of his father Nominoe, he led a successful military campaign against the Franks, culminating in his victory at the Battle of Jengland. He is subsequently referred to as "King of Brittany".

Ermengarde of Hesbaye, probably a member of the Robertian dynasty, was Carolingian empress from 813 and Queen of the Franks from 814 until her death as the wife of the Carolingian emperor Louis the Pious.

West Francia State in Western Europe from 843 to 987; predecessor to the Kingdom of France

In medieval history, West Francia or the Kingdom of the West Franks refers to the western part of the Frankish Empire established by Charlemagne. It represents the earliest stage of the Kingdom of France, lasting from about 840 until 987. West Francia emerged from the partition of the Carolingian Empire in 843 under the Treaty of Verdun following the death of Charlemagne's son, Louis the Pious.

Theodulf of Orléans Writer, poet and the Bishop of Orléans

Theodulf of Orléans was a writer, poet and the Bishop of Orléans during the reign of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious. He was a key member of the Carolingian Renaissance and an important figure during the many reforms of the church under Charlemagne, as well as almost certainly the author of the Libri Carolini, "much the fullest statement of the Western attitude to representational art that has been left to us by the Middle Ages". He is mainly remembered for this and the survival of the private oratory or chapel made for his villa at Germigny-des-Prés, with a mosaic probably from about 806. It was in Bible manuscripts produced under his influence that the Book of Baruch and the Letter of Jeremiah became part of the Western (Vulgate) Bible canon.

Henry was the leading military commander of the last years of the Carolingian Empire. He was commander-in-chief under Kings Louis the Younger and Charles the Fat. His early career was mostly restricted to East Francia, his homeland, but after Charles inherited West Francia in 884 he was increasingly active there. During his time, raids by the Vikings peaked in Francia. The sources describe at least eight separate campaigns waged by Henry against the Vikings, most of them successful.

The Robertians are the proposed Frankish family which was ancestral to the Capetian dynasty, and thus to the royal families of France and of many other countries. The Capetians appear first in the records as powerful nobles serving under the Carolingian dynasty in West Francia, which later became France. As their power increased, they came into conflict with the older royal family and attained the crown several times before the eventual start of the continuous rule of the descendants of Hugh Capet.

Wihomarc or Wiomarc'h was a Breton chieftain "who seemed to have greater authority than the other Breton leaders" and who revolted against Frankish overlordship in 822 and held on to his power until his death. His rebellion may have been incited by the creation of a Frankish county in Poutrocoet sometime between 818 and 820.

Wala was a son of Bernard, son of Charles Martel, and one of the principal advisers of his cousin Charlemagne, of Charlemagne's son Louis the Pious, and of Louis's son Lothair I. He succeeded his brother Adalard as abbot of Corbie and its new daughter foundation, Corvey, in 826 or 827.

The Battle of Jengland took place on 22 August 851, between the Frankish army of Charles the Bald and the Breton army of Erispoe, Duke of Brittany. The Bretons were victorious, leading to the signing of the Treaty of Angers in September 851 which secured Breton independence.

Kingdom of Brittany

The Kingdom of Brittany was a short-lived vassal-state of the Frankish Empire that emerged during the Norseman invasions. Its history begins in 851 with Erispoe's claim to kingship. In 856, Erispoe was murdered and succeeded by his cousin Salomon.

References