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Nominoe or Nomenoe (French : Nominoë; Breton : Nevenoe; b. c. 800, d. 7 March 851) 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 ("father of the country").
He was the second son of Count Erispoë I of Poher, King of the Browaroch (775–812), and younger brother of Count Riwallon or Rivallon III of Poher (?–857).
After a general rebellion which had enveloped the entire Carolingian Empire was put down, a general assembly was held at Ingelheim in May 831. It was probably there that the emperor Louis the Pious appointed Nominoe, a Breton, to rule the Bretons (which corresponded to "almost all" of Brittany).Regino of Prüm in his famous Chronicon writes, inaccurately for the year 837, that:
Murmanus rex Brittonum moritur et Numenoio apud Ingelheim ab imperator ducatus ipsius gentis traditur.
Morman, king of the Bretons, died and Numenoi [Nominoe] was created duke of that same people by the emperor at Ingelheim.
Nominoe was a staunch ally of Louis the Pious until the emperor's death in 840. He supported Louis in the several civil wars of the 830s and he supported the monastery of Redon Abbey, even ordering the monks to pray for Louis in light of the emperor's "strife".Nominoe's power base was in the Vannetais and two charters refer to him as Count of Vannes, though it is unknown when that title was held, be it as early as 819 or as late as 834. Nominoe may not have possessed any land outside Vannes and his ability to gather revenue in Breton-speaking territories was probably no greater than any other aristocrat of those regions. His chief source of income after he broke with his overlord was plunder from raids into Frankish territory and from the despoliation of churches. He did have the political authority to exact payment (wergild) in the form of land from a man who had murdered his follower Catworet.
The title Duke of Brittany is primarily a chronicler's invention of the tenth century. Nominoe never held a title from the emperor, who refers to him in charters as merely fidelis, "faithful one", or as missus imperatoris , "imperial emissary", which was probably the title he was granted at Ingelheim. In Breton charters, Nominoe was known inconsistently by several titles from February 833 until his death:
The relations between Nominoe and Charles the Bald, Louis's successor after 840, were initially amicable. In the midst of a revolt of his men in Neustria, Charles sent from Le Mans to see if Nominoe would submit to him in the spring of 841 and Nominoe agreed to do so. It is clear from the wording of the account of this event in Nithard that Nominoe was too powerful to be compelled to submit; later in 841 he rebuffed the overtures of the new emperor, Lothair I, who claimed Neustria.Nominoe remained loyal to Charles throughout the next year, even making a donation "in alms for the king" to the abbey of Redon on 25 January 842. Breton soldiers, as well as Gascons, certainly took part in the military show of the Oaths of Strasbourg.
In the summer of 843, Lothair or perhaps his supporter Lambert II of Nantes succeeded in persuading Nominoe to abandon Charles and go over to the emperor.Nominoe was thereafter a constant enemy of Charles and his authority in Neustria, often acting in concert with Lothair, Lambert, and Pepin II of Aquitaine. Breton troops fought under Lambert in Neustria and when, in June 844, Charles was besieging Toulouse, Nominoe raided into Maine and plundered the territory. In November 843, Charles had marched as far as Rennes to compel Breton submission, but to no effect.
At the synod of Yutz in October 844, presided over by Charles' uncle Drogo of Metz, the bishops sent orders to Nominoe, Lambert, and Pepin commanding them to renew their fealty to Charles or be prepared to accept military consequences.Lambert and Pepin complied, but Nominoe ignored the Frankish bishops. However, some Bretons had connived against him with Charles and the king tried to enter Brittany in support of the defectors, but without success: he was defeated at the Battle of Ballon just north of Redon across the Vilaine on 22 November 845. It is probable that in the Vannetais Nominoe's authority had been weakened after his split with Charles in 843 and Lupus of Ferrières reports "unrest" in Brittany during this period.
In 844 and 847 according to the Annales Bertiniani , Nominoe made war on the Vikings.
In Summer 846, Charles marched on Brittany and again took no military action, instead coming to peace with Nominoe and exchanging oaths. The details of the peace arrangements are unknown, but Prudentius of Troyes uses the title "duke" (dux) for the first time in this context and this may indicate that Nominoe was created Duke of the Bretons in return for recognising Charles' lordship.As another part of the agreement, Nominoe had Charles remove Lambert from Nantes and put him in power in Sens further away.
By Christmas time, Nominoe's Bretons were raiding Neustria, this time near Bayeux, again. This was probably instigated by Lothair, for he, Charles, and their brother Louis the German met at Meerssen in February 847 and agreed to send orders to Nominoe and Pepin II to desist from making war on Charles.Nominoe, probably being paid by Lothair, did not in fact desist; neither did Pepin. In two campaigns in the spring and then fall of 849, Charles was in Aquitaine and Nominoe took the opportunity to raid Neustria. Charles reestablished Lambert in Nantes after Nominoe invaded Anjou.
In 850, Lambert (and his brother Warnar) had renewed their friendship with Nominoe and together were raiding Maine "with unspeakable fury" according to the Chronicon Fontanellense . In August, Charles marched on Rennes, again avoided fighting, and installed garrisons there and at Nantes. Immediately after he left, Lambert and Nominoe defeated the garrisons and captured the new Count of Nantes, Amalric.On 7 March 851, Nominoe died near Vendôme while ravaging the Nantais and Anjou; he was buried at Redon Abbey. By his wife Argentaela, Nominoe left a son named Erispoe, who succeeded him. Nominoe was thus the founder of a political tradition in Brittany which had not thitherto existed; though his charters did not mimic Carolingian ones, his successors would imitate the legitimising Carolingian language in theirs.
In 849 at a place called Coitlouh, Nominoe held a synod whereat he deposed the five Breton bishops of Alet, Saint-Pol, Vannes, Quimper, and Dol.The charges he levelled against them are unknown. Pope Leo IV sent a letter to Nominoe and the bishops (whether before or after the deposition is unknown) informing him that the depositions could only be enacted by a panel of twelve bishops with seventy-two witnesses. The later popes Benedict II and Nicholas I believed that Nominoe had forced the bishops to admit to crimes they had not committed and that their depositions were thus invalid. A Frankish synod of 850 held at either Angers or Tours accused Nominoe of simony by unlawfully removing bishops and replacing them with mercenarii (mercenaries of his own). These mercenarii were excommunicated, as indicated by an epistle of the synod of Savonnières in 859 sent to what remained of the Breton church in communion with the Archdiocese of Tours. Nominoe sacked Rennes and Nantes, replacing the new Frankish bishop of the latter with his own nominee.
Susannus was deposed in Vannes and replaced by Courantgen. Salocon was deposed in Dol, but his replacement is unknown. At Quimper, Felix was replaced by Anaweten and at Saint-Pol, Clutwoion replaced Garnobrius. The two bishops of Alet, first Rethwalatr and then Mahen are very obscure figures. The bishop of Nantes whom Nominoe succeeded in removing for about a year was Actard. His replacement was the obscure Gislard. In the end the synod of Coitlouh and the bringing of the bishoprics of Rennes and Nantes into the Breton fold meant that the church of Brittany was an actively independent ecclesiastic polity from its nominal metropolitan, the Metropolitan of Tours.
At his death Nominoe was succeeded by his son Erispoe. Nominoe was buried at Redon Abbey.
Louis the Pious, also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was 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.
The 840s decade ran from January 1, 840, to December 31, 849.
The 850s decade ran from January 1, 850, to December 31, 859.
Year 843 (DCCCXLIII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar.
Year 851 (DCCCLI) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar.
Neustria was the western part of the Kingdom of the Franks.
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".
Salomon was Count of Rennes and Nantes from 852 and Duke of Brittany from 857 until his death by assassination. He used the title King of Brittany intermittently after 868. In 867, he was granted the counties of Avranches and Coutances.
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.
The history of Brittany may refer to the entire history of the Armorican peninsula or only to the creation and development of a specifically Brythonic culture and state in the Early Middle Ages and the subsequent history of that state.
The counts of Nantes were originally the Frankish rulers of the Nantais under the Carolingians and eventually a capital city of the Duchy of Brittany. Their county served as a march against the Bretons of the Vannetais. Carolingian rulers would sometimes attack Brittany through the region of the Vannetais, making Nantes a strategic asset. In the mid-ninth century, the county finally fell to the Bretons and the title became a subsidiary title of the Breton rulers. The control of the title by the Breton dukes figured prominently in the history of the duchy. The County of Nantes was given to Hoel, a disinherited son of a duke. He lost the countship due to a popular uprising. That uprising presented an opportunity for King Henry II of England to attack the Breton duke. In the treaty ending their conflicts, the Breton duke awarded the county to Henry II.
Lambert II was the Count of Nantes and Prefect of the Breton March between 843 and 851. Lambert ruled the county in opposition to Amaury, the puppet count installed by Charles the Bald, King of West Francia. At his death, the county was effectively in Breton control. Lambert was the son of Lambert I and his wife Itta.
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.
The Battle of Ballon took place on 22 November 845 between the forces of Charles the Bald, king of West Francia, and Nominoë, Duke of Brittany. Nominoë was appropriating border territory and opposing Charles' attempt to impose Frankish authority. Nominoë defeated Charles, initiating a period of Breton expansion and consolidation of power.
Renaud (795–843) was Frankish Count of Herbauges, Count of Poitiers and Count of Nantes. His name is also spelled Rainaldus or Ragenold, and he is sometimes known as Reginald in English. He is referred to as Renaud of Aquitaine, but seems to have been a member of the Rorgonid family of Maine.
The Battle of Blain, also called the Battle of Messac, was fought on 24 May 843 by the forces of Lambert II of Nantes and Erispoe, prince of Brittany, against Renaud, Frankish Count of Nantes. It arose from Breton resistance to Frankish power within Brittany and disputes over control of the County of Nantes. The defeat of the Franks led to a period of Breton expansionism.
Count of Vannes was the title held by the rulers of the County of Vannes.
Redon Abbey, or Abbey of Saint-Sauveur, Redon, in Redon in the present Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany, France, is a former Benedictine abbey founded in 832 by Saint Conwoïon, at the point where the Oust flows into the Vilaine, on the border between Neustria and Brittany.
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.
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.