Saint Judicael

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Judicael
Paimpont (35) Abbatiale Notre-Dame - Interieur - Statue de Saint-Judicael - 01.jpg
A Medieval Statue of St Judicael at Paimpont
King of Domnonée
Bornc. 590
Died16 December 647 or 652
Venerated in Catholic Church
Major shrine Gaël
Feast 16 December
Attributes Warrior king holding a book, crown at his feet, sometimes with the Breton shield of arms

Saint Judicael or Judicaël (c.590  16 December 647 or 652) (Welsh:Ithel), [1] also spelled Judhael (with many other variants), [2] was the King of Domnonée, part of Brittany in France, in the mid-7th century and later revered as a Roman Catholic saint.

Contents

Background

According to Gregory of Tours, the Bretons were divided into various regna (minor kingdoms) during the sixth century, of which Domnonée, Cornouaille, and Gwened are the best known. They initially pledged themselves to Childebert I in exchange for legitimacy. They attempted to escape Frankish rule during the time of Chilperic I, who subdued Waroch II and at least the eastern realms of the region. Guntram, Chilperic's brother, retained his lordship over Waroch and the Brittani formed a Frankish tributary-vassal state through the reign of Dagobert I. [3]

Hagiographic life

Judicael was born around the year 590, the eldest son of Judael or Judhael, King of Domnonée, and Queen Prizel, the daughter of Ausoch, Count of Léon. He was the eldest of fifteen brothers and five sisters, several of whom, such as Judoc and Guinien, were reverred as saints.

When Judhael died around 605, although Judicael was his eldest son and heir, the Throne was usurped by his younger brothers, Haeloc, while Judicael preferred to retire to St John's Abbey in Gaël. [4]

After the death of Haeloc in about 615, Judicael finally left the monastic life behind in order to rule Domnonée. For twenty years, he ruled the kingdom with authority and wisdom. He married in Morone around 630.

Around 642, Judicael retired again to St John's Abbey at Gaël or possibly to the monastery of Paimpont which he had founded. He left the throne to his brother, Judoc (aka Josse), but he also embraced the monastic life instead and the subsequent kings of Domnonée are unknown. [4] Judicael died on Sunday 16 December in either 647 or 652. [1] He was buried next at Gaël Abbey, next to the founder and his abbot, Saint Méen, and was later declared a saint.He is traditionally said to have been the brother of Saints Judoc and Winnoc.

Historicity

A gold coin minted by Judicael in the 630s. Triens de Judicael frappe a Redonis.jpg
A gold coin minted by Judicael in the 630s.

Bishop Ouen of Rouen, in his 'Life of Éloi of Noyon' and the pseudo-Fredegar in his 'Chronicle' relate that in 635/636 during the reign of Dagobert I, the Bretons attacked the borders of the Franks. Threatened by the intervention of the Burgundian army which had just defeated the Basques of Soule, King Judicael agreed to come and meet the Frankish king in his palace in Clichy. Judicael exchanged presents with Dagobert, recognised his suzerainty and concluded peace. However, he was "a very religious man and had a great fear of God" and fearful of the irreligious ways of the royal court, he refused further hospitality. [3] [5] Judicael is known to have minted his own coins.

Later interpretations

In the Cartulary of Redon, it is recorded that a noblewoman called Roiantdreh adopted King Solomon of Brittany as heir to her lands in AD 869, her son Owain having predeceased her. At the end of the document, she details her paternal ancestry over eight generations: "Jedechael begat Urbien, Urbien begat Judon, Judon begat Custentin, Custentin begat Argant, Argant begat Judwal, Judwal begat Louenan, Louenan begat Roiantdreh". Some historians, including recently Alan J. Raude, believe that, due to the presence of names from the family of the kings of Domnonée, Roiantrdreh's ancestor 'Jedechael' is King Judicael of the early 7th century. [6] Arthur de la Borderie, however, doubted this identification because there was no mention of him being 'king and saint' as was customary. [4]

The 'Life' of Saint Judicael written in the 11th century by a monk called Ingomar states that "all the princes who reigned in Brittany since Judicael were descended from this king" and Dom Morice uses this to postulate that he was an ancestor of a pseudo-Erispoe, Count of Rennes, and of the later kings of Brittany, designating the latter as the father of King Nominoe. [7]

In 1514, Alain Bouchart, in his 'Grandes Chroniques' constructed a complete list of 'Kings of Brittany' largely based on the fictional work of Geoffrey of Monmouth and claimed they descended from the legendary King Conan Meriadoc. To the 10th king in the list, he gives the name, Judicael, taken from the historical king of Domnonée. [8]

This fictional character's existence was accepted well into the eighteenth century in the works of Pierre-Hyacinthe Morice de Beaubois. [7]

Related Research Articles

635 Calendar year

Year 635 (DCXXXV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 635 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.

Dagobert I King of Austrasia (623-34), King of the Franks (629-34), King of Neustria and Burgundy (629-39)

Dagobert I was the king of Austrasia (623–634), king of all the Franks (629–634), and king of Neustria and Burgundy (629–639). He was the last king of the Merovingian dynasty to wield any real royal power. Dagobert was the first of the Frankish kings to be buried in the royal tombs at Saint Denis Basilica.

Neustria Western part of the kingdom of the Franks

Neustria was the western part of the Kingdom 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.

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.

Guy of Thouars

Guy of Thouars was the third husband of Constance, Duchess of Brittany, whom he married in Angers, County of Anjou between August and October 1199 after her son Arthur of Brittany entered Angers to be recognized as count of the three countships of Anjou, Maine and Touraine. He was an Occitan noble, a member of the House of Thouars. He is counted as a duke of Brittany, jure uxoris, from 1199 to 1201.

Alix, Duchess of Brittany Duchess of Brittany

Alix of Thouars ruled as Duchess of Brittany from 1203 until her death. She was also Countess of Richmond in the peerage of England.

John II, Duke of Brittany

John II reigned as Duke of Brittany from 1286 until his death, and was also Earl of Richmond in the Peerage of England. He took part in two crusades prior to his accession to the ducal throne. As a duke, John was involved in the conflicts between the kings of France and England. He was crushed to death in an accident during the celebrations of a papal coronation.

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.

Domnonée is the modern French form of Domnonia or Dumnonia, a historic kingdom in northern Armorica (Brittany) founded by British immigrants from Dumnonia fleeing the Saxon invasions of Britain in the early Middle Ages. Headed by the same ruling family, it was variously separated from or united with its motherland, and its Latin name was used for both indiscriminately. The mainland territory of Domnonée included Trégor, Dol-de-Bretagne through to Goélo, and Penthièvre.

Conan I nicknamed Le Tort was the Duke of Brittany from 990 to his death.

Berengar II was the Count of Bayeux and Rennes and Margrave of the Breton March from 886 until his death a decade later.

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.

Bro Gwened

Gwened, Bro-Gwened or Vannetais is a historic realm and county of Brittany in France. It is considered part of Lower Brittany.

Saint Judoc, otherwise known as Jodoc, Joyce or Josse was a seventh-century Breton noble. Though he was never officially canonized, Saint Judoc is considered to be a saint. Judoc was a son of Juthael, King of Brittany. He renounced his wealth and position to become a priest and lived alone for the rest of his lifetime in the coastal forest near the mouth of the River Cache.

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.

Battle of Trans-la-Forêt

The Battle of Trans-la-Fôret was fought on 1 August 939 between the occupying Norsemen and the Bretons, led by the joint army of Alan II, Hugh II of Maine, and Judicael Berengar.

Waroch I was an early ruler of the Bro Wened (Vannetais) in southern Brittany. It is unclear whether he or his grandson Waroch II is the namesake of the region.

References

  1. 1 2 Ford, David Nash (2001). "King Judicael of Domnonée". Early British Kingdoms. Nash Ford Publishing. Retrieved 25 July 2021.
  2. Including Iudicael, Judhaël, Judhel, Juhel, Jézéquel, Jezekel, Jezekael, Jekel, Jezekelig, Jikael, Jikel, Gicquel, Giquel, Gaël, and Gaëlle.
  3. 1 2 Smith, Julia M. H. (1992). Province and Empire: Brittany and the Carolingians. Cambridge University Press. pp. 5–. ISBN   978-0-521-03030-4.
  4. 1 2 3 De la Borderie, Arthur (1975). Floch, Joseph (ed.). Histoire de Bretagne[The History of Brittany]. Mayenne. p. 470-489.
  5. Frédégaire (2001). Chronicle of Merovingian Times. Turnhout. p. 179. ISBN   2503511511.
  6. Dalc'homp Sonj (1996). The Geographical Origin of the Armorican Bretons. p. 69.
  7. 1 2 Morice, Pierre Hyacinthe (1750). Ecclesiastique et Civile de Bretagne[Ecclesiastical and civil history of Brittany]. Paris: Delaguette. p. Note XXXVIII.
  8. Chédeville, André; Guillotel, Hubert (1984). La Bretagne des saints et des rois Ve-Xe siècle[The Brittany of Saints & Kings 5th-10th Century]. Éditions Ouest-France. ISBN   2-85882-613-7..

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