Arteev Mikhail

The Issues of the Diocesan Organization of the Breton Сhurch in the 9th Century

Arteev Mikhail (2016) "The Issues of the Diocesan Organization of the Breton Shurch in the 9th Century ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia II : Istoriia. Istoriia Russkoy Pravoslavnoy Tserkvi, 2016, vol. 71, pp. 29-42 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturII201671.29-42


Using a considerable variety of sources (chronicles, hagiography, charters, letters) the author of the present article shows a process of formation of the system of the Breton bishoprics during the Carolingian era, when this land was a part of the Frankish empire. There were no regular episcopal sees in Brittany before the 9th century: Dol and Léon were monastery-bishoprics; Tréguier and Aleth, possibly, had the same nature. Bishops appeared there only from time to time. In the middle of the 9th century there were sees in Aleth, Quimper, Léon, and Dol. And they were substituted regularly. Obviously, an attempt to establish episcopal sees in Tréguier and Saint-Brieuc was vain. Along with a territorial expansion of the power of the Breton duke three others bishoprics founded in the Roman and post-Roman times — Nantes, Rennes, and Vannes — became parts of the Breton church. The sought of duke Nominoe for the independence from West-Frankish kingdom led to the «schism» of 849 which actually meant a separation of the most of the Breton bishoprics from the Gallic Church. King Salomon in 860s tried to promote the see of Dol to a metropolitan grade, but with no success due to determined resistance of the pope Nicolas I and the Frankish bishops. But in spite of the absence of archbishopric in Brittany the church of the region from the last third of the ninth century onwards run its quite different from the rest of the Western Сhurch way of life with its own synods and traditions. In this sense the Breton Church resembled other Celtic Churches of the Early Middle Ages.


the Carolingians, Brittany, the Celtic Churches, sees, archbishopric, Dol, Aleth, Tours, Nominoe, Salomon, pope Nicolas I.


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Arteev Mikhail