medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Andre-Yves Bourges did recommend the Roparz book to me and I tried to get hold of a copy but there doesn’t seem to be one in this country. My daughter was off to Brittany this time last year but couldn’t be persuaded to go to Ploermel!


My specific interest is this. Two surviving alabaster plaques of St Armel ( you can see one at ) depict him at prayer before a crucifix, with a fortified building and a ship in the background. I wondered whether this referred to an episode in his life which has not survived in the extant vitae and which might explain why Henry Tudor appealed to Armel for help in the shipwreck. The other depictions of Armel (that I know of) are all like the ones in Westminster Abbey, the saint standing with a dinky little dragon on a lead.


My colleague Wyn Thomas is interested in the derivation of Ploermel from plebs Armel as it has Italian parallels. Are there other Breton place names with plebs + saint’s name?


Best wishes






Dr Madeleine Gray, in the foothills of God's golden county of Gwent

University of Wales, Newport/Prifysgol Cymru, Casnewydd

School of Humanities & Science/Ysgol y Dyniaethau a'r Gwyddorau

Caerleon Campus/Campws Caerllion, PO /Blwch Post 179

Newport/Casnewydd  NP18 3YG, Wales/Cymru

 Tel: +44 (0)1633.432675

'Even big collections of ordinary books distort space and time, as can readily be proved by anyone who has been around a really old-fashioned second-hand bookshop'.


History at University of Wales, Newport:
Gwent County History Association website:
Cistercian Way:




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