Conan first appears in the contemporary records in 965×972 (probably about 970), when a papal letter of John XIII (965-972) names two of the Breton leaders as "Berengarius" and his son "Conatus" [PL 135, 990; the other two named are Hoel and his brother Guerech], which may indicate that the rule of Conan and his father overlapped somewhat. On 16 August 979, as Conanus comes Britanniæ, he was at the court of Eudes, count of Chartres [Cart. S.-Père de Chartres, 1:66]. In 981, he fought a battle against Guérech, count of Nantes, and his Angevin allies, which is called the "first" Battle of Conquereuil [Chron. Nantes 118-20; see ibid., 119n.1 for a quote from the Chronicle of Mont Saint-Michel giving the date; see also RHF 9:98]. At about time of the death of Guérech [see Chron. Nantes 127n.1], count of Nantes, son of Guérech, Conan assumed the title of princeps Britannorum, a title he held on 28 July 990, when he made a donation to Mont Saint-Michel [Morice (1742) 1:350-1]. Conan lost his life at the second Battle of Conquereuil in 992 against count Fulk III Nerra of Anjou [Chron. Nantes 127-32; Rodulfus Glaber ii, 3 (pp. 30-2); Richer, MGH SS 3: 651].
Date of Birth: Unknown.
Place of Birth: Unknown.
Date of Death: 27 June 992.
[Chron. S. Michaelis RHF 10:175; Chron. Kemperlegiensi RHF 10:294]
Place of Death: Conquereuil, near Nantes, in the second Battle of Conquereuil.
fl. ca. 972, count of Rennes.
Called a son of Bérenger in a letter of pope John XIII [PL 135, 990], called a son of Juhel Bérenger in Chronicum S. Michaelis [RHF 10:175] and numerous Breton sources, occasionally called son of Judicaël Bérenger [e.g., Chronicum Kemperlegiensi RHF 10:294, which however, refers to Conan's son Geoffroy as "filius Conani filii Juhaëli Berengarii"]. See the page on Juhel Bérenger for more details.
Ermengarde, d. aft. 992, daughter
I, count of Anjou.
Rodulfus Glaber [ii, 3 (pp. 30-1)] states that Conan married a sister of count Foulques of Anjou, the Cronicle of S. Florent says that Geoffrey was son of Conan by a sister of Foulques [Lobineau (1707), 2: 85], and the Angevin genealogical collection states that Judith, wife of Richard of Normandy, was the daughter of Conan by his wife Ermengarde, daughter of Geoffroy of Anjou [Poupardin (1900), 208].
In addition to his well known children Geoffroy and Judith, Conan had three other well documented sons, all of whom appear in a charter of Alain III dated 22 March 1026, which mentioned Alain's father Gaufridus, Conani Curvi filius and Geoffroy's three brothers abbot Catuallonus, bishop Judicael, and Hurwodius. Although no other wife of Conan other than Ermengarde d'Anjou is known, only Geoffroy and Judith are clearly documented as her children.
Geoffroy I, d. 1008 [Chronicum S. Michaelis, RHF 10:175; Chronicum Kemperlegiensi RHF 10:294], duke of Brittany, m. Hawise of Normandy.
Judith, m. Richard II, duke of Normandy.
Judicaël, died [ides of June, Gall. Christ., 14: 923], in or soon before 1037, bishop of Vannes, before 992-ca. 1037 [became bishop during lifetime of father: Cart. Redon 309].
Catuallon, abbot of Redon, 1029-1040 [Abbatum series, in Cart. Redon, 426].
Charter dated 1018 witnessed by abbot Catuuallon, bishop [Cart. Redon 275-6]; 1021, p. 308; 1037, p. 326
Urvod, living 1026.
(probably falsely attributed): Gerberge.
See the page of Juhel Bérenger for more details.
[Lobineau (1707), 1 (genealogical tables at beginning); Morice (1750), 1: xvij, 45; Villeneuve (1875), 145]
In an apparently legendary passage in Gesta Consulum Andegavorum, a battle at Angers is (against count Foulques Nerra of Anjou, therefore 987×992 if the account is accurate) described in which two sons were captured (including Alain, the eldest), two other sons were killed, and Conan lost his arm [Gesta Consulum Andegavorum, Marchegay & Salmon (1856), 91-3]. Although Conan's injury in battle is verified elsewhere [Rodulfus Glaber ii, 3 (p.32)], it is difficult to accept the account of the battle as reliable in its details.
Alain (eldest), captured at Angers.
3 sons (names not given), one captured
at Angers, two killed there.
[The unnamed son supposedly captured at Angers is not generally listed by the secondary sources listed above, evidently because they regard him to be the same as Geoffroy I.]
Supposed children (probably
[Lobineau (1707), 1 (genealogical tables at beginning); Morice (1750), 1: xvij, making Juthael and Judicaël different, but evidently regarding them as the same on pp. 45, 47; Villeneuve (1875), 145, 148, would make Juthael and Judicael the same man.].
Juthael, count of Porhoët (existence uncertain)
The Breton genealogist du Paz is the evident source (followed by numerous secondary sources) for the statement that Conan had a son Juthael, count of Porhoët, the claimed father of viscount Guethenoc, who witnessed a charter of duke Geoffroy I (d. 1008) [Cart. Redon, 247]. In a discussion of the origin of the counts of Porhoët [Morice (1750): 1: 975-9 (Note XLV)], Morice cites "Hist. Mss. des Comtes de Porhoet" by du Paz as the source. However, there does not appear to be any confirmation of even the existence of Juthael, count of Porhoët, and the well documented genealogy of the viscounts and counts of Porhoët begins with Guethenoc.
Two later Breton chronicles relate an event shortly after the death of Conan's son Geoffroy (d. 1008), when some of their own men rebelled against Geoffroy's widow Hawise and their son, of whom stood out ["Fragment de la Chronique de Gael", Morice (1750), 1: 358: "... Glandarius Judichaël Cham filius ...; "Chronicon Briocense", Morice (1750), 1: "... Glanderius Judicael Chani filius ..."]. Having the same number of minims, either Cham or Chani could easily be a mistake for the other. Cham could be interpreted as the Breton name Cham undeclined [see Cart. Redon, 248 (dated 1026), 275 (dated 1041), for two twelfth century charters witnessed by a man of that name], although Morice interprets this as a Breton term meaning "lame", and thus referring to Conan, who had lost an arm in battle [Morice (1750), 1: 67]. On the other hand, Chani could be interpreted as the genetive of a name Chanus, which Lobineau interpreted as an abbreviated form of "Chonanus" [Lobineau (1707), 1: 88], and stated that du Paz had read "Patruus Alani Comitis" in the "Actes de S. Gildas" (i.e., the work "Gildae Vita et Translatio" edited by Ferdinand Lot [Lot (1907); see also Morice (1750), 1: 353-5]).
Cart. Morbihan = Louis Rozenzweig, Cartulaire General du Morbihan (Vannes, 1895).
Cart. Redon = M. Aurélien de Courson, Cartulaire de l'Abbaye de Redon (Collection de documents inédites sur l'histoire de France, Paris, 1863).
Cart. S.-Père de Chartres = M Guérard, Cartulaire de l'Abbaye de Saint-Père de Chartres, 2 vols. (Paris, 1840).
Chron. Nantes = René Merlet, ed., La Chronique de Nantes (Paris, 1895). [Pages numbers alone are citations to the text, page numbers with footnotes indicate comments by Merlet.]
Gall. Christ. = Gallia Christiana.
Lobineau (1707) = Gui Alexis Lobineau, Histoire de Bretagne, 2 vols. (Paris, 1707).
Lot (1907) = Ferdinand Lot, Mélanges d'histoire bretonne (VIe-XIe) siècle) (Paris, 1907).
Marchegay & Salmon (1856) = Paul Marchegay & André Salmon, Chroniques d'Anjou (Paris, 1856).
Morice (1742) = Dom Hyacinthe Morice, Memoires pour servir de preuves à l'histoire ecclésiastique et civile de Bretagne, 3 vols. (Paris, 1742).
Morice (1750) = Dom Hyacinthe Morice, Histoire ecclésiastique et civile de Bretagne, 3 vols, (Paris, 1750).
Poupardin (1900) = René Poupardin, "Généalogies angevines du XIe siècle", Mélanges d'Archéologie et d'Histoire (Paris, Rome) 20 (1900): 199-208.
RHF = Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France.
Rodulfus Glaber = Maurice Prou, ed., Raoul Glaber - les cinq livres de ses histoires (900-1044) (Paris, 1886).
Villeneuve (1875) = Paul de la Bigne Villeneuve, "Cartulaire de l'Abbaye de Saint-Georges de Rennes", Bulletin et Mémoires de la Société Archéologique du Département d'Ille-et-Vilaine 9 (1875), 127-312.
Compiled by Stewart Baldwin
First uploaded December 2005.
Corrected many typos 25 November 2007.
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