Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia



Dol-de-Bretagne, commonly referred to as Dol, is a historic town located in the Brittany region of northwestern France.

Dol | 0 to the 9th century AD

Roman Period
During the Roman Empire’s expansion into Gaul (modern-day France), the region that includes Brittany came under Roman influence. The Romans established a network of roads and settlements, contributing to the overall Romanization of the area.

While specific details about Dol-de-Bretagne’s early history during the Roman period are not well-documented, it is believed that the town may have originated as a Roman settlement or outpost. The strategic location near the coast and its proximity to major Roman roads could have contributed to its devlopment. Archaeological excavations in and around the town have uncovered Roman artifacts, including pottery and coins.

Early Christian Influence and the Foundation of the Bishopric
During the early Christian period, the region witnessed the spread of Christianity. In the sixth century, the Welsh monk Saint Samson, who later became the Bishop of Dol, played a significant role in the Christianization of the area.

In the ninth century, specifically in 848, the Bishopric of Dol was established. This marked the town’s rise as an ecclesiastical center in Brittany. Saint Samson’s relics were brought to Dol, contributing to the town’s importance in the medieval Christian landscape. The Cathédrale Saint-Samson, an impressive structure that combines Romanesque and Gothic styles, houses the relics of Saint Samson.

Viking Invasions
During the Viking Age (eighth to eleventh centuries), coastal regions, including Brittany, were vulnerable to Viking raids. It is likely that Dol, situated near the coast, experienced some level of Viking activity during this period.

Formation of the Town
The town of Dol started to take shape around the cathedral and the bishop’s residence. The presence of ecclesiastical institutions contributed to the town’s growth and development. The town’s strategic location near the English Channel also made it an important trading center.

Dol, signifies a meadow in Welsh. The word is found in BrittanyWales and Cornwall in names of places situated in valleys.

Historia Regum Britanniae | Geoffrey of Monmouth, c. 1138