Sunday, 4 April 2010

The History of Brittany Part1

Partition of the Carolingian Empire in 843

Human habitation in the area now called Brittany goes back to the late Paleolithic, or Epi-Palaeolithic, period. Megaliths erected in the 5th millennium BC are the best known Neolithic remains. Roman sources record the tribes of the Veneti, Armoricani, Osismii, Namnetes and Coriosolites as inhabiting the area in the iron age.

In 56 BC the area was conquered by the Romans under Julius Caesar. The Romans called the district Armorica (a Latinisation of a Celtic word meaning "coastal region"), or Gallia Lugdunensis. The modern département of Côtes-d'Armor has taken up the ancient name. The uprising of the Bagaudae in the 3rd century AD led to the destruction of villages and to depopulation.

By the 4th century AD Romano-British tribes from across the English Channel started to settle. This flow of Britons increased when Roman troops and authority were withdrawn from Britain, and raiding and settling by Anglo-Saxons and Scotti into Britain increased. The immigrant Britons gave the region its current name and contributed to the Breton language, Brezhoneg, a sister language to Welsh and Cornish. The name Brittany (from "Little Britain") derived to distinguish the region from "Great Britain" in this time.

In the early Middle Ages, Brittany was divided into three kingdoms - Domnonia, Cornouaille, and Bro Waroch - which eventually were incorporated into the Duchy of Brittany.

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