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The Celtic Nation of Brittany
B rittany (Breton) is presently a province in France but until the mid 16th century Brittany was a great Celtic Nation.Even today the Bretons proudly fly their famous Gwenn-ha-du flag (black and white) and use the triskele as a Celtic symbol of the 3 Breton elements: Air, Fire and Earth.

Around the 2nd century B.C., Gaul (later to be known as Amorica and then Brittany) was considered a center of Celtic culture in Europe. At this time over 60 major tribes inhibited this western section of present day France. Rich accounts of Julius Ceasar's Gallic Wars (c. 52 B.C.) and the Roman conquest of Gaul are found in various writings giving a lively picture of the Celtic warriors. Wisely, the Roman conquors and governors allowed the Celts to blend their mythology with Roman mythology. Yet, in some instances, the Romans embraced some of the Celtic gods and goddesses, such as Epona, the Mare Goddess.

What seemed to impress the Romans most of the agility with which the Gauls were able to guide their chariots during battle. Julius Ceasar wrote: "The chariots of the Britons begin fighting by charging over the battlefield. From them they hurl javelins; although the noise of the wheels and chariot teams are enough to throw any enemy into panic. The charioteers are very skilled. They can drive their teams down very steep slopes with losing control."

During the "Dark Ages" (c. 5th century A.D.) the Anglo-Saxons militaries were threatening Britain, the Britons asked for help from Brittany. And this led to many Britons immigrating to Brittany (which at the time was called Armorica) to escape the wars and in many cases to set up their own princedoms.

By 450 A.D., most of the land north of the Loire was under British control. Thus Amorica become known as Lesser Britain and later simply Brittany.

This is a very simplified history of Brittany and the reader is encourage to learn more about Brittany from the links listed below:
Breton Identity
Breton History and Traditions

Flags of other Celtic Nations

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Last updated: Tuesday, March 09, 2004
© COPYRIGHT - Susan K. Zalusky 2004
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