Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Aremorica, Armoryk

Armorica, historically known as Aremorica, is a region in the northwest of ancient Gaul (modern-day France) that corresponds roughly to the Brittany peninsula. The name “Armorica” is derived from the Celtic words are-mori, meaning “near the sea” or “seaside,” highlighting its coastal location.

Geoffrey of Monmouth says that Maximus took it from Duke Inbalt and gave it to Conan Meriadoc, who brought British culture to the region.

Armorica | History

In ancient times, the region that would become Brittany was inhabited by Celtic tribes. These Celtic peoples had their own distinct languages, cultures, and social structures.

Roman Period
During the Roman conquest of Gaul, which began in the first century BC, Armorica came under Roman control. The Romans established administrative structures, and the area became part of the Roman province of Gallia Lugdunensis. The local Celtic population interacted with Roman culture, and Romanization influenced various aspects of life in Armorica.

Post-Roman Period
Following the decline of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century, Armorica experienced changes. It became a regufe for Britons fleeing the Anglo-Saxon invasions in Britain. The Britons, or Bretons, established their own independent entities in Armorica. The establishment of the Breton kingdom contributed to the region’s distinct identity, and over time, Armorica became known as Brittany, reflecting the Bretons’ Celtic roots.

Medieval Period
During the medieval period, Brittany asserted its independence and played a role in regional conflicts. The Duchy of Brittany was established, and various Breton rulers sought to maintain autonomy from the French crown. The region faced challenges, including wars with the Kingdom of France and internal conflicts. The Treaty of Union in 1532 formally linked Brittany to the Kingdom of France, maintaining some autonomy but also subjecting the duchy to French law.

Cultural Legacy
Brittany has a rich cultural heritage, with influences from Celtic, Roman, and medieval traditions. The Breton language, related to Welsh and Cornish, persisted for centuries, and efforts are ongoing to preserve and promote it.

See also
Fflergant | The Legend of King Arthur

Historia Regum Britanniae | Geoffrey of Monmouth, c. 1138