from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bretons ( Bretoned )
Number in Brittany and Loire-Atlantique 4,367,086
Settlement areas Brittany and Loire-Atlantique
language Breton , French ,


religion Predominantly Catholic
Related ethnic groups Welsh , Irish , Scots , Manx (people)
Breton women , painting by Vincent van Gogh , 1888

The Bretons are a Celtic people who settled in Brittany ( France ).

In the 6th century, the Britto ( Breton in Latin) tribe came from Great Britain . Those emigrating Britto came partly as refugees from Anglo-Saxons and Irish looters , partly in the course of targeted settlement from the British island. They mixed up with the locals and are now part of the national minorities in France . The majority belong to the Roman Catholic Church .

Brittany has been part of France since the 16th century. It was bilingual from the start: Gallo , the Oïl language , which is related to French, is still spoken in the east and the Breton language as a Celtic language in the west of the region. However, both languages ​​are considered threatened.

Breton immigration

Already at the time of the Roman colonization there had been intensive contacts between the Aremorican peninsula and the British island. In the late 4th century, the fortified towns and forts on the coast belonged to the Limes of the so-called Saxon coast whose crews were under the command of a Dux tractus Armoricani et Nervicani . After the Roman army withdrew at the beginning of the 5th century under Emperor Honorius , the Provençals drove out the Roman administrative officials around 409 and declared themselves independent. Germanus of Auxerre traveled to the imperial court in Ravenna in 437 to show indulgence for the inhabitants of Aremorica. The influential Roman army master Aëtius had sent Alan troops on a punitive expedition against the Bagauden there , who had risen under the leadership of a certain Tibatto . The Aremorican tribal leaders and cities subsequently formed a protective alliance against Anglo-Saxon looters, which existed up to 500 when the country was conquered by the Frankish king Clovis I.

At the time of the decline of the Western Roman Empire , from around 450 AD, mainly Christianized Welsh immigrated to the Breton peninsula. At the same time, the settlement areas of the still pagan Old Saxons , Angles and Jutes on the British main island continued to expand. For about two centuries, Britons crossed into Brittany at irregular intervals in order to escape the uncertain political conditions of their original homeland. They settled and Christianized Aremorica and brought their language to Gaul, which had long been Romanized. The Breton so do not go to the spoken yet about Caesars times in Brittany Celtic idiom back. In the course of the resurgence of the Celtic language and culture, the influence of the Gallo-Romans was steadily pushed back until they finally lost their dominance around 580. According to François Falc'hun, however, the Breton dialect used in the region around Vannes still goes back to the original Celtic language Aremoricas.

Web links

Wiktionary: Breton  - Explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Lisa Evans: Endangered languages: the full list. April 15, 2011, accessed May 22, 2017 .
  2. ^ John Robert Martindale: Germanus 1. In: The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire (PLRE). Volume 2, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1980, ISBN 0-521-20159-4 , pp. 504-505.
  3. Zosimus , 6.5.3
  4. Michel Renouard: Lovable Brittany. Editions OUEST-FRANCE, Rennes 2007, p. 6 f.