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Peninsula that forms a historical and governmental region, northwestern France. Known in ancient times as Armorica, it comprised the coastal area between the Seine and Loire rivers. Inhabited by Celts, it was conquered by Julius Caesar and organized as a Roman province. Invaded in the 5th century AD by Britons (Celtic people from Britain), the extreme northwestern part was thereafter called Brittany. Subdued by Clovis I, it was never effectively part of the Merovingian or Carolingian kingdom. France claimed Brittany in the 13th century, but it remained a separate state until the 15th century. It was formally incorporated into France in 1532 and had province status until the French Revolution. Roughly coextensive with but smaller than the historical region, the current administrative région of Brittany (pop., 2004 est.: 3,011,000) covers 10,505 sq mi (27,209 sq km). Its capital is Rennes. It is an important agricultural region.
Variants of BRITTANY
Brittany French Bretagne
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Brittany, visit Britannica.com.