The Bretons (Peoples of Europe)

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9780631164067: The Bretons (Peoples of Europe)
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This is a history of one of the most distinctive regions of France and its people, from prehistoric times to the end of the independent Duchy in the 15th century. Patrick Galliou and Michael Jones draw upon a wide range of archaeological and literary material to explore the characteristics of a society which has combined peoples from two different linguistic and cultural traditions in a long-enduring political union. In the book's opening chapter Patrick Galliou describes early Armorica, the Gaulish name for Brittany, including its physical environment, the hunter-gatherer society of the paleolithic era, the farmers of the neolithic and the metal working communities of the Bronze Age. Both authors synthesize much recent research to examine such themes as trade, population and settlement, the economy, urbanization and transport, art and crafts and Breton religion, culture and political ideology. Michael Jones pays particular attention to the circumstances in which Brittany became a fully-fledged late medieval state whilst nominally remaining a part of the kingdom of France, and considers also the evolution of aristocratic power. He also focuses upon the external forces which shaped Breton society, notably the Carolingian, Anglo-Norman, Angevin and Capetian policies and such European religious movements as monastic reform. A concluding chapter reviews Breton history from the end of the Middle Ages to the present day.

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From the Back Cover:

This book draws upon a wide range of archaeological and literary material to provide a history of one of the most distinctive and individualistic regions of France and its people, from prehistoric times to the present. Focusing upon such themes as trade, settlement, agriculture, transport, population, religion, art and languages, the authors explore the characteristics of a society which has combined peoples from two different linguistic and cultural traditions in a long-enduring political union.

In the book's opening chapter, Patrick Galliou reconstructs early Armorica (the Gaulish name for Brittany) where as early as 5000 BC, under gradually changing physical conditions, human communities appeared in the peninsula and a highly idiosyncratic culture evolved. Dr Galliou traces the development of this culture through the later Neolithic, and the Bronze Age, to Roman and post-Roman Brittany. Beginning with the Frankish period, Michael Jones traces Breton history in the Middle Ages. He describes the rise and fall of the Kingdom of Brittany; the Plantagenets; the civil war (1341-65), and the medieval Breton state under the Montfort Dukes. He concludes with an overview of Brittany's history from the end of the Middle Ages to the present day.

Extensively illustrated with half-tones, maps and diagrams, the book will be of wide interest to archaeologists, historians and anthropologists, as well as to the general reader.

About the Author:

Patrick Galliou is Reader at the Université de Bretagne Occidentale (Brest) and also teaches at the Université of Haute Bretagne (Rennes). Most of his published work concerns Iron Age and Roman Brittany, and he is currently involved in a major survey of North-Western Gaul.

Michael Jones is Professor of Medieval French History at the University of Nottingham. For some years he has been involved in a major multidisciplinary study of Breton seigneurial buildings, and he has also worked on the Romanesque town house of Cluny. He is Editor of Nottingham Medieval Studies and of Volume VI of the New Cambridge Medieval History.

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9780631201052: The Bretons

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ISBN 10:  063120105X ISBN 13:  9780631201052
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell, 1996
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