Origin Myths and Identity in Brittany

1885 Words Jan 27th, 2018 8 Pages
After analysis of these identities, however, it becomes clear that frequently they exist as the result of centuries of almost clinical calculation. The region of France known as Brittany comes as no exception, with its separate Celtic identity, depends on royal court historians and linguists alike. The modern understanding of Breton identity exists the way it does primarily because of three rounds of origin myths, from the medieval period, the early eighteenth century, and after the French Revolution. To begin with, the use of origin myths to create a culturally independent Brittany stem back to the medieval period, during which numerous duchies, each governed by its own duke but still ruled over by a French king, made up France. The relationship between the duke of Brittany and the king of France, however, started to become tense in the fourteenth century. During that time, “quarrels over royal efforts to regulate ducal coinage, appoint bishops to Breton, or control private warfare in the duchy” led to a power struggle between Duke John IV and the French monarchs, Charles V and then later his son, Charles VI (Jones, The Creation of Brittany, 8). In an attempt to retain some form of independence from the king, or to at least achieve power more significant than that of a vassal, John IV set out to gain the allegiance of his duchy (Jones, The Creation of…