Brigantes

Approximate territory of the Brigantes
The Brigantes were a Celtic tribe who in pre-Roman times controlled the largest section of what would become Northern England. Their territory, often referred to as Brigantia, was centred in what was later known as Yorkshire. The Greek geographer Ptolemy named the Brigantes as a tribe in Ireland also, where they could be found around Wexford, Kilkenny and Waterford, while another probably Celtic tribe named Brigantii is mentioned by Strabo as a sub-tribe of the Vindelici in the region of the Alps.

Within Great Britain, the territory which the Brigantes inhabited was bordered by that of four other Celtic tribes: the Carvetii (to whom they may have been related) in the northwest, the Parisii to the east and, to the south, the Corieltauvi and the Cornovii. To the north was the territory of the Votadini, which straddled the present day border between England and Scotland.

The name Brigantes (Βρίγαντες in Ancient Greek) shares the same Proto-Celtic root as the goddess Brigantia, *brigant- meaning "high, elevated", and it is unclear whether settlements called Brigantium were so named as "high ones" in a metaphorical sense of nobility, or literally as "highlanders", referring to the Pennines, or inhabitants of physically elevated fortifications. (IEW, s.v. "bhereg'h-").

In modern Welsh the word braint means 'privilege, prestige' and comes from the same root *brigantī. Other related forms from the modern Celtic languages are: Welsh brenin 'king' (< *brigantīnos); Welsh/Cornish/Breton bri 'prestige, reputation, honour, dignity', Scottish Gaelic brìgh 'pith, power', Irish brí 'energy, significance', Manx bree 'power, energy' (all < *brīg-/brigi-); and Welsh/Cornish/Breton bre 'hill' (< *brigā). The name Bridget from Old Irish Brigit (Modern Irish Bríd) also comes from Brigantī, as does the English river name Brent.

There are several ancient settlements named Brigantium around Europe, such as Berganza in Alava (Spain), Betanzos and Bergondo in Galicia (Spain), Bragança in Portugal and Briançon, Brigetio on the border of Slovakia and Hungary, Brigobanne situated on the Breg river and near the Brigach river in south Germany (pre-Roman Vindelicia) and Bregenz in the Alps. From the same origin also stems the name of the Italian sub-region of Brianza.

In chronostratigraphy, the British sub-stage of the Carboniferous period, the 'Brigantian' derives its name from the Brigantes.

This page was last edited on 4 April 2018, at 16:29.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigantes under CC BY-SA license.

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