World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000210187
Reproduction Date:

Title: Brennus  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Timeline of Rome, Brennius, Bern zinc tablet, Church of St John the Baptist, Bristol, Parc des Sports Marcel Michelin
Collection: Celtic Names
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


The Celtic Helmet from Satu Mare, Romania (northern Dacia), an Iron Age raven totem helmet, dated around 4th century BC. A similar helmet is depicted on the Gundestrup cauldron, being worn by one of the mounted warriors (detail tagged here). See also an illustration of Brennus wearing a similar helmet.

Brennus (or Brennos) is the name of two Gaulish chieftains famous in ancient history:

The recurrence of the name Brennus makes it possible that it was a title rather than a proper name. Some 19th-century scholars connected the name with the modern Welsh word for "king", brenin,[1] though Brennus and brenin have since been proven to be unrelated (brenin – earlier breenhin – being derived from the Celtic *brigantinos, meaning "(someone) pre-eminent, outstanding").[2] As early as the 12th century AD, authors such as Geoffrey of Monmouth (in his Historia Regum Britanniae were connecting the name Brennus with the Welsh personal name Bran meaning "Crow", though the similarity of the names is superficial and they are not likely to share a common linguistic origin.

Examples in different forms of the name are:

  • Brinno, whose name was said by Tacitus to be that of "a family of rebels".
  • The personage named "Brennius" in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae who conquers Rome, probably created by that author from the two Brenni of history.
    • A possible recollection of Geoffrey's "Brennius" is the "Englishman" called Brennus whom the Duke of Norfolk told the Imperial ambassador Eustace Chapuys about in 1530. In arguing Tudor claims to imperial status, the Duke stated that this man had founded Bristol and conquered Rome.[3]

The name "Brennus" was given to a 19th Century French battleship.



  1. ^ Guest, Edwin; Origines Celticae (1883)
  2. ^ Karl, Raimund Thoughts on the Evolution of Celtic Societies University of Wales, 2007
  3. ^ Thomas Healy, Times Literary Supplement 24 June 2005 p 25, reviewing Philip Schwyzer, Literature Nationalism and Memory in Early Modern England and Wales, Cambridge, 2005

General references

  • John T. Koch, "Brân, Brennos: an instance of Early Gallo-Brittonic history and mythology'", Cambridge Medieval Celtic Studies 20 (Winter 1990:1-20)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.