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Domnonée (Breton: Domnonea) is the modern French version of the Latin name Dumnonia (or Domnonia), which denoted a kingdom in northern Brittany founded by migrants from Dumnonia in Great Britain. The Latin form Domnonia can refer to either the British or the Breton kingdom.

In the Armorican peninsula (Brittany), the kingdom was said to have been founded in the declining phase of the Roman empire. It included Trégor, Dol-de-Bretagne through to Goélo and Penthièvre. Its leaders were referred to as Princes, but later obtained the title King of the Bretons.[1]


Domnonée is said to have been founded in the 4th century. Domnonée retained close political links between the Brythonic (Celtic) territories in Britain (Wales, Cornwall, Devon), and the newly created Armorican Britain (Brittany), and it hosted many kings, princes, clerics and other leaders who came over from Celtic Britain. The sea was a unifying rather than divisive factor. In the traditions relating to the settlement of Brittany by the Bretons there are several kingdoms of this kind[2]. A number of legends and hagiographic lives of Breton saints contain references to the close political ties between religious communities in Wales and Brittany. The close proximity resulted in possessions on both sides of the Channel by some religious orders. For example, the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Beauport, before Henry VIII, had parishes on the coast of Goélo and in Devon.

Reliable information about the history of Domnonée is limited. A list of Princes includes Riothamus, who led a British force against the king of the Goths.[1] In 530 the principality became the centre of the Breton kingdom.[1]

It has been theorised that a single sovereignty over the British and Breton branches existed for a period. Conomor, who was killed fighting Clotaire I, king of the Franks, is referred to in stories from both Britain and Brittany. He would have been a British military leader who was guarding the Channel from attacks by pirates, perhaps in alliance with Childebert I, son of Clovis.

In 1034, the term was used to designate the comté of Penthièvre said to be the preserve of Eudes, second son of Geoffrey I, Duke of Brittany. The name disappeared shortly after.


  1. ^ a b c Princes of Domnonée
  2. ^ Nora Kershaw Chadwick, Celtic Kingdoms

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