Britonia is the historical name of a settlement in Galicia (northwestern Spain) which was settled in the late fifth and early sixth centuries by Romano-Britons escaping the advancing Anglo-Saxons who were conquering Britain at the time. Britonia is therefore similar to Brittany in Gaul in that it was settled by expatriate Britons at roughly the same time.

What little is known of Britonia is deduced from its religious history. The British settlements were recognised at the Council of Lugo in 567 and a separate bishopric established.
Mailoc was nominated Bishop of Britonia and signed the "acta" at the Second Council of Braga in 572. The British Celtic settlements were quickly integrated and their adherence to Celtic rite lasted only until the Fourth Council of Toledo in 633 which uniformized liturgy throughout the Iberian Peninsula, establishing the Iberian rite.The see of Britonia existed at least until 830 when the area was attacked by the Vikings; it may have continued as as late as the Council of Oviedo in 900. It was finally merged with the see of Mondonedo.

Known bishops of the "ecclesia Brittaniensis":

* Mailoc (Second Council of Braga, 572)
* Metopius (Fourth Council of Toledo, 633)
* Sonna (Seventh Council of Toledo, 646)
* Susa (Eighth Council of Toledo, 653)
* Bela (Third Council of Braga, 675)


*Richards, Melville, "Mailoc", "Habis", III, 1972, p. 159.
*Tovar, António, "Un obispo con nombre británico y los orígenes de la diócesis de Mondoñedo", "Habis", III, 1972, pp. 155-158.
*Vives, J., "Concilios visigóticos e hispano-romanos", Madrid, 1963.
*Young, Simon, "The Bishops of the early medieval diocese of Britonia" (forthcoming).
*Young, Simon, "Note on Britones in Thirteenth-century Galicia", "Studia Celtica", XXXV (2001), pp. 361-2.
*Young, Simon, "The Forgotten Colony", "History Today", L, oct. 2000, pp. 5-6.
*Young, Simon, "Britonia: Camiños Novos", Noia, 2002. ISBN: 84-95622-58-0. (in Galician)

External links

*en icon [ Site dedicated to Britonia research]
*en icon [ Present day Roman Catholic titular see of Britonia]

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