Armorica, the name anciently given to the N. W. coast of Gaul, from the Loire to the Seine. It had a considerable fleet and carried on a large intercourse with Britain. Maxim us, a Roman officer, having revolted with the legions of Britain against the emperor Gratian, A. D. 388, passed into Gaul with two Roman legions and a number of aboriginal Britons, among whom was one Conan Mariadec, to whom Maximus gave the government of Ar-morica. Mariadec obtained the recognition of his independence from the emperor Theodo-sius, and in the 5th century thousands of British Celts came over, rather than remain under the hated Saxon yoke. They found in Armo-rica a hospitable reception, and a dynasty akin to them in race. The descendants of Conan Mariadec successfully repelled the Danish, Norwegian, and Irish pirates from the coasts of Armorica, and also, on the land side, the various German tribes who invaded and ravaged Gaul. During the 5th and 6th centuries it was the most peaceful and prosperous part of that country. The Christian religion was early propagated there. Bishops of Dol, Quim-per, and Vannes are recorded at the end of the 4th century, and the annals of Armorica preserve a long roll of Celtic saints whoso names are not known elsewhere.

From the influx of Britons Armorica about the 6th century began to be called Brittany (Bretagne).