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Historical 9th-century Breton chief and king inflated into the creator of the Breton nation by 19th-century nationalists. A man of modest origin, Nominoë was discovered by Charlemagne, who made him Count of Vannes, in south-eastern Brittany. Becoming Duke of Brittany (826) under Louis the Pious, he set about uniting all the Bretons when Louis died, which required ten years to achieve. In 845 he forced Charles the Bald to recognize Breton independence, within borders that remained until 1790. Subject of a ballad ‘translated’ by La Villemarqué in Barzaz Breiz [Breton Bards] (1839).

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