A British Legion Stationed near Orléans c. 530? Evidence for Brittonic Military Activity in Late Antique Gaul in Vita sancti Dalmatii and Other Sources
Several recent books lead the reader to believe that Vita sancti Dalmatii, written in c. 800, records a legio Britannica (a British army) stationed near Orl顮s in c. 530. As this paper demonstrates, the only correct detail of this purported record is the word legio, and this may well have a non-military connotation. This paper includes the first English translation of the relevant sections of Vita sancti Dalmatii, and a discussion of its possible interpretations in the context of Franco-Brittonic relations. It also examines more broadly the evidence for Brittonic military activity in Gaul proper from 450 to 560, and suggests that, irrespective of the interpretation of Vita sancti Dalmatii, the importance of the Britons in late antique Gaul has been overlooked.
Journal of the Australian Early Medieval Association
European History (excl. British, Classical Greek and Roman)