Region and former province in northwest France, a peninsula between the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay; spelled Bretagne in French. Got its name from the fugitive Britons that settled the area c.500, leading to the initial name of Brittanica Minor. The Breton langauge derives from the ancient English and Welsh spoken by those settlers. The history of the region is one of continual struggle for cultural and/or political independence. Strongly Roman Catholic. There are patron saints of Brittany.