Monthly Archives: June 2013


BRESCIA City in northern Italy; A province in modern Italy. On the northern edge of the Po Plain, lying west of the southern end of Lake Garda, and on the route between Verona and Milan. Originally the Celtic town of … Continue reading

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BRENTA Department in the Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy.   Its capital was Padua.  Its territory had been Venetian until 1797, then became Austrian until 1805 and was so again after Napoleon’s fall.   The River Brenta flows into the Venetian lagoon.

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Bremen ~ City-state

BREMEN ~ City-state. See also BREMEN ~Archbishopric City and port on the estuary of the Weser in northwestern Germany, and once the seat of an Archbishop.   It is today a Land in the Federal Republic of Germany. The city was one … Continue reading

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Bremen ~ Archbishopric

BREMEN  ~ Archbishopric. See also BREMEN ~ City-state The city on the estuary of the Weser in northern Germany became the seat of a Bishop, a suffragan of Cologne, in 787.   In 848 the diocese was merged with the recently created Archdiocese … Continue reading

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BREIZ Breton name for BRITTANY.

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BREISGAU Region in the southwestern corner of Germany, once a Frankish county.  The name is used particularly for the Habsburg possessions in that region;  it was also the name of a short-lived Duchy, 1801-5.   The name comes from Breisach, which … Continue reading

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BRÉIFNE     Brefni, Breffney, Breffny, Brenny.     Kingdom in western Ireland, formed by the mid-8th century on the borders of Connacht and Ulster by the powerful Connacht family of the Uí Briúin.   Its power fell away but revived in the 12th … Continue reading

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BREHNA County in the Holy Roman Empire;  the town of Brehna is NNW of Leipzig. The County was held by the youngest son of Conrad of Wettin, Margrave of Meissen, after his abdication in 1156.   A later Count acquired Wettin, … Continue reading

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BREGENZ Medieval County in the Holy Roman Empire, named from the town, now in western Austria, on the eastern shores of Lake Constance (Bodensee). The County was held by a branch of the Udalrichinger, and when that line died out, … Continue reading

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BREGA Irish Kingdom(s) in the early middle ages, in the area of present-day eastern Meath and the north of Co. Dublin.   It appeared in the early 7th century in the east of the region dominated by the Southern Uí Néill.   … Continue reading

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BREFNI     Breffney; Breffny.  See BRÉIFNE.

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BREDA Lordship in the Holy Roman Empire;  the city of Breda is now in the southwestern Netherlands, west of Tilburg, SSE of Rotterdam, and northeast of Antwerp. Three families had held the lordship when, in 1326, the heiress of the … Continue reading

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BRECONSHIRE     Brecknockshire; Sir Frycheiniog. Welsh county formed in 1536 from the Marcher lordships of Builth in the north, Hay in the east, Blaenllyfni in the southeast, and Brecon.  On its abolition in 1975, most of the county became the district … Continue reading

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BRECON   Marcher lordship in southeastern Wales;  the castle and town of Brecon (Aberhonddu) stand at the confluence of the River Honddu with the Usk, northwest of Abergavenny, south of Builth Wells, and north of Merthyr Tydvil.   Norman knights, … Continue reading

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BRECKNOCK An old alternative name for the town of Brecon, closer to the Welsh original of Brycheiniog;  likewise BRECKNOCKSHIRE for Breconshire.  With the changes in Welsh local government in 1975, Brecknock became the name of a district (abolished in 1996) … Continue reading

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