The legend of Breogan

The legend of Breogán

Legend has it that Breogán, considered the King of Galicia in Celtic times (or, to be more specific, the king of the Celtic tribes, as the concept of nation-state did not appear until the 19th century), built a tower from which his descendants caught sight of the Emerald Isle and decided to set sail to conquer it.

statue of breogan

The statue of Breogán with the Tower of Hercules behind him.

According to the Leabhar Ghabhála Érenn, a compilation of previous Irish legends made in the 12th century, Breogán, son of Brath (Breo being another form of spelling Brath, and breo-genus literally meaning Breo’s son), was a Celtic Leader who founded, after conquering the lands of Galicia, a city call Brigantia, where he built a tower caller the Tower of Breogán.

torre de hercules

The Tower of Hercules, although built by the Romans, is often identified as the Tower of Breogán, built in Brigantia, which nowadays is known as A Coruña.

When he died, he was succeeded by his son Ith who, one day, glimpsed a green and fertile land from the top of the tower, which he decided to conquer. He failed in his enterprise and his body had to be brought back to Brigantia to be buried. However, his son, Mil, continued with the campaign and managed to defeat the Thuatha-Dé-Daman and rule the whole island of Ireland.

Did you know about this legend? What do you think?

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