The Bretons are a cultural grouping located in Brittany in northwest France, where the most outstanding megalithic monuments of Europe are situated. Today, the Bretons consider themselves a separate Celtic people, with a strong nationalist movement(c).
*It was in 1839 that the Rev. Algernon Herbert (1792-1855), Dean of Merton College, Oxford, was the first to use the term ‘megalithic’ in a paper describing the monuments of England and Brittany.*
Since the middle of the 19th century a number of commentators right up to the present have labelled the Bretons as Atlantean. These include R. Cedric Leonard(a), who In support of this idea cites both Stephen Oppenheimer and Herodotus, although he does so some reservations. Hank Harrison wrote Finding Atlantis in which, he supported the idea of a megalithic Atlantis with its centre of power probably located in the Morbihan area of Brittany.
In the 19th century, Ignatius Donnelly quoted Eugene Bodichon as expressing a similar view[021.389]. Bodichon’s opinion is simply based on the temperament and physical similarities between the Bretons and the Berbers of North Africa. Similarly, Gerry Forster refers to Bodichon’s opinion in his The Lost Continent Rediscovered(b). I do not think that the case is proven, even if the legendary kingdom of Ys, reputedly off the Brittany coast, is brought into the debate.
Eugene Bodichon (1810-1885) was a French physician and anthropologist who wrote in his 1847 book Études sur l’Algérie that “the Atlanteans among the ancients, passed for the favourite children of Neptune, they made known the worship of this god to other nations.” This has been interpreted by commentators, such as Robert Stacy-Judd[607.63], as a suggestion that the Atlanteans were the first known navigators.
Ignatius Donnelly quotes Dr. Bodichon as identifying the Atlanteans as the inhabitants of the ‘Barbary States’ or the Berber Coast of North Africa and that in turn the Berbers were related to the Bretons of ancient Armorica, who should also be considered Atlantean.