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British or Welsh? National Identity in Twelfth-Century Wales
English Historical Review, Vol. 116 (2001)
The names used to define countries and peoples have figured prominently in studies of how national identities were articulated in medieval Europe. Notions of identity are, after all, integrally bound up with the words used to express them. Admittedly, interpreting the significance of such names is far from straightforward. It cannot be assumed that ethnic terms used in written texts invariably represent notions of identity that were widely held by the people thus labelled: they may equally well reflect the predilections of authors seeking to promote a particular concept of identity, as has persuasively been argued, to take a well known example, with respect to Bede’s emphasis on the ‘English people’.