Mythology in France
The mythologies in present-day France encompass the mythology of the Gauls, Franks, Normans, Bretons, and other peoples living in France, those ancient stories about divine or heroic beings that these particular cultures believed to be true and that often use supernatural events or characters to explain the nature of the universe and humanity. French mythology is listed for each culture.
Gauls were another subset of Celtic people. Celtic cosmology predominates their mythology:
Category: Deities of Gaul category
Frankish mythology and legends revolve around Charlemagne as champion of Christianity and mythological king to France. A Christian cosmology and epic stories predominate. While not entirely about mythology, these legendary histories of France contain some mythological epic qualities:
- Matter of France
- Chanson de geste ("Songs of Heroic Deeds") - The Charlemagne Cycle epics, particularly the first known as Geste du Roi ("Songs of the King"). It concerns a King's role as champion of Christianity.
The Normans have Norse mythology in their Viking heritage, however, they were known to readily assimilate into other cultures. After a generation or two, the Normans were generally indistinguishable from their French neighbours.
The following magical and legendary creatures in French narratives of the Middle Ages have mythological roots. While many of the original myths were replaced by Christianity, these mythological creatures remained a part of the cultural folklore, legend, epics and fairy tales as part of deeply embedded spiritual allegories and mythological archetypes:
- European dragon - Dragons from Norse mythology, Germanic mythology and Greek Mythology were often woven into folklore and myths as the greatest opponents of the feudal knights and kings.
- Fee - Fairies and Elves (See etymology of "Fairy") - The word Fairy comes from the French name of the Fates in Greek mythology, but they had morphed into strange, fantastic, magical beings.
- Dames Blanches - were female spirits, who may come from the mythology of the Matres guardian goddesses.
- Allegory in the Middle Ages - Allegory was a prime mover for the synthesis and transformation between the ancient world mythology (for example of the Bretons and Gauls) and the "new" Christian world mythology that spread through France, for example with the Franks.
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