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Nantes belongs historically and culturally to Brittany, a former duchy and province, and its omission from the modern Brittany région is controversial.Nantes was identified during classical antiquity as a port on the Loire.During the 17th century, after the establishment of the French colonial empire, Nantes gradually became the largest port in France and was responsible for nearly half of the 18th-century French Atlantic slave trade.The French Revolution resulted in an economic decline, but Nantes developed robust industries after 1850 (chiefly in shipbuilding and food processing).Nominoe (a Breton) became the first duke of Brittany, seizing Nantes in 850.Discord marked the first decades of Breton rule in Nantes as Breton lords fought among themselves, making the city vulnerable to Viking incursions.Ratiatum, founded under Augustus, developed more quickly than Nantes and was a major port in the region.
Feudalism took hold in France during the 10th and 11th centuries, and Nantes was the seat of a county founded in the ninth century.
Nantes is named after an ancient Gaulish people, the Namnetes, who established a settlement between the end of the second century and the beginning of the first century BC on the north bank of the Loire near its confluence with the Erdre.
The origin of the name "Namnetes" is uncertain, but is thought to come from the Gaulish root *nant- (river or stream, Like other cities in the region (including Paris), its name was replaced during the fourth century with a Gaulish one; Lutecia became Paris (city of the Parisii), and Darioritum became Vannes (city of the Veneti).).
In Gallo, the oïl language traditionally spoken in the region around Nantes, the city is spelled "Naunnt" or "Nantt".
Gallo pronunciation is identical to French, although northern speakers use a long The first inhabitants of what is now Nantes settled during the Bronze Age, later than in the surrounding regions (which have Neolithic monuments absent from Nantes).
) is a city in western France on the Loire River, 50 km (31 mi) from the Atlantic coast.