Latin name of Britain, preserved in poetry and as the proper name of the female figure who personifies the place on coinage, etc.
When Britain first, at Heaven's command
Arose from out the azure main;
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sang this strain:
"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."
[James Thomson, 1740]
updated on September 29, 2018