Brill’s Digital Library of World War I

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Albion

(236 words)

Author(s): Reimann, Aribert
Albion (Celtic: white-land) Earliest known name given to the island of Great Britain by Greek geographers of the 5th century BC, transmitted by the Roman poet Avianus. In Roman times the term was also associated with the white cliffs of Dover (Lat. albus = white). During the Middle Ages, “Albion” came to be used as a synonym for the Kingdom of England, and later the British Empire, most often in a negative connotation as “perfidious Albion.” This derogatory slogan has its origins in France, where it can be traced as far back as the 14th…

Poppy

(327 words)

Author(s): Reimann, Aribert
Poppy The poppy is a wildflower that commonly bloomed on the battlefields of the Western Front. A perennial that grows in disturbed soil, the poppy would be one of the first plants to sprout in the barren stretches of no man’s land. Because of its red color, the poppy became a symbol of the copious soldiers’ deaths and bloodshed during the war, especially in the British war and remembrance culture. The poppy likewise developed into a symbol of new life on the blood-soaked battlefields, of hope an…