Rowing souls of the dead to Britain: the ferryman of Solleveld

In 2004, a unique discovery was made at the early-medieval grave field of Solleveld, just south of the city of The Hague: a boat grave. Exactly two hundred kilometers, perfectly east, across the North Sea, of the legendary boat burial of Sutton Hoo. With this one-of-a-kind found, the Netherlands joined the ranks of ship-burial-countries. AContinue reading “Rowing souls of the dead to Britain: the ferryman of Solleveld”

It all began with piracy

The arrival of the Romans in northwest Europe at the beginning of the era, with the River Rhine as frontier, was the starting signal for five centuries of widespread piracy. Piracy that not only affected the coasts of Britannia and Gaul. It stirred things up even as far as the coasts of the Mediterranean andContinue reading “It all began with piracy”

Merciless medieval merchants

The earliest proof of Frisian merchants trading in slaves dates from the seventh century. It was Venerable Bede himself, the Father of English history, who documented this criminal act. It was a merchant doing business on the London markets, who also traded in slaves. In this blog post we shed some light on this darkContinue reading “Merciless medieval merchants”

The Abbey of Egmond and the Rise of the Gerulfing Dynasty

Monk Ecgberht of Ripon was the driving force behind the Christianization of the headstrong heathens of Frisia. From the influential monastery Rath Melsigi in Ireland, he released salvo after salvo of monks, priests and other clergymen on Frisia. Monks Willibrord and Adalbert were yet another two of his spiritual soldiers. After having received their educationContinue reading “The Abbey of Egmond and the Rise of the Gerulfing Dynasty”

We’ll drive our ships to new land

In the series Myths of Nations we disclose to you this time that the Frisians, in fact, did not come from India, as the old legends tell us. A bummer, we know. And, what is proven yet again in this post, we should listen more often to Led Zeppelin. In particular to their Immigrant Song.Continue reading “We’ll drive our ships to new land”

Have a Frisians Cocktail

With the coming seasonal festivities at the end of the year, it is appropriate to serve you a flavorful cocktail. It is a cocktail from the list ‘Myths of Nations’, namely the ‘Frisians Cocktail’. Its recipe is not as old as some people thought it was, or would like it to be, but it isContinue reading “Have a Frisians Cocktail”

You killed a man? That’ll be 1 weregeld, please

High-medieval Frisia. An area stretching from the River Vlie in the Netherlands to the River Weser in Germany. The title of this blog post was a verdict of around the year 1100, concerning the slaying of a man. The murderer had to pay a so-called ‘weregeld’. We shall explain in this post what the purposeContinue reading “You killed a man? That’ll be 1 weregeld, please”

Liudger, the first Frisian apostle

Liudger succeeded where other evangelists failed. He finally managed to convert the pagan Frisians to Christianity, because he “spoke their language”. Did he really? A very thorough study from Hinne Wagenaar reveals quite a startling truth about this Frisian apostle. Some time ago I stumbled upon an article from Hinne Wagenaar, called “Liudger, apostle ofContinue reading “Liudger, the first Frisian apostle”

One of history’s enlightening hikes, that of Bernlef

This blog post is not about the Westfrisian writer Hendrik Jan Marsman (1937-2012) whose pen-name was Bernlef. Nor is this blog post about the student corporation Bernlef in the city of Groningen in the Netherlands. This is all about the original: the bard and harp player Bernlef who lived in Frisia somewhere between 760 andContinue reading “One of history’s enlightening hikes, that of Bernlef”

Porcupines bore U.S. bucks

On May 5th, 2018, it was exactly two centuries ago that Karl Marx was born. When in 1867 the good man published the first part of Das Kapital, Marx was actually 1,300 years too late to turn the tide. The ship had sailed. Ships of selfish Frisian merchants in pursuit of personal wealth, to beContinue reading “Porcupines bore U.S. bucks”