Magnus’ Choice. The Origins of the Frisian Freedom

According to medieval legends, around the year 800 Charlemagne and pope Leo came into conflict with the citizens of Rome. The pope was being attacked and fled the city. It was an army of ‘naked’ Frisians headed by Magnus that retook the citadel and the eternal city. In return Charlemagne offered wealth, weapons, treasure andContinue reading “Magnus’ Choice. The Origins of the Frisian Freedom”

Groove is in the Hearth

The hearth was in pre- and early-medieval times the holy of holies, the heart of the family. Where you would lay back and groove. Groove on the sound of the endless rains on the thatched roof, or on the sound of the sea water at your feet below. Sloshing against the grassy slopes of yourContinue reading “Groove is in the Hearth”

Croeso Gerddwyr

Last year one of the bastards hiked the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in southwestern Wales (Cymru), a 290 kilometres long trail. As every walker knows, hiking, pilgrimage and spiritual peace are one and the same thing. The coast path takes you after nine days of walking to the homeland of Saint David, Wales’ patron saint. SaintContinue reading “Croeso Gerddwyr”

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”

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 post is not about the Westfrisian writer Hendrik Jan Marsman (1937-2012), whose pen-name was Bernlef. Nor is this post about the student corporation Bernlef in the city of Groningen in the Netherlands. This is all about the original. Bard and harp player Bernlef, who lived in Frisia somewhere between 760 and 840. And ifContinue reading “One of history’s enlightening hikes, that of Bernlef”

Finally, King Redbad made his point in the European Commission – via Facebook

“I can not live without the company of my forefathers”, Redbad said in an interview in 718. In 2018 this sentence caused turmoil in the social media and the European Union. Having such an impact 1300 after your death deserves some further investigation, we believe. This article is about a medieval king, freedom of religion,Continue reading “Finally, King Redbad made his point in the European Commission – via Facebook”

Island Walcheren: once Sodom and Gomorrah of the North Sea

In contrast to the Sunday’s rest of today, for centuries island Walcheren was a pagan retreat and safe haven for the Vikings with their slightly aggressive business model. Heathendom was rooted deeply on this island. Even in the eleventh century, the Catholic Church still feared its inhabitants would return to their former pagan gods andContinue reading “Island Walcheren: once Sodom and Gomorrah of the North Sea”

The biography of Aldgisl, unplugged

Ever heart of Aldgisl? Even if you did, you probably have a hard time separating fact from fiction. For a fact it is the first king of the Dutch lowlands known to have lived. But is Redbad his real son? Follow us in our deep dive into ancient historical sources. Quite recently King Redbad becameContinue reading “The biography of Aldgisl, unplugged”

How to bury your mother-in-law

Your mother-in-law was probably chasing your tail during life. When she dies, do not think you are free at last. Looking for advice how you make sure she does not haunt you anymore when she is dead? Then this post is something for you. Here is a more than two-thousand-years-old suggestion in case you doContinue reading “How to bury your mother-in-law”