A Frisian lord who ruled in Brittany, until his wife cheated on him  

There where the English Channel and the Celtic Sea meet, is where the ships of the Frisian brothers Corsold and Coarchion roamed, raided and ruled in the early sixth century. For a while they even had their own kingdom. Breton legends tell that the village of Kersaout ‘Corseul’ was the residence of dux Corsold. Also,Continue reading “A Frisian lord who ruled in Brittany, until his wife cheated on him  “

Joan of Arc an inspiration for Land Wursten

In the year 1500 a girl by the name Tjede Peckes was born in the hamlet of Padingbüttel in Land Wursten, on the eastern banks of the River Weser. A salt marsh area the Wurstfriesen ‘Wurst-Frisians’ had managed to embank and cultivate. For centuries they had enjoyed living in a lord-free farmers republic. Toward theContinue reading “Joan of Arc an inspiration for Land Wursten”

Walfrid, You’ll Never Walk Alone.

This post is not about Aindreas Ó Céirín (1840-1915), better known as Brother Walfrid from Ireland and who founded the Scottish football club Celtic. No, this post is about the original. The Frisian named Walfrid. Who was murdered by a bunch of roaming Vikings in the late tenth century. These atrocities took place at theContinue reading “Walfrid, You’ll Never Walk Alone.”

Pagare il fio

Pagare il fio is Italian for ‘paying the penalty’. More literally, it means ‘paying the fee’. It is an expression the Italian language inherited from the Barbarians from the North when they toppled the Western Roman Empire. The English word fee originates from Old English feoh, which means ‘cattle’. The Mid-Frisian word for cattle stillContinue reading “Pagare il fio”

They want you as a new recruit

‘In the navy’, is a song of village people. Of the small villages along the southern coast of the North Sea. A water people once united in the mythical Seven Sealands. And, a people who laid the foundations of two of history’s most impressive navies. That of England, and that of the Republic of theContinue reading “They want you as a new recruit”

Like Father, Unlike Son

The Battle of Tours in 732 was a turning point in the wars against the Umayyad Caliphate. The Caliphate was one of the biggest empires in history, but it lost this battle. At the confluence of the rivers Clain and Vienne, the Franks, led by statesman maior domo Charles Martel, only just managed to defeatContinue reading “Like Father, Unlike Son”

Frisia, a Viking Graveyard

When reading about the famous deeds of great Viking warriors, often not much attention is given to the moments of failure. Not much is written about where and when the glorious men, and women, died. As it turns out, the coast of Frisia is one big Viking graveyard. It is here, in the (still) smellyContinue reading “Frisia, a Viking Graveyard”

History is written by the victors – a history of the credits

New York City, the Capital of the World. Other names are Gotham, Modern Gomorrah, The Big Apple, Empire City and Baghdad-on-the-Subway. With Times Square being the self-proclaimed Centre of the Universe. Amidst all this grandeur and bigness, portraits of two seventeenth-century men from the small villages Peperga and Koudum in the south of province Friesland,Continue reading “History is written by the victors – a history of the credits”

A Theelacht. What a great idea!

Halfway the ninth century, Vikings had established more or less permanent presence in Frisia in the former pagus ‘district’ called Nordendi, also named Norditi. By the year 884, the Frisians were fed up with it. They forged swords and axes, raised an army and drove the Norsemen out. For good. It took exactly 10,377 livesContinue reading “A Theelacht. What a great idea!”

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”