A severe case of inattentional blindness: the Frisian tribe’s name

The name Frisii for the people living on the southern coast of the North Sea is old. Very old. It dates from the Late Antiquity. Today we call them Frisians. Roman and Greek historians and bureaucrats have written down the tribe’s name of this Germanic or Celtic people in many texts. Almost two millennia ago.Continue reading “A severe case of inattentional blindness: the Frisian tribe’s name”

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”

To the end where it all began: ribbon Ribe

Let’s go to the omega, the end of the Frisia Coast Trail. To Ribe in southern Jutland, Denmark. The oldest town of Scandinavia. A town located on the banks of the river Ribe Å. A modest river that flows out into the Wadden Sea opposite the islands Fanø and Mandø. It started as a seasonalContinue reading “To the end where it all began: ribbon Ribe”

Dissolute Elisabeth and her devil

In the Middle Age lived a once promiscuous girl named Elisabeth. She had come to repentance, found honourable employ as a maid, and had established herself at the hamlet of Vrieswijc, modern Friezenwijk. Hamlet Friezenwijk is situated nearby the scenic village of Heukelum in the region Batavia (viz. region Betuwe) in province Gelderland, the Netherlands.Continue reading “Dissolute Elisabeth and her devil”

Filmstar Ben-Hur made peace with Frisian raiders

Who does not know the epic movie Ben-Hur released on the screens in 1959? The movie in which masculine Hollywood actor, and civil rights activist, Charlton Heston played the role of Judah Ben-Hur. A role for which he was awarded an Oscar. Six years later, Heston played the role of Chrysagon in the movie TheContinue reading “Filmstar Ben-Hur made peace with Frisian raiders”

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”

The Thing is…

The heart of western democracies is the joint assembly of parliament, cabinet and high councils of state. Its Germanic origin is the thing, also called ting, ding, ðing or þing in other writings. Today, national assemblies in Scandinavian countries still refer to this ancient tradition. For example, the parliament the Faroes Løgting, of Greenland Landsting,Continue reading “The Thing is…”

A Frontier known as Watery Mess: the Coast of Flanders

At the end of the eighth century, by decree of Charlemagne and under supervision of the wise men Wlemar and Saxmund, customary law of the Frisians was codified. It is the Lex Frisionum. Its jurisdiction was, among other, the land inter Flehum et Sincfalam fluvium ‘between Vlie and Sincfalam river’. The river Flehum flowed intoContinue reading “A Frontier known as Watery Mess: the Coast of Flanders”

10 words to travel 1,500 years and miles across the Frisian shores

Are these white letters on the wall encrypted gibberish to you? With learning a handful of keywords, you’ll have deciphered them in no time. Even better, tens of thousands of town names will hold no longer any secrets for you. Each placename will reveal its unique story to you. You will make a great impressionContinue reading “10 words to travel 1,500 years and miles across the Frisian shores”

The Raider’s Portrait of Appels

In the year 1934, while dredging upstream the River Scheldt near the village of Appels in the region of Flanders, an extraordinary ship’s figurehead (see featured image above) was found. It is dated around the year AD 400. Among scholars there seems agreement it is Germanic and that it originates from the southern North SeaContinue reading “The Raider’s Portrait of Appels”