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.”

Harbours, Hookers, Heroines and Women in Masquerade

Dockyards, quays, terminals, pilots, warehouses, wharves, anchorages, lighthouses and beacons, craftsmen, shipping companies, customs and other port authorities, fish auctions, boarding houses, lodgings, packing facilities etc. Seaports respond to the needs of everything that comes from the sea, or that leaves for it. Besides the needs of commerce, ports traditionally cater the demand for sexContinue reading “Harbours, Hookers, Heroines and Women in Masquerade”

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”

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”

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 wisemen 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 the River Sincfalam’. The River Flehum flowed intoContinue reading “A Frontier known as Watery Mess: the Coast of Flanders”

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”