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 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 purpose ofContinue reading “You killed a man? That’ll be 1 weregeld, please”

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: the bard and harp player Bernlef who lived in Frisia somewhere between 760 and 840. “ThôContinue reading “One of history’s enlightening hikes, that of Bernlef”

Beacons of Nordfriesland

Nordfriesland, or North Frisia. The western coast and islands of the region Schleswig. Stretching from the Danish town Tønder in the north to the River Eider in the south. A broad strip of land by the sea with all islands in between. It is here where a specific celebration of bonfires takes place on 21Continue reading “Beacons of Nordfriesland”

Foreign Fighters returning from Viking war bands

From 2012 around 5,000 foreign fighters from European countries went to the Levant to fight. Six years later, an estimated fifteen percent has died in battle. Others are still in the Middle East, imprisoned or perhaps on the move to centers of conflict elsewhere in the world, now that the terrorist groups are in theContinue reading “Foreign Fighters returning from Viking war bands”

Upstalsboom: why solidarity is not the core of a collective

So many supranational organizations, whether governmental or juridical, are struggling with their legitimacy and survival, it is almost becoming tedious. Take for example the European Union with a humiliating Brexit and their seemingly, or actual, endless debates on urgent monetary and migration policy reforms. Take for example the International Criminal Court (ICC), accused for beingContinue reading “Upstalsboom: why solidarity is not the core of a collective”

Haute couture from the salt marshes

It was not the city of Parisius. Nor that of Lundenwic. Believe or not, the early-medieval center for expensive cloth and chique clothing in the northwest of Europe was the Wadden-Sea coast. Here the highly sought-after pallia Fresonica ‘Frisian cloth’ was fabricated and distributed over the wider world. It possessed a quality good enough forContinue reading “Haute couture from the salt marshes”

Women of Frisia: free and unbound?

Below Saskia Holleman. The reincarnation of Mata Hari, her fellow-citizen. Saskia, born in 1945 in the city of Leeuwarden in province Friesland. Standing naked in milky grasslands with Holstein-Friesian cows. In every detail the scenery you will be immersed into when hiking the Frisian Coast Trail. It is a pamphlet of the former Dutch PacifistContinue reading “Women of Frisia: free and unbound?”

Lodging etiquette in Ostfriesland

Before the owner of the house agrees to give you lodging for the night, it might be you have to show him your silver. Like a computer ‘safe button’ avant la lettre probably a child gets sore ears as well. These were the ways of the first legally blonds. Be prepared that you might encounterContinue reading “Lodging etiquette in Ostfriesland”

Old Migration Law

Hwasa thene vthemeda husath ieftha howath ieftha oppa sinne werf set, sa skel hi thes wachtia, hwetsa hi deth. Who receives a foreigner in his house or in his court or seats on his yard, shall be responsible for all that he does. This is codified law of ca. 1250, the so-called Brookmerbrief. The BrookmerbriefContinue reading “Old Migration Law”