The Info List - Frisians

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The Frisians
are a Germanic ethnic group indigenous to the coastal parts of the Netherlands
and northwestern Germany.[1][2] They inhabit an area known as Frisia
and are concentrated in the Dutch provinces of Friesland
and Groningen and, in Germany, East Frisia
and North Frisia (which was a part of Denmark
until 1864).[3] The Frisian languages
Frisian languages
are still spoken by more than 500,000 people; West Frisian is officially recognized in the Netherlands
(in Friesland), and North Frisian
North Frisian
and Saterland Frisian
Saterland Frisian
are recognized as regional languages in Germany.


1 History 2 Language 3 Identity 4 See also 5 References

5.1 Works cited

6 Further reading 7 External links

History[edit] The ancient Frisii
enter recorded history in the Roman account of Drusus's 12 BC war against the Rhine Germans
and the Chauci.[4] They occasionally appear in the accounts of Roman wars against the Germanic tribes of the region, up to and including the Revolt of the Batavi around 70 AD. Frisian mercenaries were hired to assist the Roman invasion of Britain in the capacity of cavalry.[5] They are not mentioned again until c. 296, when they were deported into Roman territory as laeti (i.e., Roman-era serfs; see Binchester Roman Fort and Cuneus Frisionum).[6] The discovery of a type of earthenware unique to 4th century Frisia, called terp Tritzum, shows that an unknown number of them were resettled in Flanders
and Kent,[7] probably as laeti under Roman coercion. From the 3rd through the 5th centuries Frisia
suffered marine transgressions that made most of the land uninhabitable, aggravated by a change to a cooler and wetter climate.[8][9][10][11] Whatever population may have remained dropped dramatically, and the coastal lands remained largely unpopulated for the next two centuries. When conditions improved, Frisia
received an influx of new settlers, mostly Angles
and Saxons. These people would eventually be referred to as 'Frisians', though they were not necessarily descended from the ancient Frisii. It is these 'new Frisians' who are largely the ancestors of the medieval and modern Frisians.[12] By the end of the 6th century, Frisian territory had expanded westward to the North Sea
North Sea
coast and, in the 7th century, southward down to Dorestad. This farthest extent of Frisian territory is sometimes referred to as Frisia
Magna. Early Frisia
was ruled by a High King, with the earliest reference to a 'Frisian King' being dated 678. In the early 8th century the Frisian nobles came into increasing conflict with the Franks
to their south, resulting in a series of wars in which the Frankish Empire
Frankish Empire
eventually subjugated Frisia
in 734. These wars benefited attempts by Anglo-Irish missionaries (which had begun with Saint Boniface) to convert the Frisian populace to Christianity, in which Saint Willibrord
Saint Willibrord
largely succeeded.[13] Some time after the death of Charlemagne, the Frisian territories were in theory under the control of the Count of Holland, but in practice the Hollandic counts, starting with Count Arnulf in 993, were unable to assert themselves as the sovereign lords of Frisia. The resulting stalemate resulted in a period of time called the 'Frisian freedom', a period in which feudalism and serfdom (as well as central or judicial administration) did not exist, and in which the Frisian lands only owed their allegiance to the Holy Roman Emperor. During the 13th century, however, the counts of Holland became increasingly powerful and, starting in 1272, sought to reassert themselves as rightful lords of the Frisian lands in a series of wars, which (with a series of lengthy interruptions) ended in 1422 with the Hollandic conquest of Western Frisia
and with the establishment of a more powerful noble class in Central and Eastern Frisia. In 1524, Frisia
became part of the Seventeen Provinces
Seventeen Provinces
and in 1568 joined the Dutch revolt
Dutch revolt
against Philip II, king of Spain, heir of the Burgundian territories; Central Frisia
has remained a part of the Netherlands
ever since. The eastern periphery of Frisia
would become part of various German states (later Germany) and Denmark. An old tradition existed in the region of exploitation of peatlands. Language[edit] As both the Anglo- Saxons
of England
and the early Frisians
were formed from largely identical tribal confederacies, their respective languages were very similar. Old Frisian is the most closely related language to Old English[14] and the modern Frisian dialects are in turn the closest related languages to contemporary English, together forming the linguistic category of Anglo-Frisian. The Frisian language group itself is divided into three mutually unintelligible languages:

West Frisian, spoken in the Dutch province of Friesland Saterland
Frisian, spoken in the German municipality of Saterland
just south of East Frisia North Frisian, spoken in the German region of North Frisia
(within the Kreis of Nordfriesland) on the west coast of Jutland.

Of these three languages both Saterland Frisian
Saterland Frisian
(2,000 speakers) and North Frisian
North Frisian
(10,000 speakers)[15] are endangered. West Frisian is spoken by around 354,000 native speakers and is not threatened.[16] Identity[edit] Today there exists a tripartite division of the Frisians, into North Frisians, East Frisians
East Frisians
and West Frisians, caused by Frisia's constant loss of territory in the Middle Ages. The West Frisians, in general, do not necessarily see themselves as part of a larger group of Frisians, and, according to a 1970 poll, identify themselves more with the Dutch than with the East or North Frisians.[17] Therefore, the term 'Frisian', when applied to the speakers of all three Frisian languages, is a linguistic, ethnic and/or cultural concept, not a political one. See also[edit]

Ancient Germanic culture portal

languages Frisia

East Frisia North Frisia West Frisia

Frisian Americans Frisian church
Frisian church
in Rome Frisian Islands Frisian languages

East Frisian ( Saterland
Frisian) North Frisian West Frisian

Friso-Saxon dialects

East Frisian Low Saxon Gronings

Ingvaeonic languages West Frisian Dutch List of Frisians List of Germanic tribes


^ Minahan, James (2000). One Europe, many nations: a historical dictionary of European national groups. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 769. ISBN 0313309841. Retrieved May 25, 2013.  ^ Danver, Steven L. (10 March 2015). Native Peoples of the World: An Encyclopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues. Routledge. p. 307. ISBN 1317464001. Frisians
are a Germanic people
Germanic people
that reside in Germany
and the Netherlands  ^ Interfriesischer Rat / Ynterfryske Rie - Start ^ Lucius Cassius Dio Cocceianus (229), "Book LIV, Ch 32", in Cary, Earnest (translator), Dio's Roman History, VI, London: William Heinemann (published 1917), p. 365  ^ Potter, Timothy W.; Johns, Catherine (1992). Roman Britain. Exploring the Roman world. Berkeley: University of California. p. 190. ISBN 9780520081680.  ^ Grane, Thomas (2007), "From Gallienus to Probus - Three decades of turmoil and recovery", The Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and Southern Scandinavia–a Northern Connection! (PhD thesis), Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen, p. 109  ^ Looijenga, Jantina Helena (1997), "History, Archaeology and Runes", in SSG Uitgeverij, Runes Around the North Sea
North Sea
and on the Continent AD 150–700; Texts and Contexts (PhD dissertation) (PDF), Groningen: Groningen University, p. 30, ISBN 90-6781-014-2 . Looijenga cites Gerrets' The Anglo-Frisian
Relationship Seen from an Archaeological Point of View (1995) for this contention. ^ Berglund, Björn E. (2002), "Human impact and climate changes—synchronous events and a causal link?", Quaternary International, 105 (1), Elsevier (published 2003), p. 10  ^ Ejstrud, Bo; et al. (2008), Ejstrud, Bo; Maarleveld, Thijs J., eds., The Migration Period, Southern Denmark
and the North Sea, Esbjerg: Maritime Archaeology Programme, ISBN 978-87-992214-1-7  ^ Issar, Arie S. (2003), Climate Changes during the Holocene and their Impact on Hydrological Systems, Cambridge: Cambridge University, ISBN 978-0-511-06118-9  ^ Louwe Kooijmans, L. P. (1974), The Rhine/Meuse Delta. Four studies on its prehistoric occupation and Holocene geology (PhD Dissertation), Leiden: Leiden University Press, hdl:1887/2787  ^ Bazelmans, Jos (2009), "The early-medieval use of ethnic names from classical antiquity: The case of the Frisians", in Derks, Ton; Roymans, Nico, Ethnic Constructs in Antiquity: The Role of Power and Tradition, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University, pp. 321–337, ISBN 978-90-8964-078-9  ^  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "St. Willibrord". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.  ^ Kortlandt, Frederik (1999). "The origin of the Old English
Old English
dialects revisited" (PDF). University of Leiden.  ^ "Die friesische Volksgruppe in Schleswig-Holstein" (in German). Diet of Schleswig-Holstein. Retrieved 4 August 2011.  ^ Matras, Yaron. "Frisian (North)". Archive of Endangered and Smaller Languages. University of Manchester.  ^ Tamminga, Douwe A. (1970). Friesland, feit en onfeit [Frisia, 'Facts and Fiction'] (in Dutch). Leeuwarden: Junior Kamer Friesland. 

Works cited[edit]

Tacitus, Publius Cornelius (n.d.), "Germania", Internet Medieval Sourcebook  Verhart, Leo (2006), Op Zoek naar de Kelten, Nieuwe archeologische ontdekkingen tussen Noordzee en Rijn (Searching for the Celts, new archaeological Discoveries between North Sea
North Sea
and Rhine) (in Dutch), Matrijs, ISBN 978-90-5345-303-2 

Further reading[edit]

Greg Woolf, "Cruptorix and his kind. Talking ethnicity on the middle ground", Ton Derks, Nico Roymans (ed.), Ethnic Constructs in Antiquity: The Role of Power and Tradition (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009) (Amsterdam Archaeological Studies, 13), 207-218. Jos Bazelmans, "The early-medieval use of ethnic names from classical antiquity. The case of the Frisians", in Ton Derks, Nico Roymans (ed.), Ethnic Constructs in Antiquity: The Role of Power and Tradition (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2009) (Amsterdam Archaeological Studies, 13), 321-329.

External links[edit]

 "Frisians". Encyclopædia Britannica. 11 (11th ed.). 1911.  Fryske Akademy, the Frisian Academy (in West Frisian) (in Dutch) Lex Frisionum in Latin, Dutch and English History of the Frisian folk

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