Origins of the Frisians (1750 B.C. – 700 B.C.)
The origins of the Frisians lie in an area that roughly covers South Scandinavia, Denmark and the Weser/Oder region. In the period between 1750 and 700 B.C. they were still part of a larger group of peoples called the Germanics. This larger group was of the mainly of the Nordic race (dolichocranic). (Among the Nordics there also lived a -smaller- group of brachycranics whom probably had the position of slave).
After 1400 B.C. an expansion of the Germanics into southern Europe took place.
Around 800 B.C. the original Germanic group had split into a West-, East- (Goths and Vandals) and North Germanic group (Scandinavians). The differences can be traced in language and culture. At the end of the Bronze Age (700 B.C.) the expansion of the West Germanics had reached the coastal areas of northwest Germany (currently the province Hanover).
The West Germanics can be divided, along religious lines, into three tribegroups, the Inguaeones, Istuaeones and Irminones. The Frisians belong to the Inguaeones. The name Inguaevones is derived from the god Inguz; the Frisians believed they descended from him. Inguz is another name for the Germanic god Freyr. Other tribes belonging to the Inguaeones were, the Jutes, Warns, Angles, and the Saxons. Of these tribes the Saxons were closest in kin to the Frisians. All Inguaeones lived in the coastal areas along the North Sea. The Chaukians, also a tribe that lived along the North Sea, belong to the Irminones.
From north-west Germany, to be exact the coastal areas around the mouths of the rivers Eems and Weser, the Inguaeones colonized the coastal clay-districts of the current Dutch provinces of Friesland and Groningen (700 – 600 B.C.).
The Heathen period in Friesland (700 B.C. – 800 A.D.)
So between 700 and 600 B.C. the forefathers of the Frisians colonized the coastal clay-districts of the current Dutch provinces of Friesland and Groningen. The largest group came from the Eems/Weser region. Later also people came from the higher sandy regions to the east of Friesland (currently called Drenthe).
Between 700 and 400 B.C. one can’t speak of a separate Frisian group, since there is still one homogenic culture between Texel (Netherlands) and the Weser (Germany).
Between 400 and 200 B.C. significant cultural changes take place. From Leiden in the south to Delfzijl in the north a ‘Proto-Frisian’ culture was evolving. In 200 B.C. a distinctly Frisian culture can be found between the river Eems (Germany) and Wijk-bij-Duurstede (Netherlands). For the first time the Frisians are an ethnic entity!
To the north of the Eems lives a tribe called the Chaukians. An interesting fact is that the Chaukians belonged mainly to the Falian race (Dolichocranic with a broad face). The Frisians mainly to the Nordic race (Dolichocranic with narrow face). In the region currently known as the province of Groningen there was a melting together of both races.
There was also a small group of brachycranic people living among the Nordic Frisians, of a non-Germanic origin. They inhabited the Netherlands before the Germanic-invasion, and were probably of pre-Indogermanic origin.
Two centuries after the colonization of the clay-district the sea level stars to rise. To encounter the periodical flooding of their homesteads the Frisians built earth-mounds known as terps. There were several periodes of sealevel rising (they were accompanied by storm flooding), consequently there are several separate terpbuilding periodes that coincide with the periodes the sealevel rose.
There are three separate terpbuilding generations:
- The first terp-generation dates from 500 B.C.
- the second terp-generation dates from 200 B.C. till 50 B.C.
- and the third terp-generation dates from 700 A.D.
In 250 A.D. the sealevel rising and the coinciding storm flooding was so dramatic that almost all of the Frisians left the clay district only to return in 400 A.D..
Contact with Romans
Julius Caesar conquered Celtic Galicia between 58 and 50 B.C. (these are the current countries France and Belgium). In doing so he moved the borders of the Roman Empire up to the river Rhine. At this point in history the Frisians still lived north of the Rhine, and thus fell outside the borders of the Roman Empire. Under Emperor Augustus (28 B.C. – 14 A.D.) the Romans wanted to make the river Elbe their most northerly border, instead of the Rhine. The consequences would be that the entire Frisian Folk would fall under the influence of the Romans. The Frisians chose to collaborate with the Romans. This happened when Drusus, and his army, arrived at the Rhine in 12 B.C. The Frisians and Drusus negotiated a truce by which the Frisians had to, regularly, pay taxes in the form of cowhides.
Under Emperor Tiberius the taxes became to high, and the Frisians could no longer comply with them. The result was that: first the Romans would take their cattle, after that their land and at last their women and children were taken to be sold in slavery. In 28 A.D. the Frisians rebelled, and hung the taxmen. To retaliate, the Romans sent their legions to punish and conquer Friesland. But the Roman army was slain in a battle at the Baduhennawood. The name of the Frisians was now a feared one in Rome.
There was no Roman reprisal, since Rome had its own internal problems. For the next 20 years Friesland was free.
In 47 A.D. the Frisians made another truce with the Romans. This time with Corbulo. An agreement was made in which their was a mutual understanding that the Rhine was to be the border that both parties had to respect. Friesland would fall under a Roman sphere of influence, but it would no longer be occupied.
In 58 A.D. Frisians colonized an uninhabited strip of land south of the Rhine, thereby breaking their agreement with Corbulo. Two Frisian leaders, Verritus and Malorix (these are Roman translations of their Frisian names), went to Rome to bid the Roman Emperor Nero if they could stay. Alas, the Frisians were violently extradited from the region below the Rhine.
In 69 A.D. the Batavians (a Germanic tribe situated in central Netherlands, and the southern neighbors of the Frisians) also rebel against the Roman occupiers. This region was the northwestern cornerstone of the Roman Empire. The Frisians and the Canninifats (also a Germanic neighbortribe of the Frisians in the west of the Netherlands) became the allies of the Batavians. Sadly the uprising fails. The Romans defeat the Batavians.
The Rhine remains the Roman border until the collapse of the Roman Empire in 410 A.D..
Around 250 A.D. almost all Frisians disappear from the Frisian coastal-clay districts. The rising of the sealevel makes it impossible to live in the coastal areas of Friesland for the next 150 years (250 – 400 A.D.). In this period a fraction of the Frisians and the Chaukians (a Germanic tribe neighboring north of Friesland) form a new tribal alliance called the Franks. This is the tribe that will emigrate south and form the Frankish Empire (currently known as France).
After 400 A.D. the rising of the sealevel halted. Frisian people and their nobility returned to the Frisian clay-district which, by then, had already been colonized by peoples from the Elbe and Sleeswick/Holstein region. These tribes assimilated and continued as the Frisian tribe we know today.
In 300 A.D. other smaller West Germanics tribes had also formed larger tribal-groups known as: Allemandes, Saxons, Thuringers, and Bayerns. The Chaukian tribe disappears altogether. It has assimilated in the Frisian- and Saxon-tribe.
Migration Period (350 – 550 A.D.)
For two centuries (350 – 550 A.D.) the tide of the Migration of Nations sweeps over Europe. Germanic tribes migrate all over Western Europe after the collapse of the Roman Empire. Thereby forming new tribes in the newly conquered areas, and for the first time large organized Germanic states. In Europe the major Germanic states were the Jutish, Saxon, Anglo-Saxon, Frankish, Burgondish, West-Gothic, East-Gothic, Vandal and Frisian.
Around 450 A.D. Angles, Saxons, Jutes and a Frisian fraction cross the North Sea and establish the Anglo-Saxon empire (currently known as England). The Frisians colonized the county of Kent in southeast England.
Around 480 A.D. Clovis establishes the Frankish Empire (currently known as France). As said before the Frankish tribe originated from the Chaukans and Frisians.
Around 400 A.D. the Frisians started establishing their Frisian Empire. In 500 and especially 600 A.D. there was a fast expansion and a strong increase in trade. At its peak, in the 7th century, this empire consisted of the coastal areas from north Belgium to southern Denmark. And it controlled a large part of the North Sea traderoutes from Friesland to England, France, Scandinavia and northwest Russia.
The Migration Period seems to have had only a slight change in racial characteristics.
In the sixth century the written sources begin to speak again about the Frisians. A ‘Great-Friesland’ (Magna Frisia) has been created. This historical Great-Friesland consisted of a long narrow strip of land along the North Sea, from the Swin (Belgium) in the south, to the Weser (Germany) in the north. This historic Frisian empire lasted from 500 A.D. to 719 A.D. It neighbored to the Saxons in the north and east, the Franks in the south and the Anglo-Saxons in the west across the North Sea.
Frisian expansion under Heathen kings (400 A.D.-734 A.D.)
Very little is known about this period in history. There are no historical documents of Frisian origin, and a few documents of Frankish and Anglo-Saxon origin. The Frankish writings do not always present a historically just picture of the Frisians. Ever since the Frankish conversion to Christianity under Clovis (496 A.D.) the Frisians had become their major antagonists, as a result the Frankish texts had become colored for political and religious reasons.
Clovis converted to Catholicism for power-political reasons. The Gallo-Roman aristocracy in France and the church in Rome, whose support Clovis needed during his empire-building period, were both Catholic. Other Germanic tribes in the former hemisphere of the Roman Empire (Goths and Vandals) had converted to a form of Christianity more suitable to the Germanic soul, called Arianisme.
The Germanic tribes in the north, including the Frisians, were still practicing the religious believes of there forefathers, currently known as Odinism or Asatru. In this article the term ‘Heathen’ will be used.
In becoming Catholic the Franks automatically became the greatest antagonists of the Frisians.
Around 500 A.D. Clovis had formed his Frankish Empire, which was to be the heir of the Roman Empire with blessings of the pope in Rome. The most northerly border of this empire was formed by the cities Utrecht and Dorestad, neighboring to the Frisians.
After the death of Clovis in 511 A.D. the Frisians took advantage of the internal Frankish power struggle and captured Utrecht and Dorestad. Both cities would stay Frisian for over a hundred years (511 – 628 A.D.). The capture of these cities was of very great interest to the Frisians, since they were the gateways of trade from the Saxon and Frankish hinterlands to the North Sea. In the sixth and the seventh century the Frisians were the major traders on the North Sea. The North Sea was even called ‘Mare Frisicum’ during this period.
From a religious point of view the Frisian heatenisme was no longer under threat of Frankish Christianity since there was no sally port (Utrecht).
In the year 628 A.D. the Frankish/Christian king Dagobert defeats a combined force of Saxons an Frisians (both Saxons and Frisians were Heathen). By doing so the city of Utrecht fell to the Franks. Dagobert erected a church in Utrecht and ordered a bishop to start converting the Frisians. Christianity had become a tool in the hands of the Franks to destroy the Frisian independence north of the Rhine.
King Finn Folcwalding (lived somewhere in the beginning of the 6th century) King Finn may have been a Frisian king in the sixth century. He is only named in Anglo-Saxons epics (Widsith, Beowulf and Finnsburg-fragment) which have been written some 50 to 100 years later.
King Eadgils ( ? – 677 A.D.) King Eadgils is the first Frisian king known by name. Two Christian scribes, Beda and Eddius, name him in their works. Under the rule of Eadgils the Frisians and the Franks live in peace with one and other. There are two reasons for this: The Franks were still in internal division, as to whom was to be the heir of the Frankish empire Clovis built, and Eadgils let bishop Wilfried (a pawn of Rome and the Franks) preach Christianity freely in the Frisian regions. This peaceful time was to change drastically ten years later, when the Redbad had become king of Friesland and Pippin leader of the Franks.
King Redbad (679 – 719 A.D.) The heathen king Redbad is the greatest folk hero of the Frisians. He is the defender of the Frisian freedom against the invading Frankish armies and against the Church of Rome. Redbad was a devout heathen. So when the Franks were internally divided as whom was to rule, he attacked the Franks, conquered Utrecht and distroyed the church. Christianity was then forcefully removed from the Frisian empire. In 689 A.D. Pepin II leads the Frankish conquest in the Frisian lands and he takes Dorestad. Between 690 and 692 A.D. Utrecht also falls into the hands of Pepin. Thereby controlling the important gateways of trade from the Frankish hinterland to the North Sea via the river Rhine. In 714 A.D. Pepin dies. Redbad takes advantage of this and he beats the Frankish armies under Charles Martel in 716 A.D. at Cologne, thereby winning back the Frisian Empire. King Redbad dies in 719, leaving behind a Great and Heathen Friesland.
King Poppa (Hrodbad) (719 – 734) Fifteen years after Redbad’s death Charles Martel reached the peak of his power and he saw the opportunity to deal with Friesland. In 734 A.D. he sent his forces to Friesland. In the heart of the Frisian land, on the river Boorne (‘Middelsea’), the decisive battle was waged, with Poppo (in full Hrodbad) at the head of the Frisian land- and sea-forces. Poppo was the son of Redbad, but not as successful as his father. He was killed in battle, and the Frisian forces (in disarray) were slain. Friesland, uptill the Lauwers, was incorporated in the Frankish Empire. It lost its freedom and the church got a foothold.
The son of Poppa, Abba (in full Alfbad), became the first Frisian count under Frankish rule (749 – 775 A.D.).
East-Friesland (east of the Lauwers) was conquered 50 years later. The East-Frisians had bonded with their Heathen neighbors the Saxons. Martel’s son, Pepin the Short, was unable to defeat this coalition. Only under the leadership of Martel’s grandson, Charlemagne (Charles the Great), is the Saxo-Frisian alliance defeated in 785 A.D.. The legendary Widukind led this Saxo-Frisian heathen alliance.
During the eighth century the Frisian language is born. This birth can be traced by sound changes in the language, thereby setting the Frisian language apart from other Inguaeonish languages.
The Frankish-period (785 A.D.- 925 A.D.)
Charlemagne ruled his Frankish Empire in a strong centralized manner. Frisians had to serve in his armies. They served under the Franks in the war against the Wilts (789 A.D.) and against the Avars (791 A.D.). When in 800 A.D. the first Scandinavian Viking attacks upon Friesland under Carolinian rule start, the Frisians are discharged from military service abroad. Instead they are left to organize their defenses against the Heathen Vikings.
After Charlemagne defeated the Saxons in 785 A.D., the Frankish Empire bordered in the north to the Danish Empire.
The Danes were very well aware of the terrible atrocities Charlemagne, in name of the Church, had inflicted on their Heathen kinfolk the Frisians and the Saxons. The Danish/Viking raids on Charlemagne’s empire and on the wealthy churches and monasteries in it, can be seen as a heathen reprisal.
Next to the Franco/Christian invaders, another enemy of the Frisians reared its ugly head. In the Christmas of 838 A.D. an enormous stormflood flooded nearly all of Friesland, drowning lots of people and livestock.
Friesland county of Frankish Empire (749 – 840 A.D.)
After Charlemagne victory in 785 A.D. the entire Frisian Empire became a county of the Frankish Empire. As seen before the grandson of the legendary Redbad, Abba, became the first Frisian count under Frankish rule (749 – 775 A.D.) over Friesland west of the Lauwers. The two main duties of a count were: to maintain the rule of law, and to organize the conscripts for the Frankish armies. From 734 until 1100 A.D. Frankish Emperors (and after them German Kings) have been represented by counts. These counts were feudal tenants. Very little is known about these counts. East-, West- and Middle Friesland have probably each had their own count.
The counts of Friesland we know by name:
- 754 count Abba (Boppa) is leader of the building of the Bonifatius Church in Dokkum
- 791 count Diderik (Durk) leads the Frisians in the Frankish struggle against the Avars
- 839 count Gerlof sides with the rebellious son of the Frank Louis the Pious
- 873 count Albdag defeats Vikings (Rudolf) in Westergo
- 885 count Gerlof and count Gerdolf are present at the murder of Godfried the Norwegian
Count Gerlof is the father of Diderik I, the count of Holland, and of count Waltger in Teisterbant. The sons of count Waltger are named “Redbad” and “Poppo”.
The counts of Middle Friesland:
- 966 count Egbert of the Brunoanen dynasty; which by marriage and inheritance get Middle Friesland
- 1038 count Liudolf of the Brunswik dynasty dies
- 1038-1057 Bruno count of Middle Friesland
- 1057-1068 Egbert I count of Middle Friesland
- 1068-1088 Egbert II count of Middle Friesland
The counts of West Friesland:
- 885 count Gerlof
- 922 count Diderik I (Durk I); for the first time this dynasty is called “House of Holland” count Diderik II (Durk II)
- 993 count Arnulf dies in battle with West Frisians, count Durk III beats the army of emperor Hendrik II
- 1049 count Durk IV is killed
- 1049-1061 count Floris I is killed
- 1076 count Durk V; County Holland is born (also trough Flemish influences), and Count Durk V and his County Holland become the antagonists of West- and Middle Friesland.
In East Friesland there is nearly no trace of counts.
Frankish Christianity (688 – 734/785 A.D.)
The conversion of Heathens to Christianity could only be realized in areas that were under Frankish rule. West Lauwers Friesland became a Frankish county in 734 A.D. The entire Frisian Empire came under Frankish rule in 785 A.D. The Christianization of Friesland started in 688 A.D. when Wigbert preached in Friesland and was completed in 800 A.D. when Friesland was firmly in the grip of Frankish ruler Charlemange. In 800 A.D. the Friesians “seem” to be converted. But only the ruling elite (the counts and other Frankish vassals) has become Catholic. Large portions of the population are still heathen, and will remain for a long time.
But the voices of the Frisian Heathen priests and Frisian skalds of the epic poems (in the likes of Beowulf) are silenced. Thereby the chain of the oral tradition that connects the Frisians with their heathen past is broken, and Christianity -in the end- wins.
Some (tragic) dates:
- 688 A.D. Wigbert preaches in Friesland
- 690 – 754 Willibrord and Bonifatius preach
- 770-789 Willehad preaches
- 775 Liudger (a Frisian) preaches
- 800 A.D. Friesland has Christian social structures (diocese in Urecht) but the larger part of the population remains heathen.
Highlights in Heathen terms are:
- 714-719 A.D. when Willibrord flees Utrecht after Redbad conquers the city;
- 754 A.D. Bonifatius is killed in Dokkum;
- 782 A.D. when Liudger flees for Saxo-Frisian uprising under Widukind.
- 793 A.D. Liudger meets the only Frisian skald known by name “Bernlef”. Bernlef sang epic songs of the Frisian Heroic Age (like Beowulf).
Viking raids and Danish rule (800 – 1014 A.D.)
In 807 A.D. a war starts between Charlemagne and the Danish king Godfried. Godfried raids Friesland with a fleet of 200 ships, mocking the Frankish defenses. Shortly after Godfried dies (810 A.D.). After Godfrieds death, the Danish raids concentrate mostly on the British Isles and less upon Friesland.
After the death of the Frankish emperor Lewis the Pious in 840 A.D., the Carolinian defense of Friesland had collapsed. Since there was no Frisian King to organize a defensive force, the Danish raids on this Carolinian outpost intensified. And in the rest of the 9th century the Frisians frequently lived under Danish rule and had to pay taxes to the Danish feudal-tenants.
The Danes forced the weakened Carolinian Kings to give them Friesland as a feudal estate. Feudal tenants in Friesland were:
- Harald (840 – 844 A.D.)
- Rorik and Godfried (844 – 857 A.D.)
- Rorik (a Christian) (862 -872 A.D.)
- Godfried (881 – 885 A.D.)
In 885 the last Scandinavian ruler of Friesland, Godfried the Norwegian, is murdered and the ruling Danes are evicted from Friesland by the Frisians. The great tidal waves of Heathenistic Viking raids (sometimes accompanied with occupation) in Friesland, had come to an end. Smaller raids still took place until 1014 A.D. when the Christian Knut the Great became king of Denmark, Norway and England.
The German-period (925 A.D. – 1498 A.D.)
In 843 A.D. Lotharius II became ruler of Friesland. In 925 A.D. most of the Lotharingian rulers accepted Henry I of Germany as king. Friesland became part of the “Heilige römische Reich deutscher Nation”. The executive power was, until 1217 A.D., in hands of feudal tenants (counts).
After 1217 A.D. Middle-Friesland did not have a count, no feudal tenant, almost no knights, no slaves and a few cities. They were a people of farmers, fishermen and bargemen.
Since there was no overruling authority, everywhere indigenous administrative organs developed. It was a booming period; agriculture and trade flourished and raised it prosperity. Frisian cities joined the “Hanze” (West-European trade alliance). But already dark clouds were drifting over, which would eventually (1498 A.D.) end the Frisian Freedom.
Dyke Building (starts about 1000 A.D.)
After the terpbuilding, which was in fact a defensive measure against the sealevel rising, the Frisians went on the offensive and started taking land out of the reach of the sea by dikebuilding. Around 1000 A.D. larger parts of land were surrounded by dykes. This happened in Friesland on both sides of the Lauwers.
Between 1000 and 1100 A.D. large parts of Friesland were protected by dykes, and there were extensive regulations concerning maintenance of dykes and wateringsluices.
These first dykes had a height of 1,50 meters above fieldlevel. Behind the dyke there were roads with a width of approximately 4 meters, so that in case of an emergency two wagons could pass one-and-other. In terms of total earth movement necessary for the dyke building one can speak of a worldwonder.
These large dykebuilding projects were first organized by so called ‘skeltas’. In the 13th century the dykes became the responsibility of ‘grietmannen’ and ‘asegas’.
Despite the dyke building there were frequently stormfloods that broke the dykes and flooded Frisianlands with all the tragic consequences.
Opstalboom (about 1000 – 1327 A.D.)
To the southwest of Aurich in East-Friesland, on a burialmound dating from the Bronze Age, lies a place called the Opstalboom (Opstalsboom; Upstallboom; Upstalesbame (Old Frisian)). In the 11th, 12th and 13th an alliance called the “Opstalboom” gathered on the burialmound. The alliance consisted of representatives of the 7 Frisian “Zeelanden” (lands by the sea). These representatives gathered once a year (on the Tuesday after Whit Sunday) and they drew up rules of law and. The alliance also joined forces if one of the individual of the 7 members was attacked.
Struggle against the Dutch counts (993 – 26 September 1345 A.D.
After the period of the Scandinavian/Viking rule, the counts of the “House of Holland” become the ruling elite in the lands along the North Sea south of West-Friesland. These counts of the house of Holland were of Frisian origin. But after the birth of the province Holland in 1075 A.D. the Frankish influences dominated the Frisian. At this time a deep rift developed between the Frisians in West-Friesland and the counts of Holland. Several attempts were made by these counts to forcefully submit the West-Frisians.
Count Arnulf: undertakes a military expedition; he gets killed in 993 A.D.
Count Willem II:attacks West-Friesland in the winter of 1256 A.D., he falls through the ice while on horseback and is beaten to death by Frisians.
Floris V, son of Willem II, is bent on revenging his father’s death and attacks and defeats West-Friesland. Around 1200 Frisians die in battle. The de-Friezing of West-Friesland starts.
After the death of Floris V the West-Frisians arise again against Jan I. His successor, Jan II, defeated the West-Frisian uprising, killing 3000 Frisians. Middle-Friesland set troops to abide the West-Frisians, but they came to late. West-Friesians lost their freedom, and in the coming centuries also the Frisian language (their mother tongue)
Battle of Warns (“Slag bij Warns”)
After the defeat of West-Friesland, the counts of Holland set their eye on Middle-Friesland.
In 1345 A.D. count Willem IV sets out on a military expedition to conquer Middle-Friesland. With a large fleet and with the help of French and Flemish knights he sailed over the “Zuiderzee”. The approach of the aggressor united the Frisian fractions (the Upstallboom played a role in this unification). On 26 September 1345 A.D. Friesland had its finest hour. Willem IV and the cream of the Hollandish, Flemish and French knights were in the forefront of their army, and near Warns they were surrounded by Frisian landfolk and beaten to death. In disarray the rest of the army fled, leaving the body of Willem IV behind.
The 26 of September became an annual festive day in Middle-Friesland.
Schieringers en Vetkopers (1217 – 1489 A.D.)
In 1392 we first hear of the “Schieringers” and the “Vetkopers”. These two infamous names indicate the end of the Frisian freedom. It came from the Frisian heart itself. The Schieringers and the Vetkopers were two rivaling parties of Frisian origin. They led Friesland into a civil war. Village fought against village, stins against stins and son against father.
It was Friesland darkest hour, and it started in 1217 A.D.. At this time the rule of Charlemagnian counts in Middle Friesland ends. This results in the lack of one overruling authority eventually resulting in a severe weakening of law and order. The power of the civil service no longer came from above, but out of the community itself. The result of this was that the Grietman (judge) did not have anybody of authority to support him in his actions against disobedient people. In the 14th century this resulted in the partisanship of the Schieringers and Vetkopers.
The Frisians remained in this stalemate because of a character trait; there strong individuality. Their personal freedom was more valuable than the freedom of the people as a whole.
In 1489 A.D. the aid of a foreign authority, Albrecht of Saxony, was accepted to end the catastrophic partisanship. Thus ending the Frisian freedom!
End of the Frisian freedom (1498 A.D.)
Unfortunately the strong streak of individualism in Frisian society eventually led to the creation of factions and a descent into civil war in the end of the 1300s. Eventually they willingly submitted to annexation by the larger province of Holland in the early 1400s as a way of calming the chaos. Dutch government and civil servants were installed and from then the fortunes of Friesland are intertwined with those of the present-day Netherlands.
However, the Frisian people kept their stubborn love of individuality and freedom and have preserved a recognizably independent culture. .