Frisians

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Frisian, Dutch, German

Traditionally Calvinist and Lutheran Protestant.

Dutchmen, Danes, Germans

The Frisians are an ethnic group living in coastal parts of The Netherlands, Denmark and Germany. They are mainly concentrated in the Dutch province of Friesland with substantially smaller populations living in Germany, specifically East- and North Frisia.

Contents

History

The history of the modern Frisian people begins in the late 4th century when a tribal combination of Angles, Saxons and Jutes begins to repopulate the coastal areas around the Wadden Sea which had been largely deserted (probably caused by a series of floods) by its original occupants, the Frisii and Frisiaevones, during the course of the 3rd century.[1]

The tribes of the Frisii and Frisiaevones, which were recorded in 69 BC by the Roman historian Tacitus in his treatise on the habits of the Germanic peoples but had largely disappeared from Roman records after the Revolt of the Batavi around 70 AD, continued to lend their name to both the region and the newly formed Frisians.[2]

By the end of the 6th century, Frisian territory had expanded westward to the North Sea coast and, in the 7th century, southward down to Dorestad. This farthest extent of Frisian territory is sometimes refered 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 come into increasing conflict with the Franks to their south, resulting in a series of wars in which the Frankish Empire eventually subjugates Frisia in 734. These wars benefited attempts by Anglo-Irish missionaries (which had began with Saint Boniface) to convert the Frisian populace to Christianity, in which Saint Willibrord largely succeeded.[3]

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