Frisians

Frisians

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Encyclopedia
The Frisians are a Germanic ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 native to the coastal parts of the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 and Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. They are concentrated in the Dutch provinces of Friesland
Friesland
Friesland is a province in the north of the Netherlands and part of the ancient region of Frisia.Until the end of 1996, the province bore Friesland as its official name. In 1997 this Dutch name lost its official status to the Frisian Fryslân...

 and Groningen
Groningen (province)
Groningen [] is the northeasternmost province of the Netherlands. In the east it borders the German state of Niedersachsen , in the south Drenthe, in the west Friesland and in the north the Wadden Sea...

 and, in Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, East Frisia
East Frisia
East Frisia or Eastern Friesland is a coastal region in the northwest of the German federal state of Lower Saxony....

 and North Frisia
North Frisia
North Frisia or Northern Friesland is the northernmost portion of Frisia, located primarily in Germany between the rivers Eider and Wiedau/Vidå. It includes a number of islands, e.g., Sylt, Föhr, Amrum, Nordstrand, and Heligoland.-History:...

, that was a part of Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 until 1864. They inhabit an area known as Frisia
Frisia
Frisia is a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea, i.e. the German Bight. Frisia is the traditional homeland of the Frisians, a Germanic people who speak Frisian, a language group closely related to the English language...

. The Frisian languages are still used by 500.000 speakers; dialects of Frisian are recognized as official languages in both the Netherlands and Germany.

History


The ancient Frisii
Frisii
The Frisii were an ancient Germanic tribe living in the low-lying region between the Zuiderzee and the River Ems. In the Germanic pre-Migration Period the Frisii and the related Chauci, Saxons, and Angles inhabited the Continental European coast from the Zuyder Zee to south Jutland...

 enter recorded history in the Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 account of Drusus
Nero Claudius Drusus
Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus , born Decimus Claudius Drusus also called Drusus, Drusus I, Nero Drusus, or Drusus the Elder was a Roman politician and military commander. He was a fully patrician Claudian on his father's side but his maternal grandmother was from a plebeian family...

' 12 BC war against the Rhine Germans and the Chauci
Chauci
The Chauci were an ancient Germanic tribe living in the low-lying region between the Rivers Ems and Elbe, on both sides of the Weser and ranging as far inland as the upper Weser. Along the coast they lived on artificial hills called terpen, built high enough to remain dry during the highest tide...

. 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. They are not mentioned again until c. 296, when they were deported into Roman territory as laeti
Laeti
Laeti, the plural form of laetus, was a term used in the late Roman Empire to denote communities of barbari permitted to, and granted land to, settle on imperial territory on condition that they provide recruits for the Roman military...

(i.e., Roman-era serf
SERF
A spin exchange relaxation-free magnetometer is a type of magnetometer developed at Princeton University in the early 2000s. SERF magnetometers measure magnetic fields by using lasers to detect the interaction between alkali metal atoms in a vapor and the magnetic field.The name for the technique...

s). The discovery of a type of earthenware unique to 4th century Frisia
Frisia
Frisia is a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea, i.e. the German Bight. Frisia is the traditional homeland of the Frisians, a Germanic people who speak Frisian, a language group closely related to the English language...

, called terp Tritzum, shows that an unknown number of them were resettled in Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

 and Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, probably as laeti under Roman coercion.

From the 3rd through the 5th centuries Frisia would suffer marine transgressions that made most of the land uninhabitable, aggravated by a change to a cooler and wetter climate. Whatever population that the Romans had allowed to remain dropped dramatically, and the coastal lands would remain largely unpopulated for the next two centuries. When conditions improved Frisia would receive an influx of new settlers, mostly Angles
Angles
The Angles is a modern English term for a Germanic people who took their name from the ancestral cultural region of Angeln, a district located in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany...

 and Saxons
Saxons
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

, and these 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.

By the end of the 6th century, Frisian territory had expanded westward to the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 coast and, in the 7th century, southward down to Dorestad
Dorestad
In the Early Middle Ages, Dorestad was the largest settlement of northwestern Europe. It was a large, flourishing trading place, three kilometers long, situated where the rivers Rhine and Lek diverge southeast of Utrecht in the Netherlands near the modern town of Wijk bij Duurstede...

. This farthest extent of Frisian territory is sometimes referred to as Frisia Magna
Frisian kingdom
The Frisian Kingdom , also known as Magna Frisia, was a kingdom in what is now the Netherlands and northern Germany, established around 600 AD...

. Early Frisia was ruled by a High King
High king
A high king is a king who holds a position of seniority over a group of other kings, without the title of Emperor; compare King of Kings.Rulers who have been termed "high king" include:...

, with the earliest reference to a 'Frisian King' being dated 678
678
Year 678 was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 678 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Asia :* April 27 – Japanese Emperor Temmu holds...

.

In the early 8th century the Frisian nobles came into increasing conflict with the Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 to their south, resulting in a series of wars
Frisian–Frankish wars
The Frisian–Frankish wars were a series of conflicts between the Frankish Empire and the Frisian kingdom in the 7th and 8th century.The wars where mainly about control of the Rhine delta. But after the death of the Frisian king Redbad, the Franks gained the upper hand...

 in which the Frankish Empire
Frankish Empire
Francia or Frankia, later also called the Frankish Empire , Frankish Kingdom , Frankish Realm or occasionally Frankland, was the territory inhabited and ruled by the Franks from the 3rd to the 10th century...

 eventually subjugated Frisia in 734
734
Year 734 was a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. The denomination 734 for this year has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.- Europe :* The Franks defeat the Frisians in the Battle...

. These wars benefited attempts by Anglo-Irish missionaries (which had began with Saint Boniface
Saint Boniface
Saint Boniface , the Apostle of the Germans, born Winfrid, Wynfrith, or Wynfryth in the kingdom of Wessex, probably at Crediton , was a missionary who propagated Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 8th century. He is the patron saint of Germany and the first archbishop of Mainz...

) to convert the Frisian populace to Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, in which Saint Willibrord largely succeeded.

Some time after the death of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

, the Frisian territories were in theory under the control of the Count of Holland
Count of Holland
The Counts of Holland ruled over the County of Holland in the Low Countries between the 10th and the 16th century.-House of Holland:The first count of Holland, Dirk I, was the son or foster-son of Gerolf, Count in Frisia...

, but in practice the Hollandic counts, starting with Count Arnulf
Arnulf, Count of Holland
Arnulf, also known as Aernout or Arnold succeeded his father in 988 as Count in Frisia. He was born in 951 in Ghent and because of this he is also known as Arnulf of Ghent. Arnulf was the son of Dirk II, Count of Holland and Hildegard, thought to be a daughter of Arnulf of Flanders.-Career:Arnulf...

 in 993
993
Year 993 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar.- In fiction :* The fantasy role-playing game Dragon Warriors is set in a fantasy world called "Legend" modeled on medieval Europe in an era approximate to this year.* In the Harry Potter series, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft...

, were unable to assert themselves as the sovereign lords of Frisia. The resulting stalemate resulted in a period of time called the 'Frisian freedom
Frisian freedom
Friese freedom or freedom of the Frisians is the absence of feudalism and serfdom in Frisia, the area that was originally inhabited by the Frisians, in particular the current provinces of Friesland and Groningen and the area west Friesland in the Netherlands and East Friesland in Germany...

', a period in which feudalism
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 and serfdom
Serfdom
Serfdom is the status of peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to Manorialism. It was a condition of bondage or modified slavery which developed primarily during the High Middle Ages in Europe and lasted to the mid-19th century...

 (as well as no central or judicial administration
Administration (government)
The term administration, as used in the context of government, differs according to jurisdiction.-United States:In United States usage, the term refers to the executive branch under a specific president , for example: the "Barack Obama administration." It can also mean an executive branch agency...

) did not exist, and in which the Frisian lands only owed their allegiance to the Holy Roman Emperor
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor is a term used by historians to denote a medieval ruler who, as German King, had also received the title of "Emperor of the Romans" from the Pope...

.

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
Friso-Hollandic Wars
The Friso-Hollandic Wars, also called Frisian-Hollandic Wars , were a series of short medieval wars consisting of the attempts made by the counts of Holland to conquer the free Frisian territories, which lay to the north and east of their domain...

, 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
The Seventeen Provinces were a personal union of states in the Low Countries in the 15th century and 16th century, roughly covering the current Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, a good part of the North of France , and a small part of Western Germany.The Seventeen Provinces were originally held by...

 and joined the Dutch revolt
Dutch Revolt
The Dutch Revolt or the Revolt of the Netherlands This article adopts 1568 as the starting date of the war, as this was the year of the first battles between armies. However, since there is a long period of Protestant vs...

 against Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 in 1568, after which Central Frisia has remained a part of the Netherlands ever since. The eastern periphery of Frisia
Frisia
Frisia is a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea, i.e. the German Bight. Frisia is the traditional homeland of the Frisians, a Germanic people who speak Frisian, a language group closely related to the English language...

 would become part of various German states (later Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

) and Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

.

Language


As both the Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

 of England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and the early Frisians were formed from largely identical tribal confederacies, their respective languages were very similar. Old Frisian
Old Frisian
Old Frisian is a West Germanic language spoken between the 8th and 16th centuries in the area between the Rhine and Weser on the European North Sea coast. The Frisian settlers on the coast of South Jutland also spoke Old Frisian but no medieval texts of this area are known...

 is the most closely related language to Old English and the modern Frisian dialects are in turn the closest related languages to contemporary English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

.

The Frisian language group itself is divided into three not mutually intelligible languages:
  • West Frisian
    West Frisian language
    West Frisian is a language spoken mostly in the province of Friesland in the north of the Netherlands. West Frisian is the name by which this language is usually known outside the Netherlands, to distinguish it from the closely related Frisian languages of Saterland Frisian and North Frisian,...

    , spoken in the Dutch province of Friesland
    Friesland
    Friesland is a province in the north of the Netherlands and part of the ancient region of Frisia.Until the end of 1996, the province bore Friesland as its official name. In 1997 this Dutch name lost its official status to the Frisian Fryslân...

    .
  • Saterland Frisian
    Saterland Frisian language
    Saterland Frisian, also known as Sater Frisian or Saterlandic , is the last living dialect of the East Frisian language. It is closely related to the other Frisian languages—North Frisian, which, like Saterland Frisian, is spoken in Germany and West Frisian, which is spoken in the Netherlands.- Old...

     is spoken in the German municipality of Saterland
    Saterland
    Saterland is a municipality in the district of Cloppenburg, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated between the cities of Leer, Cloppenburg, and Oldenburg...

     just south of East Frisia
    East Frisia
    East Frisia or Eastern Friesland is a coastal region in the northwest of the German federal state of Lower Saxony....

    .
  • North Frisian
    North Frisian language
    North Frisian is a minority language of Germany, spoken by about 10,000 people in North Frisia. The language is part of the larger group of the West Germanic Frisian languages.-Classification:...

    , spoken in the German region of North Frisia
    North Frisia
    North Frisia or Northern Friesland is the northernmost portion of Frisia, located primarily in Germany between the rivers Eider and Wiedau/Vidå. It includes a number of islands, e.g., Sylt, Föhr, Amrum, Nordstrand, and Heligoland.-History:...

     (within the Kreis
    Districts of Germany
    The districts of Germany are known as , except in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein where they are known simply as ....

    of Nordfriesland
    Nordfriesland
    Nordfriesland, English "Northern Friesland" or "North Frisia", is a district in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It includes almost all of traditional North Frisia along with adjacent areas to the east and south and is bounded by the districts of Schleswig-Flensburg and Dithmarschen, the North Sea and...

    ) on the west coast of Jutland
    Jutland
    Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

    .


Of these three languages both Saterland Frisian (2000 speakers) and North Frisian (10,000 speakers) are endangered. West Frisian is spoken by around 354,000 native speakers and is not threatened.

Identity


Today there exists a tripartite division of the original Frisians; namely the North Frisia
North Frisia
North Frisia or Northern Friesland is the northernmost portion of Frisia, located primarily in Germany between the rivers Eider and Wiedau/Vidå. It includes a number of islands, e.g., Sylt, Föhr, Amrum, Nordstrand, and Heligoland.-History:...

ns, East Frisia
East Frisia
East Frisia or Eastern Friesland is a coastal region in the northwest of the German federal state of Lower Saxony....

ns and West Frisian
West Friesland
West Friesland or Westfriesland can refer to the following:*West Friesland , a contemporary region in the province of North Holland, Netherlands*West Friesland , the historical region in the same province...

, caused by the Frisia
Frisia
Frisia is a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea, i.e. the German Bight. Frisia is the traditional homeland of the Frisians, a Germanic people who speak Frisian, a language group closely related to the English language...

's constant loss of territory in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, but the West Frisians in the general do not feel or see themselves as part of a larger group of Frisians, and, according to a 1970 inquiry, identify themselves more with the Dutch than with East
East Frisians
East Frisians are, in the wider sense, the inhabitants of East Frisia in the northwest of the German state of Lower Saxony. In the narrower sense the East Frisians are the eastern branch of the Frisians, a Germanic people and belong, together with the Danes, Sorbs, Sinti and Romanies to the...

 or North Frisians. Therefore the moniker 'Frisian' is (when used for the speakers of all three Frisian language) a linguistic (and to some extent, cultural) concept, not a political one.

Culturally, modern Frisians and the (Northern) Dutch
Dutch people
The Dutch people are an ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Suriname, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United...

 are rather similar; the main and generally most important difference being that Frisians speak West Frisian, one of the three subbranches of the Frisian languages, alongside Dutch. Because of centuries of cohabitation and active participation in Dutch society, as well as being bilingual, the Frisians are not treated as a separate group in Dutch official statistics
Statistics
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....

.

Notable Frisians


  • Magnus Forteman
    Magnus Forteman
    Magnus Forteman , was the first potestaat and commander of Friesland which is now a province of Netherlands...

     (~809), legendary commander and magistrate governor of Friesland.
  • Ygo Gales Galama
    Ygo Gales Galama
    Ygo Gales Galama was a 15th century Frisian warlord and Galama-patriarch.- Family and marriage :He was the son of Gale Yges Galama and Trijn Douwesdr Harinxma. The marriage of Gale and Trijn was an attempt to create a provisional peace between the warring factions of the Vetkopers and Schieringers...

     (1443–1493), an infamous medieval warlord, Galama-family patriarch.
  • Edzard the Great
    Edzard I, Count of East Frisia
    Edzard I, also Edzard the Great, was count of East Frisia from 1491 till his death in 1528.Edzard succeeded his brother Enno in 1492. He fought with George, Duke of Saxony over Friesland and Groningen...

    , (1461–1528) was count of East Frisia from 1491 till his death in 1528
  • Pier Gerlofs Donia
    Pier Gerlofs Donia
    Pier Gerlofs Donia was a Frisian warrior, pirate, and rebel. He is best known by his West Frisian nickname "Grutte Pier" , or by the Dutch translations "Grote Pier" and "Lange Pier", or, in Latin, "Pierius Magnus", which referred to his legendary size and strength. His life is mostly shrouded in...

     (1480–1520), Frisian freedom fighter and folk hero, founder of the Arumer Black Heap
  • Menno Simons
    Menno Simons
    Menno Simons was an Anabaptist religious leader from the Friesland region of the Low Countries. Simons was a contemporary of the Protestant Reformers and his followers became known as Mennonites...

    , (1496–January 31, 1561) was an Anabaptist
    Anabaptist
    Anabaptists are Protestant Christians of the Radical Reformation of 16th-century Europe, and their direct descendants, particularly the Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites....

     religious leader from Friesland
    Friesland
    Friesland is a province in the north of the Netherlands and part of the ancient region of Frisia.Until the end of 1996, the province bore Friesland as its official name. In 1997 this Dutch name lost its official status to the Frisian Fryslân...

     whose followers became known as Mennonite
    Mennonite
    The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptist denominations named after the Frisian Menno Simons , who, through his writings, articulated and thereby formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders...

    s.
  • Wijard Jelckama (1490–1523), Frisian freedom fighter, nephew of Pier Gerlofs Donia
    Pier Gerlofs Donia
    Pier Gerlofs Donia was a Frisian warrior, pirate, and rebel. He is best known by his West Frisian nickname "Grutte Pier" , or by the Dutch translations "Grote Pier" and "Lange Pier", or, in Latin, "Pierius Magnus", which referred to his legendary size and strength. His life is mostly shrouded in...

     and who later led the Frisian rebellion (Arumer Black Heap)
  • Gemma Frisius
    Gemma Frisius
    Gemma Frisius , was a physician, mathematician, cartographer, philosopher, and instrument maker...

     (1508–1555), mathematician and cartographer
  • Bernard Fokke
    Bernard Fokke
    Bernard or Barend Fokke, sometimes known as Barend Fockesz, was a 17th-century Frisian-born captain for the Dutch East India Company. He was renowned for the uncanny speed of his trips from Holland to Java...

     (1600–1641), on whom the Flying Dutchman is said to be based
  • Gysbert Japiks
    Gysbert Japiks
    Gysbert Japicx was a Frisian writer, poet, schoolteacher and cantor.He admired Horace and Ovid and was a defender for the memmetaal which elevated Frisian to a literature language...

     (1603–1666) Frisian writer, poet, schoolteacher and cantor.
  • Wiebbe Hayes
    Wiebbe Hayes
    Wiebbe Hayes was a colonial soldier from Winschoten, Netherlands. Hayes became a national hero after he led a group of soldiers, sailors and other survivors of the shipwreck of the Batavia against the murderous mutineers led by Jeronimus Cornelisz at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands , off the Western...

     (born around 1608), a Colonial
    Colonial troops
    Colonial troops or colonial army refers to various military units recruited from, or used as garrison troops in, colonial territories.- Colonial background :...

     soldier
    Soldier
    A soldier is a member of the land component of national armed forces; whereas a soldier hired for service in a foreign army would be termed a mercenary...

     hero from Winschoten
    Winschoten
    Winschoten is a former municipality and city in the northeast of the Netherlands.Population : 18.497; area: 22,24 km2.The origin of the name of Winschoten is not known but it has received nicknames. One of these is Molenstad . It has also been known, in living memory, as Sodom...

  • Peter Stuyvesant
    Peter Stuyvesant
    Peter Stuyvesant , served as the last Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherland from 1647 until it was ceded provisionally to the English in 1664, after which it was renamed New York...

     (1612–1672), last Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherland
    New Netherland
    New Netherland, or Nieuw-Nederland in Dutch, was the 17th-century colonial province of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands on the East Coast of North America. The claimed territories were the lands from the Delmarva Peninsula to extreme southwestern Cape Cod...

     (New York).
  • Matthias Petersen
    Matthias Petersen
    Matthias Petersen was a sea captain and whaler from Oldsum on the North Frisian island of Föhr...

     (1632–1706), whaling captain
    History of whaling
    The history of whaling is very extensive, stretching back for millennia. This article discusses the history of whaling up to the commencement of the International Whaling Commission moratorium on commercial whaling in 1986....

     from Föhr
    Föhr
    Föhr is one of the North Frisian Islands on the German coast of the North Sea. It is part of the Nordfriesland district in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. Föhr is the second-largest North Sea island of Germany....

    . In his lifetime he caught 373 whales.
  • Hark Olufs
    Hark Olufs
    Hark Olufs was a North Frisian sailor. He was captured by Algerian pirates and sold into slavery but by successfully serving the Bey of Constantine he could eventually achieve his release.-Life:...

     (1708–1754), sailor from Amrum
    Amrum
    Amrum is one of the North Frisian Islands on the German North Sea coast, south of Sylt and west of Föhr. It is part of the Nordfriesland district in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein...

    . He was enslaved by Algeria
    Algeria
    Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

    n pirates and eventually became Commander in Chief of the Bey of Constantine
    Constantine, Algeria
    Constantine is the capital of Constantine Province in north-eastern Algeria. It was the capital of the same-named French département until 1962. Slightly inland, it is about 80 kilometres from the Mediterranean coast, on the banks of Rhumel river...

    's cavalry.
  • Eise Eisinga
    Eise Eisinga
    Eise Jeltes Eisinga was a Dutch amateur astronomer who built an orrery in his house in Franeker, Netherlands. The orrery still exists and is the oldest functioning planetarium in the world.-Biography:...

     (1744–1828), Frisian amateur astronomer and builder of the oldest working planetaria in the world.
  • Oluf Braren
    Oluf Braren
    Oluf Braren was a painter of naïve art from the north Frisian island of Föhr. Some of his works show a strong affinity to his Frisian homeland....

     (1787–1839), painter from Föhr
    Föhr
    Föhr is one of the North Frisian Islands on the German coast of the North Sea. It is part of the Nordfriesland district in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. Föhr is the second-largest North Sea island of Germany....

    .
  • Jens Jacob Eschels
    Jens Jacob Eschels
    Jens Jacob Eschels was a nautical captain and is the author of the oldest known captain's autobiography in German.-Life:...

     (1757–1842), seafarer and entrepreneur. He became known by his autobiography.
  • Christian von Ompteda
    Christian Friedrich Wilhelm von Ompteda
    Christian Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Ompteda was a Hanoverian officer of the Napoleonic Wars.- Life :...

     (1765–1815), commander in the Napoleonic Wars
    Napoleonic Wars
    The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

    .
  • Theodor Storm
    Theodor Storm
    Hans Theodor Woldsen Storm , commonly known as Theodor Storm, was a German writer.-Life:Storm was born in Husum, at the west coast of Schleswig than an independent duchy and ruled by the king of Denmark...

     (1817–1888), who wrote Der Schimmelreiter
  • Theodor Mommsen
    Theodor Mommsen
    Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen was a German classical scholar, historian, jurist, journalist, politician, archaeologist, and writer generally regarded as the greatest classicist of the 19th century. His work regarding Roman history is still of fundamental importance for contemporary research...

     (1817–1903). He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1902, and was also a prominent German politician, as a member of the Prussian and German parliaments.
  • Stine Andresen
    Stine Andresen
    Stine Andresen was a German poet from the North Frisian island of Föhr. Her lyrics often refer to her native island. In addition to poems in German, she also wrote some poetry in Fering North Frisian.-Life and opus:...

     (1849–1927), poet from Föhr
    Föhr
    Föhr is one of the North Frisian Islands on the German coast of the North Sea. It is part of the Nordfriesland district in the federal state of Schleswig-Holstein. Föhr is the second-largest North Sea island of Germany....

     who also wrote in Fering
    Fering
    Fering is the dialect of North Frisian spoken on the island of Föhr in the German region of North Frisia. Fering refers to the Fering Frisian name of Föhr, Feer...

    . Befriended poet Friedrich Hebbel.
  • Mata Hari
    Mata Hari
    Mata Hari was the stage name of Margaretha Geertruida "M'greet" Zelle , a Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan, and accused spy who was executed by firing squad in France under charges of espionage for Germany during World War I.-Early life:Margaretha Geertruida Zelle was born in Leeuwarden, Friesland,...

    , (born as Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, August 7, 1876, in Leeuwarden (Friesland)) infamous dancer, courtesan and executed as a spy in France
  • Simon Vestdijk
    Simon Vestdijk
    Simon Vestdijk was a Dutch writer.Born in the small town of Harlingen, Vestdijk studied medicine in Amsterdam, but turned to literature after a few years as a doctor. He became one of the most important 20th-century writers in the Netherlands. His prolificness as a novelist was legendary, but he...

     (1899–1971), novelist, musician, psychological analyst.
  • Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy
    Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy
    Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy was a Dutch politician of the Anti Revolutionary Party . He served as Prime Minister of the Netherlands from September 3, 1940 until June 24, 1945. He was the Prime Minister of the Dutch government in exile during World War II...

     (1885–1961), prime minister of the Dutch government in exile
    Dutch government in exile
    The Dutch government in exile was the government of the Netherlands, headed by Queen Wilhelmina, that evacuated to London after the German invasion of the country at the outset of World War II....

     during World War II.
  • Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898–1972). A famous graphic artist born in Leeuwarden.
  • William Frankena
    William Frankena
    William K. Frankena was an American moral philosopher. Frankena was a member of the University of Michigan's Department of Philosophy for 41 years and chair of the Department for 14 years...

     (1908–1994), American philosopher of Ethics; scholar in history of ethics; played role in controversies of the 1950s.
  • Frederik Paulsen Sr (1909–1997), physician. Founder of Ferring Pharmaceuticals
    Ferring Pharmaceuticals
    Ferring Pharmaceuticals is a pharmaceutical company that specializes in the development and marketing of drugs for use in human medicine.It was founded by Frederik Paulsen Sr in Malmö, Sweden, in 1950, initially as the Nordiska Hormon Laboratoriet, renamed Ferring in 1954. A ferring in Frisian is a...

    .
  • Abe Lenstra
    Abe Lenstra
    Abe Lenstra was a Dutch football player and national football icon in the 1950s. He was also a Frisian legend, most notably with the club where he made his name as a football player, SC Heerenveen....

     (1920–1985) was a famous Dutch football player and national football icon in the 1950s.
  • Friede Springer
    Friede Springer
    Friede Springer is a German publisher and widow of Axel Springer....

     (born 1942), widow of publisher Axel Springer
    Axel Springer
    Axel Springer , was a German journalist and the founder and owner of the Axel Springer AG publishing company.-Early life:...

     and major shareholder of Axel Springer AG
    Axel Springer AG
    Axel Springer AG is one of the largest multimedia companies in Europe, with more than 11,500 employees and with annual revenues of about €2.9 billion. The Company is active in a total of 36 countries, including Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia and Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland...

    .
  • Harm Wiersma
    Harm Wiersma
    Harm Wiersma is a Dutch draughts player and former politician. He is a six-time world champion in draughts and former MP.- Biography :...

     (born 1953 in Leeuwarden), six time world champion in draughts
    Draughts
    Draughts is a group of abstract strategy board games between two players which involve diagonal moves of uniform pieces and mandatory captures by jumping over the enemy's pieces. Draughts developed from alquerque...

     and politician.
  • Jouke de Vries
    Jouke de Vries
    Jouke de Vries is a professor at Leiden University in Leiden.De Vries grew up in the village of Balk in Friesland and in 1979 started his studies in political science at the University of Amsterdam. He has been working at the group Leaderships Art at the University of Leiden since 1984. De Vries...

     - Dutch PVDA politician
  • Dan Bylsma
    Dan Bylsma
    Dan Bylsma is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League as of February 15, 2009, replacing Michel Therrien. Prior to coaching the Penguins, he played as a forward in the NHL and coached in the American Hockey League . He was drafted in the sixth round of the 1989...

    , NHL head coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins
    Pittsburgh Penguins
    The Pittsburgh Penguins are a professional ice hockey team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League . The franchise was founded in 1967 as one of the first expansion teams during the league's original...

     (born 1970), of Frisian descent.
  • Lenny Dykstra
    Lenny Dykstra
    Leonard Kyle "Lenny" Dykstra , nicknamed "Nails" and "Dude", is a former Major League Baseball center fielder. Dykstra played for the New York Mets during the late 1980s before playing for the Philadelphia Phillies during the early 1990s....

     - Major League
    Major League Baseball
    Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

     baseball
    Baseball
    Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

     player for the New York Mets
    New York Mets
    The New York Mets are a professional baseball team based in the borough of Queens in New York City, New York. They belong to Major League Baseball's National League East Division. One of baseball's first expansion teams, the Mets were founded in 1962 to replace New York's departed National League...

     (1985–1989) and Philadelphia Phillies
    Philadelphia Phillies
    The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team. They are the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports, dating to 1883. The Phillies are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

     (1989–1996).
  • Anna-Marie Lampe - Playboy
    Playboy
    Playboy is an American men's magazine that features photographs of nude women as well as journalism and fiction. It was founded in Chicago in 1953 by Hugh Hefner and his associates, and funded in part by a $1,000 loan from Hefner's mother. The magazine has grown into Playboy Enterprises, Inc., with...

    magazine (U.S. Edition) 40th Anniversary Playmate/Playmate of the Month for January 1994; Playboy magazine (Dutch Edition) Playmate of the year for 1995.
  • Doutzen Kroes, (born January 23, 1985, in Eastermar
    Eastermar
    Eastermar is a small village in Tytsjerksteradiel in the province Friesland of the Netherlands and has around 1,600 citizens . Eastermar is the birthplace of model Doutzen Kroes.- History :...

    , Friesland) is a Dutch supermodel.
  • Titus Brandsma
    Titus Brandsma
    Blessed Titus Brandsma was a Dutch Carmelite priest and professor of philosophy. Brandsma was vehemently opposed to Nazi ideology and spoke out against it many times before the Second World War....

    , Carmelite
    Carmelites
    The Order of the Brothers of Our Lady of Mount Carmel or Carmelites is a Catholic religious order perhaps founded in the 12th century on Mount Carmel, hence its name. However, historical records about its origin remain uncertain...

     priest
    Priest
    A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

     of the Roman Catholic Church
    Roman Catholic Church
    The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

    , anti-Nazi Dutch resistance
    Dutch resistance
    Dutch resistance to the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during World War II can be mainly characterized by its prominent non-violence, summitting in over 300,000 people in hiding in the autumn of 1944, tended to by some 60,000 to 200,000 illegal landlords and caretakers and tolerated knowingly...

     voice († 1942)
  • Wolfgang Petersen
    Wolfgang Petersen
    Wolfgang Petersen is a German film director and screenwriter. His films include The NeverEnding Story, Enemy Mine, Outbreak, In the Line of Fire, Air Force One, The Perfect Storm, Troy, and Poseidon...

    , German movie director (e.g. Das Boot
    Das Boot
    Das Boot is a 1981 German epic war film written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen, produced by Günter Rohrbach, and starring Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer, and Klaus Wennemann...

    )
  • Piter Wilkens
    Piter Wilkens
    Piter Wilkens is a singer, guitarist, composer, lyricist, and producer who performs mainly in his native West Frisian language...

    , (1959-) is a Frisian folk and pop singer.
  • Grant Hayunga
    Grant Hayunga
    Grant David Hayunga, is an American painter and musician of Frisian origin.- Early life and family :Grant is the son of Del Hayunga, a businessman, and Jean Meyer Hayunga, a public health nurse and home maker...

     (born 1970), painter and musician.
  • Josh Freese
    Josh Freese
    Josh Freese is an American session drummer and songwriter. He is a permanent member of A Perfect Circle, The Vandals, and Devo, having formerly played drums for Nine Inch Nails from late 2005 until late 2008, and for Guns N' Roses from mid-1998 to 2001. Freese has appeared on close to 300 records....

     - American musician of Frisian descent
  • Jane Fonda
    Jane Fonda
    Jane Fonda is an American actress, writer, political activist, former fashion model, and fitness guru. She rose to fame in the 1960s with films such as Barbarella and Cat Ballou. She has won two Academy Awards and received several other movie awards and nominations during more than 50 years as an...

    , actress with Frisian ancestry
  • Jack Lousma, astronaut with Frisian ancestry
  • Fred Eaglesmith
    Fred Eaglesmith
    Frederick John Elgersma , known by the stage name Fred Eaglesmith, is a Canadian alternative country singer-songwriter, one of nine children raised by a farming family in rural Southern Ontario. As a teenager Eaglesmith hopped a freight train out to Western Canada, and began writing songs and...

    , Canadian folk singer, original last name, Elgersma
  • Dieter Eilts
    Dieter Eilts
    Dieter Eilts was an acclaimed German footballer and was last the trainer of Hansa Rostock. His nickname was the Alemão of East Frisia, for his similarity with to Brazilian midfielder Alemão...

    , football (soccer)
    Football (soccer)
    Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

     player, Nickname: the Alemão of East Frisia, won the UEFA European Championship: 1996 with Germany.
  • Alvin Plantinga
    Alvin Plantinga
    Alvin Carl Plantinga is an American analytic philosopher and the emeritus John A. O'Brien Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. He is known for his work in philosophy of religion, epistemology, metaphysics, and Christian apologetics...

    , American philosopher of Frisian descent.
  • Shawn Boonstra, author and host of It Is Written television, son of Frisian immigrant to Canada.
  • Hayley Westenra
    Hayley Westenra
    Hayley Dee Westenra is a New Zealand soprano, classical crossover artist, songwriter and UNICEF Ambassador. Her first internationally released album, Pure, reached No. 1 on the UK classical charts in 2003 and has sold more than two million copies worldwide...

    , an internationally renowned singer from New Zealand
    New Zealand
    New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

     is of some Frisian descent.
  • Otto Waalkes
    Otto Waalkes
    Otto Gerhard Waalkes is a Frisian comedian and actor. He became famous in the 1970s and 1980s in Germany with his shows, books and movies. His perhaps most famous trademark are the 'Ottifanten' , elephant-like comic characters of his own design...

     German comedian, actor and musician, born in Emden
    Emden
    Emden is a city and seaport in the northwest of Germany, on the river Ems. It is the main city of the region of East Frisia; in 2006, the city had a total population of 51,692.-History:...

  • Wout Zijlstra
    Wout Zijlstra
    Wout Zijlstra is a former strongman and Highland Games athlete from the Netherlands. He competed in the World's Strongest Man competition on two occasions.- Biography :...

    , strongest
    Strongman (strength athlete)
    In the 19th century, the term strongman referred to an exhibitor of strength or circus performers of similar ilk who displayed feats of strength such as the bent press , supporting large amounts of...

     man of the Netherlands
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

     in 2001 and 3rd of the world in 1998.
  • Sven Kramer
    Sven Kramer
    Sven Kramer is a Dutch long track speed skater. He is the Olympic champion of the 5000 meter in Vancouver 2010, and four-time European and World Allround Champion. He is also three-time world champion and world record holder in the 5,000 m, 10,000 m, and the team pursuit...

     Dutch long track speed skater.

Further reading

  • 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.

See also


  • Frisia
    Frisia
    Frisia is a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea, i.e. the German Bight. Frisia is the traditional homeland of the Frisians, a Germanic people who speak Frisian, a language group closely related to the English language...

  • Frisian church in Rome
  • Frisian Islands
    Frisian Islands
    The Frisian Islands, also known as the Wadden Islands or Wadden Sea Islands, form an archipelago at the eastern edge of the North Sea in northwestern Europe, stretching from the north-west of the Netherlands through Germany to the west of Denmark...

  • Frisian languages
  • List of Frisian Given Names
  • List of Germanic tribes

External links