Frisii

The Frisii (Old Frisian and Old English: Frīs) were an ancient Germanic tribe[1] living in the low-lying region between the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt delta and the River Ems, and the presumed or possible ancestors of the modern-day ethnic Frisians.

Frisii
Map of the modern coastline of the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark, showing the Germanic peoples that lived there c. 150 AD and shipbuilding techniques they used.
Regions with significant populations
Frisia
Languages
Old Frisian
Religion
Germanic paganism
Related ethnic groups
Saxons, Angles, Chauci, Frisiavones, Frisians
History of the Low Countries
Frisii Belgae
Cana-
nefates
Chamavi,
Tubantes

Gallia Belgica (55 BC – 5th c. AD)
Germania Inferior (83 – 5th c.)
Salian Franks Batavi
unpopulated
(4th–5th c.)
Saxons Salian Franks
(4th–5th c.)
Frisian Kingdom
(6th c.–734)
Frankish Kingdom (481–843)Carolingian Empire (800–843)
Austrasia (511–687)
Middle Francia (843–855) West
Francia

(843–)
Kingdom of Lotharingia (855– 959)
Duchy of Lower Lorraine (959–)
Frisia


Frisian
Freedom

(11–16th
century)

County of
Holland

(880–1432)

Bishopric of
Utrecht

(695–1456)

Duchy of
Brabant

(1183–1430)

Duchy of
Guelders

(1046–1543)

County of
Flanders

(862–1384)

County of
Hainaut

(1071–1432)

County of
Namur

(981–1421)

P.-Bish.
of Liège


(980–1794)

Duchy of
Luxem-
bourg

(1059–1443)
 
Burgundian Netherlands (1384–1482)

Habsburg Netherlands (1482–1795)
(Seventeen Provinces after 1543)
 

Dutch Republic
(1581–1795)

Spanish Netherlands
(1556–1714)
 
 
Austrian Netherlands
(1714–1795)
 
United States of Belgium
(1790)

R. Liège
(1789–'91)
     

Batavian Republic (1795–1806)
Kingdom of Holland (1806–1810)

associated with French First Republic (1795–1804)
part of First French Empire (1804–1815)
   

Princip. of the Netherlands (1813–1815)
 
United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815–1830)
Gr D. L.
(1815–)


Kingdom of the Netherlands (1839–)

Kingdom of Belgium (1830–)
Gr D. of
Luxem-
bourg

(1890–)

The Frisii lived in the coastal area stretching roughly from present-day Bremen to Bruges, including many of the smaller offshore islands. In the 1st century BC, Romans took control of the Rhine delta but Frisii to the north of the river managed to maintain some level of independence.[2] Some or all of the Frisii may have joined into the Frankish and Saxon peoples in late Roman times, but they would retain a separate identity in Roman eyes until at least 296, when they were forcibly resettled as laeti [3] (i.e., Roman-era serfs) and thereafter disappear from recorded history. Their tentative existence in the 4th century is confirmed by archaeological discovery of a type of earthenware unique to 4th-century Frisia, called terp Tritzum, showing that an unknown number of Frisii were resettled in Flanders and Kent,[4] likely as laeti under the aforementioned Roman coercion.

The lands of the Frisii were largely abandoned by c. 400, probably due to climatic deterioration and flooding caused by sea level rise. They lay empty for one or two centuries, when changing environmental and political conditions made the region habitable again. At that time, settlers that came to be known as 'Frisians' repopulated the coastal regions. Medieval and later accounts of 'Frisians' refer to these 'new Frisians' rather than to the ancient Frisii.[5]