Bergen moetsje inoar net, mar minsken wol.
A mountain never meets a mountain, but a man meets a man.
— Frisian proverb
A story begins in ancient Frisia, a land of trees and lakes, its people farmers. The Romans came in 1 AD and tried to take their land, but farmers with axes and shovels make good soldiers when their families are at risk. The Frisians secured their freedom for four hundred years.
The sea was less yielding and flooded them out. Stubborn, two centuries later the people returned. Aldgisl was the first king of the Frisians, followed by Redbad and Bubo. They fended off the Franks but finally lost to Charlemagne of Rome.
In the year 800 the Vikings came. The Frisians pushed them back to the coast, drowning them in the rising tide. It was the beginning of the Frisian Freedom — while feudal lords reigned in the rest of Europe, the Frisians had no masters.
In 1219 a major flood drowned 100,000 people and formed the Waddenzee.
1256 was the start of the Friso-Hollandic Wars, decades long conflicts continuing until 1422. Social discord led to the emergence of regional leaders. Internally divided, Albrecht of Hasburg conquered all of Frisia. Piers Gerlofs Donia led a band of peasants in revolt, and they prevailed until his death, when the Freedom ended.