En 14a Fryasland Swamped

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    14. Added by Frethorik

    14a. Fryasland Swamped, ca. 305 BCE

    [113/23] My name is Frethorik, surnamed Oera Linda, which means ‘over the Linde’.[1] I was elected magistrate at Liudwardia, a new settlement within the ring dyke of the burg Liudgarda, the name of which has fallen into disrepute.

    During my time, much has transpired, about which I have kept an extensive record. But many things were also reported to me later. Of the one and [114] the other, I will add a selection to this book, to honor the good and to shame the bad.

    In my youth, I heard grievances all over: Bad times would come — bad times had come. Frya had forsaken us; she had withheld her watch maidens because idolatrous images had been found within our borders. I burned with curiosity to see these images. In our neighborhood, there was an old maid who marched in and out of the houses, always heralding bad times. One day, I came up alongside her. She stroked my chin. Now I was emboldended and asked her to teach me about the bad times and the images. She gave a goodly smile and brought me to the burg. An alderman asked me if I could read and write. “No,” I said. “Then first you must go and learn,” he replied, “or else you cannot be taught.” So I went daily to the scribe and studied.

    Eight years later, I heard that our burgmaid had been promiscuous and that some of the lords had betrayed us to the Magy. Many people, it was said, were on their side. Dissension grew everywhere. Children revolted against their parents. Righteous folk were murdered in cowardly fashion. The old maid who was revealing it all [115] was found dead in a ditch. My father, who was a judge, wanted her avenged. One night, he was murdered in his home.

    Three years later, the Magy ruled unchallenged. The Saxmen had remained faithful and prudent, and all good men fled to them. My mother died in the midst of this, so I fled to the Saxmen like the others.[2]

    The Magy was proud of his own cunning, but Earth would show him that she could allow neither a Magy nor idols at the holy seat where she bore Frya. Just as the wild horse shakes its mane after throwing its rider onto the grass, Earth shook her woods and mountains. Rivers were spread over the fields, the seas boiled, mountains spewed up to the clouds and, what they had disgorged, the clouds hurled back down upon Earth. At the beginning of the Harvest month,[3] Earth tilted northward and sank down, lower and lower.[4] By the Wolves’ month, the low marks of Fryasland were covered by the sea. The woods where the images had been were heaved up and ravaged by storm. The following year, in the Hard month, frost came and buried old Fryasland under a sheet of ice. In the Selling month, a storm wind came [116] from the North, pushing forth mountains of ice and stones.

    When spring came, Earth righted herself again. The ice melted away, ebb came, and the woods with the images drifted out to sea. In the Winne month, or Love month, all those who dared to do so returned home.

    I came with a maiden to the burg Liudgarda. How sad it looked! The forests of the Linde regions were mostly gone. Where the Liudgarda had been was the sea — its waves lashing the ring dyke. Ice had destroyed the tower and the buildings lay in jumbled heaps. On the slope of the dyke, I found a stone on which our scribe had carved his name. That, to me, was a sign. The other burgs shared similar fates; in the highlands they were crushed by earth, in the lowlands by water. Only Fryasburg at Texland was found intact, but all the land that had lain northwards was under water and still has not been reclaimed.

    Reportedly, the shores of the Flee Lake now had thirty salt marshes — formed where the woods had been swept away with root and soil. West Fleeland had fifty.

    The canal that had run across the land from the Alderga had been blocked by sand and was [117] lost.

    The navigators and other sailors who were home had saved themselves together with their close relatives and other kin upon their ships. But the black folk of Lydasburg and Alkmarum had done the same and, as they drifted southwards, they rescued many girls. And, since no one came for them later, they kept them as their wives.

    The people who came back all made their homes within the ring dykes of the burgs because, without, all was mud and swampland. The unstable buildings were repaired. Cows and sheep were purchased from the upper lands and the large buildings that had formerly housed the maidens were now used to make cloth and felt for the sake of survival.

    All this happened 1888 years after Atland sank.


    1. ‘over the Linde’ (OVIR THA LINDA) — or: ‘across the Linde’; the Linde (also Lende) is a small river in Friesland.
    2. The text only says ‘Now I did like the others’; changed ‘did’ into ‘fled to the Saxmen’ for clarity.
    3. Month names in this chapter: Harvest: August, Wolves’: December, Hard: January, Sol: February, Winne: May.
    4. ‘Earth tilted...’ — literal translation; it is not clear what actually happened.

    Sandbach 1876

    The Writings Of Frêthorik And Wiljow.

    [p.157] My name is Frêthorik, surnamed oera Linda, which means over the Linden. In Ljndwardia I was chosen as Asga. Ljndwardia is a new village within the fortification of the Ljudgaarda, of which the name has fallen into disrepute. In my time much has happened. I had written a good deal about it, but afterwards much more was related to me. I will write an account of both one and the other after this book, to the honour of the good people and to the disgrace of the bad.

    In my youth I heard complaints on all sides. The bad time was coming; the bad time did come—Frya had forsaken us. She withheld from us all her watch-maidens, because monstrous idolatrous images had been found within our landmarks. I burnt with curiosity to see those images. In our neighbourhood a little old woman tottered in and out of the houses, always calling out about the bad times. I came to her; she stroked my chin; then I became bold, and asked her if she would show me the bad times and the images. She laughed good-naturedly, and took me to the citadel. An old man asked me if I could read and write. No, I said. Then you must first go and learn, he replied, otherwise it may not be shown to you. I went daily to the writer and learnt. Eight years afterwards I heard that our Burgtmaagd had been unchaste, and that some of the burgtheeren had committed treason with the Magy, and many people took their part. Everywhere disputes arose. There were children rebelling against their parents; good [p.159] people were secretly murdered. The little old woman who had brought everything to light was found dead in a ditch. My father, who was a judge, would have her avenged. He was murdered in the night in his own house. Three years after that the Magy was master without any resistance. The Saxmen had remained religious and upright. All the good people fled to them. My mother died of it. Now I did like the others. The Magy prided himself upon his canning, but Irtha made him know that she would not tolerate any Magy or idol on the holy bosom that had borne Frya. As a wild horse tosses his mane after he has thrown his rider, so Irtha shook her forests and her mountains. Rivers flowed over the land; the sea raged; mountains spouted fire to the clouds, and what they vomited forth the clouds flung upon the earth. At the beginning of the Arnemaand (harvest month) the earth bowed towards the north, and sank down lower and lower. In the Welvenmaand (winter month) the low lands of Fryasland were buried under the sea. The woods in which the images were, were torn up and scattered by the wind. The following year the frost came in the Hardemaand (Louwmaand, January), and laid Fryasland concealed under a sheet of ice. In Sellemaand (Sprokkelmaand, February) there were storms of wind from the north, driving mountains of ice and stones. When the spring-tides came the earth raised herself up, the ice melted; with the ebb the forests with the images drifted out to sea. In the Winne, or Minnemaand (Bloeimaand, May), every one who dared went home. I came with a maiden to the citadel Liudgaarde. How sad it looked there. The forests of the Lindaoorden were almost all gone. Where Liudgaarde used to be was sea. The waves swept over the fortifications. Ice had destroyed the tower, and the houses lay heaped over each other. On the slope of the dyke I found a stone [p.161] on which the writer had inscribed his name. That was a sign to me. The same thing had happened to other citadels as to ours. In the upper lands they had been destroyed by the earth, in the lower lands by the water. Fryasburgt, at Texland, was the only one found uninjured, but all the land to the north was sunk under the sea, and has never been recovered. At the mouth of the Flymeer, as we were told, thirty salt swamps were found, consisting of the forest and the ground that had been swept away. At Westflyland there were fifty. The canal which had run across the land from Alderga was filled up with sand and destroyed. The seafaring people and other travellers who were at home had saved themselves, their goods, and their relations upon their ships. But the black people at Lydasburgt and Alkmarum had done the same; and as they went south they saved many girls, and as no one came to claim them, they took them for their wives. The people who came back all lived within the lines of the citadel, as outside there was nothing but mud and marsh. The old houses were all smashed together. People bought cattle and sheep from the upper lands, and in the great houses where formerly the maidens were established cloth and felt were made for a livelihood. This happened 1888 years after the submersion of Atland.[1]

    Note Sandbach

    1. 2193-1888 is 305 before Christ.

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