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The Imagined Community Of Friesland In The Late Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concentrates on some of the fifteenth-century historiographical representations of the Frisian land and people, with the aim of gaining a deeper insight into the development of a collective Frisian self-image and identity. The author has analysed two fifteenth-century textual traditions as instances of the mythical and contemporary discourses. The mythical narrative is represented by the case of the Gesta-cycle, consisting of a group of closely interrelated texts. The 'Sneek' annalistic tradition, consisting of two short fifteenth-century texts, the Sneker Kroniekje ('Sneek Chronicle') and the Vriesche Aenteyckeninge ('Frisian Accounts') illustrates the contemporary discourse. One of the issues addressed in the chapter is to see if and how a collective Frisian identity could flourish in the late Middle Ages, as opposed to the development of other, local or regional, identities.

Keywords: fifteenth-century textual traditions; Frisian territory; Gesta-cycle; political fragmentation; Sneek tradition



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