Among historical linguists the Frisian language is well known as the ‘nearest cousin of English’. Old English and Old Frisian more or less have the same roots which reach back to the early Middle Ages. Those were the days of the Frisians, as everybody knows. And if not , please read Michael Pye’s recently published and beautifully written book on the history of the North Sea.
The book starts off with the Frisians, whom Pye introduces as the inventors of money and as the first merchants to cross and dominate the North Sea (back then called the Frisian Sea – Mare Frisicum.) One of the foregrounding scenes from the Old English poem Beowulf takes place in a Frisian Borough. Not only for the reason of this Frisian chapter but also because of the more recent scenes from North Sea life Pye’s book is an absolute must.