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A Germanic seafaring people. In Roman times they occupied northern Holland and north-west Germany. Apart from records of their revolts against Rome between 12 bc and 69 ad, little is known about them. Some of them served in the Roman army in Britain in the 3rd century. By the 4th century they were under Saxon domination. The Franks attempted to convert them to Christianity by force, though this was less successful than the missionary efforts of St Wilfred from England. They were part of the Carolingian empire, and in the 16th century became part of the Habsburg empire of Charles V. In 1579 they reluctantly joined the Union of Utrecht against Philip II. They continued their independent role in the new state, electing their own Statholder (or President) until 1747.

Subjects: Archaeology — World History.

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