The Saxon Freemen


In the year 772 Charlemagne invaded the lands of the Saxons. It would take him more than thirty years to complete the subjugation, years that included forced conversions to Christianity - the alternative being execution - and the slaughter of 4,500 Saxon prisoners at Verden; and yet, come the year 841, the Saxons rose up one last time in an attempt to restore their old ways. Though quickly put down, it is remarkable that rebellion still dwelt in their hearts, and that old traditions had abided - underground - in the interim. A powerful love of something was passed along in their households. But what?


Certainly, these forgotten people are no less deserving of respect than the many indigenous cultures that now claim preservation as a human right. The Last of the Freemen is a tale of their descendants, living in the United States in the not-too-distant future. This allows me to explore the beliefs and qualities that made them so difficult to conquer, and to do so in a manner relevant to the modern world. In articles that follow, I will explore some themes of the novel - and more broadly, consider the cultural drivers of freedom - for anyone who finds these things of interest.

Monday, April 11, 2016

The Saxon Freemen

   In the year 772 Charlemagne invaded the lands of the Saxons.  It would take him more than thirty years to complete the subjugation, years that included mass, forced conversions to Christianity - the alternative being execution - and the slaughter of 4,500 Saxon prisoners at Verden; and yet, come the year 841, the Saxons - not all, but many of the freemen who had been reduced to peasantry by this new world order - rose up one last time in an attempt to restore their old ways.
   Known as the Stellinga, it was quickly put down and the leaders executed.  But to consider that rebellion still dwelt in their hearts after so many years, and that old traditions had abided - underground - in the interim, is quite amazing.  A powerful love of something was passed along in their households.  But what?  Certainly, these forgotten people are no less deserving of respect than the many other indigenous cultures who now properly claim their preservation as a human right.
    The Last of the Freemen is a tale of their descendants, living in the United States in the not-too-distant future.  This device allows me to explore the beliefs and qualities that made them so difficult to conquer, and to do so in a manner relevant to the modern world.  In articles that follow, I will explore some themes of the novel - and more broadly, consider the cultural drivers of freedom - for anyone who finds these things of interest.