This group consisted of tribes that would eventually develop into the Salian Franks. History of urban centers in the Low Countries The Holy Roman Empire the successor state of East Francia and then Lotharingia ruled much of the Low Countries in the 10th and 11th century, but was not able to maintain political unity. Indigenous late Mesolithic hunter-gatherers from the Swifterbant culture c.
By the seventh century a Frisian Kingdom — under King Aldegisel and King Redbad emerged with Utrecht as its centre of power,   while Dorestad was a flourishing trading place. They would later develop into the Frisii and the early Saxons. Iron ore brought a measure of prosperity, and was available throughout the country, including bog iron. It comprised territories from Frisia in the north to the Kingdom of Italy in the south. Hoekse en Kabeljauwse twisten between and Roman forces pacified the region, but did not expel the Franks, who continued to be feared at least until the time of Julian the Apostate , when Salian Franks were allowed to settle as foederati in Toxandria. During this expansion, Franks migrating to the south eventually adopted the Vulgar Latin of the local population. The oldest human Neanderthal traces were found in higher soils, near Maastricht , from what is believed to be about , years ago. By the time this migration was complete, around BC, a few general cultural and linguistic groups had emerged. There was a quick and smooth transition from the Funnelbeaker farming culture to the pan-European Corded Ware pastoralist culture c. The many finds in Drenthe of rare bronze objects, suggest that it was even a trading centre in the Bronze Age — BC. Around AD, due to several agricultural developments, the economy started to develop at a fast pace, and the higher productivity allowed workers to farm more land or to become tradesmen. Coastal lands remained largely unpopulated for the next two centuries. They were forced by the confederation of the Saxons from the east to move over the Rhine into Roman territory in the fourth century. The Cod faction consisted of the more progressive cities, while the Hook faction consisted of the conservative noblemen. In , at the Battle of the Boarn , the Frisians were defeated after a series of wars. The Batavi later merged with other tribes into the confederation of the Salian Franks, whose identity emerged at the first half of the third century. The southern region became dominated by the related Hilversum culture — BC , which apparently inherited cultural ties with Britain of the previous Barbed-Wire Beaker culture. Some scholars have speculated that even a third ethnic identity and language, neither Germanic nor Celtic, survived in the Netherlands until the Roman period, the Iron Age Nordwestblock culture,   that eventually was being absorbed by the Celts to the south and the Germanic peoples from the east. Holland , Hainaut , Flanders , Gelre , Brabant , and Utrecht were in a state of almost continual war or paradoxically formed personal unions. Towns grew around monasteries and castles , and a mercantile middle class began to develop in these urban areas, especially in Flanders and later also Brabant. The language and culture of most of the people who lived in the County of Holland were originally Frisian. Around AD, farmers from Flanders and Utrecht began draining and cultivating uninhabited swampy land in the western Netherlands, and made the emergence of the County of Holland as centre of power possible. In practice, this meant that Brugge and Antwerp became quasi-independent republics in their own right and would later develop into some of the most important cities and ports in Europe. From Mesolithic Maglemosian-like tribes c. Expansion into the southern Low Countries by BC.
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