Sacred Texts  Atlantis 

The Oera Linda Book

by Wiliam R. Sandbach


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In the 19th century, ascendant nationalism in Europe used local folklore and ancient legends to bolster a sense of identity. One curious example of this is the Oera Linda Book, a controversial manuscript, dated 1256, from the Frisian region of the Netherlands. The Oera Linda book is today conventionally agreed to be a forgery, written during the mid-19th century. This is based on the paper which the manuscript is written on, as well as internal and linguistic evidence.

Purporting to be an episodic chronicle of wars and migrations of the Frisian people, the Oera Linda Book describes events dated (very precisely) from 2194 BCE to 803 CE. The reference date is the submergence of 'Atland,' a lost land in the North Sea, which, according to the book, occurred in 2193 BCE. The book is peppered with descriptions of catastrophic earth changes, including volcanic eruptions, strange weather, and rapid sea level changes. This is intriguing because, even if a forgery, the Oera Linda Book predates the origin of the modern Atlantis craze, which began with Ignatius Donnelly's Atlantis, the Antediluvian World, published in 1882.

The Oera Linda Book also claims that Europe was ruled by a (mostly) peaceful, just matriarchy for most of its history, and that the Frisians invented writing. There is a dark side, too: parts of the Oera Linda Book have touches of bigotry and intolerance which will be galling to most modern readers. This mix of themes have led to a continued fascination with this text, regardless of its authenticity.

PRODUCTION NOTES: I was unable to obtain a printed copy of this edition, so I printed out and scanned back in a Google page image PDF, which does not give the best OCR yield. Hence there may still be OCR errors lurking in this text. I had to omit the parallel Frisian text on facing pages for technical reasons. Most of the footnotes in the body of the text had to be placed at an inferred position, as for the most part the footnotes refer to the Frisian text, not the English. For this reason the place name references in the footnotes are logically reversed. As far as I can tell, this is the first time that an unmodified transcript of this translation of the Oera Linda Book has appeared online.--J.B. Hare, January 29th, 2009.

Title Page
Translator's Preface
Okke my Son
The Book Of Adela's Followers
Frya's Tex
This has Fasta Spoken
These are the Laws Established for the Government of the Citadels
Universal Law
Here Follow the Laws which were thus Established
These are the Rights of the Mothers and the Kings
Here are the Rules Established for the Security of all Frisians
From Minno's Writings
Laws for the Navigators
Useful Extracts from the Writings left by Minno
From Minno's Writings
From the Writings of Minno
These are the Three Principles on which these Laws are founded
These Rules are made for Angry People
These are the Rules Concerning Bastards
What is written hereunder is inscribed on the Walls of Waraburgt
This stands inscribed upon all Citadels
How the Bad Time came
This is inscribed on the Waraburgt by the Aldegamude
All this is inscribed not only on the Waraburgt, but also on the Burgt Stavia, which lies behind the Port of Stavre
What the Consequence of this was
Now we will write about the War between the Burgtmaagden Kalta and Min-erva
We now come to the History of Jon
Now we shall write how it fared with Jon. It is inscribed at Texland.
This is about the Geertmen
In the Year One Thousand and Five after Atland was submerged, this was inscribed on the Eastern Wall of Fryasburgt
This is inscribed in all our Citadels
How it fared afterwards with the Magy
The Writings of Adelbrost and Apollonia
The Second Writing
The Elegy of the Burgtmaagd
The Oldest Doctrine
The Second Part of the Oldest Doctrine
This is written on Parchment. Speech and Answer to other Maidens as an Example
Now I will write myself, first about my Citadel, and then about what I have been able to see
The Writings of Frêthorik and Wiljow
Now I will relate how the Geertman and many followers of Hellenia came back
This Writing has been given to me about Northland and Schoonland (Scandinavia)
Hail to all true Frisians
The Writing of Konerêd
Now I will write about Friso
What Friso did further
Now I will write about his son Adel
Here is the Writing with Gosa's Advice
Here is my Counsel
The Writing of Beeden
Letter of Rika the Oudmaagd, read at Staveren at the Juul Feast