20 July 2021

Notes from the publisher / Shipping Log

[Update July 28: no new orders are taken until after book presentation. Those who have already ordered but not yet (fully) paid can still finish their order. Please note: if you have not received a tracking link or invoice, please check your spam box.]

 Minor changes of service: 1) In earlier communications, it was suggested that parcels to non-EU destinations would be registered as gift, to avoid import tax. At later consideration, this was a mistake, as we cannot take the risk that customs would not agree. Therefore the actual value is registered. 2) Earlier I suggested that before shipping, all who had ordered would be informed and would have the chance to provide a possible change of address. This would be too much work. If your address has changed, please inform us or make use of a forwarding service. 3) Some people have asked me to write a personal message or signature in the book. This would slow down the shipping action and I am too scared to ruin the books. I do it in very rare occasions only.

I am being flooded with messages asking when the books will be sent. Answering all would delay distribution. Some delay is caused by increased customs bureaucracy and wrong packing materials having been delivered twice. I intended to handle the first edition myself and am learning by doing. Future editions may partly be printed in USA and elsewhere, in cooperation with more experienced publishing houses.

Delivery can still be expected end of July, perhaps early August for some.


If your parcel is sent registered or with tracking code, you receive a link by E-mail.

Wednesday, July 21 — USA: boxes (incl. a surplus) were shipped to Florida, from where the books will be sent to these states:

AK 2; AZ 2
CA 4+3+2+1+1+1+1+1 = 14
CO 5+1+1 = 7
FL 21+2+2+2+1 = 28
IA 1
ID 3+2+2+1 = 8
IL 2+1+1+1 = 5
LA 1; MD 1; ME 1; MI 1
MN 3+1 = 4
MO 2; MS 1; MT 2
NC 2+2+1+1+1+1 = 8
NH 1; NJ 4; NY 1; OH 1; OK 2
PA 2+2+1 = 5
TX 1; UT 1
VA 1+1 = 2
WA 10+2 = 12
WI 1; WV 1

July 21
July 24

Thursday, July 22 — parcels sent to:

Australia: VIC 1+1, NSW 1 = 3
Canada: AB 1+2, BC 1+1+1, ON 1+1+1, SK 1 = 10
Czech Republic: 2
Japan: 1
New Zealand: 2+1 = 3
Finland: 1+3 = 4
Norway: 1+1+1+2 = 5
Poland: 1
Romania: 1
Slovenia: 1+1 = 2
Switzerland: 1+2+3 = 6

Netherlands: 1 (birthday priority)

Friday, July 23 — All parcels for EU (not NL), UK and Jersey were packed and labels were prepared. One parcel could be sent already to:

Belgium: 9 (more to Belgium sent on Saturday)

Saturday, July 24 — parcels sent to:

United Kingdom: 10+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1 = 22
Belgium: 4+2+1 = 7
(Friday 1 box with  9 books was sent)
France: 1+1+1+1 = 4
Germany: 4+4+2+1+1 = 12
Jersey: 1
Denmark: 1+1+1 = 3
Italy: 1
Sweden: 1

Sunday, July 25 — parcels sent to:

Netherlands: 6+4+3+(5x2)+(14x1) = 37 (more to come, several handed over personally)
South Africa: 1 (fastest so far; ordered and paid for today!)

Monday, July 26 — box and parcels sent to:

Friesland: 20+3+1 = 24
Iceland: 4

Tuesday, July 27 —After having stood in Cologne, Germany for five days (for unknown reasons), the boxes to USA are now being flown to Florida (confirmed by phone 9 a.m. Dutch time).

(shipping of books paid for after July 27 are no longer reported here; if sent with track & trace or registered service, an Email notification will be sent)

Wednesday evening July 28 (USA time): boxes were checked in at Jacksonville, FL — delivered Thursday July 29 on 11:54 a.m. (USA time)!

Friday July 30 — parcels within USA are sent with USPS Media mail, which may take 10 days to arrive, except the box with 10 books which will be UPS Priority and may take 3-5 days. Tracking links have been sent Monday Aug. 2.

10 July 2021


Some cognates (meaning smoke, vapor):
reek - Frisian
rook - Dutch, Afrikaans
Rauch - German
røg - Danish
røyk - Norse
rök - Swedish
reykur - Icelandic
Raach - Luxembourgish
ryk - Old-Norse

When meaning bad smell:
reek - English
reuk - Dutch
Geruch - German

07 July 2021

Implausible hoax doctrine

    The most scholarly work published thus far about the Oera Linda-book was a dissertation by Goffe Jensma. (1) It presents a theory in which a triumvirate, backed by several co-conspirators, produced the manuscript in order to initially fool their intended audience and eventually, when their victims would have understood the prank, make a theological statement. A basic assumption of the study was that it had to be a 19th century fictional creation.

  1. De Gemaskerde God — François HaverSchmidt en het Oera Linda-boek ('The Masked God'), 2004, defended at the Faculty of Theology at Groningen University. It has an English summary, accessible at www.academia.edu/619642.
Goffe Jensma
De Gemaskerde God (2004) dissertation by Jensma
Dutch translation (2006) by Jensma

    The three creators would have been pastor and poet Haverschmidt (1835-1894), his friend the librarian and linguist Verwijs (1830-1880), and royal navy shipyard superintendent Over de Linden (1811-1874). While the first two were known to have been college friends, Haverschmidt would have had to get to know Over de Linden well enough in the 1.5 year (December 1862 to July 1864) that he was one of three pastors at the Den Helder parish of 9,300 members. Over de Linden was known to not be a church-goer, he was a generation older than the pastor, was (grand)father and remarried as a widower in May 1863. The 28 year old Haverschmidt got married in August 1863 and would one year later become father. Both will have had other things on their mind — not least of all to work for a living — than concocting a highly advanced (and potentially dangerous) mystification.

Haverschmidt (1835-1894)
Verwijs (1830-1880)
Over de Linden (1811-1874)

    After the two supposedly would have gotten acquainted, they would have had to mostly work together with Verwijs through mail, as the pastor moved to Schiedam in 1864 and the linguist lived in Leeuwarden, hours of travel separating the three of them.

    However, most implausible of all circumstances was that the intelligent and talented Verwijs would have risked not only losing his career, but also being criminally prosecuted. After all, having examined the manuscript in 1867, he initially concluded that it was "irrefutably authentic" and "an ancestral manuscript, copied many times", (1) asking the Frisian Provincial Executive permission to negotiate a purchase from the owner as well as funds to have it copied and translated. (2)

  1. Letters Verwijs to Over de Linden, October 13 and 19, 1867.
  2. 'Gedeputeerde Staten', the executive branch of government of a province in the Netherlands.

    If the manuscript would have been intended to be obviously fake at second consideration, as Jensma theorized, Verwijs' request would have been unforgivable, if he would have been complicit. And even if the three creators would have agreed to keep their teamwork a secret, would Verwijs have had reason to trust especially Over de Linden, whom he could hardly have gotten to know well and who, like he, was known to be a drinker and thus could easily have talked past his mouth?

    What if King William III would have insisted to see the manuscript and what if he would have taken offense at the anti-monarchist sentiments expressed in the work? If it had been a joke, it was a very dangerous one. As it was later stated: "Some see [it] as the deceptive masterpiece of dark powers, created with the apparent goal of undermining the foundations of church and society." (1)
  1. Dr. M. de Jong in his foreword of Het Geheim van het Oera-Linda-Boek (The Secret of the OLB), 1927.
King William (1817-1890)
    In a publication about Germanic words for woman, (1) Verwijs suggested that the name of the town Vronen was derived from the Old-Frisian word FRÁN (Dutch vroom; sacred, pious), while in Oera Linda the original form FOR.ÁNA (Dutch voor-aan; in front) is suggested. He published much more about etymology. If he really created the Fryas language, it should be possible to identify his signature. However, in the meticulous studies that tried to prove him guilty, such evidence was never found.
  1. De namen der vrouw bij den Germaan, 1863.
Verwijs (1863)

    Jensma's three suspects all had a life. They were not hermits with unlimited time or resources. Even if they would have had the time and skills to create it, as well as the courage to possibly enrage the establishment, would they have taken the risk that the manuscript remained unnoticed? If Ottema had not translated and published it, hardly anyone would have known it ever existed. Would none of them have wanted any credit for it, if only posthumously?

    Before theorizing about possible modern creators, it should first be compellingly proven that it cannot possibly be a 13th century copy, or a copy thereof. If it would be a 19th century fantasy, loosely based on a selection of sources, this should have become ever more evident in the last 150 years, but the opposite is the case.

03 July 2021

Frisian Antiquities (1875) — English translation

In 1938, the manuscript known as The Oera Linda-book was given to the province Friesland by custodian and owner Cornelis Over de Linden, the fourth of that name, who was confident that "through Science the Truth will triumph over the mystery surrounding this manuscript".

One year prior to the handover, in 1937, there had been attempts to set up a fund for publication of a facsimile edition of the manuscript, perhaps followed by various translations and new research. The then owner Cornelis Over de Linden was one of the initiators and a willing investor. Collaboration was sought with the Frisian Society for History, Archaeology and Language. (1) The provincial librarian, historian, theologian and member of the Frisian Society, Geert A. Wumkes supported the initiative, (2) writing:

"It is less significant to me who wrote the Oera Linda-book. What matters is its inherent, spiritual value, as a testimony to the Westfrisian love of freedom at a time when the national character was threatened with utter destruction. Both its moral and literary quality, as well as the spirituality it expresses, I consider more relevant than authenticity and historical facts." (3)

However, four months later, in a reply of two sentences, the president of the Frisian Society, baron Pieter A.V. van Harinxma thoe Slooten, who was also the Queen’s commissioner for the province Friesland, informed the initiators that the Society refused to give any support, financially or morally. (4)
Wumkes had not been the only respectable advocate of Oera Linda's value, but he was one of the last who dared to openly praise it. The first and foremost had been Dr. Ottema, whose introduction to his first edition of 1872 was translated by William Sandbach in the 1876 English edition. This introduction will be known to most readers and remain accessible. A less well known introduction to Oera Linda, and perhaps a more notable one, for it was published by the same Frisian Society that would later so disdainfully reject it, is translated below.

  1. Friesch Genootschap van Geschied-, Oudheid- en Taalkunde; cooperation with the Westfries Genootschap (North Holland) was also intended.
  2. It was thanks to the efforts of Wumkes that Over de Linden would hand over the manuscript to the library in 1938. Wumkes is most well known for his Frisian translation of the complete Bible, published in 1943.
  3. Letter Wumkes to Molenaar, dated March 22, 1937.
  4. Letter Harinxma to Molenaar, dated July 17, 1937.

Frisian Antiquities (1)

The Over de Linden family in Den Helder is in possession of an old manuscript, of which script, language and content were unknown. It had been passed on from generation to generation, with the advice to preserve it with care, as a family-treasure. They guessed it was written in Old-Frisian and suspected it might contain information about ancient ancestors.

When Dr. Eelco Verwijs, archivist-librarian of Friesland, heard about this, he informed the Dutch government, that commissioned him to examine it. On December 17, 1867, he reported his first conclusions and that the owner had given him permission to copy and translate the manuscript. [...]

Thanks to the persevering zeal and care of Dr. J.G. Ottema, the content was understood and translated. In detail he reported the results of his examination in a meeting of the Frisian Society on February 10, 1871. This report was printed and distributed, leading to a great public interest in this curious document.

In Ottema's opinion, the doubts that had risen about the manuscript's authenticity had no grounds. He saw it as a most important source of old Frisian history, revealing relevant new information. As he concluded: "We may thus accept that this manuscript, of which the oldest part was composed in the sixth century before our era, contains the oldest product (after Homer and Hesiod) of European literature. It describes an ancient people in our fatherland, thus far unknown, with a development, civilization, industry, navigation, trade, literature and pure, sublime religious values. In our imagination, our history did not reach beyond the arrival of Friso [c. 300 BC], the supposed Frisian founding father. Here however we discover a history beyond 2000 BC, surpassing the antiquity of Greece and equaling that of Israel."

The manuscript is a copy from 1256, (2) made by Hidde Oera Linda. In all debates about its authenticity and value, it was impossible to have a well-founded judgment, until the printed version was published in 1872. [...]

After publication, the book that was remarkable from any point of view remained a source of conflict and both sides of the debate sought to defend their belief. In 1973, Dr. Ottema explained the content in a brochure, titled Historical Notes and Clarifications to the Oera Linda-book, (3) and defended it a year later in The Royal Academy and the Oera Linda-book. (4) Dr. A.T. Reitsma from Groningen studied it and presented the results of his research in three meetings of the Frisian Society. (5) He concluded that the work has both internal and external marks of authenticity, and gave examples of its high historic value. In the last of these meetings the opponents also had the opportunity to raise their concerns. The manuscript itself was also displayed at that occasion, so the possible authenticity as 13th century copy could be judged.

The most extensive research thus far was reported in the Deventer newspaper in 1874 and later published separately, titled In response to the Oera Linda Book. (6) It is obvious that the author was someone knowledgeable and unprejudiced. His answer to the thought that the book would be a forgery, made after 1853, when the stilt-houses in lake Zürich were discovered, is: "Who then would be the author? Not just anyone would be capable of such a thing. Accurate knowledge would have been needed for that of the oldest Frisian language, of which a very limited vocabulary from only a few sources is available. Moreover, knowledge of how that language changed in the course of time. For remarkable differences can be noticed between the linguistic varieties used by the first and last composers of the manuscript. The forger would also have needed exceptional historic and geographic knowledge. It could not have been done without many years of preparatory studies. Writing the odd script would have been a drudgery. And what would all those efforts have been good for? Honor? — But forgers have good reasons to keep their name a secret. Money? — That publication would hardly cover printing costs could have been known beforehand. The pleasure of fooling scholars? — Would a very well-educated and talented man, as the assumed creator must have been, sacrifice so much time and effort in order to gain such questionable delight? None of all that is plausible.

"We thus face an odd dilemma: Either we allow ourselves to be fooled by the creation of a highly devoted, mad genius — or a great deal of old history is placed in such light, that a revolution in this field will become inevitable.

"You might then suppose it was the product of a bored monastic? This cannot be the case either. As we intend to explain, the Oera Linda-book teaches ethics and an understanding of God that are so ultimately true and pure, so unmonkish and untheologic, that someone, raised under the influence of Catholic or even Protestant dogmas, could impossibly have expressed such true free-thinking and entirely unbiased feelings."

And yet this scholar had to conclude: "Although nothing goes against the physical possibility; although we discovered nothing that convinces of a forgery, — still there is something suspicious about the parts that deal with Greek-Roman antiquity. We have no doubts about the honesty and frankness of the gentlemen Over de Linden and Dr. Ottema. If any element is forged, they were not involved — we are wholeheartedly convinced of that. We have suspicion, but it is not serious enough to outright reject the Oera Linda-book."

All things considered, we may call this book remarkable. As long as it will remain difficult, to distinguish myth, legend or embellished tradition in the earliest history of any nation, the Oera Linda-book — considered by some as a glorification of the Frisian race — will remain an object of meticulous research. Still, anyone who has read the book will have to admit, that the work contains inner marks of great value. Therefore we readily agree with the following statement by the Deventer scholar: "Although I have come to love the book with all my heart, I look forward to the results of scientific examination without concern. Because, even if it would be convincingly refuted on historic grounds, the book would still keep its great ethical value as an allegory or as fiction."

  1. Translated from the Dutch original (link to PDF). Full title: Friesche Oudheden — Afbeeldingen van Merkwaardige Voorwerpen van Wetenschap en Kunst, gevonden in de Archieven, Kerken, Kasteelen, Terpen enz. van Friesland (Frisian Antiquities — Depictions of remarkable objects of science and art, found in the archives, churches, castles, terps etc. of Friesland), published by the Friesch Genootschap (1875), p. 48-50 Het schrift van het Oera Linda-Bok, with a depiction of page 45 of the manuscript.
  2. The 1256th year should have been read as the year 1255.
  3. Original Dutch title: Geschiedkundige aanteekeningen en ophelderingen bij Thet Oera Linda Bok. A revised and more extensive edition was published with the same title in 1878.
  4. Original Dutch title: De Koninklijke Akademie en het Oera Linda Boek.
  5. Dr. Anne T. Reitsma was theologian, pastor and one of the founders in 1838 of the Frisian Theologian Society, which he gave its motto: Truth in Freedom.
  6. Full title: Naar aanleiding van Thet Oera Linda Bok — Historische schetsen met enige in- en uitvallen (1874), translated in German as Historische Skizzen auf Grundlage von Thet Oera Linda Bok (1875); although it was published anonymously, it was clear that the author was prof. Annes J. Vitringa, school director and author of articles and books, most significantly Darwinia (1876) about a monstrous world as he believed it would look like if Darwin's teachings were truly applied.

24 June 2021

Notes on the Over de Linden family

That Cornelis Over de Linden was custodian of the manuscript in 1867 when he first sought help getting it translated is undisputed. The earlier history of the manuscript is less certain and will be discussed below.

Ms. ownership*
Jan Over Lende
? -1794?
Andries Over de Linden
Hendrik Reuvers, married

    to Aafje Over de Linden

Rijkent Kofman, married

    to Cornelia Reuvers

Cornelis Over de Linden I
Leendert F. Over de Linden
Cornelis Over de Linden IV

 - - - - - - -

Friesland Library/ Tresoar

since 1938
*ownership before 1848 uncertain — some would say: before 1867

If Cornelis received the manuscript in 1848, as he maintained and as several witnesses testified, it will have come from his grandfather Andries Over de Linden, carpenter and shipbuilder. If the latter had intended to have his grandson inherit it, one would expect an explaining letter of instruction to accompany it. Another possibility is that Andries instructed his son in law Hendrik Reuvers who was at least acquainted with the family since 1818 and who may have later instructed his son in law Rijkent Kofman. There are facts suggesting that Cornelis was not handed over the manuscript voluntarily in 1848 as he claimed, but rather that that there had been discord related to the handover. Cornelis may have been convinced that he was the rightful heir, passing on the Over de Linden surname, but he had not been properly instructed about the manuscript and its content.

Andries was the second surviving son of Jan Over Lende, who started a bookshop in 1764 in Enkhuizen. His older brother Johannes (1752-1809) continued the trade of their father in Enkhuizen, and the son of Johannes, Jan (1776-1858) did as well, besides being book printer and binder. The question arises why the manuscript was not passed down through the line of book traders rather than to the carpenter Andries. Or were there more than just one copy? Perhaps Andries was favored because he had been named after his yet unknown father's father.

The oldest known information thus far about the family is from January 1741, when Jan Over Lende, 21 years old, signed accounts in Leeuwarden as (what may be translated as) assistant of the public prosecutor. Four years later, in the summer of 1745, he got married in Harlingen, Friesland, where he and his bride Janke Hansen then lived. His surname was spelled by different scribes as Over de Lende and Over Linde respectively. Soon after the marriage they must have moved to Enkhuizen in Westfriesland, on the other side of the Zuyderzee, now IJsselmeer, because their first child was baptized there in June 1746. An older sister of Janke, Antje Hanses already lived in Enkhuizen when the latter got married in 1742, and a younger brother Oene Johannesz also married there in 1751. It is still unknown what profession Jan Over Lende had between 1741 and 1765, but in 1746 he signed five notarial documents as a witness. His signature then was Jan Andriesz, using his patronymic instead of the surname Over Linde. Also, at the registrations of baptisms between 1746 and 1764 of all his children, the surname was not used. When he and his wife signed their testament in 1783, he wrote Over Lende again. At his death in 1794, the scribe wrote Over de Linden, which would remain the spelling when family names became formalized in 1811, under French rule.

There is no direct clue as to where Jan Andriesz Over Linde was born, but it can hardly be a coincidence that a Lijsbet Andriesdr from Steggerda, married to Engele Haitzes, had a son Andries, born in Lemmer in 1763, who would later (1811 at the latest) also adopt the name Over de Linde. The Linde or Lende was and is the name of a stream in the south of the province Friesland. Seen from Leeuwarden, Harlingen and Lemmer, Steggerda lies on the other side of it. To go there, or to have come from there, one had to go over the Linde.

Is this why Jan used it as a surname in Leeuwarden in 1741 and in Harlingen in 1745 and why he initially did not use the name in Enkhuizen, because there they would not have known of a stream called Linde? Or did he move to Enkhuizen to flee from something and did he hide for a while with the more anonymous patronymic? Did he as a book trader get hold of the manuscript and keep it because of the stunning coincidence that it had been copied by an apparent namesake, or had he had it for much longer, before he moved to Westfriesland? Was Okke, son of Hidde Oera Linde, addressed on page one of the manuscript an actual forefather of Jan, or did a later ancestor start using the surname Over Linde, because he read it in the manuscript that had otherwise come in his possession?

These questions and speculations will only have value for readers who are willing to consider authenticity of the Oera Linda manuscript. With the advancing digitization of archives, relevant information may be found more easily in the future, if not about the Over de Linden family, then perhaps in other families with curious names, like Tex, Jol and Van Adelen.

23 June 2021

Language too modern?

From many of our words, the origin is unknown. Even in the fifth century BCE, Socrates speculated about etymology.

Plato Cratylus, for example 409c - 410a (transl. Fowler 1921): "Hermogenes: And what of πῦρ (fire) [...]? Socrates: Πῦρ is too much for me. It must be that either the muse of Euthyphro has deserted me or this is a very difficult word. [...] I know that many Greeks, especially those who are subject to the barbarians, have adopted many foreign words. [...] If we should try to demonstrate the fitness of those words in accordance with the Greek language, and not in accordance with the language from which they are derived, you know we should get into trouble. [...] Well, this word πῦρ is probably foreign; for it is difficult to connect it with the Greek language, and besides, the Phrygians have the same word, only slightly altered." The Fryas word for fire is the same as that for four: FJUR. In Plato's dialogue between Socrates and Timaeus (53d), the latter relates the element fire with the tetrahedron; a polyhedron composed of four triangular faces.

Although there are models, theories and speculations, we simply do not know how old our languages are and how they developed. We are discovering more about civilizations that were probably lost as a result of cataclysms, so we should be able to imagine that spoken and written languages once existed that may have been more advanced than their remnants later were. When critics of Oera Linda suggest that its syntax or vocabulary would be too modern to be authentic, their usual reference will be the oldest available, accepted sources of Dutch and Frisian. They are few and were written by scribes who had learned to read and write in the classical languages.

Latin and Greek as we know them may have been languages used primarily for the transmission of information and not for representing the language then spoken by normal people. Everyday language may have been much more similar to dialects that still exist. So, what if a text would emerge that was written or copied by someone who had actually learned to read and write the spoken language of his pre-Christian ancestors? Would this text not seem modern and strange — too easily readable, in the eyes of someone who had expected an older text to be less legible compared to that of an early medieval monk?

Critics have given examples of words that they consider to be modern, or that they assume must have been meant as a joke, like BEDRUM for bedroom or NÉF.TÜNIS for Neptune. Other words are assumed to be intentionally ambiguous. However, all such examples are speculative or arguments from incredulity (a fallacy). Old languages logically will seem ambiguous, because use of words will have changed through time and there will have been regional differences. Even within and between the various texts of the manuscript, there are examples of different and changing meanings.

As far as I know, no Old-Frisian specialist has ever published a review of the Oera Linda language. The 1876 pamphlet by J. Vinckers usually referred to by people who claim that Oera Linda's falseness has long been established, was never translated into, summarized or reviewed in English, for a reason. It simply is no good.