Beautiful piece of embroidery and an interesting look at seventh century European politics.
In the best known legend about Frisian chieftain Radbod (d. 719), from The Life of Wulframn of Sens, he stuck his toe in the baptismal font and asked a profound question: would he see his ancestors in the afterlife? Told that his kin were in hell while he would be in heaven, Radbod refused the rite. He would rather spend eternity damned with the ancestors he loved rather than be in paradise with the Franks he hated.
We have no way of knowing whether this particular story is true, but it might reveal Radbod’s reasoning for considering conversion but staying with his pagan gods. Both decisions had more to do with politics than spirituality.
Sixteenth century embroidery depicting the legend in which the Frisian chieftain Radbod refuses baptism at the last moment (public domain image via Wikimedia Commons).
Around the 690s, Radbod had been fighting with Frankish Mayor of…
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