Eastphalia (German: Ostfalen; Eastphalian: Oostfalen) is a historical region in northern Germany, encompassing the eastern part of the historic Duchy of Saxony, between the Elbe, Leine, Saale and Unstrut rivers. Today, it covers the southeastern part of the state of Lower Saxony and the western part of Saxony-Anhalt.
The name Ostfalen probably means "east plain". Falen is a Germanic word meaning "flat", "level" and "plain" and is related to the Old Swedish word fala, found today in place names such as Falbygden and Falun, as well as in the northern German town of Fallstedt. The plains of Eastphalia and Westphalia, divided by the Weser into east and west, stand in contrast to the hilly region to the south, the Central Uplands. Unlike the name Westphalia, the name Eastphalia gradually fell out of use after the duchy of Saxony was dissolved in 1180.
German linguists reintroduced the term in the 19th century in the course of researching the Eastphalian language as a West Low German dialect. With the rise of scientific racism in the 19th and early 20th century, mention began to be made[by whom?] of a "Phalian" (fälisch) subtype of an "Aryan race" according to the occult concept of Helena Blavatsky and her Ariosophic followers.
With Charlemagne's defeat and baptism of Duke Widukind in 785 during the Saxon Wars, his lands were integrated into the Frankish Empire and the Saxons were increasingly converted to Christianity. The bishoprics of Halberstadt and Hildesheim were established in eastern Saxony, bounded by the Oker river, in 804 and 815 respectively. The medieval Duchy of Saxony was divided between the districts of Eastphalia (Ostfalahi), Westphalia and Engern.
The Eastphalian territory at the Harz mountain range was the hereditary lands of Henry the Fowler, the first Saxon duke to become King of the Romans in 919, and his descendants of the Ottonian dynasty. They left several Romanesque abbeys and castles, a cultural landscape that today encompasses three World Heritage Sites with the medieval town of Goslar and Quedlinburg, as well as St. Mary's Cathedral and St. Michael's Church at Hildesheim.
After the duke Henry the Lion was placed under imperial ban in 1180, Eastphalia was increasingly subdivided into smaller states, such as the duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, the imperial city of Goslar, the bishoprics of Hildesheim and Halberstadt, the Archbishopric of Magdeburg, Quedlinburg Abbey as well as the counties of Wernigerode and Blankenburg.
Eastphalia consisted of several Gaue (shires). The exact list of Gaue is not known for sure and differs among authorities. From North to South, the Gaue were (where available, modernized names are used):
- Bardengau around Lüneburg (sometimes considered part of Engern, not Eastphalia)
- Drevani (a Slavic tribe)
- Choina (sometimes considered part of Drevani)
- Osterwalde (Salzwedel)
- Gretinge (Hohne)
- Balsamgau (Stendal)
- Astfala (Hildesheim)
- Derlingau (Evessen)
- Gudingau (Elze)
- Valothungo (sometimes considered part of Gudingau)
- Scotelingo (sometimes considered part of Gudingau)
- Aringo (sometimes considered part of Gudingau)
- Flenithi (sometimes considered part of Gudingau)
- Ambergau (sometimes considered part of Salzgau)
- Salzgau (Salzgitter)
- Densigau (sometimes considered part of Salzgau)
- Harzgau (Halberstadt)
- Hassegau (Mansfeld)
- Friesenfeld (sometimes considered part of Hassegau)
- ^ a b c Dieter Thierbach, Rätsel des Alltags: Jeder kennt Westfalen - gibt es auch Ostfalen?, RP-online.de (August 9, 2005). Retrieved February 2, 2011. (German)
- ^ Simon Speck, Paderborn als Stützpunkt der Sachsenmission − 4.2: Zwangschristianisierung Monograph, 22 pages. ISBN 978-3638665872 Retrieved October 12, 2009. (German)
- ^ "Ein Blick in die Geschichte unserer Region − Die Zeit der Franken" radio-unna.de Quote: "Nach der Zwangschristianisierung wird Sachsen in Gaue eingeteilt, die als weiterentwickeltes Stammesrecht (lex saxonum) von Gaugrafen verwaltet werden." Retrieved October 12, 2009. (German)
- ^ Zeittafel der germanischen Völkerwanderung Webarchiv. Quote: Blutgericht von Verden, Karl d.G. läßt 4.500 Sachsen enthaupten; 10.000 ins das [sic] Frankenreic [sic] deportieren, Zwangschristianisierung der Sachsen". Retrieved March 2, 2010. (German)
Regions and landscapes of Lower Saxony
Altes Land | Ammerland | Brunswick Land | Calenberg Land | Eichsfeld | Elbe-Weser | Emsland | County of Bentheim | Land Hadeln | Land Wursten | Harz | Hildesheim Börde | Hümmling | Kehdingen | Leine Uplands | Lüneburg Heath | Middle Weser | Oldenburg Land | Oldenburg Münsterland | Osnabrück Land | Eastphalia | East Frisia | Schaumburg Land | Solling | South Lower Saxony | Wendland | Weser Uplands | Wümme Depression
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Charlemagne — For other uses, see Charlemagne (disambiguation). Charlemagne Rex Francorum (King of the Franks) Rex Longobardorum (King of the Lombards) Imperator Romanorum (Emperor of the Romans) … Wikipedia
Saxon Wars — The Saxon Wars were the campaigns and insurrections of the more than thirty years from 772, when Charlemagne first entered Saxony with the intent to conquer, to 804, when the last rebellion of disaffected tribesmen was crushed. In all, eighteen… … Wikipedia
Westphalia — [ Green : Kingdom of Westphalia (1807 1813) Red : Province of Westphalia (1815 1946) Dark grey : North Rhine Westphalia (1946 )] Westphalia ( de. Westfalen IPA| [vɛstˈfaːlən] ) is a region in Germany, centred on the cities of Bielefeld, Bochum,… … Wikipedia
Harz — Mountains redirects here. For the district of the same name, see Harz (district). Harz Range Country Germany … Wikipedia
Hanover — • The former Kingdom of Hanover has been a province of the Prussian monarchy since 20 September, 1866 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Hanover Hanover … Catholic encyclopedia
Westphalia — • Province of Prussia Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Westphalia Westphalia † … Catholic encyclopedia
Lower Saxony — The subject of this article was previously also known as Saxony. For other uses, see Saxony (disambiguation). Lower Saxony Niedersachsen (German) Neddersassen (Low Saxon) State of Germany … Wikipedia
Saxons — For other uses, see Saxon (disambiguation). 1868 illustration of Augustine addressing the Saxons … Wikipedia
Saxony-Anhalt — Infobox German Bundesland Name = Saxony Anhalt German name = Sachsen Anhalt state coa = Wappen Sachsen Anhalt.svg flag2 = Flag of Saxony Anhalt (state).svg capital = Magdeburg largest city = Halle area = 20445.26 area source = population =… … Wikipedia
North Rhine-Westphalia — NRW redirects here. For other uses, see NRW (disambiguation). North Rhine Westphalia Nordrhein Westfalen State of Germany … Wikipedia