As the captial of the ancient district of Kennemerland between den Helder and Haarlem, Alkmaar frequently suffered in the early wars between the Hollanders and the Frisians, and in 1517 was captured by the united Gelderlanders and Frisians.
Beyond these were found the Frisians, a people of German origin, who gave their name to the territory between the Rhine and the Ems. Of the other tribes the best known are the Caninefates, Chauci, Usipetes, Sicambri, Eburones, Menapii, Morini and Aduatici.
The Frisians struggled against Roman over-lordship somewhat longer, and it was not until A.D.
The strip of coast from the mouth of the Scheldt to that of the Ems remained, however, in the hands of the free Frisians (q.v.), in alliance with whom against the Franks were the Saxons, who, pressing forward from the east, had occupied a portion of the districts known later as Gelderland, Overyssel and Drente.
Saxon was at this period the common title of all the north German tribes; there was but little difference between Frisians and Saxons either in race or language, and they were closely united for some four centuries in common resistance to the encroachments of the Frankish power.