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The Alemanni
Alemanni
(also Alamanni;[1] Suebi
Suebi
"Swabians"[2]) were a confederation of Germanic tribes on the upper Rhine
Rhine
river. First mentioned by Cassius Dio in the context of the campaign of Caracalla of 213, the Alemanni
Alemanni
captured the Agri Decumates
Agri Decumates
in 260, and later expanded into present-day Alsace, and northern Switzerland, leading to the establishment of the Old High German
Old High German
language in those regions, by the 8th century named Alamannia.[3] In 496, the Alemanni
Alemanni
were conquered by Frankish leader Clovis and incorporated into his dominions. Mentioned as still pagan allies of the Christian Franks, the Alemanni
Alemanni
were gradually Christianized during the 7th century. The Lex Alamannorum is a record of their customary law during this period. Until the 8th century, Frankish suzerainty over Alemannia was mostly nominal. But after an uprising by Theudebald, Duke of Alamannia, Carloman executed the Alamannic nobility and installed Frankish dukes. During the later and weaker years of the Carolingian Empire
Carolingian Empire
the Alemannic counts became almost independent, and a struggle for supremacy took place between them and the Bishopric of Constance. The chief family in Alamannia
Alamannia
was that of the counts of Raetia Curiensis, who were sometimes called margraves, and one of whom, Burchard II, established the Duchy of Swabia, which was recognized by Henry the Fowler
Henry the Fowler
in 919 and became a stem duchy of the Holy Roman Empire. The area settled by the Alemanni
Alemanni
corresponds roughly to the area where Alemannic German
Alemannic German
dialects remain spoken, including German Swabia
Swabia
and Baden, French Alsace, German-speaking Switzerland
Switzerland
and Austrian Vorarlberg. Their name has survived into modern times, for example: The word for Germany
Germany
in French: Allemagne, Spanish: Alemania, Portuguese: Alemanha, Persian: آلمان‎ Alman, Turkish: Almanya, Welsh: Yr Almaen and Arabic: ألمانيا‎ Almania all derive from Alemanni.

Contents

1 Name 2 History

2.1 First explicit mention 2.2 Alemanni
Alemanni
and Hermunduri 2.3 Ptolemy's Geography 2.4 Concentration of Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
under Ariovistus 2.5 Conflicts with the Roman Empire

2.5.1 List of battles between Romans and Alemanni

2.6 Subjugation by the Franks

3 Culture

3.1 Language 3.2 Political organization 3.3 Religion

4 List of Alemannic rulers

4.1 Independent kings 4.2 Dukes under Frankish suzerainty 4.3 Carolingians

5 See also 6 References 7 Literature 8 External links

Name[edit] According to Gaius Asinius Quadratus (quoted in the mid-6th century by Byzantine historian Agathias) their name means "all men". It indicates that they were a conglomeration drawn from various Germanic tribes.[4] The Romans and the Greeks called them as such mentioned. This was the derivation of Alemanni
Alemanni
used by Edward Gibbon, in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire[5] and by the anonymous contributor of notes assembled from the papers of Nicolas Fréret, published in 1753, who noted that it was the name used by outsiders for those who called themselves the Suebi.[6] This etymology has remained the standard derivation of the term.[7] Other sources say the name Alemanni
Alemanni
derives from *alahmannen which means "men of sanctuary" and not "all men" (Sir Francis Palgrave). Walafrid Strabo, a monk of the Abbey of St. Gall
Abbey of St. Gall
writing in the 9th century, remarked, in discussing the people of Switzerland
Switzerland
and the surrounding regions, that only foreigners called them the Alemanni, but that they gave themselves the name of Suebi.[citation needed] The name of Germany
Germany
and the German language in several languages is derived from the name of this early Germanic tribal alliance. For details, see Names of Germany. History[edit] First explicit mention[edit]

Alemannic belt mountings, from a 7th-century grave in the grave field at Weingarten.

The Alemanni
Alemanni
were first mentioned by Cassius Dio describing the campaign of Caracalla
Caracalla
in 213. At that time they apparently dwelt in the basin of the Main, to the south of the Chatti.[4] Cassius Dio (78.13.4[clarification needed]) portrays the Alemanni
Alemanni
as victims of this treacherous emperor.[8] They had asked for his help, says Dio, but instead he colonized their country, changed their place names and executed their warriors under a pretext of coming to their aid. When he became ill, the Alemanni
Alemanni
claimed to have put a hex on him (78.15.2). Caracalla, it was claimed, tried to counter this influence by invoking his ancestral spirits. In retribution Caracalla
Caracalla
then led the Legio II Traiana Fortis
Legio II Traiana Fortis
against the Alemanni, who lost and were pacified for a time. The legion was as a result honored with the name Germanica. The 4th-century fictional Historia Augusta, Life of Antoninus Caracalla, relates (10.5) that Caracalla
Caracalla
then assumed the name Alemannicus, at which Helvius Pertinax jested that he should really be called Geticus Maximus, because in the year before he had murdered his brother, Geta.[9] Through much of his short reign Caracalla
Caracalla
was known for unpredictable and arbitrary operations launched by surprise after a pretext of peace negotiations. If he had any reasons of state for such actions they remained unknown to his contemporaries. Whether or not the Alemanni had been previously neutral, they were certainly further influenced by Caracalla
Caracalla
to become thereafter notoriously implacable enemies of Rome. This mutually antagonistic relationship is perhaps the reason why the Roman writers persisted in calling the Alemanni
Alemanni
barbari, "savages". The archaeology, however, shows that they were largely Romanized, lived in Roman-style houses and used Roman artifacts, the Alemannic women having adopted the Roman fashion of the tunic even earlier than the men. Most of the Alemanni
Alemanni
were probably at the time in fact resident in or close to the borders of Germania
Germania
Superior. Although Dio is the earliest writer to mention them, Ammianus Marcellinus
Ammianus Marcellinus
used the name to refer to Germans on the Limes Germanicus
Limes Germanicus
in the time of Trajan's governorship of the province shortly after it was formed, c. 98/99. At that time the entire frontier was being fortified for the first time. Trees from the earliest fortifications found in Germania Inferior
Germania Inferior
are dated by dendrochronology to 99/100 AD. Ammianus relates (xvii.1.11) that much later the Emperor Julian undertook a punitive expedition against the Alemanni, who by then were in Alsace, and crossed the Main (Latin Menus), entering the forest, where the trails were blocked by felled trees. As winter was upon them, they reoccupied a "fortification which was founded on the soil of the Alemanni
Alemanni
that Trajan
Trajan
wished to be called with his own name".[10] In this context the use of Alemanni
Alemanni
is possibly an anachronism but it reveals that Ammianus believed they were the same people, which is consistent with the location of the Alemanni
Alemanni
of Caracalla's campaigns. Alemanni
Alemanni
and Hermunduri[edit] The early detailed source, the Germania
Germania
of Tacitus, has sometimes been interpreted in such a way as to provide yet other historical problems. In Chapter 42 we read of the Hermunduri, a tribe certainly located in the region that later became Thuringia. Tacitus
Tacitus
stated that they traded with Rhaetia, which in Ptolemy
Ptolemy
is located across the Danube from Germania
Germania
Superior. A logical conclusion to draw is that the Hermunduri
Hermunduri
extended over later Swabia
Swabia
and therefore the Alemanni originally derived from the Hermunduri. However, no Hermunduri
Hermunduri
appear in Ptolemy, though after the time of Ptolemy, the Hermunduri
Hermunduri
joined with the Marcomanni
Marcomanni
in the wars of 166–180 against the empire. A careful reading of Tacitus
Tacitus
provides one solution. He says that the source of the Elbe
Elbe
is among the Hermunduri, somewhat to the east of the upper Main. He places them also between the Naristi
Naristi
(Varisti), whose location at the very edge of the ancient Black Forest
Black Forest
is well known, and the Marcomanni
Marcomanni
and Quadi. Moreover, the Hermunduri
Hermunduri
were broken in the Marcomannic Wars
Marcomannic Wars
and made a separate peace with Rome. The Alemanni
Alemanni
thus were probably not primarily the Hermunduri, although some elements of them may have been present in the mix of peoples at that time that became Alemannian. Ptolemy's Geography[edit] Before the mention of Alemanni
Alemanni
in the time of Caracalla, you would search in vain for Alemanni
Alemanni
in the moderately detailed geography of southern Germany
Germany
in Claudius Ptolemy, written in Greek in the mid-2nd century; it is likely that at that time, the people who later used that name were known by other designations.[11] Nevertheless, some conclusions can be drawn from Ptolemy. Germania Superior is easily identified. Following up the Rhine
Rhine
one comes to a town, Mattiacum, which must be at the border of the Roman Germany (vicinity of Wiesbaden). Upstream from it and between the Rhine
Rhine
and Abnoba
Abnoba
(in the Black Forest) are the Ingriones, Intuergi, Vangiones, Caritni and Vispi, some of whom were there since the days of the early empire or before. On the other side of the northern Black Forest
Black Forest
were the Chatti
Chatti
about where Hesse
Hesse
is today, on the lower Main. Historic Swabia
Swabia
was eventually replaced by today's Baden-Württemberg, but it had been the most significant territory of mediaeval Alamannia, comprising all Germania Superior
Germania Superior
and territory east to Bavaria. It did not include the upper Main, but that is where Caracalla
Caracalla
campaigned. Moreover, the territory of Germania Superior
Germania Superior
was not originally included among the Alemanni's possessions. However, if we look for the peoples in the region from the upper Main in the north, south to the Danube
Danube
and east to the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
where the Quadi
Quadi
and Marcomanni
Marcomanni
were located, Ptolemy
Ptolemy
does not give any tribes. There are the Tubanti just south of the Chatti
Chatti
and at the other end of what was then the Black Forest, the Varisti, whose location is known. One possible reason for this distribution is that the population preferred not to live in the forest except in troubled times. The region between the forest and the Danube
Danube
on the other hand included about a dozen settlements, or "cantons". Ptolemy's view of Germans in the region indicates that the tribal structure had lost its grip in the Black Forest
Black Forest
region and was replaced by a canton structure. The tribes stayed in the Roman province, perhaps because the Romans offered stability. Also, Caracalla
Caracalla
perhaps[citation needed] felt more comfortable about campaigning in the upper Main because he was not declaring war on any specific historic tribe, such as the Chatti
Chatti
or Cherusci, against whom Rome had suffered grievous losses. By Caracalla's time the name Alemanni
Alemanni
was being used by cantons themselves banding together for purposes of supporting a citizen army (the "war bands"). Concentration of Germanic peoples
Germanic peoples
under Ariovistus[edit] The term Suebi
Suebi
has a double meaning in the sources. On the one hand Tacitus' Germania
Germania
tells us (Chapters 38, 39) that they occupy more than half of Germany, use a distinctive hair style, and are spiritually centered on the Semnones. On the other hand, the Suebi
Suebi
of the upper Danube
Danube
are described as though they were a tribe. The solution to the puzzle as well as explaining the historical circumstances leading to the choice of the Agri Decumates
Agri Decumates
as a defensive point and the concentration of Germans there are probably to be found in the German attack on the Gallic fortified town of Vesontio in 58 BC. The upper Rhine
Rhine
and Danube
Danube
appear to form a funnel pointing straight at Vesontio. Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
in Gallic Wars
Gallic Wars
tells us (1.51) that Ariovistus had gathered an army from a wide region of Germany, but especially the Harudes, Marcomanni, Triboci, Vangiones, Nemetes
Nemetes
and Sedusii. The Suebi
Suebi
were being invited to join. They lived in 100 cantons (4.1) from which 1000 young men per year were chosen for military service, a citizen-army by our standards and by comparison with the Roman professional army. Ariovistus had become involved in an invasion of Gaul, which the German wished to settle. Intending to take the strategic town of Vesontio, he concentrated his forces on the Rhine
Rhine
near Lake Constance, and when the Suebi
Suebi
arrived, he crossed. The Gauls had called to Rome for military aid. Caesar occupied the town first and defeated the Germans before its walls, slaughtering most of the German army as it tried to flee across the river (1.36ff). He did not pursue the retreating remnants, leaving what was left of the German army and their dependents intact on the other side of the Rhine. The Gauls were ambivalent in their policies toward the Romans. In 53 BC the Treveri
Treveri
broke their alliance and attempted to break free of Rome. Caesar foresaw that they would now attempt to ally themselves with the Germans. He crossed the Rhine
Rhine
to forestall that event, a successful strategy. Remembering their expensive defeat at the Battle of Vesontio, the Germans withdrew to the Black Forest, concentrating there a mixed population dominated by Suebi. As they had left their tribal homes behind, they probably took over all the former Celtic cantons along the Danube. Conflicts with the Roman Empire[edit]

The Limes Germanicus
Limes Germanicus
83 to 260 CE.

v t e

Rome against the Alemanni
Alemanni
and the Juthungi

Mediolanum Lake Benacus Lingones Placentia Fano Pavia Vindonissa Autun Durocortorum Brumath Senonae Strasbourg Solicinium Argentovaria

The Alemanni
Alemanni
were continually engaged in conflicts with the Roman Empire in the 3rd and 4th centuries. They launched a major invasion of Gaul
Gaul
and northern Italy
Italy
in 268, when the Romans were forced to denude much of their German frontier of troops in response to a massive invasion of the Goths
Goths
from the east. Their raids throughout the three parts of Gaul
Gaul
were traumatic: Gregory of Tours
Gregory of Tours
(died ca 594) mentions their destructive force at the time of Valerian and Gallienus (253–260), when the Alemanni
Alemanni
assembled under their "king", whom he calls Chrocus, who "by the advice, it is said, of his wicked mother, and overran the whole of the Gauls, and destroyed from their foundations all the temples which had been built in ancient times. And coming to Clermont he set on fire, overthrew and destroyed that shrine which they call Vasso Galatae in the Gallic tongue," martyring many Christians (Historia Francorum Book I.32–34). Thus 6th-century Gallo-Romans of Gregory's class, surrounded by the ruins of Roman temples and public buildings, attributed the destruction they saw to the plundering raids of the Alemanni. In the early summer of 268, the Emperor Gallienus
Gallienus
halted their advance into Italy, but then had to deal with the Goths. When the Gothic campaign ended in Roman victory at the Battle of Naissus
Battle of Naissus
in September, Gallienus' successor Claudius Gothicus
Claudius Gothicus
turned north to deal with the Alemanni, who were swarming over all Italy
Italy
north of the Po River. After efforts to secure a peaceful withdrawal failed, Claudius forced the Alemanni
Alemanni
to battle at the Battle of Lake Benacus
Battle of Lake Benacus
in November. The Alemanni
Alemanni
were routed, forced back into Germany, and did not threaten Roman territory for many years afterwards. Their most famous battle against Rome took place in Argentoratum (Strasbourg), in 357, where they were defeated by Julian, later Emperor of Rome, and their king Chnodomarius was taken prisoner to Rome.[4] On January 2, 366, the Alemanni
Alemanni
yet again crossed the frozen Rhine
Rhine
in large numbers, to invade the Gallic provinces, this time being defeated by Valentinian (see Battle of Solicinium). In the great mixed invasion of 406, the Alemanni
Alemanni
appear to have crossed the Rhine
Rhine
river a final time, conquering and then settling what is today Alsace
Alsace
and a large part of the Swiss Plateau.[4] The crossing is described in Wallace Breem's historical novel Eagle in the Snow. The Chronicle of Fredegar gives the account. At Alba Augusta (Alba-la-Romaine) the devastation was so complete, that the Christian bishop retired to Viviers, but in Gregory's account at Mende in Lozère, also deep in the heart of Gaul, bishop Privatus was forced to sacrifice to idols in the very cave where he was later venerated.[citation needed] It is thought[citation needed] this detail may be a generic literary ploy to epitomize the horrors of barbarian violence. List of battles between Romans and Alemanni[edit]

Europe at the fall of the Western Roman Empire
Roman Empire
in 476 AD.

259, Battle of Mediolanum—Emperor Gallienus
Gallienus
defeats the Alemanni
Alemanni
to rescue Rome 268, Battle of Lake Benacus—Romans under Emperor Claudius II
Claudius II
defeat the Alemanni. 271

Battle of Placentia—Emperor Aurelian
Aurelian
is defeated by the Alemanni forces invading Italy Battle of Fano— Aurelian
Aurelian
defeats the Alemanni, who begin to retreat from Italy Battle of Pavia— Aurelian
Aurelian
destroys the retreating Alemanni
Alemanni
army.

298

Battle of Lingones—Caesar Constantius Chlorus
Constantius Chlorus
defeats the Alemanni Battle of Vindonissa—Constantius again defeats the Alemanni

356, Battle of Reims—Caesar Julian is defeated by the Alemanni 357, Battle of Strasbourg—Julian expels the Alemanni
Alemanni
from the Rhineland 367, Battle of Solicinium—Romans under Emperor Valentinian I
Valentinian I
defeat yet another Alemanni
Alemanni
incursion. 378, Battle of Argentovaria—Western Emperor Gratianus
Gratianus
is victorious over the Alemanni, yet again. 451, Battle of the Catalaunian Fields-Roman General Aetius and his army of Romans and barbarian allies defeat Attila's army of Huns
Huns
and other Germanic allies, including the Alemanni. 554, Battle of the Volturnus-Armenian-Roman General Narses
Narses
defeats a combined force of Franks
Franks
and Alemanni
Alemanni
in southern Italy.

Subjugation by the Franks[edit] Main article: Alamannia

Alemannia (yellow) and Upper Burgundy (green) around 1000.

The kingdom of Alamannia
Alamannia
between Strasbourg
Strasbourg
and Augsburg lasted until 496, when the Alemanni
Alemanni
were conquered by Clovis I
Clovis I
at the Battle of Tolbiac. The war of Clovis with the Alemanni
Alemanni
forms the setting for the conversion of Clovis, briefly treated by Gregory of Tours. (Book II.31) Subsequently, the Alemanni
Alemanni
formed part of the Frankish dominions and were governed by a Frankish duke. In 746, Carloman ended an uprising by summarily executing all Alemannic nobility at the blood court at Cannstatt, and for the following century, Alemannia was ruled by Frankish dukes. Following the treaty of Verdun of 843, Alemannia became a province of the eastern kingdom of Louis the German, the precursor of the Holy Roman Empire. The duchy persisted until 1268. Culture[edit]

Part of the series on

Alsace

Rot un Wiss, traditional flag of Alsace

History

Germania Superior
Germania Superior
(Pagus Alsatiae) (83–475) Alemanni
Alemanni
(circa 213–496) Alamannia
Alamannia
(3rd-century–911) Duchy of Alsace
Alsace
(circa 630–699) Prince-Bishopric of Strasbourg
Strasbourg
(982–1803) County of Ferrette (11th-century–14th-century) Salm (1165−1793) Landgraviate of Alsace
Alsace
(1186–1646)

Lower Alsace Upper Alsace

Further Austria
Further Austria
(13th-century–1648) Décapole
Décapole
(1354–1679) County of Hanau-Lichtenberg
Hanau-Lichtenberg
(1456–1736) Upper Rhenish Circle
Upper Rhenish Circle
(1500-1679) Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine
Alsace-Lorraine
(1871–1918) Gau Baden-Elsaß
Gau Baden-Elsaß
(1940–1945) Alsace
Alsace
(1945–2016) Grand Est
Grand Est
(2016–)

Culture

Coat of arms Flag Anthem People Language Demographics Musée alsacien (Hagenau Strasbourg)

Religion

according to Concordat in Alsace-Moselle
Concordat in Alsace-Moselle
(1801): (including Lorraine)

Catholic Church

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Strasbourg (Immediately subject to the Holy See)

(Prince-Bishopric of Strasbourg)

(Lorraine: Roman Catholic Diocese of Metz)

Protestantism: Union of Protestant Churches of Alsace
Alsace
and Lorraine:

Lutheranism:

Protestant Church of Augsburg Confession of Alsace
Alsace
and Lorraine

Calvinism:

Protestant Reformed Church of Alsace
Alsace
and Lorraine

Jewish
Jewish
consistories:

Strasbourg Colmar (Lorraine: Metz)

Law

Local law in Alsace-Moselle

Concordat in Alsace-Moselle

Administrative divisions

Capital: Strasbourg Bas-Rhin
Bas-Rhin
(Unterelsaß)

Arrondissement of Haguenau-Wissembourg Arrondissement of Molsheim Arrondissement of Saverne Arrondissement of Sélestat-Erstein Arrondissement of Strasbourg

Haut-Rhin
Haut-Rhin
(Oberelsaß)

Arrondissement of Altkirch Arrondissement of Colmar-Ribeauvillé Arrondissement of Mulhouse Arrondissement of Thann-Guebwiller

Politics

Alsace
Alsace
Regional Council (1982-2015) Alsace
Alsace
independence movement

Alsace
Alsace
in the European Union

European Parliament elections

Constituency

Related topics

Politics of France Politics of Germany Politics of the European Union

Alsace
Alsace
portal

v t e

Language[edit]

The traditional distribution area of Western Upper German (Alemannic) dialect features in the 19th and 20th centuries

The German spoken today over the range of the former Alemanni
Alemanni
is termed Alemannic German, and is recognised among the subgroups of the High German languages. Alemannic runic inscriptions such as those on the Pforzen buckle
Pforzen buckle
are among the earliest testimonies of Old High German. The High German consonant shift
High German consonant shift
is thought to have originated around the 5th century either in Alemannia or among the Lombards; before that the dialect spoken by Alemannic tribes was little different from that of other West Germanic peoples.[citation needed] Alemannia lost its distinct jurisdictional identity when Charles Martel absorbed it into the Frankish empire, early in the 8th century. Today, Alemannic is a linguistic term, referring to Alemannic German, encompassing the dialects of the southern two thirds of Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg
(German State), in western Bavaria
Bavaria
(German State), in Vorarlberg
Vorarlberg
(Austrian State), Swiss German
Swiss German
in Switzerland
Switzerland
and the Alsatian language
Alsatian language
of the Alsace
Alsace
(France). Political organization[edit] The Alemanni
Alemanni
established a series of territorially defined pagi (cantons) on the east bank of the Rhine. The exact number and extent of these pagi is unclear and probably changed over time. Pagi, usually pairs of pagi combined, formed kingdoms (regna) which, it is generally believed, were permanent and hereditary. Ammianus describes Alemanni
Alemanni
rulers with various terms: reges excelsiores ante alios ("paramount kings"), reges proximi ("neighbouring kings"), reguli ("petty kings") and regales ("princes"). This may be a formal hierarchy, or they may be vague, overlapping terms, or a combination of both.[12] In 357, there appear to have been two paramount kings (Chnodomar and Westralp) who probably acted as presidents of the confederation and seven other kings (reges). Their territories were small and mostly strung along the Rhine
Rhine
(although a few were in the hinterland).[13] It is possible that the reguli were the rulers of the two pagi in each kingdom. Underneath the royal class were the nobles (called optimates by the Romans) and warriors (called armati by the Romans). The warriors consisted of professional warbands and levies of free men.[14] Each nobleman could raise an average of c. 50 warriors.[15] Religion[edit] Further information: Germanic Christianity, Religion in Switzerland § History, Pre-Christian Alpine traditions, and Continental Germanic mythology

The gold bracteate of Pliezhausen
Pliezhausen
(6th or 7th century) shows typical iconography of the pagan period. The bracteate depicts the "horse-stabber underhoof" scene, a supine warrior stabbing a horse while it runs over him. The scene is adapted from Roman era gravestones of the region.[16]

The 7th-century Gutenstein scabbard, found near Sigmaringen, Baden-Württemberg, is a late testimony of pagan ritual in Alemannia, showing a warrior in ritual wolf costume, holding a ring-spatha.

The Christianization
Christianization
of the Alemanni
Alemanni
took place during Merovingian times (6th to 8th centuries). We know that in the 6th century, the Alemanni
Alemanni
were predominantly pagan, and in the 8th century, they were predominantly Christian. The intervening 7th century was a period of genuine syncretism during which Christian symbolism and doctrine gradually grew in influence. Some scholars have speculated that members of the Alemannic elite such as king Gibuld
Gibuld
due to Visigothic influence may have been converted to Arianism
Arianism
even in the later 5th century.[17] In the mid-6th century, the Byzantine historian Agathias
Agathias
records, in the context of the wars of the Goths
Goths
and Franks
Franks
against Byzantium, that the Alemanni
Alemanni
fighting among the troops of Frankish king Theudebald
Theudebald
were like the Franks
Franks
in all respects except religion, since

they worship certain trees, the waters of rivers, hills and mountain valleys, in whose honour they sacrifice horses, cattle and countless other animals by beheading them, and imagine that they are performing an act of piety thereby.[18]

He also spoke of the particular ruthlessness of the Alemanni
Alemanni
in destroying Christian sanctuaries and plundering churches while the genuine Franks
Franks
were respectful towards those sanctuaries. Agathias expresses his hope that the Alemanni
Alemanni
would assume better manners through prolonged contact with the Franks, which is by all appearances, in a manner of speaking, what eventually happened.[19] Apostles of the Alemanni
Alemanni
were Columbanus
Columbanus
and his disciple Saint Gall. Jonas of Bobbio records that Columbanus
Columbanus
was active in Bregenz, where he disrupted a beer sacrifice to Wodan. Despite these activities, for some time, the Alemanni
Alemanni
seem to have continued their pagan cult activities, with only superficial or syncretistic Christian elements. In particular, there is no change in burial practice, and tumulus warrior graves continued to be erected throughout Merovingian
Merovingian
times. Syncretism
Syncretism
of traditional Germanic animal-style with Christian symbolism is also present in artwork, but Christian symbolism becomes more and more prevalent during the 7th century. Unlike the later Christianization
Christianization
of the Saxons
Saxons
and of the Slavs, the Alemanni
Alemanni
seem to have adopted Christianity gradually, and voluntarily, spread in emulation of the Merovingian
Merovingian
elite. From c. the 520s to the 620s, there was a surge of Alemannic Elder Futhark inscriptions. About 70 specimens have survived, roughly half of them on fibulae, others on belt buckles (see Pforzen buckle, Bülach fibula) and other jewelry and weapon parts. Use of runes subsides with the advance of Christianity. The Nordendorf fibula (early 7th century) clearly records pagan theonyms, logaþorewodanwigiþonar read as " Wodan
Wodan
and Donar are magicians/sorcerers", but this may be interpreted as either a pagan invocation of the powers of these deities, or a Christian protective charm against them.[20] A runic inscription on a fibula found at Bad Ems reflects Christian pious sentiment (and is also explicitly marked with a Christian cross), reading god fura dih deofile ᛭ ("God for/before you, Theophilus!", or alternatively "God before you, Devil!"). Dated to between AD 660 and 690, it marks the end of the native Alemannic tradition of runic literacy. Bad Ems
Bad Ems
is in Rhineland-Palatinate, on the northwestern boundary of Alemannic settlement, where Frankish influence would have been strongest.[21] The establishment of the bishopric of Konstanz
Konstanz
cannot be dated exactly and was possibly undertaken by Columbanus
Columbanus
himself (before 612). In any case, it existed by 635, when Gunzo appointed John of Grab bishop. Constance was a missionary bishopric in newly converted lands, and did not look back on late Roman church history unlike the Raetian bishopric of Chur
Chur
(established 451) and Basel
Basel
(an episcopal seat from 740, and which continued the line of Bishops of Augusta Raurica, see Bishop of Basel). The establishment of the church as an institution recognized by worldly rulers is also visible in legal history. In the early 7th century Pactus Alamannorum hardly ever mentions the special privileges of the church, while Lantfrid's Lex Alamannorum of 720 has an entire chapter reserved for ecclesial matters alone. List of Alemannic rulers[edit] Further information: Annales Alamannici Independent kings[edit] Further information: Alamannia
Alamannia
§ Tribal_kingdoms

Chrocus 306 Mederich (father of Agenarich, brother to Chnodomar) Chnodomarius 350, 357 Vestralp 357, 359 Ur 357, 359 Agenarich (Serapio) 357 Suomar 357, 358 Hortar 357, 359 Gundomad 354 (co-regent of Vadomar) Ursicin]] 357, 359 Macrian 368–371 Rando 368 Hariobaud 4th century Vadomar vor 354–360 Vithicab 360–368 Priarius ?–378 Gibuld
Gibuld
(Gebavult) c. 470

Dukes under Frankish suzerainty[edit] Further information: Alamannia
Alamannia
§ Merovingian_duchy

Butilin 539–554 Leuthari I, before 552–554 Haming 539–554 four dukes in the Diocese of Avenches
Diocese of Avenches
548–573:[22]

Lantachar d. 548 Magnachar 555–565 Vaefar 565–573 Theodefrid 573

Leutfred 570–587, deposed by Childebert II Uncilin 587–607 Gunzo 613 Chrodobert 630 Gundoin, Duke of Alsace, fl. 630s Leuthari II 642 Boniface, Duke of Alsace, until c. 662 Adalrich, Duke of Alsace, c. 662–after 683 Adalbert, Duke of Alsace, after 683–723 Gotfrid until 709 Willehari 709–712 (in Ortenau) Lantfrid
Lantfrid
709–730 Theudebald
Theudebald
709–744 Liutfrid, Duke of Alsace, 723–after 742

Carolingians[edit] Further information: Alamannia
Alamannia
§ Carolingian_rule Further information: Duchy of Swabia The Alemanni
Alemanni
were under direct Carolingian rule during 746 (Council of Cannstatt) to 892. Intermittently, junior members of the Carolingian dynasties were appointed regulus or subregulus of Alemannia while at other times, Alemannia was under the direct administration of the Carolingian kings (after 843 kings of East Francia).

Childeric III
Childeric III
(King of the Franks
Franks
743–751)

Carloman 744–747 Drogo 747–748

Pepin the Short
Pepin the Short
748–768 (King of the Franks
Franks
751–768) Carloman I
Carloman I
(King of the Franks
Franks
768–771) Charlemagne
Charlemagne
(King of the Franks
Franks
768–814)

Hnabi Ahalolfing, grandson of Gotfrid, is mentioned as an Alamannic duke during the reign of Charlemagne

Louis the Pious
Louis the Pious
(King of the Franks
Franks
814–840) Charles the Bald
Charles the Bald
829–840 (King of the Franks
Franks
840–843, King of West Francia 843–877) Louis the German
Louis the German
843–864 (King of Bavaria
Bavaria
817–843, King of East Francia 843–876) Charles the Fat
Charles the Fat
864–880 (King of West Francia 884–887)

Hugh, Duke of Alsace, 867–885

Louis the Younger
Louis the Younger
880–882 (King of Bavaria
Bavaria
880-882) Arnulf of Carinthia
Arnulf of Carinthia
(King of East Francia
East Francia
887–899)

Charles the Fat
Charles the Fat
882–888 (King of West Francia 884–887) Bernard 888–892

Louis the Child
Louis the Child
(King of East Francia
East Francia
889–911)

Burchard I Hunfriding 909–911

Further information: Duke of Swabia From the later 8th century, Alemannic dynasties were able to establish themselves once again. Variously called counts, or margraves, or dukes, these native dynasties during the later years of Carolingian rule managed to establish themselves as de-facto independent, establishing the "younger stem duchy" of Alemannia/ Swabia
Swabia
by the early 10th century. The rivalry between the Hunfridings and Ahalolfings was decided in favour of Burchard II Hunfriding in the Battle of Winterthur of 919. See also[edit]

Ancient Germanic culture portal

Annales Alamannici List of confederations of Germanic tribes

References[edit]

^ The spelling with "e" is used in Encyc. Brit. 9th. ed., (c. 1880), Everyman's Encyc. 1967, Everyman's Smaller Classical Dictionary, 1910. The current edition of Britannica spells with "e", as does Columbia and Edward Gibbon, Vol. 3, Chapter XXXVIII. The Latinized spelling with a is current in older literature (so in the 1911 Britannica), but remains in use e.g. in Wood (2003), Drinkwater (2007). ^ The Alemanni
Alemanni
were alternatively known as Suebi
Suebi
from about the 5th century, and that name became prevalent in the high medieval period, eponymous of the Duchy of Swabia. The name is taken from that of the Suebi
Suebi
mentioned by Julius Caesar, and although these older Suebi
Suebi
did likely contribute to the ethnogenesis of the Alemanni, there is no direct connection to the contemporary Kingdom of the Suebi
Suebi
in Galicia. ^ in pago Almanniae 762, in pago Alemannorum 797, urbs Constantia in ducatu Alemanniae 797; in ducatu Alemannico, in pago Linzgowe 873. From the 9th century, Alamannia
Alamannia
is increasingly used of the Alsace specifically, while the Alamannic territory in generally is increasingly called Suebia; by the 12th century, the name Suebia had mostly replaced Alamannia. S. Hirzel, Forschungen zur Deutschen Landeskunde 6 (1888), p. 299. ^ a b c d  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Alamanni". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 468.  Endnote: See

Dio Cassius lxvii. ff. Ammianus Marcellinus, passim Gregory of Tours, Historia Francorum, book ii. C. Zeuss, Die Deutschen und die Nachbarstämme (Munich, 1837), pp. 303 ff. O. Bremer in H. Paul, Grundriss der germanischen Philologie (2nd ed., Strassburg, 1900), vol. iii. pp. 930 ff.

^ Edward Gibbon. "Chapter 10". Ccel.org. Retrieved 2012-01-02.  ^ Histoire de l'Académie Royale des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, avec les Mémoires de Littérature tirés des Registres de cette Académie, depuis l'année MDCCXLIV jusques et compris l'année MDCCXLVI, vol. XVIII, (Paris 1753) pp. 49–71. Excerpts are on-line at ELIOHS. ^ It is cited in most etymological dictionaries, such as the American Heritage Dictionary (large edition) under the root, *man- Archived 2006-05-19 at the Wayback Machine.. ^ "Cassius Dio: Roman History". University of Chicago.  ^ "Historia Augusta: The Life of Antoninus Caracalla". University of Chicago.  ^ munimentum quod in Alamannorum solo conditum Traianus suo nomine voluit appellari. ^ Ptolemy's description has some limitations. Upper Germany
Germany
and Lower Germany
Germany
are mentioned by name, but only as specific districts of Gallia Belgica (2.8), the border between them was an unidentified river, the Obruncus. The region is repeated again under Germany, but this time he does not list Roman boundaries. Germania
Germania
Superior, the Agri Decumates
Agri Decumates
and the limes are not to be found there, even though they certainly existed at the time. " Germania
Germania
Magna" is found within the Rhine, Danube, Vistula and shores of the "Oceanus Germanicus". Most of the tribes are missing or listed without name. The Main is not there, nor Lake Constance. The Danube
Danube
runs from the Alps. The Rhine does not bend to the south next to Swabia. Ptolemy's Germania
Germania
is like a surreal image of itself, accurate only if you follow certain known lines, but the overall shape is greatly distorted. ^ Drinkwater (2007) 118, 120 ^ Drinkwater (2007) 223 (map) ^ Speidel (2004) ^ Drinkwater (2007) 120 ^ Michael Speidel, Ancient Germanic warriors: warrior styles from Trajan's column to Icelandic sagas, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 978-0415311991, p. 162. Harald Kleinschmidt, People on the move: attitudes toward and perceptions of migration in medieval and modern Europe, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003, ISBN, 9780275974176, p. 66. ^ Schubert, Hans (1909). Das älteste germanische Christentum oder der Sogenannte "Arianismus" der Germanen. Tübingen: J.C.B. Mohr. pg.32. Cf. also Bossert, G. "Alemanni" in: Jackson, S.M. (Ed.). New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, Vol. 1, pg. 114: "[the Alamannic] prince, Gibuld, was an Arian, probably converted by Goths". ^ trans. Joseph D. Frendo (1975). Books.google.com. 1975. ISBN 9783110033571. Retrieved 2012-01-02.  ^ R. Keydell, Agathiae Myrinaei historiarum libri quinque Corpus Fontium Historiae Byzantinae. Series Berolinensis 2. Berlin: De Gruyter, 1967, p. 18f. 7. Νόμιμα δὲ αὐτοῖς [τῶν Ἀλαμανῶν ἔθνος] εἰσι μέν που καὶ πάτρια, τὸ δέ γε ἐν κοινῷ ἐπικρατοῦν τε καὶ ἄρχον τῇ Φραγγικῇ ἕπονται πολιτείᾳ, μόνα δέ γε τὰ ἐς (5) θεὸν αὐτοῖς οὐ ταὐτὰ ξυνδοκεῖ. δένδρα τε γάρ τινα ἱλάσκονται καὶ ῥεῖθρα ποταμῶν καὶ λόφους καὶ φάραγγας, καὶ τούτοις, ὥσπερ ὅσια δρῶντες, ἵππους τε καὶ βόας καὶ ἄλλα ἄττα μυρία καρατομοῦντες ἐπιθειάζουσιν. 2 ἀλλὰ γὰρ ἡ τῶν Φράγγων αὐτοὺς ἐπιμιξία, εnὖ ποιοῦσα, καὶ ἐς τόδε μετακοσμεῖ καὶ ἤδη ἐφέλκεται τοὺς εὐφρονεστέρους, οὐ πολλοῦ δὲ οἶμαι (10) χρόνου καὶ ἅπασιν ἐκνικήσει. 3 τὸ γὰρ τῆς δόξης παράλογόν τε καὶ ἔμπληκτον καὶ αὐτοῖς οἶμαι τοῖς χρωμένοις, εἰ μὴ πάμπαν εἶεν ἠλίθιοι, γνώριμόν τέ ἐστι καὶ εὐφώρατον καὶ οἶον ἀποσβῆναι ῥᾳδίως. ἐλεεῖσθαι μὲν οὖν μᾶλλον ἢ χαλεπαίνεσθαι δίκαιοι ἂν εἶεν καὶ πλείστης μεταλαγχάνειν συγγνώμης ἅπαντες, ὅσοι δὴ τοῦ ἀληθοῦς ἁμαρτάνουσιν. οὐ γὰρ (15) δήπου ἑκόντες εἶναι ἀλῶνται καὶ ὀλισθαίνουσιν, ἀλλὰ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ ἐφιέμενοι, ἔπειτα σφαλέντες τῇ κρίσει τὸ λοιπὸν ἔχονται τῶν δοκηθέντων ἀπρίξ, ὁποῖα ἄττα καὶ τύχοιεν ὄντα. 4 τήν γε μὴν τῶν θυσιῶν ὠμότητα καὶ κακοδαιμονίαν οὐκ οἶδα εἰ οἷόν τε λόγῳ ἀκέσασθαι, εἴτε ἄλσεσιν ἐπιτελοῖντο ὥσπερ ἀμέλει παρὰ βαρβάροις, εἴτε τοῖς πάλαι νενομισμέ-(20)νοις θεοῖς, ὁποῖα αἱ τῶν Ἑλλήνων ἐθέλουσιν ἁγιστεῖαι. ^ Düwel, Klaus (1982). "Runen und Interpretatio Christiana: Zur Religioneschichtlichen Stellung der Bügelfidel von Nordendorf I". In Kamp, Norbert; Wollasch, Joachim. Tradition als Historische Kraft. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 78–86. ISBN 311-008237-3.  ^ Wolfgang Jungandreas, 'God fura dih, deofile †' in: Zeitschrift für deutsches Altertum und deutsche Literatur, 101, 1972, pp. 84–85. ^ According to the Chronicon of Marius of Avenches. Geuenich, Dieter. Geschichte der Alemannen. Verlag Kohlhammer: Stuttgart, 2004.

Literature[edit]

Drinkwater, J. F. (2007) The Alamanni and Rome (213–496) Ian Wood (ed.), Franks
Franks
and Alamanni in the Merovingian
Merovingian
Period: An Ethnographic Perspective (Studies in Historical Archaeoethnology), Boydell & Brewer Ltd, 2003, ISBN 1-84383-035-3. Melchior Goldast, Rerum Alamannicarum scriptores (1606, 2nd ed. Senckenburg 1730)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Archaeology of Alemannia.

The Agri Decumates The Alemanni The Military Orientation of the Roman Emperors
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