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Timeline

An Alemannic History

An (as yet incomplete - like it ever will be!) Alemannic timeline, from their first appearance in the historical record (213A.D., by Cassius Dio), tracing the history of the Alemanni people and their successor societies in south west Germany, French Alsace, German-speaking Switzerland, and Lichtenstein, and western Austria. The spirit of the Alemanni lives on today, in the name given to Germany by other nations (Allemagne, by the French, for example), and the Alemannish dialect of German spoken in the former Alemannic lands (and even a town in Venezuela that was settled by German emigrants from Baden in 1843).

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The Alemanni are first mentioned by the Roman historian Cassius Dio, writing about the emperor Caracalla's campaign against them in 213A.D. The Alemanni had actually requested the assistance of Caracalla, who turned out to be a treacherous ally, colonising their lands and killing their warriors instead. To mark his victory over the Alemanni, Caracalla awarded himself the name Alemannicus, the git. At this time the Alemanni were living in their original homeland near the river Main in Germany.
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In 268 A.D., whilst the Romans are busy defeating a Gothic army in northern Greece and dealing with the assassination of the Emperor Gallienus, the Alemanni, who now appear on the 'Limes Germanicus' (the frontier of the Roman empire, deep inside Germany north of the Danube and east of the Rhine), invade Gaul and northern Italy.
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Following Emperor Gallienus' assassination the previous year, Claudius II becomes the Emperor of Rome and defeats the Alemanni in the Battle of Lake Benacus (modern day Lake Garda). Claudius fails to restore the original frontier which at its high water mark  - the 'Upper Raetian Limes' -  extended between c.50km and c.100km east of the Rhine, and up to 60km north of the Danube, until becoming the Danube c.30km west of modern day Augsburg. The new frontier is pulled back to the Donau-Iller-Rhine-Limes, and follows the Rhine as far west as Lak...
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The Alemanni take advantage of the crumbling Western Roman Empire and cross the Rhine frontier west and south, occupying Alsace and the north Swiss plateau.
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In the Battle of Tolbiac (modern day Zülpich, between Aachen and Bonn) the expanding Frankish empire under Clovis I defeats the Alemanni (some historians date the battle to 506).
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Following the victory of the Frankish King Clovis I over the Alemanni at the Battle of Tolbiac, Clovis' successors complete the subjugation of a reluctant Alemanni, who are then constituted as the Duchy of Alamannia within the Frankish empire.
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Following the death of the Frankish King Dagobert I, the Duchy of Alamannia wins a de facto independence from the Frankish empire.
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In the Blood Court of Cannstatt, the Frankish leader Carloman executes practically the entire tribal leadership of the Alemanni for treason, bringing Alamannia firmly back into the Frankish empire. By 814A.D. Carloman's nephew Charlemagne had expanded the Frankish empire to cover much of western and central Europe. Image Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Frankish_Empire_481_to_814-en.svg
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The Treaty of Verdun establishes the eastern kingdom of the now divided Frankish empire as East Francia, the precursor to the Kingdom of Germany, the Holy Roman Empire, and eventually the modern state of Germany. The Alemannic territory of Alsace is not included, being assigned instead to the Middle Francia kingdom. Image: West Francia (modern day France) in purple, Middle Francia (modern day Low Countries; Luxembourg; western Switzerland; Lorraine, Alsace, and the territories along the Rhone in France; and northern Italy) in green, and East F...
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Following the death of Lothair I, his kingdom of Middle Francia is divided, with the former Alemannic territories around the Rhineland and Alsace becoming the short-lived Kingdom of Lotharingia under Lothair's son Lothair II.
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Upon the death of Lothair II the previous year, the rulers of East and West Francia agree the Treaty of Meerssen, by which the short-lived kingdom of Lotharingia is divided amongst them. The Rhineland and Alsace are incorporated into East Francia, the precursor of the Kingdom of Germany and the Holy Roman Empire.
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Conrad I is the first king of East Francia to be elected by the five German 'stem duchies' - one of which is Alamannia - and becomes the first King of Germany, though he struggles to assert regal authority over the rebellious dukes.
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Following a successful rebellion against King Conrad I of Germany, Alamannia becomes Swabia when the Alemannic Hunfriding family, in the person of Burchard II, establishes the Duchy of Swabia, with a territory that covers modern day Alsace in France, southern Baden-Württemberg and western Bavaria in Germany, western Austria, Lichtenstein, and northern Switzerland. Image: Duchy of Swabia (yellow), courtesy of wikipedia, Marco Zanoli, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Alamannien_Hochburgund_ca_1000.png
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Having consolidated his control over the Duchy of Swabia, Burchard II recognises the newly elected King of Germany, Henry the Fowler, Duke of Saxony.
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The German King Otto I is proclaimed Emperor of the Romans, thus founding the Holy Roman Empire. Initially covering the Kingdom of Germany (modern day Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) and northern Italy, the Holy Roman empire will expand to dominate central European politics until its dissolution in 1806. Image: Holy Roman Empire around the 10th century, showing the Kingdom of Germany (blue), the Kingdom of Italy (purple), and the Kingdom of Burgundy (yellow, to the west) which was absorbed into the Holy Roman Empire in 1033. Image Credit: ...
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Count Radbot of Klettgau builds Habsburg castle near the village of the same name, then part of the Swabian county of Klettgau, now a municipality in the district of Brugg, in the Swiss canton of Aargau. His grandson Otto II takes the name von Habsburg from the castle, thus establishing what was to become one of the most powerful dynasties in European history. (Year is approximate - actual date is somewhere between 1020 - 1030). Image Credit: By Roland Zumbühl (Picswiss), Arlesheim (Commons:Picswiss project) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/...
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German King Henry IV appoints Count Frederick von Hohenstaufen as Duke of Swabia. The 'Swabian Dynasty' or 'Staufer', as the House of Hohenstaufen is also known, will go on to rule as Kings of Germany and Holy Roman Emperors.
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Count Berthold II von Zähringen was elected Duke of Swabia in 1092 in opposition to the incumbent, Frederick I von Hohenstaufen. In 1098 the two reached a settlement that saw Berthold renounce his claim to the duchy in return for Holy Roman Empire land around Zurich. Since 1090 Berthold had been building a powerbase in the Black Forest area, including in 1091 the Castle of Zähringen in the forested slopes above Freiburg. In 1100 Berthold established the Duchy of Zähringen - a ducal title that held no office or command, and was a mere dignity, ...
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The House of Baden is established in 1112A.D. when Herman II of the House of Zähringen awards himself the title of Margrave of Baden, named after the family seat of Castle Hohenbaden (pictured), near modern day Baden-Baden. The Margraviate of Baden was a relatively minor fief, or vassal territory, of the Holy Roman Empire, and over the course of much of its history was divided and reunited according to the internal politics of the ruling family. The main House of Baden (1112 - 1535) spun off the branch of Baden-Hachberg (1190 - 1415), which it...
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On 7th March 1138 in Koblenz, Conrad von Hohenstaufen is elected King of Germany and styles himself King of the Romans. He is not crowned Emperor of the Romans - a coronation that until the 16th century only the Pope can perform - but his reign as Conrad III begins a Hohenstaufen hegemony that doesn't end until the mid 13th century after a succession of nine Staufer kings, three of which are crowned Emperor. 
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