ALEMANNI

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ALEMANNI ; that is, all men, or various sorts of men; the name of a military confederacy of several German tribes, which, at the commencement of the 3d century, approached the Roman territory. Their settlements extended, on the east side of the Rhine, from lake Constance, the Elbe and the Danube, to the Maine and the Lahn. Their neighbors on the east were the Suevi, and, farther on, the Burgundians. The principal tribes composing the Alemannic league were the Teucteri, Usipetes, Chatti and Vangiones. Caracalla first fought with them, on the southern part of the Rhine, in 211, but did not conquer them ; Severus was likewise unsuccessful. Maximin was the first who conquered and drove them beyond the Rhine, in 236. After his death, they again invaded Gaul; but Posthumius defeated them, pursued them into Germany, and fortified the boundary with ramparts and ditches ; of which the mounds near Phoring, on the Danube, the rampart extending through Hohenlohe to Jaxthausen, and the ditch with palisadoes on the north side of the Maine, are remnants. (See DeviVs Wall) But the A. did not desist from their incursions, and were successively repulsed by Lollianus, the successor of Posthumius, by the emperor Probus, in 282, and afterwards by ConBtantius Chlorus. Nevertheless, during the disturbances in the empire, and until Constantine became its sole master, they occupied the tract from Mentz to Strasburg. At last, Julian was sent, when Caesar, to Gaul, in 357. He again repulsed the A., and forced their princes, of wThom there were then eight, to sue for peace. Their whole force, in the chief battle against Julian, amounted to 35,000 men. When the migration of the northern tribes began, the A. were among the hordes that overran Gaul. They spread along the whole western side of the Rhine, and, in the latter half of the 5th century, over all Helvetia. At last, Clovis broke their power in 496, subdued them, and deprived them of a large portion of their possessions. Many of them fled to Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, into Italy and the Alps ; the greater part, however, returned to their own country.