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    Marcomanni

    Marcomanni







    The Marcomanni were a Germanic tribe, probably related to the Suebi or Suevi.

    Scholars believe their name derives from one of two possible sources: (1) old Germanic forms of "march" ("frontier") and "men"; or (2) the name of a Roman legate, Marcus Fabius Romanus, who deserted Drusus' legions during his German campaign in ca. 13 BC and is thought to have banded together a ragtag group of Germanic tribes into a cohesive fighting force (see POMOERIVM, vol. 3, 1998). Another source indicates that Marcus Fabius Romanus was exiled for wheat speculation and did not, in fact, desert the army on campaign though the source also links Romanus with the Marcomanni in the years following his exile. Several primary sources cite Romanus as a senator, a large landholder, and, controversially, a financial backer of one of the primary chariot racing factions (also POMOERIVM, vol. 3, 1998).

    Drusus attacked the Marcomanni in 9 BC, forcing them into what is now Bohemia. There their king Maroboduus established a powerful kingdom that Augustus perceived as a threat to Rome. Before he could act, however, the war in Illyria intervened. Eventually Maroboduus was deposed and exiled by Catualda (AD 19).

    Tacitus, in the first half of the 1st century mention in his Germany Book I, verse 42, the Marcommani as being under kings appointed by Rome. [1]

    In the 2nd century AD, the Marcomanni entered into a confederation with other peoples including the Quadi, Vandals, and Sarmatians, against the Roman Empire. This was probably driven by movements of larger tribes, like the Goths. According to the historian Eutropius, the forces of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius battled against the Marcomannic confederation for three years at the fortress of Carnuntum in Pannonia. Eutropius compared the war, and Marcus Aurelius' success against the Marcomanni and their allies, to the Punic Wars. The comparison was apt in that this war marked a turning point and had significant Roman defeats; it caused the death of two Praetorian Guard commanders. The war began in 166, when the Marcomanni overwhelmed the defences between Vindobona and Carnuntum, penetrated along the border between the provinces of Pannonia and Noricum, laid waste to Flavia Solva, and could be stopped only shortly before reaching Aquileia on the Adriatic sea. The war lasted until Marcus Aurelius' death in 180. It would prove to be only a limited success for Rome; the Danube river remained as the frontier of the Empire for its duration.

    The Christianisation of the Marcomanni occurred under their queen Fritigil (mid fourth century), who corresponded with Ambrose of Milan to bring about the conversion.

    There is a runic alphabet called the Marcomannic runes, but they are not believed to be related to the Marcomannic people.

    After crossing the Pyrenees in 409, a group of Marcomanni, Quadi and Buri, established themselves in the Roman province of Gallaecia (modern Galicia and northern Portugal), where they were considered foederati and founded the Suebi Kingdom of Gallaecia. There, Hermeric swore fealty to the emperor in 410. Bracara Augusta, the modern city of Braga in Portugal, previously the capital of Roman Gallaecia, now became the capital of the Suebic kingdom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hussar View Post
    Marcomanni

    The Marcomanni were a Germanic tribe, probably related to the Suebi or Suevi.

    .... I wonder if this is true! I don't see the Suebi on the map - can you explain this. They began on the Baltic in the north ... by Roman times, they had, in part, moved south to be in conflict with the Romans on "the wrong side" of the Rhine! It would be useful if you could perhaps give a date for the map... circa 1 CE ... or what ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carl View Post
    .... I wonder if this is true! I don't see the Suebi on the map - can you explain this. They began on the Baltic in the north ... by Roman times, they had, in part, moved south to be in conflict with the Romans on "the wrong side" of the Rhine! It would be useful if you could perhaps give a date for the map... circa 1 CE ... or what ?
    I think, that Suebi was "tribe confederation" (as e.g. Lugii), which can be identified with Hermiones of Tacitus (it means majority of tribes of Germania Magna).

    Yes, you're right, the map depicts a 1st century CE situation. Celtic tribe of Boii had left Central European territory briefly before, than Marcomanni came (from northwest) - at the begginig of Current Era. Our history is not my strong point, but if you'll have some questions, I can try to answer/or to find an answer.

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    Suebi split into the Alemanni led by the Semnones who evolved into Swiss, Alsatians, Badener and Swabians. The Lombards merged into Northern Italy. The Marcomanni who incorporated significant Boii populations and evolved into Bavarians, Bohemians and Austrians. Plus possibly the smaller Quadi who are gone. All these were tribal confederations in their own right.

    I think it was Tacitus who stated that the Suebi kind of form their own culture group distinct from other germanic tribes. As their descendants match with the South German culture this was probably true. Don't see a reason to list the Marcomanni as extinct though. Bavarians/Austrians are still there.

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