Severus Alexander was Roman Emperor from 222 to 235 and the last emperor of the Severan dynasty. He succeeded his cousin Elagabalus upon the latter's assassination in 222, his own assassination marked the epoch event for the Crisis of the Third Century—nearly 50 years of civil wars, foreign invasion, collapse of the monetary economy, though this last part is now disputed. Alexander was the heir to his cousin, the 18-year-old Emperor, murdered along with his mother Julia Soaemias, by his own guards, who, as a mark of contempt, had their remains cast into the Tiber river, he and his cousin were both grandsons of the influential and powerful Julia Maesa, who had arranged for Elagabalus' acclamation as emperor by the famous Third Gallic Legion. It was the rumor of Alexander's death that triggered the assassination of his mother, his 13-year reign was the longest reign of a sole emperor since Antoninus Pius. He was the second-youngest sole legal Roman Emperor during the existence of the united empire, the youngest being Gordian III.
As emperor, Alexander's peacetime reign was prosperous. However, Rome was militarily confronted with the rising Sassanid Empire and growing incursions from the tribes of Germania, he managed to check the threat of the Sassanids. But when campaigning against Germanic tribes, Alexander attempted to bring peace by engaging in diplomacy and bribery; this led to a conspiracy to assassinate and replace him. Born between around 207 or 208 Severus Alexander became emperor when he was around 14 years old, making him the youngest emperor in Rome's history, until the ascension of Gordian III. Alexander's grandmother believed that he had more potential to rule than her other grandson, the unpopular emperor Elagabalus. Thus, to preserve her own position, she had Elagabalus adopt the young Alexander and arranged for Elagabalus' assassination, securing the throne for Alexander; the Roman army hailed Alexander as emperor on 13 March 222 conferring on him the titles of Augustus, pater patriae and pontifex maximus.
Throughout his life, Alexander relied on guidance from his grandmother and mother, Julia Mamaea. Maesa died in 223; as a young and inexperienced adolescent, Alexander knew little about government, warcraft, or the role of ruling over an empire. Because of this, throughout his entire reign he was a puppet of his mother's advice and under her jurisdiction, a state of affairs, not popular with the soldiers. Under the influence of his mother, Alexander did much to improve the morals and condition of the people, to enhance the dignity of the state, he employed noted jurists to oversee the administration of justice, such as the famous jurist Ulpian. His advisers were men like the senator and historian Cassius Dio, it is claimed that he created a select board of 16 senators, although this claim is disputed, he created a municipal council of 14 who assisted the urban prefect in administering the affairs of the 14 districts of Rome. Excessive luxury and extravagance at the imperial court were diminished, he restored the Baths of Nero in 227 or 229.
Upon his accession he reduced the silver purity of the denarius from 46.5% to 43%—the actual silver weight dropped from 1.41 grams to 1.30 grams. The following year he decreased the amount of base metal in the denarius while adding more silver, raising the silver purity and weight again to 50.5% and 1.50 grams. Additionally, during his reign taxes were lightened. In religious matters, Alexander preserved an open mind. According to the Historia Augusta, he wished to erect a temple to Jesus but was dissuaded by the pagan priests. In legal matters, Alexander did much to aid the rights of his soldiers, he confirmed that soldiers could name anyone as heirs in their will, whereas civilians had strict restrictions over who could become heirs or receive a legacy. He confirmed that soldiers could free their slaves in their wills, protected the rights of soldiers to their property when they were on campaign, reasserted that a soldier's property acquired in or because of military service could be claimed by no-one else, not the soldier's father.
On the whole, Alexander's reign was prosperous until the rise, in the east, of the Sassanids under Ardashir I. In 231 AD, Ardeshir invaded the Roman provinces of the east, overrunning Mesopotamia and penetrating as far as Syria and Cappadocia, forcing from the young Alexander a vigorous response. Of the war that followed. According to the most detailed authority, the Roman armies suffered a number of humiliating setbacks and defeats, while according to the Historia Augusta as well as Alexander's own dispatch to the Roman Senate, he gained great victories. Making Antioch his base, he organized in 233 a three-fold invasion of the Sassanian Empire.
A vexillatio was a detachment of a Roman legion formed as a temporary task force created by the Roman army of the Principate. It was named from the standard carried by legionary detachments, the vexillum, which bore the emblem and name of the parent legion. Although associated with legions, it is that vexillationes included auxiliaries; the term is found in the singular, referring to a single detachment, but is used in the plural to refer to an army made up of picked detachments. Vexillationes were assembled ad hoc to meet a crisis on Rome's extensive frontiers, to fight in a civil war, or to undertake an offensive against Rome's neighbours, they varied in size and composition, but consisted of about 1000 infantry and/or 500 cavalry. Because the Roman Army was not large enough to garrison the vast size of the empire, most of it was stationed along the frontiers; this placed the empire in a precarious position when serious threats arose in the interior or along a remote frontier. There was no central reserve and it was possible to take a full legion, or a major portion of one, to a troubled area without leaving a dangerous gap in the frontier defences.
The only logical solution was to take detachments from different legions and form temporary task forces to deal with the threat. As soon as it was taken care of, these vexillationes were dissolved, the detachments returned to their parent legions; the Roman emperors from the time of Augustus had at their disposal units in Italy and in the city of Rome. Over time these units would increase. Augustus created the praetorians who at the time of Domitianus constituted a force of ten cohorts, each of 1000 men strength on paper and who supplied a disputed number of horsemen. Traianus created the Imperial horseguards, the Equites Singulares Augusti, formed from his proconsular horseguard he had when he was the legate of Germania Inferior of about 1000 horsemen. Septimius made many changes in the Roman military, he doubled the number of the horseguards to 2000 horsemen. He filled the ranks of the Praetorians with provincial soldiers, he levied a new legion, Legio II Parthica, for the first time in Roman history stationed it on the outskirts of Rome, making it more clear that the Roman emperor was a military dictator.
Whenever the emperor went on campaign these guards units stationed in the city of Rome would accompany him. Added to these came the vexillationes of the border legions; the vexillatio system worked due to the mobility provided by the empire's excellent roads and to the high levels of discipline and esprit de corps of these units and the legions from which they came. But during the Crisis of the Third Century vexillationes were shifted so from one area to another that units became hopelessly mixed up and became independent. Legions that would proclaim a commander as emperor could have a vexillatio in the real emperor's field army or garrisoned on the frontier; this was a major cause of disorganization in the Roman Army which resulted in sweeping military reforms under Diocletian and Constantine I where the basic army unit became the size of one or two cohorts instead of the 5000-man legion. Under the Dominate, vexillatio refers to a cavalry unit of the Roman army. From the time of Diocletian and the Tetrarchy, as early as the reign of Gallienus, vexillationes were the usual cavalry units found on campaign though the ala still remained.
In the 4th century the Vexillationes palatinae and Vexilationes comitatenses of the Roman field armies are thought to have been either 300 or 600 men strong. The Notitia Dignitatum lists 88 vexillationes. Other units, such as infantry cohortes and centuriae, cavalry alae and turmae, may have had their own vexilla. In addition, vexillationes with their own vexilla would have designated units of special troops outside the usual military structure, such as vexillarii, who may have served separately from the cohorts of their ordinary comrades. R. E. Dupuy and T. N. Dupuy, The Encyclopedia Of Military History: From 3500 B. C. To The Present. Pp 147-148. Pat Southern and Karen Dixon, The Late Roman Army, chapter 2. ISBN 0-415-22296-6
The Notitia Dignitatum is a document of the late Roman Empire that details the administrative organization of the Eastern and Western Empires. It is unique as one of few surviving documents of Roman government and describes several thousand offices from the imperial court to provincial governments, diplomatic missions, army units, it is considered to be accurate for the Western Roman Empire in the AD 420s and for the Eastern or Byzantine Empire in the AD 390s. However, the text itself is not dated, omissions complicate ascertaining its date from its content. There are several extant 15th- and 16th-century copies of the document, plus a colour-illuminated iteration of 1542. All the known, extant copies are derived, either directly or indirectly, from Codex Spirensis, a codex known to have existed in the library of the Chapter of Speyer Cathedral in 1542, but, lost before 1672 and has not been rediscovered; the Codex Spirensis was a collection of documents, of which the Notitia was the final and largest document, occupying 164 pages, that brought together several previous documents of which one was of the 9th century.
The heraldry in illuminated manuscript copies of the Notitia is thought to copy or imitate only that illustrated in the lost Codex Spirensis. The iteration of 1542 made for Otto Henry, Elector Palatine, was revised with "illustrations more faithful to the originals added at a date", is preserved by the Bavarian State Library; the most important copy of the Codex is that made for Pietro Donato in 1436 and illuminated by Peronet Lamy, now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford. For each half of the Empire, the Notitia enumerates all the major "dignities", i. e. offices, that it could bestow with the location and specific officium enumerated, except for the most junior members, for each. The dignities are ordered by: Court officials, including the most senior dignitaries such as praetorian prefects; the Notitia presents four primary problems as regards the study of the Empire's military: The Notitia depicts the Roman army at the end of the AD 4th century. Therefore, its development from the structure of the Principate is conjectural because of the lack of other evidence.
It was compiled at two different times. The section for the Eastern Empire dates from circa AD 395 and that for the Western Empire from circa AD 420. Further, each section is not a contemporaneous "snapshot", but relies on data pre-dating it by as many as 20 years; the Eastern section may contain data from as early as AD 379, the beginning of the reign of Emperor Theodosius I. The Western section contains data from as early as circa AD 400: for example, it shows units deployed in Britannia, which must date from before 410, when the Empire lost the island. In consequence, there is substantial duplication, with the same unit listed under different commands, it is impossible to ascertain whether these were detachments of the same unit in different places or the same whole unit at different times. It is that some units were nominal or minimally staffed. According to Roger Collins, the Notitia Dignitatum was an archaising text written circa AD 425, whose unreliability is demonstrated by "the supposed existence of traditional units in Britain and Spain at a time when other evidence shows they were not there."
The Notitia has many sections missing and lacunae within sections. This is doubtless due to accumulated textual losses and copying errors, because it was copied over the centuries: the earliest manuscript possessed today dates from the 15th century; the Notitia can not therefore provide a comprehensive list of all units. The Notitia does not record the number of personnel. Given that and the paucity of other evidence of unit sizes at that time, the size of individual units and the various commands cannot be ascertained. In turn, this makes it impossible to assess the total size of the army. Depending on the strength of units, the late AD 4th century army may, at one extreme, have equaled the size of the AD 2nd century force, i. e. over 400,000 men. For example, the forces deployed in Britain circa AD 400 may have been 18,000 against circa 55,000 in the AD 2nd century; the Notitia contains symbols similar to the diagram which came to be known as yin and yang symbol. The infantry units armigeri defensores seniores and Mauri Osismiaci had a shield design which corresponds to the dynamic, clockwise version of the symbol, albeit with red dots, instead of dots of the opposite colour.
The emblem of the Thebaei, another Western Roman infantry regiment, featured a pattern of concentric circles comparable to its static version. The Roman patterns predate the earliest Taoist versions by seven hundred years, there is no evidence for a connection between the two. Laeti Tabula Peutingeriana List of Late Roman provinces Notitia Dignitatum, edited by Robert Ireland, in British Archaeological Reports, International Series 63.2. Westermann Großer Atlas zur Weltgeschichte contains many precise maps Pauly-Wissowa. A. H. M. Jones, The Later Roman Empire, 284-602. A Social and Administrative Survey, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986, ISBN 0-8018-3285-3 The Compilation'notitia dignitatum', extensive links and resources Placenames from Notitia Dignitatum GIS from Pelagios/Pleiades. 1505 toponyms. 1164 matches. Bodleian Library: full scan of 1436 edition Bavarian State Library: Notitia Dignitatum
Palmyra is an ancient Semitic city in present-day Homs Governorate, Syria. Archaeological finds date back to the Neolithic period, documents first mention the city in the early second millennium BC. Palmyra changed hands on a number of occasions between different empires before becoming a subject of the Roman Empire in the first century AD; the city grew wealthy from trade caravans. Palmyra's wealth enabled the construction of monumental projects, such as the Great Colonnade, the Temple of Bel, the distinctive tower tombs. Ethnically, the Palmyrenes combined elements of Amorites and Arabs; the city's social structure was tribal, its inhabitants spoke Palmyrene, while using Greek for commercial and diplomatic purposes. Greco-Roman culture influenced the culture of Palmyra, which produced distinctive art and architecture that combined eastern and western traditions; the city's inhabitants worshiped local Semitic deities and Arab gods. By the third century AD Palmyra had become a prosperous regional center.
It reached the apex of its power in the 260s, when the Palmyrene King Odaenathus defeated Persian Emperor Shapur I. The king was succeeded by regent Queen Zenobia, who rebelled against Rome and established the Palmyrene Empire. In 273, Roman emperor Aurelian destroyed the city, restored by Diocletian at a reduced size; the Palmyrenes converted to Christianity during the fourth century and to Islam in the centuries following the conquest by the 7th-century Rashidun Caliphate, after which the Palmyrene and Greek languages were replaced by Arabic. Before AD 273, Palmyra enjoyed autonomy and was attached to the Roman province of Syria, having its political organization influenced by the Greek city-state model during the first two centuries AD; the city became a Roman colonia during the third century, leading to the incorporation of Roman governing institutions, before becoming a monarchy in 260. Following its destruction in 273, Palmyra became a minor center under the Byzantines and empires, its destruction by the Timurids in 1400 reduced it to a small village.
Under French Mandatory rule in 1932, the inhabitants were moved into the new village of Tadmur, the ancient site became available for excavations. During the Syrian Civil War in 2015, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant destroyed large parts of the ancient city, recaptured by the Syrian Army on 2 March 2017; the name "Tadmor" is known from the early second millennium BC. Aramaic Palmyrene inscriptions; the etymology of the name is unclear. The Greek name Παλμύρα is first recorded by Pliny the Elder in the 1st century AD, it was used throughout the Greco-Roman world. It is believed that "Palmyra" derives from "Tadmor" and two possibilities have been presented by linguists. According to the suggestion by Schultens, "Palmyra" could have arisen as a corruption of "Tadmor", via an unattested form "Talmura", changed to "Palmura" by influence of the Latin word palma, in reference to the city's palm trees the name reached its final form "Palmyra"; the second view, supported by some philologists, such as Jean Starcky, holds that Palmyra is a translation of "Tadmor", which had derived from the Greek word for palm, "Palame".
An alternative suggestion connects the name to the Syriac tedmurtā "miracle", hence tedmurtā "object of wonder", from the root dmr "to wonder". Michael Patrick O'Connor suggested that the names "Palmyra" and "Tadmor" originated in the Hurrian language; as evidence, he cited the inexplicability of alterations to the theorized roots of both names. According to this theory, "Tadmor" derives from the Hurrian word tad with the addition of the typical Hurrian mid vowel rising formant mar. According to this theory, "Palmyra" derives from the Hurrian word pal using the same mVr formant. Palmyra lies 215 km northeast of Damascus, in an oasis surrounded by palms. Two mountain ranges overlook the city. In the south and the east Palmyra is exposed to the Syrian Desert. A small wadi crosses the area, flowing from the western hills past the city before disappearing in the eastern gardens of the oasis. South of the wadi is Efqa. Pliny the Elder described the town in the 70s AD as famous for its desert location, the richness of its soil, the springs surrounding it, which made agriculture and herding possible.
Palmyra began as a small settlement near the Efqa spring on the southern bank of Wadi al-Qubur. The settlement, known as the Hellenistic settlement, had residences expanding to the wadi's northern bank during the first century. Although the city's walls enclosed an extensive area on both b
Gordian III was Roman Emperor from 238 AD to 244 AD. At the age of 13, he became the youngest sole legal Roman emperor throughout the existence of the united Roman Empire. Gordian was the son of Antonia Gordiana and an unnamed Roman Senator who died before 238. Antonia Gordiana was the daughter of Emperor Gordian I and younger sister of Emperor Gordian II. Little is known of his early life before his acclamation. Gordian had assumed the name of his maternal grandfather in 238 AD. In 235, following the murder of Emperor Alexander Severus in Moguntiacum, the capital of the Roman province Germania Superior, Maximinus Thrax was acclaimed Emperor. In the following years, there was a growing opposition against Maximinus in the Roman senate and amongst the majority of the population of Rome. In 238 a rebellion broke out in the Africa Province, where Gordian's grandfather and uncle, Gordian I and II, were proclaimed joint emperors; this revolt was suppressed within a month by Cappellianus, governor of Numidia and a loyal supporter of Maximinus Thrax.
The elder Gordians died, but public opinion cherished their memory as peace-loving and literate men, victims of Maximinus' oppression. Meanwhile, Maximinus was on the verge of marching on Rome and the Senate elected Pupienus and Balbinus as joint emperors; these senators were not popular men and the population of Rome was still shocked by the elder Gordians' fate, so the Senate decided to take the teenage Gordian, rename him Marcus Antonius Gordianus like his grandfather, raise him to the rank of Caesar and imperial heir. Pupienus and Balbinus defeated Maximinus due to the defection of several legions the II Parthica, who assassinated Maximinus. However, their joint reign was doomed from the start with popular riots, military discontent and an enormous fire that consumed Rome in June 238. On July 29, Pupienus and Balbinus were killed by the Praetorian Guard and Gordian proclaimed sole emperor. Due to Gordian's age, the imperial government was surrendered to the aristocratic families, who controlled the affairs of Rome through the Senate.
In 240, Sabinianus revolted in the African province, but the situation was brought under control. In 241, Gordian was married to Furia Sabinia Tranquillina, daughter of the newly appointed praetorian prefect, Timesitheus; as chief of the Praetorian Guard and father in law of the Emperor, Timesitheus became the de facto ruler of the Roman Empire. In the 3rd century, the Roman frontiers weakened against the Germanic tribes across the Rhine and Danube, the Sassanid Empire across the Euphrates increased its own attacks; when the Persians under Shapur I invaded Mesopotamia, the young emperor opened the doors of the Temple of Janus for the last time in Roman history, sent a large army to the East. The Sassanids were defeated in the Battle of Resaena; the campaign was a success and Gordian, who had joined the army, was planning an invasion of the enemy's territory, when his father-in-law died in unclear circumstances. Without Timesitheus, the campaign, the Emperor's security, were at risk. Gaius Julius Priscus and on, his own brother Marcus Julius Philippus known as Philip the Arab, stepped in at this moment as the new Praetorian Prefects and the campaign proceeded.
Around February 244, the Persians fought back fiercely to halt the Roman advance to Ctesiphon. Persian sources claim that a battle occurred near modern Fallujah and resulted in a major Roman defeat and the death of Gordian III. Roman sources do not mention this battle and suggest that Gordian died far away from Misiche, at Zaitha in northern Mesopotamia. Modern scholarship does not unanimously accept this course of the events. One view holds that Gordian died at Zaitha, murdered by his frustrated army, while the role of Philip is unknown. Other scholars, such as Kettenhofen and Winter have concluded that Gordian died in battle against the Sassanids. Philip arranged for his deification. Gordian's youth and good nature, along with the deaths of his grandfather and uncle and his own tragic fate at the hands of the enemy, earned him the lasting esteem of the Romans. Katrin Herrmann: Gordian III. - Kaiser einer Umbruchszeit. Speyer 2013. ISBN 978-3-939526-20-9 Potter, David. S; the Roman Empire At Bay AD 180-392, Routledge, 2004, ISBN 0-203-67387-5 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Gordian". Encyclopædia Britannica. 12. Cambridge University Press. P. 247. Meckler, Michael, "Gordian III", De Imperatoribus Romanis Ammianus Marcellinus, The Later Roman Empire, 23.5.7 Media related to Gordian III at Wikimedia Commons
Shapur I known as Shapur the Great, was the second shahanshah of the Sasanian Empire. The dates of his reign are given as 240/42 – 270, but it is that he reigned as co-regent prior to his father's death in 242. Shapur I's rule was marked by successful military and political struggles in the Caucasus, against the Kushan Empire in the east, two wars with the Roman Empire. Shapur I's support for Zoroastrianism caused a rise in the position of the clergy, his religious tolerance accelerated the spread of Manichaeanism and Christianity in Persia, he is noted in the Jewish tradition. The name Shapur combines the words šāh and pūr, thus meaning the "king's son"; the name derives from Old Iranian *xšāyaθiyahyā-puθra-, appears in Manichaean sources as Shabuhr, while it is attested in Latin sources as Sapores and Sapor, which Shapur is known by in modern sources. Shapur was the son of the founder of the Sasanian dynasty and whom Shapur succeeded, his mother was Lady Myrōd, according to legend, was an Arsacid princess.
The Talmud cites a nickname for her, "Ifra Hurmiz", after her bewitching beauty. Shapur had a brother named Ardashir, who would serve as governor of Kirman. Shapur may have had another brother with the same name, who served as governor of Adiabene. Shapur accompanied his father's campaigns against the Parthians, who still controlled much of the Iranian plateau through a system of vassal states, in which the Persian kingdom had itself been a part. Before an assembly of magnates, Ardashir "judged him the gentlest, wisest and ablest of all his children" and nominated him as his successor. Shapur appears as heir apparent in Ardashir's investiture inscriptions at Naqsh-e Rajab and his capital, Gor; the Iranian historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari observed of Shapur before his ascension to the Sasanian throne:, "The Iranians had well-tried Shapur before his accession and while his father still lived on account of his intelligence and learning as well as his outstanding boldness, logic, affection for the subject of people and kindheartedness."
The Cologne Mani-Codex indicates that, by 240, Ardashir and Shapur were reigning together. In a letter from the Roman Emperor Gordian III to his senate, dated to 242, the "Persian Kings" are referred to in the plural. Synarchy is evident in the coins of this period that portray Ardashir facing his youthful son and bear a legend that indicates Shapur as king; the date of Shapur's coronation remains debated: 240 is noted, but Ardashir lived until 242. The year 240 marks the seizure and subsequent destruction of Hatra, about 100 km southwest of Nineveh and Mosul in present-day Iraq. According to legend, al-Nadirah, the daughter of the king of Hatra, betrayed her city to the Sasanians, who killed the king and had the city razed; the Eastern provinces of the fledgling Sasanian Empire bordered on the land of the Kushans and the land of the Sakas. The military operations of Shapur’s father Ardashir I had led to the local Kushan and Saka kings offering tribute, satisfied by this show of submission, Ardashir seems to have refrained from occupying their territories.
Al-Tabari alleges he rebuilt the ancient city of Zrang in Sakastan, but the only early Sasanian period founding of a new settlement in the East of which we are certain is the building by Shapur I of Nishapur - “Beautifull by Shapur” - in Dihistan. Soon after the death of his father in 241 CE, Shapur felt the need to cut short the campaign they had started in Roman Syria, reassert Sasanian authority in the East because the Kushan and Saka kings were lax in abiding to their tributary status. However, he first had to fight “The Medes of the Mountains” - as we will see in the mountain range of Gilan on the Caspian coast - and after subjugating them, he appointed his son Bahram as their king, he marched to the East and annexed most of the land of the Kushans, appointing his son Narseh as Sakanshah - king of the Sakas - in Sistan. Shapur could now proudly proclaim that his empire stretched all the way to Peshawar, his relief in Rag-i-Bibi in present-day Afghanistan confirms this claim, he seems to have garrisoned the Eastern territories with POW’s from his previous campaign against the Medes of the Mountains.
Agathias claims Bahram II campaigned in the land of the Sakas and appointed his brother Hormizd as its king. When Hormizd revolted, the Panegyrici Latini list his forces as the Rufii and the Geli. Since the Gilaks are out of place among these easterners, as we know that Shapur I had to fight the Medes of the Mountains first before marching to the land of the Kushans, it is conceivable those Gilaks were the descendants of warriors captured during Shapur I's North-western campaign, forcibly drafted into the Sasanian army, settled as a hereditary garrison in Merv, Nishapur, or Zrang after the conclusion of Shapur's north-eastern campaign, the usual Sasanian practise with prisoners of war. Ardashir I had, towards the end of his reign, renewed the war against the Roman Empire, Shapur I had conquered the Mesopotamian fortresses Nisibis and Carrhae and had advanced into Syria. In 242, the Romans under the father-in-law of their child-
The Alemanni were a confederation of Germanic tribes on the Upper Rhine River. First mentioned by Cassius Dio in the context of the campaign of Caracalla of 213, the Alemanni captured the Agri Decumates in 260, expanded into present-day Alsace, northern Switzerland, leading to the establishment of the Old High German language in those regions, by the eighth century named Alamannia. In 496, the Alemanni were incorporated into his dominions. Mentioned as still pagan allies of the Christian Franks, the Alemanni were Christianized during the seventh century; the Lex Alamannorum is a record of their customary law during this period. Until the eighth century, Frankish suzerainty over Alemannia was nominal. After an uprising by Theudebald, Duke of Alamannia, Carloman executed the Alamannic nobility and installed Frankish dukes. During the and weaker years of the Carolingian Empire, the Alemannic counts became independent, a struggle for supremacy took place between them and the Bishopric of Constance.
The chief family in Alamannia was that of the counts of Raetia Curiensis, who were sometimes called margraves, one of whom, Burchard II, established the Duchy of Swabia, recognized by Henry the Fowler in 919 and became a stem duchy of the Holy Roman Empire. The area settled by the Alemanni corresponds to the area where Alemannic German dialects remain spoken, including German Swabia and Baden, French Alsace, German-speaking Switzerland and Austrian Vorarlberg; the French language name of Germany, Allemagne, is derived from their name, from Old French aleman, from French loaned into a number of other languages. The Spanish name for Germany is Alemania, Welsh is Yr Almaen. According to Gaius Asinius Quadratus, the name Alamanni means "all men", it indicates. The Romans and the Greeks called them as such mentioned; this derivation was accepted by Edward Gibbon, in his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and by the anonymous contributor of notes assembled from the papers of Nicolas Fréret, published in 1753.
This etymology has remained the standard derivation of the name. An alternative suggestion proposes derivation from *alah "sanctuary". Walafrid Strabo in the 9th century remarked, in discussing the people of Switzerland and the surrounding regions, that only foreigners called them the Alemanni, but that they gave themselves the name of Suebi; the Suebi are given the alternative name of Ziuwari in an Old High German gloss, interpreted by Jacob Grimm as Martem colentes. The Alemanni were first mentioned by Cassius Dio describing the campaign of Caracalla in 213. At that time, they dwelt in the basin of the Main, to the south of the Chatti. Cassius Dio portrays the Alemanni as victims of this treacherous emperor, they had asked for his help, according to Dio, but instead he colonized their country, changed their place names, executed their warriors under a pretext of coming to their aid. When he became ill, the Alemanni claimed to have put a hex on him. Caracalla, tried to counter this influence by invoking his ancestral spirits.
In retribution, Caracalla led the 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 fourth-century fictional Historia Augusta, Life of Antoninus Caracalla, relates that Caracalla assumed the name Alemannicus,"at which Helvius Pertinax jested that he should be called Geticus Maximus," because in the year before he had murdered his brother, Geta. Through much of his short reign, 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 neutral, they were further influenced by Caracalla to become thereafter notoriously implacable enemies of Rome; this mutually antagonistic relationship is the reason why the Roman writers persisted in calling the Alemanni barbari," meaning "savages." The archaeology, shows that they were Romanized, lived in Roman-style houses and used Roman artifacts, the Alemannic women having adopted the Roman fashion of the tunica earlier than the men.
Most of the Alemanni were at the time, in fact, resident in or close to the borders of Germania Superior. Although Dio is the earliest writer to mention them, Ammianus Marcellinus used the name to refer to Germans on the Limes Germanicus in the time of Trajan's governorship of the province shortly after it was formed, around 98-99 AD. At that time, the entire frontier was being fortified for the first time. Trees from the earliest fortifications found in Germania Inferior are dated by dendrochronology to 99-100 AD. Ammianus relates that much the Emperor Julian undertook a punitive expedition against the Alemanni, who by were in Alsace, crossed the Main, entering the forest, where the trails were blocked by felled trees; as winter was upon them, they reoccupied a "fortification, founded on the soil of the Alemanni that Trajan wished to be called with his own name". In this context, the use of Alemanni is an anachronism, but it reveals that Ammianus believed they were the same people, consistent with the location of the Alemanni of Caracalla's campaigns.
Germania by Tacitus in Chapter 42 states that the Hermunduri were a tribe located in the region that became