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Alemanni and Franks

Alemanni and Franks on the Rhine in 250 AD

In history, the period of 235 to 285 AD was considered as a time of severe crisis for the Roman Empire. It was during this time when various forces threatened peace and order in the empire, as more powerful groups rose into power. Among these enemies that had a serious impact to the Romans were the Alemanni and Franks that remained at the Rhine that is where they are located on the Biblical Timeline Poster with World History.

Threats of the Franks and Alemanni

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 In 250 AD, several Roman historians made mention of the raids that occurred in the Germania Superior, and this was made possible by the Alemanni and Franks. These forces invaded the country and burnt every single thing that was in sight, particularly the forts. According to researchers, the Franks considered themselves as the “wild ones”. This group included young individuals of Germanic ethnicity who came from various Germanic tribes such as the Sugambri, Tencteri, and Usipetes, among a few others. On the other hand, the Alemanni or “all men” was not primarily a tribe, but it was more of a larger unit of the group Germanics.

These raids were often successful as the Roman army was unable to stop these forces from causing harm to the people and their properties. Moreover, the Roman soldiers came quite late to prevent these groups from endangering numerous areas, particularly the Roman-Germanic provinces. Since a large number of Rome’s cities lacked a strong fortress or walls to protect them from these raids, a vast portion of these regions was damaged and deserted after the attack of the Franks and Alemanni.

In 256, the Franks successfully invaded Germania Inferior as they destroyed most garrisons situated along the Rhine. In addition, the group conquered Trier, although Emperor Gallienus was ale to regain its hold on Trier as Germania Superior and Gallia Belgica succumbed to his power. Postumus, the governor whom he appointed to reign in Germania Inferior, aimed to overthrow the Franks. Unfortunately, Gallienus was forced to halt his campaign because his father, who was also his co-emperor situated in the East, was defeated and imprisoned by the Sassanid Persians. Hence, he decided to withdraw his troops from the Rhine, and this paved the way for the Franks and Alemanni to reach the Rhine. This resulted to the brutal destruction of numerous Roman forts and civil settlements located at the Rhine and the Danube.

The Frankish and Alemanni army also gained success in invading Trier and Cologne as several forts that once stood along the Rhine were completely destroyed. A significant portion of France, Belgium and the Netherlands was also devastated and set in flames.

Alemanni_and_Franks
Area settled by the Alemanni, and sites of Roman-Alemannic battles, 3rd to 6th centuries

For a number of years, anarchy was the prevailing atmosphere in these parts of the world until the great Emperor Probus was able to put an end to these devastating actions by the Franks and Alemanni. He also decided to take back the Roman Empire’s border to the Danube and Rhine Rivers. Probus also gave up the Agri Decumates and Limes, and he turned the Franks and Alemanni into Roman allies. They were tasked to remain loyal to the Roman Empire and to show their support by defending it when necessary.

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