Alamanni(redirected from Alemans)
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(or Alemanni), a Germanic tribe first mentioned at the beginning of the third century A.D. and believed to be descended from the Semnones and other Germanic tribes of the Suebic people. In the third century the Alamanni broke through the frontier of the Roman Empire between the Rhine and Danube, and in the fifth century they settled in the territory of modern southwestern Germany, Alsace, and eastern Switzerland. In 496 the Franks subdued the greater part of the Alamanni and in 536 overcame the rest. However, in the beginning the Alamanni retained their dukes, and from 679 to 709 the Alamannic duchy was independent. The region settled by the Alamanni was ruled by Alamannic law. In the tenth century the tribal duchy of Alamannia, or Swabia, was formed as part of the kingdom of Germany. The Alamanni, or Swabians, were an important component of the German nation. In a number of European languages, the names for Germany and Germans are derived from the name “Alamanni.”