Suevi(redirected from Suebi)
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(also Suebi), a group of Germanic tribes, including the Semnones, Hermunduri, and Quadi, that lived in the basins of the Elbe, Main, Neckar, and upper Rhine rivers from the first century B.C. to the second century A.D. The Suevi were first described by Julius Caesar, who in 58 B.C. defeated the Suevi under their leader Ariovistus, who had crossed the Rhine about 71 B.C. and was attempting to establish his rule in Gaul. After Tacitus, the term “Suevi” gives way in historical sources to the names of the individual Suevi tribes. However, it has not fallen into complete disuse; it is often used to refer to the Quadi, who established a kingdom—the Suevian Kingdom—in northwestern Spain in the early fifth century. The Alamanni, or Swabians, were evidently descended from the Suevi, in particular, from the Semnones.