History Files


European Kingdoms

Germanic Tribes




Alemanni (Suevi)
Incorporating the Bucinobantes

The Suevi, a Germanic people, were situated around the Baltic Sea, east of the Elbe, during the early days of the Roman empire (AD 98). Their name (Suevi/Suebi and later Sweben) was probably also appended to what became Sweden. Not really one people, they were made up of a broad coalition of tribes which also included the Angles, Jutes, Mattiaci, and Semnones (Juthungi). Later, while the main host of the Suebi migrated into Spain, the Langobards and Alemanni, both part of the Suebian confederation, remained behind. To the Alemanni themselves, their name was interchangeable with the Suebi name.

The Alemanni settled south-western Germany, northern Switzerland, and the Alsace region. Just like the Suebi, they were not a single people but a confederation, their very fitting name meaning 'all men'. The largest of their tribes included the Bucinobantes, and probably the Hermunduri (broken during the Marcomannic Wars and later absorbed into both the Alemanni and Thuringians), plus the Semnones. Territory also included the eastern edge of the later Liechtenstein. Until at least the sixth century, it is likely that each tribe in the confederation largely ruled itself, with a possible over-king simply providing military leadership in times of trouble (a system very similar to that used by the Roman republic).

As they were located on the eastern side of the upper Rhine, and were therefore close to the borders of the Roman empire, the Alemanni name survives today in the Romance terms for the German people as a whole, such as Allemagne.

The Bucinobantes tribal name is not German at all - it's Celtic. It breaks down into 'buci-' and 'nobantes', the latter of which is exactly the same as in the Novantes of Britain. The first part, 'buci', would be 'wuk' or 'wok' in proto-Celtic. The main suspicion has to be that it is a corrupted form of *wo-kāno-, meaning 'excellent'. But excellent may not be accurate, or the meaning spans more than that one word. Modern Welsh contains 'enwog', meaning 'famous'. For 'novantes', the Welsh dictionary contains the noun 'nwyf' [m.], meaning 'vivacity, energy, vigour', and 'nwyfiant' [nwyfiannau, m.], meaning 'vivacity, vigour'. It should be remembered that in Welsh an 'f' is pronounced as a 'v', so 'novantes' could be 'the vigorous'. Cognate in Latin is 'navitas', meaning 'energy, get-up-and-go', which supports this analysis. This type of name is also fairly similar to that of the Insular Trinovantes. So the Bucinovantes were probably the 'famous' or 'excellent vigorous' (with famous or excellent as the noun, and vigorous as the modifier in Celtic word order). The name is more evidence of inermixing between German and Celtic tribes.

(Additional information by Edward Dawson.)

c.200 - 250

The Alamanni, Allemanni, or Alemanni are an alliance of war bands that forms up between various smaller Germanic tribes that have been migrating southwards from the Baltic Sea. By the start of the third century they are to be found in what is now Central Germany, having emerged there from around the Elbe. They probably also absorb the Hermunduri in this period, and the Sedusii before the start of the fifth century.


The Alemanni are first mentioned by Cassius Dio when they request help from Rome. Emperor Antoninus (Septimius Bassianus Caracalla) tries to dominate and colonise them and fighting breaks out in 213. They apparently live in the basin of the River Main, to the south of the Chatti. According to Asinius Quadratus, they have emerged from the Irminone grouping of Germanic tribes that was to be found in the Elbe region by the late first century AD. The Alemanni lose the encounter with Antoninus, and are pacified and partially colonised, but only temporarily. While they may previously have been friendly towards the empire, or at least neutral, this encounter turns them into implacable adversaries of Rome.

River Main
The River Main area of Western Germany became the new homeland of the Alemanni following their migration from the Baltic Sea region


Now largely Romanised through their contact of a generation before, living in Roman-style houses and using Roman goods, the Alemanni make the first of their invasions of the Roman empire. They participate decisively in the plundering raids into the Limes Germanicus, the provinces beyond, and even into Italy.

fl c.253 / 260

Chroc / Chrocus / Krokus

In Central Germany. Possibly not the same as Crocus of 306?

258 - 260

The Alemanni break the Roman limes in strength, causing widespread damage. The archaeological evidence reveals a lack of continuity in the provincial Roman population. Roman encampments and settlements, including the villae rusticae (farms), are abandoned and destroyed. One such settlement is Brigantion, former fortified town of the Brigantii tribe of Celts, whilst Augusta Raurica of the Raurici tribe is also destroyed. With extraordinary effectiveness the Alemanni penetrate as far as Italy where they are at last halted (the Juthungi can be included in this invasion). Emperor Gallienus defeats them in battle at Mediolanum (Milan) in 259, but the limes region is not resettled until the fourth century, and it is the Alemanni who conquer it.


The Alemanni incur into Italy after breaking through the frontier at Brenner Pass. They are confronted by Emperor Claudius II who may initially attempt to negotiate a peace. This fails and the resultant Battle of Benacus (Lake Garda) in November is a crushing victory for Rome. More than half the Alemanni are killed or captured and the rest flee northwards over the Alps and back into their territory.


Another Alemanni incursion results in three battles being fought between them and Rome, those of Placentia in which they defeat Emperor Aurelian in Italy; Fano, in which Aurelian strikes back to inflict a defeat on the Alemanni, forcing them to begin a retreat; and Pavia, in which the retreating Alemannic army is destroyed.

287 - 292

In the late third century, Heruli raid into Iberia along with Alemanni and Saxons, possibly as a result of the Lower Rhine incursions of 287. Roman Emperor Maximianus is involved in heavy fighting on the Lower Rhine and also on the Upper Danube.


King Crocus of the Alemanni is the commander of a cohort serving in Britain at this time. It is Crocus who encourages Constantine to accept the army's proclamation of him as Augustus upon the death of his father at Eboracum (York).

fl c.300


'King'of the Alemanni.


Father of Chronodemar and Agenarich.

mid-4th century

The Alemanni conquer the regions around the former limes which they had devastated in their raids of 258-260. It is this region that forms their permanent home, with them absorbing local tribes such as the Vangiones while other Germanic tribes are starting to found permanent kingdoms elsewhere in Western Europe. It is also this region, which has long been settled by the neighbouring Suevi, that later emerges as the duchy of Swabia.

The Alemanni still do not have one single ruler, but the Bucinobantes are one of the more dominant tribes, and their rulers are shown below in green to highlight them. Other rulers are known, but their tribal affiliation is less certain, so that there often appears to be several kings ruling simultaneously.

fl c.350 - 357

Chronodemar / Chnodomar

First Alemanni ruler in their new permanent homeland?

? - 361


Died after 371.

fl c.350s


Co-ruler with Vadomar.

fl c.357


Brother of Chronodemar.

356 - 357

Battles take place at Rheims and Argentoratum (modern Strasbourg, tribal centre of the Triboci tribe of Germans) respectively in which the Alemanni (and Juthungi) are defeated by Rome. Following the second defeat, the Alemanni are expelled from the Rhineland and their recognised leader, Chronodemar, is exiled to Rome after having been captured.

bef 359 - 380

Macrian / Makrian

Alemannic leader of the Bucinobantes.


Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus records that Emperor Julian the Apostate crosses the Rhine near Mainz to conduct negotiations with Macrian, the chief of the Bucinobantes, along with other Alemannic chiefs.

360 - 361

At the start of 360, Roman Caesar Julian (the Apostate) is wintering in Lutetia Parisiorum (the early Paris) when reports reach him that the Scotti and Picts have broken a previous agreement (perhaps made in 343) and are plundering lands close to the frontier in Britain, presumably those of the Novantae and Selgovae. Given the situation on the Rhine, especially with the Alemanni, he is unable to leave, so he sends his magister militum, Lupicinus, along with some of his best units, the Heruli, the Batavi, and two numeri Moesiacorum. Lupicinus marshals his forces at London, but is recalled following Julian being proclaimed Augustus by his troops. Whether the campaign goes ahead under a less senior commander is unknown.

fl 360s


fl 360s


fl 368


Sacked Roman Moguntiacum.


The forces of the Alemanni chief, Rando, sack the Roman city of Moguntiacum (Metz, or Mainz). The city is a frequent target for Alemannic attacks until it later falls to the Franks.


Vithicab Vadomarsson

? - 371


Vassal of Rome. Sent to Britain.

371 - 372

Following several rebellions by Macrian, king of the Bucinobantes, Roman Emperor Valentinian I appoints Fraomar as his replacement. The appointment is not accepted by the Alemanni themselves and Valentinian is forced to agree an alliance with Macrian in 371. In an act of imperial favour, Fraomar is sent to Britain as a military tribune to command a unit of Alemannic cavalry which is already stationed on the island, as recorded by Ammianus (and backed up by archaeological evidence).

375 - 400

The Quadi are badly disrupted by the invasion of the Huns into central Europe as the latter take control of the territory to the north of the Danube. Their arrival triggers sudden shifts in all the tribes in the region, and the wave of population movement and change effectively destroys the Quadi. It is presumed that remnants of the tribe attach themselves to other, bigger tribes, including the Alemanni, Rugii, Suevi, and Vandali.

? - 378


Alemanni leader.


Priarius is defeated at Argentorate (Argentovaria, modern Strasbourg) by the Frankish leader, Mallobaudes, and the Roman army of Gaul under western emperor Gratianus.


The Frankish chief, Mallobaudes, is still serving with the Roman army, and it is he who kills Macrian, king of the Bucinobantes, in the region of Mainz on the River Main.

406 - 409

The bulk of the Suevi cross the Rhine at Moguntiacum (Mainz) in 406 in association with the Vandali & Alans, but their close associates, the Alemanni, remain behind. They do not take part in any decisive events regarding the decline of the Roman empire.

Roman town gates of Metz
The Roman town of Moguntiacum (Mainz), whose gates are shown here, was a frequent target of Alemanni attacks, although it was the Mosan Franks who eventually conquered it

429 - 431

Between these two dates, the Roman general Aëtius fights against the Juthungi in Raetia. This appears to be their final mention in history. Presumably they are submerged within the Alemannic confederation.

fl c.470

Gibuld / Gebavult / Gibuldus

Apparently a single king for the unified Alemannic people.

496 - 505

MapThe Franks conquer the Alemanni at the Battle of Tolbiac in 496, although the victory is a narrow one. An Alemannic uprising in 505 is defeated and the kingdom is drawn directly within the Frankish kingdom. Any independence the Alemanni may have enjoyed after 496 is now lost. The region comes to be known by the less tribal and more formal name of Alemannia.

These events probably cause some Alemanni to drift south-eastwards where they form part of the Bavarii confederation. Back at home, the hilltop settlements of the Alemannic nobility are abandoned and their cemeteries fall into disuse. At the same time, strategically situated settlements of Frankish warriors and their entourages emerge in the sixth and seventh centuries. These Frankish officials also include warrior groups of Thuringian origin that became Frankish subjects after the defeat of Thuringia in 531.

511 - c.536

After 511 the Alemanni territory falls under the command of Austrasia. Local rulers are appointed, probably of Alemannic stock, although not necessarily related to any of the former chiefs, and Christianity is slowly introduced during the course of the next century or so. Details about the local rulers are very sketchy, sometimes not even providing names.

c.536 - 554


c.536 - 554


? - c.539


? - 548


Minor ruler. Governed in the Avenches diocese.

fl c.565


Minor ruler. Governed in the Avenches diocese.

bef 570 - 587

Leutfred I

fl c.573


Minor ruler. Governed in the Avenches diocese.

588 - 613


? - 613


c.615 - 639


c.640 - 673/695

Leutfred II

695? - c.700


Possibly vacant?

c.700 - 709

Godefred / Gotfrid

? - c.712


? - c.712


Probably a minor ruler. Governed in Ortenau.


Possibly vacant?

c.720 - 730

Lanfred I / Lantfrid I

c.737 - 744


? - 746



The Carolingian mayor of the palace, Carloman, ends an Alemannic uprising. He invites the nobility to a council at Cannstatt and then arrests them. Several thousand of them are executed for high treason, wiping out the Alemannic nobility at what becomes known as the blood court at Cannstatt. For the next century, Alemannia is ruled by Frankish dukes.

746 - 749

Lanfred II / Lantfrid II

749 - 791


Probably vacant.


The death of the Frankish king, Pepin III sees his domains divided between his two sons, with Charlemagne gaining parts of Aquitaine, plus Neustria, Austrasia, and the Germanic dependencies which include the Alemanni, and Carloman gaining the remainder: Soissons, the Massif Central, the Languedoc, the rest of Aquitaine, Provence, Burgundy, southern Austrasia, Alsace and Alemannia.

791 - 799


799 - 806

Isenbard Thurgau

806 - 814

By the Act of Thionville in 806, Charlemagne announces the division of his vast empire between his three sons. By 814, Pepin in Italy has already predeceased his father (810), as has Charles (813), so Louis the Pious is crowned Frankish emperor at Aix-la-Chapelle. It is also at this point that the list of vassal rulers or governors of the Alemanni stops. It appears that control of the region is given to Carolingian nobles from at least 829, with the title 'Duke of the Alemanni' being used as a regional basis of authority over south-western Germany rather than the head of an established duchy in the later sense.

829 - 833

Charles (II) the Bald

King of the Western Franks (840-877).

833 - 840

Louis (I) the Pious

Father. Carolingian Frankish Roman Emperor (814-840).

840 - 863

Louis (II) the German

King of the Eastern Franks (840-879).


Before his death the Frankish emperor, Louis, who is also duke of the Alemanni, promulgates the Ordinatio Imperii, proclaiming that his eldest son, Lothar, will inherit the entire empire. Lothar initially claims overlordship over all three Frankish regions until he loses a civil war. The Treaty of Verdun in 843 confirms the official division of the empire between Charlemagne's surviving three grandsons. Louis the German receives Eastern Francia (Germany), which includes Alemannia, Bavaria and Saxony.

The Battle of Tolbiac
Defeat by Clovis of the Franks at Tolbiac in 496 signalled the beginning of the end of Alemannic independence (The Battle of Tolbiac by Ary Scheffer, 1836)

863 - 887

Charles (III) the Fat

King of the Eastern Franks (876-887).


The death of Louis the German results in his territory being divided between his three sons. This is something that he had already foreseen, and portions of territory had been appointed to each of them in 865. Now in a peaceful succession, Carloman inherits Bavaria and the Ostmark, Louis the Younger gains Franconia, Saxony, and Thuringia, while Charles the Fat succeeds to Rhaetia and Swabia (which he has held in name since 863). As the oldest son, Carloman also retains de facto dominance over the Eastern Franks as a whole.

887 - 899

Arnulf of Carinthia

King of the Eastern Franks (887-899).


The rule of East Francia falls to non-Frankish emperors when the weak Charles the Fat is deposed by the Germans at the Diet of Tribur (November 887). the Frankish empire is officially divided between East and West. The western section becomes France, the eastern section Germany). Charles the Fat takes refuge in the monastery of Reichenau in Swabia where he dies the following year.

899 - 911

Louis (IV) the Child

King of the Eastern Franks (899-911).


Already very powerful in Swabia thanks to his role as administrator of the Abbey of Lorsch in Swabia, Burkhard's power increases in 909 when he accedes to the margraviate of Rhaetia. While Louis the Child is the titular duke of Swabia, it is Burkhard who wields power there, although not in the sense of the later, formally titled dukes.

909 - 911

Burkhard I / Burchard I

Margrave of Rhaetia. Count in the Thurgau & Baar.


Burkhard is arrested and charged with high treason thanks to his conflict against the Count Palatine Erchanger and Bishop Soloman III of Constance, both of whom are loyal to the newly-elected king of Germany, Conrad I. The titular use of the title 'Duke of the Alemanni' is dropped as the Frankish empire disintegrates. A large-scale political reorganisation of south-western Germany creates the duchy of Swabia.

Duchy of Swabia
AD 911 - 1268

Medieval Swabia emerged as a stem duchy from the fragmentation of the Frankish empire when the Eastern Frankish kingdom of Germany was formally secured by German rulers. The Swabian territory was extremely disorganised at this time, even in comparison to its neighbours. The German states were drastically reorganised, in this case disposing of the former Germanic Alemanni tribal affiliation. However, although the Alemanni name had been disposed of in political usage, it persisted in appellations for the German people as a whole, such as Allemagne.

The new duchy, one of five and therefore extremely powerful in medieval Germany, included the Alsace region, just as the Alemanni kingdom had before, and was situated in the south-west of modern Germany, mostly within what is now Baden-Württemberg. Franconia lay to its north and Bavaria to the east, while Vorarlberg (now the westernmost state of Austria) and Liechtenstein were included within its territory. Its name was taken from that of the original tribal host, the Suebi, of which the Alemanni had been part.

911 - 915

Following his part in the downfall of the powerful Burkhard I, Count Palatine Erchanger continues to strive for greater power of his own in Swabia. As the grandson of Louis (II) the German, king of East Francia, Erchanger is already powerful in his role of missus dominicus (envoy in Swabia for the king of Germany), but in September 915, he gains the duchy when he is proclaimed duke of Swabia by the nobility. After being defeated at the Battle of Wahlwies in the Hegau, the proclamation is not supported by King Conrad I of Germany, despite him being Erchanger's brother-in-law.

915 - 917

Erchanger / Erchangar

Count Palatine who helped in the downfall of Burkhard I.

916 - 917

Erchanger is condemned to remain within a monastery by the high court at Hohenaltheim in September 916, following his offences against the king and Bishop Soloman III of Constance, whom he had imprisoned briefly in 914. Erchanger is killed on the order of the king on 21 January 917. His recent ally, Burkhard II, seizes all of his lands and is universally recognised as duke.

917 - 926

Burkhard II / Burchard II

Son of Burkhard I. Count of Rhaetia. Killed in battle.

926 - 948

Herman I

Son of Gebhard of Lotharingia & Hessi. Married Burkhard's widow.

948 - 954

Ludolph / Liudolf

Son of Otto I of Saxony. m Herman's dau, Ida, in 947/8. Died 957.


Feeling that his position is threatened by his father's marriage to Adelaide, heiress of Italy, Ludolph joins forces with his brother-in-law, Conrad the Red, duke of Lorraine, in revolt. Ludolph is supported by the Swabians, but Conrad fails to gain the same support from his own subjects. Otto I of Saxony and Henry I of Bavaria defeat the rebellion. The following year, Ludolph is deprived of his title.

Otto I of Swabia
Duke Otto I, grandson of Otto I the Great of Saxony, is seen here on the right with his sister, Abbess Mathilda

954 - 973

Burkhard III / Burchard III

Son of Burkhard II. Count of Thurgau & Zürichgau.

973 - 982

Otto I

Son of Ludolph. Duke of Bavaria (976) & Carinthia (978).

983 - 997

Conrad I

Descendant of Conrad I of Franconia.

997 - 1003

Herman II



Swabia loses Alsace, which is separated from it by the German emperor, Henry II the Saint following Herman's opposition to his accession as king and emperor. Herman had seen himself as a suitable candidate for the title.

1003 - 1012

Herman III



The young Herman III dies childless, ending the Conradine succession to the duchy. Ernest of Babenburg, the younger son of the first Babenburg margrave of Austria, is appointed duke of Swabia by the German emperor, Henry II. He further legitimises his hold on the title by marrying Gisela, heiress of Swabia (and Herman's sister).

1012 - 1015

Ernest I of Babenburg

Son of Leopold I of Austria. Died after a hunting accident.


Following the untimely death of Duke Ernest I, his son succeeds him as a minor. At first, the boy's mother is regent, but she is eventually replaced by Poppo, archbishop of Trier and another son of Leopold I of Austria, probably following her second marriage in 1016, to German Emperor Conrad II the Salian.

1015 - 1030

Ernest II of Babenburg

Son. Acceded as a minor.

1015 - 1016?


Mother and regent.

1016? - 1020?


Son of Leopold I of Austria. Regent, and archbishop of Trier.

1027 - 1030

Ernest II takes part in an unsuccessful rebellion against the German Emperor Conrad II the Salian. As a result, he is captured, but his mother intercedes to prevent his execution and he is imprisoned instead. It is possible that Gisela governs the duchy during this period. When he is released he refuses to fight Conrad's enemies and is stripped of his title in favour of his younger brother.

1030 - 1038

Herman IV of Babenburg

Brother. Killed by an epidemic.

1038 - 1045

Henry I the Black

Duke of Franconia & HRE Henry III (1039-1056).

1045 - 1048

Otto II

Son-in-law of HRE Otto II. Count of Deutz & Auelgau.

1048 - 1057

Otto III the White

An East Franconian prince. Margrave of the Nordgau (1024-1031).

1057 - 1079

Rudolph / Rudolf of Rheinfelden

Rival for HRE (1077-1080).


The margraviate of Baden is formed in eastern central Swabia during the general political collapse in Germany which dominates this century.


With the removal of Swabia from Rudolph's control, the Swabian Hohenstaufen family of nobles gains the duchy through Frederick's marriage to Agnes of Germany, granddaughter of Henry I the Black. It swiftly becomes one of the most powerful families, holding onto the duchy for most of the remainder of its existence and supplying several Holy Roman Emperors. Frederick is opposed by Rudolph's son, Berthold, while the latter is in exile in Saxony.

1079 - 1105

Frederick I Hohenstaufen

Duke of Franconia (1076-1105).

1079 - 1090

Berthold I of Rheinfelden

Son of Rudolph. Opposed Hohenstaufen rule.

1092 - 1098

Berthold II

Son of Berthold II of Carinthia. First duke of Zähringen.

1105 - 1147

Frederick II One-Eyed

Son of Frederick I.

1125 - 1137

Upon the death of Holy Roman Emperor Henry V, Frederick II puts himself forward as a candidate for the imperial title but he is beaten to it by the successful election of Lothar. Conflict erupts between the two, and the rivalry has a destabilising effect on Germany as a whole. Lothar and his Hohenstaufen successors in Franconia are supported by Louis I of Thuringia. In 1137 the county of Württemberg is formed in western central Swabia as another step towards the total disintegration of the duchy during the general political crisis in the country.

1147 - 1152

Frederick III Barbarossa

Son. HRE Frederick I (1152-1190).

1152 - 1167

Frederick IV

Cousin. Son of Conrad I Hohenstaufen of Franconia.


Frederick IV, gifted the duchy by his cousin, Frederick Barbarossa (now Holy Roman Emperor) dies on campaign in Rome. Frederick Barbarossa passes the duchy onto his own three year-old son. Barbarossa effectively controls the duchy directly through his tight control of the succession, not only through these two Fredericks, but also through Frederick VI, who only survives him by a year.

1167 - 1170

Frederick V

Infant son of Frederick III.

1170 - 1191

Frederick VI

Elder brother.

1191 - 1196

Conrad II

Brother. Duke of Rothenburg (1188-1191). Died unexpectedly.

1196 - 1208


Brother. Rival for HRE (1198-1208). Murdered.


The murder of Philip Hohenstaufen on the eve of his total securing of the imperial title leaves the duchy's seat vacant. Otto IV inherits the title through his marriage to Beatrice, Philip's daughter. His retention of the title is brief, and it soon passes back to the Hohenstaufens.

1208 - 1212

Otto IV Welf of Brunswick

HRE (1198-1215). Died 1218.

1212 - 1216

Frederick VII

Grandson of Frederick III. HRE Frederick II (1212-1250).

1215 - 1216

The confirmation of Frederick's election as Holy Roman Emperor in 1215 allows him to devolve power in Swabia to his son in 1216, while he concentrates on the trappings of higher office. Henry also serves as co-ruler in the kingdom of Naples & Sicily between 1212-1217, and co-ruler of Germany itself between 1220-1235, as Henry (VII).

1216 - 1235

Henry II

Son. King of Naples & Sicily (1212-1217). HRE (1220-1235).

1235 - 1254

Conrad III

Half-brother. HRE Conrad IV (1250-1254).


With the death of Conrad by malaria, his young son, Conradin, is recognised as the new duke of Swabia and also as the new Holy Roman Emperor by his supporters. He fails to actually succeed his father to the latter title, however, and no single emperor is recognised. There is an interregnum and Germany begins a period of collapse.

1254 - 1268

Conrad IV / Conradin ('the Younger')

Son. King of Jerusalem & Sicily. Last Hohenstaufen. Executed.


Part of the territory of Swabia, an obscure and unimportant part in the mountainous west, is given over to the newly formed county of Vaduz.


Conradin assembles a multinational army in Italy, determined to secure his own claim to Sicily in opposition to Charles I of Anjou. He is ably assisted by Frederick I of Baden, but the pair are defeated at Tagliacozzo, and both are soon arrested. The execution of Conradin, last of the Hohenstaufen dynasty, on 29 October 1268 triggers the gradual break-up of the duchy into a plethora of smaller states including margraviates, landgraviates, counties, bishoprics, abbacies, and the duchy of Teck. The kingdom of Naples & Sicily passes to the Angevins.

Conradin of Swabia and Friedrich of Baden awaiting sentence
This oil on canvas depicts Conradin awaiting sentence along with his ally, Frederick of Baden, as depicted by Johann Heinrich Tischbein, 1785

The heiress of Swabia is Margaret, Conradin's father's half-sister. She has been married to Albert, landgrave of Thuringia, since 1255, and their son, Frederick, claims Swabia on his mother's behalf. The claim receives little support as Swabia is already disintegrating.

1282 - 1283

In December 1282, as Holy Roman Emperor, Rudolph gives the duchies of Austria and Styria to his sons, Albert and Rudolf II. On 1 June 1283, the Treaty of Rheinfelden stipulates that Rudolph II has to relinquish his title in favour of Albert. In compensation he is appointed duke of Swabia, little more than an honorific title as the duchy no longer exists as a coherent entity. Various minor territories previously held by the counts of Habsburg are later classed as Further Austria, but these are never possessed by Rudolph.

1289 - 1290

Rudolph Habsburg

Duke Rudolph II of Austria (1278-1282). HRE (1273-1291).

1290 - 1313

John Parricide



The Swiss confederation is formed on Swabia's southern border.


Thanks to the failure of Holy Roman Emperor Albert of Austria to address the problem of adequate compensation for the loss of Styria in 1283 by Rudolph II, the duke is assassinated by Rudolph's son, John. John is named 'Parricide', and continues to hold his inherited claim on Swabia.


John dies, probably at Pisa, and any claim to the former Swabian duchy dies with him. Former East Francia, or Germany as it is now, is at a point of collapse by this time, and the break-up of Swabia is complete. Large areas of its territory have already gone to the established county of Württemberg and the margraviate of Baden. Territory formerly belonging to the Alemanni people later forms parts of Austria (Vorarlberg), Bavaria (Bavarian Swabia), France (Alsace) and Switzerland.