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European Kingdoms

Germanic Tribes


MapSuevi (Suebi) (Germanic)

The Germanic tribes seem to have originated in a homeland in southern Scandinavia (Sweden and Norway, with the Jutland area of northern Denmark, along with a very narrow strip of Baltic coastline). They had been settled here for over two thousand years following the Indo-European migrations. The Germanic ethnic group began as a division of the western edge of late proto-Indo-European dialects around 3300 BC, splitting away from a general westwards migration to head towards the southern coastline of the Baltic Sea. By the time the Germanic tribes were becoming key players in the politics of Western Europe in the last two centuries BC, the previously dominant Celts were on the verge of being conquered and dominated by Rome. They had already been pushed out of northern and Central Europe by a mass of Germanic tribes which were steadily carving out a new homeland.

The Suevi were a confederation of Germanic peoples (at least, mostly Germanic) which came into existence by the first century AD, and perhaps earlier. However, the name seems to have had origins as that of an individual tribe before that time. Spelled Suevi or Suebi by various authors, the core tribe migrated southwards from the southern Baltic coast in concert with many other Germanic tribes. In fact, the Romans knew the sea as Mare Suebicum, so familiar were they with the Suebi presence there. In the first century BC the tribe arrived on the east bank of the Rhine, with the River Main on their southern flank. Settling here, they were neighboured to the north by the Cherusci, and their presence survives in the historic name of the region, Swabia.

FeatureControversy exists as to whether particular tribes were German or Gaulish (Celtic), and the Suevi encompassed people who may straddle both definitions. The subject is discussed in greater detail in the accompanying feature. Their name comes from the proto-Germanic word 'sweboz', for 'one's own' people, or fellow countrymen. Certainly under Ariovistus, the Suevi had a foot in both camps. They made a foray across the Rhine as the leaders of a small confederation of Germanic tribes. There they became involved in Gaulish and Roman politics, before being forced back into the area that was becoming known as Germania. Following this, they drifted into modern lower central Germany, taking elements of their confederation with them and soon adding new tribes to it.

By the end of the first century AD they were at the head of a confederation that numbered at least seventeen tribes both major and minor, at least one of which, the Lugii, was a confederation in its own right. The rest included the tribes of the Alemanni and Hermunduri (to the north-east), the Langobards (but perhaps only western elements of their number), the Marcomanni (to the west, beyond the Hermunduri), the Quadi and Semnones (to the north-east of the Hermunduri), and the Warini. The term 'Suevi' seems to have been used almost casually to describe a wide range of German peoples. The Heruli may also have been involved and the Angles in the Cimbric peninsula certainly were, along with elements to their immediate south who, by the beginning of the fifth century, were under the rule of an Anglian prince named Witta, of Wehta's Folk.

The Suevi confederation remained relatively quiet after the first century AD. The disruption caused by the Hunnic invasion further east forced the main body of Suevi to migrate across the Rhine and into Iberia, where they formed a kingdom in the hostile mountains of Galicia. Their territory also extended down in a broad swathe into much of modern Portugal, and it proved to be fairly stable.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information by Edward Dawson, from The Oxford History of England: Roman Britain, Peter Salway, from Complete Works of Tacitus, Alfred John Church, William Jackson Brodribb, & Lisa Cerrato, from The Barbarians: Warriors & Wars of the Dark Ages, Tim Newark (Blandford Press, 1985), from Geography, Ptolemy, and from External Links: The Works of Julius Caesar: Gallic Wars, and Geography, Strabo (H C Hamilton & W Falconer, London, 1903, Perseus Online Edition).)

Germanic shield

fl c.60s - 54 BC


A native Suebi. Lost power in 58 BC?

60? BC

Ariovistus is a leader of the Suevi and other allied Germanic peoples in the second quarter of the first century BC, and at least up to 58 BC. Displaying the interconnected nature of Germanics and Celts at this time, he is a fluent speaker of Gaulish, and one of his two wives is the daughter of Vocion of the Norican kingdom.

As recorded by Julius Caesar, and perhaps also by Cicero (who writes in 60 BC of a defeat for the Aeduii), Ariovistus and his followers take part in a war in Gaul, assisting the Gallic Arverni and Sequani to defeat their rivals, the Aeduii. The reasons for the war are unknown, but they could be related to the Sequani hold over a vital trading corridor in the Doubs river valley which links to the Rhine (and lies between modern Dijon and Lausanne). The Battle of Magetobriga results in a victory for the allies, thanks to the Suevi troops, and the Aeduii become vassals of the Sequani.

Ariovistus seizes one-third of the Aeduii territory in the Alsace region, settling about 120,000 Germans there. However, with the Sequani now at his back, between him and Germania, he decides to clear them out of their Doubs valley homeland. More German settlers are introduced there, and a further third of Gaulish territory is demanded for his allies, the Harudes.

fl 58 BC


A minor Suevi chief or a commander under Ariovistus?

fl 58 BC


Brother and co-leader.

58 BC

The Aeduii appeal to Rome for relief from Ariovistus' alleged cruelty towards them. Julius Caesar, in his role first as consul and then as governor of Gaul (from 58 BC), appears to pursue a diplomatic course that will deliberately end in warfare. Caesar is also informed that a further hundred units of Suevi are about to cross the Rhine under Nasua and Cimberius.

The showdown happens at the Battle of Vosges following an unsuccessful face-to-face parley between the two leaders. The Suevi host lines up in units of tribal groups starting with the Harudes, Marcomanni, Triboci, Vangiones, Nemetes, Sedusii and the core of the Suebi themselves (considered by Caesar to be a tribe which normally dwells on the River Main, suggesting that this is perhaps the early stages of the tribe's transformation into a confederation). Superior Roman tactics breaks that line and the Suevi host makes a run for the Rhine. Ariovistus makes it across, but many of his allies now turn on him and the Suebi. The Ubii, having learned of the battle, are the first to attack the returning Suevi. It is Caesar who records the existence of the Suevi, differentiating them from the tribe of the Cherusci, but now they avoid the Rhine for generations, concentrating on building a fresh confederation in central Germania.

Vosges Mountains
The Vosges Mountains probably lay on the southern borders of Leuci territory, which would explain their building of a hillfort there and which was also the scene of the battle of 58 BC

55 BC

As recorded by Julius Caesar in his work, Commentarii de Bello Gallico, the Germanic Tencteri and Usipetes tribes are driven out of their tribal lands in Germania by the militarily dominant Suevi. This probably places them on the middle Rhine. Throughout the winter they attempt to resettle, but fail to find any land. Their wanderings bring them to the mouth of the Rhine, in the territory of the Belgic Menapii, who are located on both sides of the river. The Germans attack them, forcing them to withdraw to the western side of the Rhine, where the Menapii are able to defend the river line for some time. They also attack the Condrusi and Eburones tribes. Feigning a withdrawal to lure out the Menapii, the Tencteri and Usipetes defeat them, capture their ships and occupy many of their villages for the winter.

Caesar, alarmed at this threat to the north of territory in Gaul that he has already conquered, takes a force into the region. After much diplomatic effort and some delays, he attacks the Germanic tribes and drives them back into Germania with heavy losses. Both tribes follow the east bank of the Rhine upstream and find refuge with the Sicambri. They remain settled in these lands for much of the remainder of their existence. Caesar crosses the Rhine to follow them and to show the Germans that Romans are not afraid to stage a counter-invasion. Another reason is that a portion of the cavalry of the Usipetes and Tencteri had not been present at the recent battle. Instead they had proceeded to the territories of the Sicambri to join this tribe, remaining defiant, while uniquely amongst the peoples across the Rhine, the Ubii petition Caesar for help against the oppressive Suevi who until recently have been ruled by the powerful Ariovistus.

Several other tribes submit to Caesar, but the Sicambri withdraw from their territories on the advice of the Usipetes and Tencteri. Caesar remains in their lands for a few days before burning down their villages and taking their corn. He moves his forces into Ubii territory to show solidarity with them against the Suevi threat before returning to Gaul. Ariovistus is not mentioned by the Roman recorder of this event. He is alive until 54 BC, but after fleeing such an important battle, his status in the eyes of his people would have been much reduced, so he may not still be leading the Suevi. As an alternative to the Suevi retreat, Cassius Dio has the Sicambri pulling back in the face of the Roman advance and the Suevi assembling in the forest to defend them.

53 BC

Having left a strong guard with the Treveri following the conclusion of their revolt, Caesar again crosses the Rhine to deal with their German supporters. The Ubii reaffirm their loyalty to him while Caesar discovers that the auxiliaries that had joined the Treveri had been sent by the Suevi. They are drawing together units of infantry and cavalry from all across their vast domain and, having learned of Caesar's approach, they withdraw to the vast wood called Bacenis (a thick forest of beech trees which has been equated with the Harz), which separates the Suevi from the Cherusci. Unwilling to follow them, Caesar fortifies the bridge that connects to the Ubii and stations twelve cohorts there.

Harz Forest
The Harz is now a national park in Germany to ensure that this primeval forest survives, but in the first century BC it was probably home to the Suevi

30/29 BC

The Suebi again cross the Rhine, although precisely when is uncertain. They are defeated by the Roman proconsular governor of Gaul, Gaius Carrinas, who later celebrates a triumph in Rome with a young Octavian Caesar in 29 BC. Captured Suebi soon turn up in a gladiatorial display to fight a group of Dacians.

12 - 9 BC

The second century AD Roman historian Flores notes that the Cherusci, Sicambri, and Suevi have formed an alliance by crucifying captured Roman centurions. Cassius Dio relates that Nero Drusus, stepson of the emperor, is appointed governor of the Rhine region of Gaul and undertakes four campaigns against the Germanic tribes. After building a fortress on the island of the Batavi, he undertakes some difficult fighting in which he is generally successful, subduing numerous tribes. He progresses as far as the country of the Suevi, although they are not subdued, and turns north to fight the Cherusci.

8 - 6 BC

Migrations of Marcomanni from the region of northern Bavaria and the River Main lead them to the homeland of the Boii in Bohemia. The Marcomanni king, Marbod, forms a confederation of tribes which includes Langobards, Lugii, and Semnones, and the Boii themselves. Possibly this also incorporates remnants of the alliances of Ariovistus.

AD 17 - 19

War breaks out between Arminius of the Cherusci and Maroboduus of the Marcomanni. The cause is Maroboduus' decision not to join the Cherusci-Roman war of AD 9 in common cause with his fellow Germans. Now the Cherusci join up with some of Maroboduus' own Suevi subjects, the Langobards and the Semnones, to stage a revolt against his power. Following an indecisive battle, Maroboduus withdraws into territory that later forms Bohemia by AD 18. He is overthrown by one of his own nobles the following year.


Strabo places the smaller tribe of the Suebic Langobards near the mouth of the Elbe. They are in frequent and close relations with the Hermunduri and Semnones, two great Suebic tribes who dwell higher up the stream. Strabo seems to suggest that in his time the Hermunduri and Langobards had been driven from the left to the right bank of the Elbe. Many other Suebic tribes are also mentioned, including the Bructeri, Campsiani, Chauci, and Sicambri.

Windeby body
The Windeby I bog body in Schleswig, within the vast swathe of Suevi confederation territory, is dated to about the second century AD, and contains a male of around fourteen years who appears to have been murdered, perhaps as a punishment or part of a sacrifice

c.81 - 96

The Lugii are mentioned by Cassius Dio in his Roman History. During the reign of Roman Emperor Domitian the 'Lygians' in Moesia, having become involved in war against some of the Suevi, send envoys asking Domitian for aid. He grants them a force of a hundred warriors, 'a force that was strong, not in numbers, but in dignity'. The Suevi, indignant at this help, attach members of the Iazyges to their number make preparations to cross the Ister with them. What happens next remains unrecorded.


Writing around this time, the Roman writer Tacitus mentions the Suevi, listing their constituent tribes which cover the larger part of Germania. Clearly in the century and-a-half since they were led by Ariovistus they have expanded considerably.

Noted for their custom of twisting their hair and binding it up in a knot (called the Suebian knot), they comprise the Langobards, the Semnones ('oldest and noblest of the Suebi'), 'the seven tribes of Jutland and Holstein': the Angles, Aviones, Eudoses, Nuitones, Reudigni, Suardones, and Warini, then the Hermunduri on the Elbe, three tribes along the Danube, Marcomanni, Naristi, and Quadi, followed by the Buri and Marsigni.

Then there is a mountain range that separates part of the Suebi, beyond which, along the Vistula, are the constituent tribes of the Lugii, the Harii, Helisii, Helveconae, Manimi, and Naharvali. Then come the Cotini, Gutones (Cotini again, although perhaps a subdivision of them), Lemovii, and Rugii along the Baltic Sea, the various divisions of the Suiones (Swedes), and last but not least the non-Germanic Aestii, and beyond them the Sitones, both of which are on the Baltic coast.


Ptolemy, who writes in the mid-second century, places the Sicambri to the south of a group of westerly Suevi Langobards, in the Rhineland. To their east are the Suevi Anglii, while along the Elbe are the Chauci, to the east are the Semnones, and then there are the Suebi, perhaps the still-identifiable original core tribe of the confederation, who are apparently settled on the Rhine to the east of the Ems.

From about this time, many of the East Germanic tribes begin to migrate southwards from Willenberg Poland, led by the Goths. The migration could be caused by pressure from the Baltic tribes, early segments of the later Old Prussians and Lithuanians who are expanding back into territory they had lost to the Germanic tribes in the first century AD. The Goths draw with them the neighbouring Gepids and Scirii, along with the Rugii, which is part of the Suebian confederation.

166 - 169

A new Marcomanni confederation is formed which also includes elements from many other tribes including the Iazyges, Quadi, Sarmatians, Suevi, and Victohali. Together they cross the Danube and invade Dacia, penetrating as far as Italy and forcing the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, to spend the rest of his life campaigning in the Danube region to contain the problem, which he does (to an extent) with a final defeat of them in 180.

3rd century

By this time, the Suevi have formed a wide-ranging confederation of tribes which are all known individually but which are counted as being Suevi.

The vast number of tribes included in the confederation include the Aestii, Angles, Aviones, Buri, Cotini, Eudoses, Gutones, Hermunduri (who have virtually ceased to exist as a recognisable, independent people), Langobards, Lugii (a name applied to several tribes: the Harii, Helisii, Helveconae, Manimi, and Naharvali), Marcomanni, Marsigni, Quadi, Naristi, Nuitones, Osi, Reudigni, Semnones, Sitones, Suardones, Suiones (Swedes), and the Warini.

The Suevi are also closely linked to their neighbours, the Alemanni, on the east bank of the Rhine, right up until the great migration across that river in 406 which so heavily damages Roman control.

Crossing the Rhine
The main bodies of the Vandali, Alani, and Suevi tribes crossed the Rhine at the end of 406, resulting in panic and chaos within the Roman empire

? - 409


Leader during the migration. Founded kingdom in Iberia.

406 - 409

The Hunnic invasions force the Suevi to move. The bulk of the confederation (including a small group of the Buri) crosses the Rhine at Mainz in 406 in association with the Vandali and Alani.

After spending two years on the west bank of the Rhine, causing chaos despite being refused permission to settle by the Franks, all three groups settle in Roman Iberia by 409, disrupting the Gallic empire of Constantine III.

Some Suevi groups remain on the Rhine as part of the Frankish confederation while others remain further east and north, such as the Langobards, Lugii, and Warini and, in the southern Cimbric peninsula, along with the Angles and Eudoses, the Swæfe, who are ruled by the Angle, Witta of Wehta's Folk. The Suevi's closely-related associates, the Alemanni, also remain behind, on the east bank of the Rhine.

The remaining tribes that had fallen under the general Suevi tag are still sometimes known by that tag in later years. In 569, elements of 'northern Suebi' are mentioned under the command of Sigisbert I of Austrasia, living in areas of modern Saxony-Anhalt, areas which are known as Schwabengau or Suebengau until as late as the twelfth century and perhaps beyond. Saxons and Lombards returning from Italy in 573 are also mentioned in connection with the Suebi. The later German stem duchy of Swabia is also a minor variation on the Suebi name.

Suevi Kingdom of Gallaecia (Iberia)

The tribes which breached the Rhine defences in 406 initially attempted to settle in southern Gaul between 406-409. During this time the Vandali and Alani ravaged Roman Gaul, migrating slowly southwards, while the Suevi migrated in step with them but perhaps with less violence. All three tribes entered Iberia by 409, disrupting the Gallic empire of Constantine III of Britain and quickly conquering opposition from the Romano-Iberians in the region. According to some claims, they swore fealty to Emperor Honorius and were accepted as foederati (although in truth there was little the emperor could do to prevent their settling). In reality, there is no evidence of this and Hermeric was anti-Roman all his life.

FeatureThe three tribes divided the country between themselves. The Asding Vandali and Suevi took the Roman province of Gallaecia (Galicia and the north of modern Portugal), situated in the north-western corner of Iberia, the Alani gained Lusitania in the south-west (the main part of Portugal), and the Siling Vandali took Baetica in the south. The Roman city of Bracara Augusta (modern Braga in northern Portugal), the capital of Gallaecia, became the Suevi capital.

The small group of Buri was included in Suevi numbers which had settled the region between the rivers Cávado and Homem, in the area now known as Terras de Bouro ('Lands of the Buri'). Out of the three main groups, only the Suevi kingdom prospered and was relatively stable despite occasional squabbles with its neighbours. Controlling existing peoples such as the Cantabri (perhaps only northern parts of their territory), Caristii, and Tiburi (who were mentioned in Suevi parochial records as the Teporos), the kingdom retained its independent existence until 585. The Germanic incomers quickly settled down to farm the land and absorb the local language and culture, until only their Germanic names remained to mark them out.

(Information by Peter Kessler, with additional information by Trish Wilson, from The Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, John Robert Martindale, from The Fall of the Roman Empire: A new history of Rome and the Barbarians, Peter J Heather, from Roman History by Cassius Dio, translation by Earnest Cary (1914-1927).)

409 - 438


Led the Suevi to Galicia and founded the kingdom. Abdicated.


The Siling Vandali are dissipated by warfare against the Visigoths, who are acting as Roman allies, and merge under Asding control. They control the former Roman provinces of Lusitania and Baetica (the latter of which includes the city of Gades). The Alani are also defeated alongside their comrades-in-arms and, with both of these powerful groups now weakened, the Asding Vandali are able to extend the territory under their control as far as the southern Iberian province of Hispania Baetica, with a capital at Hispalis (modern Seville), and the south-western province of Lusitania, with a capital at Emerita Augusta (now Mérida in Spain, although most of Lusitania now falls within Portugal's borders).


The Alani have been greatly weakened by fighting the allies of Rome (in the form of the Visigoths), and now merge with the Vandali. The Vandali host now contains not only the Asding Vandali, but also remnants of the Siling Vandali and the Alani. They drift towards southern Iberia in an attempt to put some distance between them and the Visigoths. Only the Suevi remain in the north-west.

Santa Tegra
The Suevi found themselves in a rocky landscape in Gallaecia, with settlements made up of Celtic stone houses like this example from Santa Tegra near the Portuguese border


Under pressure from the Visigoths to the north, and from Roman attacks, the Vandali see an opportunity presented by the unsettled conditions in Africa. They and the Alani migrate to the south of Iberia from where they invade Roman North Africa. Once there, they carve out a kingdom over the course of a decade, taking the cities of Carthage and Utica, and leaving eastern, central and southern Iberia back in Roman hands. This leaves the Suevi free to raid these lands at will over the next decade.


Apparently worn out by the constant fighting during his eventful lifetime, Hermeric agrees peace terms with the local Gallaeci, the partially-Romanised indigenous Celtic population. Then he abdicates in favour of his son who proves to be an able commander for the Suevi (Hermeric dies in 441). In the same year, in an attempt to expand into former Vandali areas of Iberia, Rechila attacks Hispania Baetica and defeats the Romanae militiae dux, Andevotus, near the Singillio (possibly a barbarian 'prince' rather than a Roman officer, with his name a Latinised version of 'Anduit' - perhaps he is a Vandali chief who commands those of his people who have remained in the southern province after the main host had crossed to Africa). The Suevi come away with a horde of treasure.

438 - 448

Rechila (I)

Son. Constantly at war with Rome.

442 - 443

Suevi raids are ravaging the eastern and southern provinces to such an extent that Rome is deprived of vital income in the form of tax revenue. Between 439-441 it dries up completely, so magister militum Flavius Aëtius sends first Asturius in 442 and then Merobaudes in 443 to handle the problem. They concentrate on defeating the Bagaudae (peasant insurgents or brigands who are roaming the land), in order to secure Roman control of Tarraconensis.


The subordinate to Aëtius is Vitus, the Roman magister utriusque militiae. He is sent to Iberia to put a halt to Suevi raids, leading a combined Romano-Visigothic force into the province of Carthaginiensis and Baetica. When his unruly force meets the Suevi in battle, it is routed. The defeat confirms Suevian control of Lusitania and Baetica and the loss of the bulk of Hispanic revenues to Rome.

The figure on the right is thought to be Aëtius, although there is some doubt, and the possibility exists that the sarcophagus on which this relief sits could even have been built half a century before this period

448 - 456

Rechiar I / Rechiarius

Son. Became Christian by the time of his enthronement.


Theodoric I of the Visigoth kingdom is forced to change his foreign policy when relations improve between Rome and Genseric of the Vandali. This weakens Theodoric's own position as Rome's favourite barbarian ally, so he invites Rechiar to his capital at Tolosa (Toulouse), and in February 449 the two put aside the differences between their peoples. To seal the new peace, Theodoric gives one of his daughters in marriage to Rechiar. The Suevi are subsequently able to devastate the countryside around Caesar Augusta and capture the city of Llerda in Hispania Tarraconensis, in north-eastern Iberia.


Rechiar is responsible for a large number of raids on the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis over the past seven years, with tacit approval by the Visigoths. Now the Visigoth king, Theodoric II, changes his policy and turns on the Suevi. He leads a large army which is bolstered by Burgundians under Gundioc and Chilperic, crossing the Pyrenees and defeating Rechiar at a site close to the modern town of Astorga in north-western Iberia. Rechiar himself is captured and executed by Theodoric. The defeat is a heavy blow for the Suevi, and the advent of Ricimer as the new Suevi-Visigoth magister militum of the Western Roman empire does not help them.

456 - 457

Aioulf / Agiwulf / Agriwulf

Origins obscure and accounts vary greatly on his short reign.

456 - 457

The death of Rechiar leaves the Suevi kingdom weakened, and it soon begins to fragment, first under Aioulf and then under Maldras. Although the latter is elected by the Suevi, some of them refuse to accept him (perhaps because he may be a Visigoth puppet), and Framta is elected as a rival king.

457 - 460

Maldras / Masdras

Son of Massilias. Strangled.

457 - 460

Framta / Framtane

Ruled in the north, independently of Maldras.

459 - 461

In an unusual victory for the Western Roman empire itself (as opposed to its far more militarily competent foederati), Emperor Majorian defeats the Suevi and in 459 is briefly able to restore Iberia to Roman control. This ends just two years later with Majorian's assassination, and the Suevi consider themselves to be fully independent. The kingdom's territory now encompasses the former province of Gallaecia and the northern parts of Lusitania, but in its weakened state it remains divided.

460 - c.465

Frumar / Frumarius

Ruled in the south (Lusitania), succeeding Maldras.

460 - c.463


Ruled in the north, inheriting the followers of Framta.

c.463 - c.465

The surviving sources do not provide a clear picture regarding Richimund and his rule of the northern section of the kingdom. The Remismund who succeeds him and who reunites the kingdom around 465 could be the very same person, just with a variant spelling of the name. It is Frumar's death that allows this reunification to happen. Remismund is also able to renew diplomatic relations with the Visigoths, probably procuring an element of peace along the kingdom's borders.

c.463 - 483

Remismund / Remised

Son of Maldras? Same as Richimund? Reunited kingdom c.465.

There follows a period in which the records for the Suevi kingdom are very obscure or almost non-existent. An uncertain number of kings succeed one another until the accession of Theodemund around 520. It is widely thought that Rechila II may be a spurious name, an invention of early chroniclers created to fill a gap of almost a decade in which the kingdom is probably divided under regional warlords.

Map of the Visigoth & Suevi kingdoms in AD 470
In AD 469/470 the Visigoths expanded their kingdom to its largest extent, reaching Nantes in the north and Cadiz in the south, but it was not to last - with the accession of Clovis of the Salian Franks, the Visigoths had found an opponent who would wrest Gaul away from their control in stages (click or tap on map to view full sized)

c.483 - 490

Rechilla II?

A possible later invention.

fl c.490?


A 'destroyer of churches'.


Rechiar II?

c.520 - 550


c.550 - 559

Carriaric / Chararic?

Converted to the Roman Church to heal his leper son.

559 - 561




Opinion is divided on Ariamir and Theodemar. Some think they may be the same person while others seem to regard them as brothers or father and son. In this year, Ariamir calls the First Council of Braga to deal with the continuing problem of the Priscillianism heresy and to decide various other matters related to the Roman Church. Priscillian had been a late fourth century Iberian Roman who developed a doctrine based on the Gnostic-Manichaean doctrines of an Egyptian called Marcus. His work had been declared heresy after his death in 385. Following the successful council, Priscillianism soon dies out.

561 - 570


Brother, or the same person?


Theodemar (or possibly Miro, his successor) convenes the First Council of Lugo. He wishes to increase the number of Roman Church dioceses in his kingdom, possibly because parts of the kingdom are under the religious administration of bishops whose seats are in the Visigoth kingdom. If Theodemar can draw these areas away from any form of Visigothic control then he will be able to secure his own political authority. Scholars are divided on the authenticity of surviving documentary evidence, the Parochiale Suevorum, but it would appear that several new dioceses are created as these are represented in the Second Council of Braga in 572.

570 - 583


Oversaw a resurgent kingdom.

572 - 574

Miro oversees the Second Council of Braga, in which the new dioceses that had been sought by King Theodemar are confirmed to exist, although the dates for their founding are unknown. The city of Bracara Augusta becomes the seat of the primate of Portugal in later years, although the archbishops are not recognised across all of Iberia. In the same year, following up on an attack in 570 and perhaps prompted further by this loss of influence over areas of the Suevi kingdom, the Visigoths attack again. King Leuvigild invades the valley of the Duoro, pushing back the Suevi to the west and north by 574.

Bracara Augusta
The Roman city of Bracara Augusta became the Suevi capital and did not suffer any break in occupation, instead gradually evolving into modern Braga


Despite a peace agreement made in 575 with the Visigoths, Miro supports the rebellion of the Visigothic Prince Hermenegild. Hermenegild finds himself being blockaded by his father, King Leuvigild, and Miro fights to break that blockade, but is defeated. Crucially, Miro is forced to recognise Leuvigild as a friend and protector to him and his successors, giving the Visigoths leverage over the remainder of the Suevi kingdom. Miro returns home and dies a few months later.

583 - 584

Eboric / Euric

Son. Recognised Leuvigild as protector. Deposed by Andeca.

584 - 585

Andeca / Audeca

Brother-in-law (or step-father).


Andeca's usurpation of the Suebian throne gives Leuvigild, the Visigoth king, just the pretext he needs for an invasion. Andeca is defeated in battle and is quickly replaced by Amalaric, as the Suevi face disaster.


Amalaric / Malaric

Last king of the Suevi. Captured by the Visigoths.

585 - 712

Leuvigild's Visigoth invasion of the kingdom remains unstoppable and Amalaric makes his own attempt to bring it to a halt. He is defeated before he can be formally installed as king of the Suevi. With his defeat, the Suevi kingdom falls to the Visigoth kingdom and is incorporated as its sixth province.

Despite being a conquered population, the Suevi are generally left in peace in Gallaecia, and they eventually blend into the general population of Iberia.

710 - 712

Iberia is invaded by the Islamic Umayyads, and the Visigoths quickly lose ground, suffering several defeats. Cordova is captured in 711, and Seville and Toledo in 712. By this time, the Visigoths appear to be cut off from Galicia, but this mostly mountainous region remains relatively free of Islamic infiltration. Meanwhile, the Battle of Segoyuela sees Saragossa captured in 713, and Valencia falls in 714. By that time the Visigoth kingdom has already ceased to exist as a political entity, although several pockets of resistance remain in northern Iberia.

712 - c.725

The descendants of the Suevi remain relatively free of Islamic influence in north-western Iberia during the early years of occupation. Around 725 they are appended to the recently-formed Christian kingdom of Asturias, which is based a little to the east, on the Bay of Biscay.

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