Allemanni a confederacy of German tribes, among which, probably, the Tencteri, Usipeti, Chatti, and Vangiones were the most important. The name denotes either (according to Zeuss) a confederacy of men of different nations, or (according to Grimm) the true descendants of Manus, real German men. They appear for the first time on the stage of history under the reign of Caracalla (211), who assumed the title of Allemanicus because he pretended to have conquered the Allemanni on the Maine. Toward the close of the 3d century they took possession of the country between the Rhine, Maine, and Danube. There they existed under this distinctive name until the beginning of the 10th century, when Duke Erchinger was executed, and his successor Burcard proclaimed Duke of Suabia.
The Roman provinces on the Rhine and Danube, at the time of their occupation by the Allemanni. were partly inhabited by Christians. The Allemanni suppressed in some districts Christianity altogether, while in others it was strong enough to withstand all persecutions. Thus Paganism and Christianity existed side by side until the battle of Zulpich (496), in consequence of which the Allemanni became subject to the Franks, who now entered the Christian Church. The connection of the Allemannic dukes and grandees with the Frankish kings, the Frankish legislation, especially the lex Allemannica of Dagobert the Great (630), and the efforts of the bishops of the neighboring sees of Augsburg and Vindenissa, greatly promoted the spreading of Christianity. When the latter see was transferred to Constance, an Allemannic city, the growth of Christianity became still more rapid. Among the missionaries who labored for the conversion of the Allemanni, Fridolin (550), Columban and Gallus (610), Trudpert (640), and Pirminius (724), are best known. (See these articles.) At the time of Boniface (740) the Christianization of the country seems to have been completed. See Hefele, Einfuhrung des Christenthums in sudwestlichen Deutschland (Tubing. 1837); Stalin, Wurtemb. Gesch. 1, SEE GERMANY; SEE BADEN; SEE WURTEBMBERG.