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The Marcomanni were a Germanic people, probably related to the Suebi or Suevi. Their name derives from the Old German words for March (frontier) and Men. In the 2nd century A.D., they formed a confederations with other peoples including Quadi, Vandals, and Sarmatians against Rome. This was driven probably by greater tribal movements eg.Goths to their north and east.According to the historian Eutropius[?], the forces of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius battled against the Marcomannic confederation for three years at the fortress of Carnuntum in Pannonia. He compared the war and Marcus Aurelius' success against the Marcomanni and their allies to the Punic Wars. The comparison was fair in that this war marked a turning point and had significant Roman defeats. It lasted initially from 166-175 AD and involved the unheard-of defeat and death of two Praetorian Guard commanders. It was in fact only a limited success since from the next century onwards, the Danube was the main Roman battlefront until the gradual collapse of the 5th Century.

See Also: Irminones

Classical Sources

Caesar De Bello Gallico [1] (http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/caesar/gall1.shtml#51) Tacitus Germania [2] (http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/tacitus/tac.ger.shtml#42) Tacitus Annales [3] (http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/tacitus/tac.ann2.shtml#46)

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