The Alamanni fought the Roman Empire, and also served in its armies. Alamanni achieved fame as officers, the most important known being Agilo, a lynch-pin of eastern politics in the late 360s. High-ranking Alamannic recruits were probably leading nobles or former kings, since the removal of established kings would have destabilised border politics. Alamannic officers may have retained some contact with home, but most became highly Romanised. The absence of prominent military Alamanni from the 370s reflects the usual fate of court cliques, not sudden exclusion. Alamannic ‘other ranks’ probably entered the Roman army in various ways, from service in the war-band of an allied noble to being pressed as prisoners-of-war (dediticii) or refugees (laeti). In the 5th century, responsibility for guarding stretches of the frontier may have been given directly to local princes. Alamanni were loyal: there is no known instance of them betraying the Empire.
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