The Alamanni are best known for fighting Rome. This chapter examines the course of such conflict, from the arrival of Maximian in Gaul to that of Julian. Neighbouring Germani were always tempted to raid when they felt they would go unpunished. In the case of the Alamanni, such aggression may occasionally have been increased by the arrival of new war-bands from the Elbe-Germanic triangle. But no Germani ever contemplated conquering the Empire, and they were always expelled. Their ‘threat’, however, justified Roman emperors in attacking them frequently for their own political ends. Franks and Alamanni suffered most. The serious Alamannic incursions of 350-355 were probably instigated by Constantius II in order to weaken Magnentius. Constantius II, however, expected that the situation would be righted as usual, so when he sent Julian into Gaul he was not cold-bloodedly sending him to his death.
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