German tribe that settled in the Main River valley soon after 100 BC; they were members of the Suebi group (see Suebi). To escape Roman aggression in 9 BC they migrated east to Bohemia, where under their king Maroboduus they built a powerful confederation of tribes. The kingdom broke up after a war with the great German leader Arminius and in AD 19 Maroboduus became an exile in Roman territory. For many decades thereafter the Marcomanni and their neighbours the Quadi were clients of Rome, receiving frequent subsidies; and many Roman traders settled in their country. An attack by both tribes on the Romans in AD 88-89 was an isolated incident. But about 167 the Marcomanni with many allies invaded Roman territory and penetrated into Italy. The emperor Marcus Aurelius expelled them but was involved in war with them almost constantly until his death in 180, having apparently decided to annex their country. His plans were abandoned by his son Commodus. After that time surviving records do not mention the Marcomanni, but they probably formed part of the later Alemannic confederations.
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