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date: 05 December 2020

Agri Decumateslocked

  • John Frederick Drinkwater


Agri Decumates, a territory comprising the Black Forest, the basin of the Neckar, and the Swabian Alp, annexed by the Flavian emperors to shorten communications between the Rhine and the Danube, and attached to Upper Germany. It may earlier have been settled by the landless poor of Gaul. Though the imperial authorities' prime concern was the *limes, they took pains to establish several artificial civilian communities on the Gallic model, e.g. the civitas Ulpia Sueborum, administered from Ladenburg. The meaning of ‘Agri Decumates’ has been much disputed; today it is generally translated as ‘Ten Cantons’. The area was lost c.ce 260 and in the 4th cent. was occupied by the *Alamanni.

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