The Stem duchies (from the German Stammesherzogtum, from Stamm, literally "tribe") were essentially the domains of the old Germanic tribes of the area associated with the Frankish Kingdom, especially the East, in the Early Middle Ages. Eventually, when East Francia began to divert into the Holy Roman Empire, the old tribal areas assumed new identities as the subdivisions of the realm, joining Lotharingia (properly Middle Francia). In contrast to later duchies, these entities were not defined by strict administrative boundaries but by the area of settlement of major Germanic tribes. Their dukes were neither royal administrators nor territorial lords.
Tribes that became stem duchies were originally the Alemanni, the Thuringii, the Saxons, the Franks, the Burgundians, and the Rugii. In the 5th century, the Völkerwanderung (or Germanic migrations) brought a number of Barbarian tribes into the failing Roman Empire. In 443 and 458, the Burgundians moved to settle in the Kingdom of Burgundy; the area they had formerly occupied in Germania was then occupied by the Franks. The Franks were a fusion of West Germanic tribes whose leaders had long been aligned with Rome. The Rugii were destroyed in the wars over Italy in the 5th and 6th centuries, and a new confederation of Germanic peoples formed in their place: the Bavarii. All these tribes in Germania were eventually subjugated by the Franks; the Alamanni fell in 496 and 505, the Thuringians in 531, the Bavarians at some point after 553, and then finally the Saxons by 804 in a protracted campaign by Charlemagne himself.
Others entities started to evolve its identities. The Czechs domain of the Kingdom of Bohemia, which accepted imperial suzerainty as a duchy by 925, later upgraded to a realm in 1158. North and south of Bohemia, the Germans headed east, founding a series of border counties or Marches, ruled by margraves (mark-graf). To the north these started with Meißen and Lusatia, and to their north the North March, which became the Margraviate of Brandenburg (the heart of the later Kingdom of Prussia). Last in the north was originally the Billung March, which eventually became the duchies of Holstein, Lauenburg, Mecklenburg, and Hither Pomerania. In the south, there were Carniola, March of Carinthia, Styria, and the March of Austria (later the Österreich ("eastern kingdom") or Austria). The Kingdom of Prussia and the Archduchy of Austria, which became some of the most powerful european states, thus began as Marches.
Remnants of several stem duchies survive today as states or regions in modern Western Europe countries. The Saxon, Bavariian, and Thuringian, territories became the German states of Saxony, Bavaria, and Thuringia; the Frankish and Alamannian territories became the German regions of Franconia and Swabia. Part of the Burgundians' territory became the modern-day French administrative région of Burgundy, and Lotharingia became the région of Lorraine.
Read more about Stem Duchy: Older Stem Duchies, Younger Stem Duchies, Stem Duchies in France
Other articles related to "stem duchy, stem":
... German historians have commonly restricted the term "stem duchy" to the Eastern kingdom with its variety of Germanic tribes, in contrast to the romanized and more unified Western ... The nature and role of Germanic stem duchies are now often characterized by contrasting them with the oldest duchies of Francia ...
... Grifo allied with Saxon tribes and temporarily conquered the stem duchy of Bavaria ... Saxon uprisings continued until 804, when the whole stem duchy had been incorporated into the Carolingian Empire ...
Famous quotes containing the word stem:
“All things seem mention of themselves
And the names which stem from them branch out to other referents.
Hugely, spring exists again.”
—John Ashbery (b. 1927)