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The Alliance of the Five Nations was a confederation of the five Germanic tribal unions of the Burgundians, Vandals, Marcomanni, Quadi and Langobards. It was knit in 365 in response to the Hunnic invasion and lasted until 637, when the South became a Roman margo, while Burgundy (OTL Czech Republic) split off as an independent kingdom. It spans the period of transition from tribal unions to statehood in Southern Germania.
TerritoryAt the moment of its greatest extension, the Alliance of the Five Nations controlled a territory that stretched from the Moenus in the West to the Tissus in the East and from the Danube in the South to the Vistula in the North. It covered the entire territory of OTL Czech Republic and OTL Slovakia as well as Eastern portions of OTL Germany, North-Eastern OTL Austria and the Northern and Eastern half of OTL Hungary as well as the Southern rim of OTL Poland and the North-Western edge of OTL Romania. Vandilia was in the East and North-East of the confederation, Quadia in the mountainous centre, Burgundy lay in the North-West, while the Southern Danube border with the Roman Empire belonged to Markomannia.
The Alliance of the Five Nations was a loose confederation.
Each of the five monarchs retained supreme executive and judicial rights and command over his separate military forces, while formal legislation, which became a political matter with the first codification of traditional law in Markomannia in the 420s, remained a matter of the Burgundian, Langobardian (until 515), Quadic, Markomannic and Vandilian Things.
The military was divided into the professional cavalry led by the counts and the yeomen infantry, who was commanded by magistri militum appointed by the respective monarch for a limited term. As towns like Klemanz (Calamantia) grew in size, urban guilds provided their own naval and infantry units, too. All members of the alliance annually renewed their oaths to keep peace with each other and assist each other should one of them be attacked by an outsider.
The five monarchs met twice a year for the Council of the Alliance, which took place in a different kingdom`s capital each time. The court of the Markomannic Kings was in Liisbaurg (OTL location see here), the court of the Burgundian Kings was in Wiltauaborg (OTL Prague), the court of the Quadic Kings was in Klemanz and the court of the Kings of the Vandals was in Hasdingbaurg.
The Alliance was founded in 365 in response to the invasion of nomads led by the Huns. It was initially led by the Langobard King Albert, who died in the Battle of the Tissus, which was lost by the Alliance. After this defeat, the alliance was practically dissolved, as its people fled onto Roman lands and Westwards.
Its rebuilding in 367/8 took place only after intense diplomatic efforts of Roman civitates like Vindobona, Sirmium, Lentia, Cannabiacum and Singidunum and even the Roman Consuls, who were all interested in a Germanic force to help them drive back the Huns from the borders of the Empire.
Culture and Society
The Alliance of the Five Nations was the birthplace and throughout its existence the stronghold of the Lausai faith, a syncretic religion uniting Christian and Suebic Germanic elements.
The two and a half centuries of its existence are characterised by decreasing tribal affiliations and beginning autochtonous urbanisation - both trends which contributed to the break-up of the confederation, whose tribe-based structures no longer suited the requirements of an increasingly complex society.
Culturally and linguistically, the population of the Alliance`s territories gradually merged and brought forth new formations. Burgundians and Langobards, who lived together in OTL Czech Republic and whose royal houses were united by marriage since 475, merged in the 5th and 6th centuries. While the new group retained the name "Burgundians", their language was predominantly Suebic after its Langobardian elements. Also, Markomanni, Quadi and Ripuarian Vandals (i.e. those living close to the Danube) developed a Common East Suebic language, which was mutually intelligible with the new "Burgundian", but not with Vandilian, which was spoken mostly in the North-Eastern regions bordering Slavic lands.
The significant group of not tribally aligned refugees from the Gothic Empire, who made up more than 25 % of the Alliance`s population in 370, were excluded from land ownership and service in the cavalry or infantry and thus politically marginalised. While some worked as farmhands and assimilated themselves to the tribal groups they lived with, the majority flocked to the towns, to whose growth they considerably contributed. In the towns, where they began to speak Common East Suebic or Latin, their chances for upward social mobility were considerably higher. Later arrivals, like the Slavs, either came as captives and slaves without any rights, or as migratory workers, who were also socially underprivileged.
Latin became a second language for the educated classes, not only due to its role as official confederal means of communication, but mostly because of the tens of thousands of Roman soldiers stationed in burgi and castra across the land, and equally many merchants from the thriving Danubian Roman civitates, who brought new technologies to and bought cheap agricultural produce from the Five Nations.