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"Breuni" in the Roman province of Raetia (yellow)
The "Breuni" among the tribes in the new Roman provinces AD 14.

The Breonen , Breunen or Breuni were a Rhaetian , later Romanized tribe in the area of ​​today's Tyrol . The Breonen are mentioned in various ancient texts, often in close connection with the Precision . They are located in central Tyrol , i.e. in the middle Inntal , in the front Stubai - and in the Wipptal north and south of the Brenner (the origin of which, however, has nothing to do with them).

They belong to the tribes that Drusus , a stepson of the emperor Augustus , during his conquest in 15 BC. BC defeated. They are therefore also mentioned in the list of tribes that Augustus had made on the inscription at the Tropaeum Alpium in La Turbie above Monaco to commemorate this Alpine campaign.

Horace mentions them in an ode celebrating the campaign (Carm. 4,14,9ff.), From which one could infer their outstanding resistance: milite nam tuo / Drusus Genaunos, inplacidum genus / Breunosque velocis et arcis / Alpibus inpositas tremendis / deiecit ... ("Because with your army Drusus threw down the wooers, a peaceless people, and the quick Breunen as well as the castles lying on the terrible Alpine heights").

After the conquest of Italy by the Ostrogoths , the border troops of the Breonen north of the Brennero, who had already been conscripted, became local federates of the Ostrogoths. Later they allied themselves with the Bavarians against invading Longobards and Slavic tribes . The Bavarians replaced the Breonen as guardians of the Alpine passes on a Franconian order in 540.

Around the middle of the 6th century, the Frankish chronicler Gregor von Tours mentions the Breonen and the "regio Brionum". Also Venantius Fortunatus writes about the Breonen in his epic about the life of St. Martin in a travelogue of 565/66, which leads from the Rhine and Danube to the south over the Inn and the Alps. He describes their settlements on the Inn and their fortified main town Imst , the ancient oppidum Humiste .

Late evidence of the Breonen can be found in 765 AD in the vicinity of Zirl . Bishop Arbeo von Freising reports on the wealthy landowner of the free class ( nobilis ), Dominicus, who lives with the "Preonenes" in the Upper Inn Valley and who was a Romanus by origin and appearance .

The last mentions can be found in the Quarti (nus) documents from 827/28 AD in the Sterzing area; The local landowner Quarti (nus) described himself as “ ego Quarti nationis Noricorum et Pregnariorum ” - that is, as a Breonian Nurihtaler - and donated his property in Bolzano , Sterzing and in the Unterinntal area to the Innichen monastery . At that time there was apparently still a ruling class of the Bavarian Romanes who acknowledged their Breon origin and gentile community. The long-established existence of the Breonen from the 1st to the 9th century shows that - despite the numerous major upheavals at least until the Agilolfinger died out - a self-conscious and tradition-conscious ethnic group existed here. As a result of the Bavarian Alpine settlement, the Breonen were finally absorbed into them.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Karl Finsterwalder , Hermann M. Ölberg (Hrsg.): Tyrolean toponymy. Collected essays and works, research on legal and cultural history. Volume 2: Work relating to individual parts of the country, Inntal and Zillertal. Wagner, Innsbruck 1990, ISBN 3-7030-0222-0 , p. 232.
  2. Pliny the Elder , Naturalis historia 3, 136.
  3. ^ Franz Schön: The beginning of Roman rule in Raetia. Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1986, ISBN 3-7995-4079-2 , p. 124.
  4. Herwig Wolfram : History of the Goths. From the beginning to the middle of the sixth century . 4th edition, Beck, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-406-33733-3 , pp. 20 and 316.
  5. ^ Raimund von Klebelsberg zu Thumburg (ed.): Festschrift in honor of Emil von Ottenthal. (= Schlern-Schriften 9) Wagner, Innsbruck 1925, p. 405.
  6. Herwig Wolfram: Ethnogenesis in the early medieval Danube and Eastern Alps (6th to 10th centuries). In: Helmut Beumann , Werner Schröder (Hrsg.): Early medieval ethnogenesis in the Alpine region. Thorbecke, Sigmaringen 1985, ISBN 3-7995-6105-6 , pp. 97-151.
  7. Heinz Dopsch : On the part of the Romans and their culture in the formation of the Baiuwaren tribe. In: Hermann Dannheimer (ed.): The Bajuwaren. From Severin to Tassilo 488–788. Joint state exhibition of the Free State of Bavaria and the State of Salzburg. Prehistoric State Collection, Munich 1988, pp. 47–55, here: p. 51.
  8. Andreas Otto Weber: Studies on the viticulture of the old Bavarian monasteries in the Middle Ages. Old Bavaria, Austrian Danube region, South Tyrol. (=  Quarterly for social and economic history. Supplement 141), Steiner, Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-515-07290-X , p. 65; and Walter Leitner, Josef Fontana : History of the State of Tyrol. Volume 1: From the beginning to 1490. Athesia, Bozen 1985, ISBN 88-7014-390-2 , p. 235.
  9. ^ Anselm Sparber: The Quartinus document from 827/28. In: Festschrift for Konrad Fischnaler. (= Schlern-Schriften 12) Innsbruck, Universitätsverlag Wagner 1927, pp. 176-185.
  10. Hannes Obermair : The right of the Tyrolean-Trientin 'Regio' between late antiquity and the early Middle Ages . In: Concilium Medii Aevi 9 (2006), pp. 141-158, here: p. 151. DOI: 10.2364 / 1437905809107
  11. Herwig Wolfram (ed.): The birth of Central Europe . Kremayr and Scheriau, Vienna 1987, ISBN 3-218-00451-9 , p. 337.
  12. ^ Wilhelm Störmer : The Baiuwaren. From the Great Migration to Tassilo III. CH Beck, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-406-47981-2 , p. 97.
  13. Manfred Menke: The Bavarian populated landscapes in the 6th and 7th centuries according to the archaeological sources. In: Hermann Dannheimer (ed.): The Bajuwaren. From Severin to Tassilo 488–788. Joint state exhibition of the Free State of Bavaria and the State of Salzburg. Prehistoric State Collection, Munich 1988, pp. 70–78, here: p. 73.


  • Peter Anreiter : Breonen, Genaunen and Fokunaten. Archaeolingua Alapítavány, Budapest 1997, ISBN 963-8046-18-X .
  • Friedrich Schipper: The Christianization of the Breonen and Baiuwaren in the Tyrolean inland. Diploma thesis, Vienna 1996.
  • Albert Jäger : About the Rhaetian Alpine people of the Breuni or Breonen. In: Session reports of the philosophical-historical class of the Imperial Academy of Sciences 42.10. Gerold, Vienna 1863, pp. 351–440.