The Battle of Tolbiac was fought between the Franks, who were fighting under Clovis I, and the Alamanni, whose leader is not known. The date of the battle has traditionally been given as 496, though other accounts suggest it may either have been fought earlier, in the 480s or early 490s, or later, in 506. The site of "Tolbiac", or "Tolbiacum", is usually given as Zülpich, North Rhine-Westphalia, about 60 km east of what is now the German-Belgian frontier. The Franks were successful at Tolbiac and established their dominance over the Alamanni.
The Franks were two neighboring peoples, and allies: the Salian Franks, whose king was Clovis, and the Ripuarian Franks, whose capital was Cologne and whose king was Sigebert the Lame. Bordering on Sigebert's kingdom were the Alemanni, a confederation of Germanic tribes. Border incidents, looting and punitive raids multiplied between the Alemanni and Ripuarian Franks, but in 496 Sigebert suffered a real invasion and called on Clovis for help. Clovis responded favorably to his ally and raised an army. It is generally accepted that in defending Tolbiac, Sigebert and his army suffered heavy losses. There may have been two battles of Tolbiac.
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