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In addition, the Welf family, while establishing themselves definitively as dukes of Bavaria in 1096, remained major landowners in Swabia where contemporary sources such as necrologies show that they also used the title dux.

Besides these major families, numerous lesser noble families enjoyed limited territorial influence in Swabia around the castles which they constructed.

Some of these families used their small Swabian bases as a springboard to extend their activities on a broader European scale.

Other potentially powerful Swabian nobles failed to expand beyond the local level.Looking at these areas, it can be seen that the river Rhine provided a barrier to cross-activity with Alsace on the west bank, and the Alps hampered communication with the area south of lake Constance.In addition, large parts of the land east of the Rhine were heavily forested and uninhabited, colonisation only accelerating in the 12th and 13th centuries.The former took their name from their castle in Swabia but acquired extensive property in Franconia, bequeathed to Friedrich II Duke of Swabia by his maternal uncle Emperor Heinrich V.The election of Konrad von Staufen as Konrad III King of Germany in 1138, and that of his nephew as King Friedrich I "Barbarossa" in 1152, signalled the family's definitive transfer out of the local Swabian field of activity.

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