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Everything you need to know about the Vandals

Although the exact etymology is a bit murky, the word vandalism is inextricably linked to an Eastern Germanic tribe best known for the release of Rome in 455 AD. The Vandals, like the Celts and other nomads in Europe, were unable to record most of their records. As a result, Roman scribes typically referred to them as "barbarians," as did later church reports. This is another example of how the victorious side often writes history.

Recent archaeological discoveries have called into question previous ideas that the vandals are only uncivilized beasts. Let's take a look at this much-maligned group that may have lit a few chariots and thrown eggs at Roman soldiers or not.

What is your name?

The ancient author Pliny the Elder mentions the Vandals in his volume Naturalis Historia . He used the general term Vandilii in the year 77 AD to describe one of the main groups of Germanic tribes on the fringe of the Roman Empire.

Terms such as "Germanic" may be misleading as they could imply a national identity that did not exist. In addition, tribes from the region attacked as often as the Romans. The word "tribe" can also be problematic because these groups consist of different constituents of a covenant who use the same cultural practices and the same language.

The name may also be derived from the German word vand which means "to wander". Finally, it is possible to connect with those who live in Vendel, a province in Uppland, Sweden. The vandals most likely have their origins.

On the way

Around 130 BC The vandals began a long hike that began in the icy tundra of Scandinavia and ended in the sun. baked North Africa. The meandering route included a stopover in Silesia (present-day Poland), possibly contributing to the Przeworsk culture.

During the trip, the tribe split into different factions, the Silingi and the Hasdingi, before moving south. The nomads began to arrive at the outer borders of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century AD and participated in several clashes along the Danube, including the Marcomannic Wars.

They gradually became more skilled in the art of warfare as they invaded new lands. The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius later granted them the right to settle on the territory of Dacia (now Romania) in exchange for their martial skills as mercenaries, especially as horsemen. Constantine the Great later pursued a similar strategy in other long-forgotten Roman provinces such as Pannoia, Noricum and Raetia.

In the late fourth century, the Huns raged increasingly in Central Europe, pushing other "barbarian" groups farther south and west towards Rome. The Vandals fought their way across the Rhine to Gaul before moving to the Iberian Peninsula. Finally, they settled in North Africa under the leadership of their dynamic and greatly underrated King Gaiseric (more on that later).

Friend or Enemy

The history of the Vandals reveals an eventful ups and downs before they suddenly turn into darkness. In a period of about six centuries, they found themselves both conquerors and conquerors and closed alliances and sworn enemies, which included more twists than The Godfather .

The Vandals and Visigoths often clashed, although they came approximately from the same area as the Visigoths (Goths = German culture) and took similar trails. But this special beef is only a small part of the picture. Here is a handy cheat sheet of her many friends and enemies …

Alans: Friend
Alemanii: Friend
Burgundy: Friend
Byzantine: Enemy
[19659009] Hun: Enemy
Maniots: Enemy
Marcomanni: Friend
Moors: Enemy
Romans: Friend and Enemy
[19659006] Visigoths (Visigoths): Enemy

We Say No, They Say Heresy

When Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire in the early fourth century, the vandals practiced a non-critical christological doctrine called [19659009] Arianism ]. The movement, based on the teachings of a priest from Alexandria named Arius, is later branded as a heresy by the church in Rome.

The controversy began when Arius questioned the concept of the Holy Trinity. He claimed that if Jesus was created as the Son of God by the Father, then he was neither eternal nor constitutive. In other words, the boy from Nazareth did not have as much weight as the man above.

The debate brought with it a significant crisis for the early church, prompting Constantine the Great to intervene in 325 AD by convening the First Council of Nicaea . Constantine, who later became the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity (now, sorta), presided over seminal discussions and the first ecumenical council of the Christian Church. The gathering of over 200 bishops considered Arianism heretical and anchored the divinity of Christ in a creed known as the Nicene Creed .

Nonetheless, the Vandals and other newcomers to the Roman Empire continued to hold their faith – a position that would perpetuate their heritage as unruly Gentiles. It is worth noting that Constantine cooked his wife to death and killed his son, but in the eyes of the church, he still emerged as the "Great One." Imagine that.

Arianism, like many cults, would gradually disappear over time. The denial of the Trinity by Christian denominations, however, is still widespread today, particularly through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Jehovah's Witnesses. The Kingdom of the King At its height, the Vandal kingdom spanned a long period of expansion of North Africa to present-day Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya. They made the historic city Carthage their capital and built a strong strategic position along the Mediterranean coast, which also allowed them to take control of Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Mallorca, Malta and Ibiza.

The rise of King Gaiseric (also Genseric) to the throne in 428 AD marked a significant turning point in the rise of the Vandals. The nomadic tribe had lived in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica, where several bloody battles against the Visigoths had taken their toll. Gaiseric decided to pack and move again, but this time to a region plunged into chaos and contradictions, prone to invasion.

The cunning leader took his army along the Straits of Gibraltar and aimed at the Roman-controlled North Africa. From 430 he won a series of battles in the provinces of Numidia and Mauritania against forces led by Bonifacius, a Roman general and governor of the diocese of Africa. The battles involved the siege of the ancient, walled city of Hippo Regius, which led to the death of the famous Christian bishop Augustine. As the empire of the Gaiser grew, he also built a mighty fleet of ships with raids along the coast messing around. The Romans, now afraid of the new power of upstarts, hoped to reassure them by negotiating a series of treaties and accepting Genseric as the head of pro-consular Africa. After centuries of movement, the Germanic tribe finally had a safe home.

Sackimus Maximus

The much cursed plunder of Rome was intended primarily to determine the place of vandals in history. The betrayal of a few Roman emperors, however, deserves much guilt. In the mid-1940s, the Emperor of the Western Roman Empire tried Valentinian III. Strengthen Rome's Vandal Alliance by betrothing his youngest daughter Eudocia to King Gaiseric's son Huneric. However, the hope for a mutually beneficial union and a happy marriage soon went up in smoke.

A power-hungry and wealthy senator named Petronius Maximus forged a coup against Valentinian. In addition to the drama, the seated emperor had previously raped his wife. The vengeful Maximus waited for the stars to align and beat his rival, causing hell to break loose. The new ruler then forced Valentinian's widow, the Empress Licinia Eudoxia, to marry him and decreed that his son Palladius would now marry Eudocia. Meanwhile, Gaiseric felt an opportunity to exploit the imperial discord. He declared all contracts with the "Eternal City" null and void and prepared to march to Rome.

In the face of impending doom, the Romans sent Pope Leo I to seek mercy. The papacy still regarded the vandals as heretics, but the pragmatic Gaiser agreed not to destroy the city or kill its inhabitants in exchange for unlimited looting. And for the next fourteen days they plundered. The invaders seized everything of value – even removing the gold leaf from the roof of the Capitoline Temple. Exhausted by their wanton fate, the victors sailed laden with booty to Carthage and took home the former empress and her daughters.

As for the fate of Petronius Maximus, an angry Roman mob stoned him outside the city walls as he tried to escape. His doomed reign had taken only six weeks.

The Robber Robbed

After fleeing Rome Gaiseric's Legacy was later searched in one of the greatest historical ironies of all time. The man who built a powerful empire, ruled for 50 years and NEVER lost to the Romans, became a mere shadow on the global stage of history. In the meantime, his contemporary Attila the Hun (19659009) basks in eternal shame. (19659002) Nearly every list of leading military leaders of all time includes the unscrupulous Huns. Legend has it that his anger not only spread fear on two continents, but that the grass never grew at the point where his horse had stepped. Uh huh. Although most tyrants owe allegiance to alternative facts, the tiny despot is routinely missed along with the genseric.

First, even though it was much bigger than the Vandals, the Hun Empire was not an exact luxury beachfront property. Most of Attila's villas stood in much of rugged, uninhabitable terrain, including all of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan! In the meantime, Gaiseric Hof kept the most beautiful parts of the Mediterranean, where hundreds of years later crowds still linger in the cool sea breeze and invite warm sand.

In addition, the Romans and Visigoths joined forces to defeat the Huns in the Battle of the Catalan Plains in 451 AD. Attila died two years later at the age of 43, after he had stifled his blood when he was drunk – and no less on his wedding night. For those who collect points, Gaiseric has reached the ripe old age of 88 years.

Nothing Remains Forever

Between 460 and 475 AD, Roman forces attempted to regain their influence in North Africa and release Gaiseric from power. They failed. Miserably. The skillful military tactics of the Vandal King-not to speak of his cunning, uniqueness, nervousness, and talent-allowed him to defeat all comers. But his death in 477 for natural reasons (rarely in these difficult times) would lead to a rapid decline from which the vandals would not recover.

Gaiser's eldest son, Huneric inherited the throne from his father, but never managed to fill the old man's shoes. The kingdom would suffer from a series of internal conflicts that precipitated its decline. Finally, the East Roman emperor Justinian I made the expulsion of the vandals his top priority. In 533 Carthage fell and forced Gelimer, the last Vandal king, into exile.

On the positive side, the California punk band of the 80s The Vandals was inspired by the old group and it still is. Today is fine.

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