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Vandals

Coming from Jutland, which is modern-day Denmark, the Vandals were one of the strongest Germanic tribes that were a threat to the Roman Empire. After departing their homeland, they set forth to the Valley of Odra River, in the 5th century BC. By the 2nd century AD, the Vandals started settling along the coast of the Danube River. This was also the time when they began their attempts of invading Rome.

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Vandals
‘Vandalic gold foil jewelry from the 3rd or 4th century.’

Conquest of Spain and Other Nations

In 409 AD where it is located on the Bible Timeline Chart, aggressive and powerful Vandals invaded a huge portion of Spain. They also looted various cities to obtain necessary resources for survival. They arrived in Spain after crossing the Rhine River in 406 AD. However, the Vandals faced great pressure from the Romans residing in that area and the Visigoths also caused them to flee eventually from Spain and head off to the African province. While in North Africa, the Vandals elected a leader to rule over them. Gaiseric, who was a crippled man and son of a slave, was noted as their new ruler. Despite his physical condition, he was a brilliant person who was a skilled conspirator. He also possessed an extraordinary ability in politics. For half a century, Gaiseric was able to foil the plans of various Germanic kings and Roman diplomats all because of his ingenious treaties that led to the success of the Vandals.

Under the Leadership of Gaiseric

During the year 429 AD, Gaiseric successfully brought his people to the African coast after crossing the Strait of Gibraltar. Slowly, the Roman cities soon fell into the hands of the aggressive Vandals as numerous places were looted and sacked by this powerful tribe. The locals are residing at Hippo, the city invaded by the Vandals, fled to obtain refuge and support from Augustine, their bishop. However, the bishop soon died in his beloved city during the Vandal’s invasion that lasted for 14 months. It did not take long before Hippo finally surrendered and succumbed to the barbarian conquerors.

While cleaning up of the city was still being undertaken, Gaiseric decided to start another project. He aimed to construct a fleet that would propel him to his great dream of sailing to the Mediterranean Sea and discovering more lands to invade. The Vandals decided to settle in Hippo and live among the locals of the city. Meanwhile, they assigned Roman bureaucrats to handle intricate administrative tasks. The relationship between the Arian Vandals and the Romans were hardly any better. Gaiseric was also unable to check for any animosity, and violence broke out because of his successors’ prejudicial acts. Thus, the Vandals persecuted a majority of the Romans. This resulted in scores of martyrs of the Catholic Church, who died because of their refusal to denounce their faith.

Cruelty and destruction were only one of the reasons for the degeneration of the Vandals after the reign of Gaiseric. The armies became more and more disorganized as they were lured by luxuries produced by their rich land. They have also become more corrupt, and they failed to lead the people in an organized manner. Hence, the Vandals quickly succumbed to the Eastern Roman Empire’s army during the battle in 533. After their defeat, the Vandals no longer became a distinct tribe, and they joined with a diverse local population and lived a common life. They did not leave any significant legacy to the world, and they remained bitter and hungry for justice.

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