Vandals, 428-534

Establishing themselves in North Africa and then taking to the sea, the Vandals probably did the most damage to the structure of Roman power than any other enemy before.

This was mostly the doing of one Vandal genius, Gaiseric, whose name significantly means “Caesar King.” The sea power by which the Romans had defeated the Carthaginians now disappeared for the first time. There was absolutely no hope of restoring the Western Empire before the Vandals were swept from the sea and their base destroyed.

In 468 the last unified Eastern and Western military expedition was organized against the Vandals. That it failed was mainly due to treachery. The Western military commanders, who were wary of each other and feared for their own power, were never interested in such combined action again.

In the end, however, the plan was revived, after the Western Empire was gone; and in 534 Justinian’s great general Belisarius ended the Vandal kingdom and restored Roman authority.

One interesting fact is the German expression “Er benimmt sich wie ein Vandale” (he behaves like a vandal) this is reserved for extremely bad behaviour. This also implies that the behaviour of the Vandals would make the worst hooligan look like a saint so to speak..

An interesting note to history is the idea that the Morrocan Berber people are the remnants of those Vandals. They are not considered as Arabs until now and use a completely different language.

Kings of the Vandals
Gunderic                406-428
Gaiseric                   428-477
Huneric                   477-484
Gunthamund       484-496
Thrasamund         496-523
Hilderic                   523-530
Gelimer                   530-534
overthrown by Romans