Bookmark and Share



























Open the online Arabic language course






Gaiseric
Other spellings: Geiseric, Genseric


(Around 400-477) Vandal king (428-477), conqueror of large parts of North Africa, and founder of a kingdom in lands corresponding to modern Tunisia and northeastern Algeria.
His campaign in North Africa seem to have been initiated by an invitation from the governor, Bonifacius, who needed the military strength of the Vandals to improve his position within the Roman Empire. But Gaiseric would soon prove to be an untrustworthy ally.
Gaiseric was an excellent general, and during his early campaigns a true vandal in the modern sense of the word, much wealth and culture being destroyed forever. Later he would develop into a wiser ruler, and in his conquest of Rome in 455 he did not destroy the city nor were many inhabitants killed.
Gaiseric advocated more justice for Roman Catholics, although taxing them heavily. He did, however, demand conversion to Arianism for all his close advisors. Common people inside the Vandal kingdom enjoyed low taxes.

Biography
Around 400: Born probably near Lake Balaton (now Hungary) as son of King Godigisel.
428: With the death of his brother, King Gunderic, Gaiseric is elected king.
429: Gaiseric crosses the Straits of Gibraltar, with about 80,000 followers. A military campaign following an easterly direction in North Africa ensues.
430: Turns on Bonifacius, and crushes his army.
435: Vandals are granted territory in North Africa by the Romans, parts of Numidia and Mauritania (corresponding to modern Morocco). The Romans were hoping to spare Carthage.
439 October 19: Gaiseric conquers Carthage, and makes this his capital. Much of the western Roman navy is captured. With the new ships under his control, he would go on to conquer Sardinia, Corsica and Sicily.
442: Gaiseric strikes a deal with the Romans, making him the ruler of Africa, Byzacena and parts of Numidia.
455 June: Rome is sacked by Gaiseric, and over the next 14 days, all moveable treasures were removed from the city. Its inhabitants and buildings were spared.
— Continues with an attack on Greece and Dalmatia, even threatening Constantinople.
460: Drives back an attack from Rome.
468: Drives back a second attack from Rome.
476: Peace is made with Rome.
477: Dies, and is succeeded by his son, Huneric, who would prove to be an inept leader.




By Tore Kjeilen