Bookmark and Share



























Open the online Arabic language course






Vandals



Vandal chapel, Ha´dra, Tunisia.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Vandal coin of Gaiseric. Middle 5th century CE.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Vandal coin of Gaiseric. Middle 5th century CE.

Vandal coin of anonymous issue. Around 400 CE.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Vandal coin of anonymous issue. Around 400 CE.

Vandal coin of anonymous issue. 5th century CE.
ZOOM - Open a large version of this image

Vandal coin of anonymous issue. 5th century CE.

Vandal kings of North Africa
Gaiseric 428-477
Huneric 477-484
Gunthamund 484-496
Thrasamund 496-523
Hilderic 523-530
Gelimer 530-534

Germanic people creating a kingdom in North Africa, mainly in the lands corresponding to modern Tunisia and northeastern Algeria, from 429 to 534 CE.
Until the beginning of the 6th century, the Vandals controlled most of the North African coast, stretching from modern Morocco to western Libya.
"Vandals" is the original name, not a given name by later peoples or historians. They are remembered for the words "vandal" and "vandalism", reflections of their harsh conquest of Rome in 455. Better is the suggestion that Andalucia has its name from them: Vandalucia.
The origin of the Vandals is much discussed, and cannot be traced by historical methods. Rather similarity in names have suggested that their origins may have been in Scandinavia (Denmark, possibly Norway or Sweden). By the first or second century CE had they established themselves in territories corresponding to modern Poland.
With their North African kingdom, their capital was Carthage, while Beja´a was another important town. The Vandals were unusually uncultured people, reflected in the fact that this is one of the periods in North Africa's history with the least monuments and buildings. All that still stands is modest chapel at Ha´dra in Tunisia, with crude inscriptions on the paving stones. And even here the Vandal importance is doubted, it may have been built shortly before the Vandal invasion and only annexed by the Vandals.
Their economy was built on exploitation of locals, as well as piracy in large parts of the Mediterranean Sea, thanks to their good skills with boats.
Whether they ever established a real state is doubtful. There are coins left behind, and they must at least have had necessary administration to equip and run an army and a navy, as well as collect taxes from direct subjects.
The Vandals were Christians of the Arian creed, and launched many campaigns against the Roman Catholic churches and the Manichaeans.

History
This timeline deals with the history of the Vandals that is relevant to North Africa. Their history prior to that goes centuries back in time, but is played out in Europe.
400 or 401: Most likely due to the invasion of the Huns, the Vandals start moving into lands to the west, until they met the Franks (corresponding to modern France).
409: Vandals settle in the Iberian peninsula.
429: King Gaiseric crosses the Strait of Gibraltar, with about 80,000 followers, first conquering Mauretania Tingitana. A campaign in eastern direction in North Africa starts.
435: Vandals are granted territory in North Africa by the Romans, hoping to spare Carthage.
439: Vandals conquer Carthage, and makes this his capital. They would later go on to conquer Sardinia, Corsica and Sicily.
455 June: Rome is sacked by Gaiseric.
533: Carthage is conquered by the Byzantines, while the Vandal fleet is off to Sardinia.
534: King Gelimer surrenders to the Byzantines. Their people would mix with local populations of modern Tunisia and northeastern Algeria.




By Tore Kjeilen