Vandals (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: One of the first barbarian peoples to invade the Roman Empire; their occupation of the rich province of North Africa is seen as one of the primary causes of the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
The Vandals are believed to have originated in Scandinavia. By the second century of the common era, they lived in Silesia and were divided into the Silings and the Asdings. During the third and fourth centuries, they frequently raided the Roman Empire. Some Vandals accompanied Radagaisus in his invasion of Italy in 405. On December 31, 406, a horde of Siling and Asding Vandals, Alans, Burgundians, and Suevi crossed the frozen and unprotected Rhine into Gaul. In 409, all but the Burgundians passed into Spain. In 416, the Silings and Alans were overwhelmingly defeated by the Visigoths. Their remnants then joined the Asdings, whose kings thenceforth were known as kings of the Vandals and Alans.
In 428, Genseric succeeded to the Vandal throne. The next year, he led an estimated 80,000 Vandals and Alans to Africa. In 439, Carthage was captured; subsequent imperial expeditions against the Vandals in 443 and 468 failed dismally. The loss of North Africa was a disaster for the Western Empire. It put much of the grain supply of Italy into enemy hands and gave the Vandals the opportunity to take to piracy. Vandal raiders attacked the coasts of Italy, Spain, and even Greece. In May, 455, the Vandals...
(The entire section is 303 words.)
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