The Vandals

429 AD - 534 AD

Who were they?

The Vandals were a Germanic tribe who maintained a kingdom in North Africa with two main branches- the Siling and the Asding. They were a major part in the fall of Rome and conquered many cities in the process.

Entering Rome in 406 AD

During this time, many Barbarian tribes were being attacked by the Huns. The Visigoth clan became fearful of the Hun warriors so they went to Rome asking if they could stay there for safety. Rome agreed but with one condition- the Visigoths had to be defeated once by the Hun. Because of this, the Vandals started to worry that the Hun would attack them next. Then in December of 406 AD the Vandals, along with some other Germanic tribes, surprised the Romans and breached the frontier.

Kicked Out- 420 AD

Around 420 AD, the Romans tried to get the Vandals to leave Southern Spain. The Romans got the Visigoths to drive the Vandals out, and they succeeded. Then the Vandals were able to win a battle against the Romano-Gothic army which resulted in many Roman ports in Spain being captured.

Capture of Carthage- 435 AD

In 435 AD the Romans and Vandals made peace with each other. Everything was going good until the Vandals king, Gaiseric, got an idea that he could take over Carthage and make it another Vandal city. The city of Carthage had many shipyards and galleys, which appealed to Gaiseric. On October 19, 439 AD Gaiseric launched a surprise attack on Carthage. After this, Carthage had become the greatest threat to Rome in nearly 6 centuries.

The Sack of Rome- 445 AD

In 445 AD, the Vandals stood at the gates of Rome ready to attack. Pope Leo I spoke with the leader of the Vandals and convinced them not to burn the city, kill or torture the people, or destroy the city looking for hidden treasure. But in order for the Vandals not to do these things, Pope Leo I had to open the gates and let the Vandals enter the city without any resistance. The Vandals roamed the city for two weeks, taking all its treasures. After they took everything they wanted they sent it back on ships to North Africa.

Kings

  • Gunderic- up to 428 AD
  • Gaiseric- 428 AD to 477 AD
  • Huneric- 477 AD to 484 AD
  • Gunthamund- 484 AD to 496 AD
  • Thrasamund- 496 AD to 523 AD
  • Hilderich- 523 AD to 530 AD
  • Gelimer- 530 AD to 534 AD