FREE Catholic Classes
A Germanic people belonging to the family of East Germans. According to Tacitus, they were originally settled between the Elbe and Vistula. At the time of the War of the Marcomanni (166-81) they lived in what is now Silesia, and in about 271 the Roman Emperor Aurelian was obliged to protect the middle course of the Danube against them. Constantine the Great (about 330) granted them lands in Pannonia on the right bank of the Danube. Through the Emperor Valens (364-78) they accepted Arian Christianity , yet there were also some scattered orthodox Vandals, among whom was Stilicho the minister of the Emperor Honorius. In 406 the Vandals advanced from Pannonia by way of Gaul, which they devastated terribly, into Spain, where they settled in 411. From 427 their king was Genseric (Gaiseric), who in 429 landed in North Africa with about 80,000 of his followers. It is a disputed point whether or not he was called to Africa by the Roman governor Boniface on account of the intrigues of Aëtius. Peace was made between the Romans and Vandals in 435 but it was broken by Genseric in 439, who made Carthage his capital after he had thoroughly plundered it. During the next thirty-five years with a large fleet he ravaged the coasts of the Eastern and Western Empires. In 455 he plundered Rome itself during two weeks. It is asserted that the Empress Eudoxia had asked him to free her from her hated marriage with the Emperor Petronius Maximus, the murderer of her husband Valentinian III. This story, however, is probably a fable. It is said that on 2 June, 455, Leo the Great received Genseric and implored him to abstain from murder and destruction by fire, and to be satisfied with pillage. Whether the pope's influence saved Rome is, however, questioned; moreover, the Vandals had only booty in mind, nor was the plundering as extreme as later tradition and the expression "Vandalism" would imply. From 462 the Vandal kingdom included Africa and the islands of the Mediterranean, that is Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, and the Balearic Islands, but like the other Germanic kingdoms on Roman soil the kingdom of the Vandals in Africa began to decay from the lack of unity of religion and of race among the two populations.
Help Now >
The Vandals treated the Catholics more harshly than other German peoples. Catholic bishops were punished by Genseric with deposition, exile, or death, and laymen were excluded from office and frequently suffered confiscation of their property. It is said of Genseric himself that he was originally a Catholic and had changed to Arianism about 428; this, however, is probably an invention. He protected his Catholic subjects when his relations with Rome and Constantinople were friendly, as during the years 454-57, when the Catholic community at Carthage, being without a head, elected Deogratias bishop. The same was also the case during the years 476-77 when Bishop Victor of Cartenna sent him, during a period of peace, a sharp refutation of Arianism and suffered no punishment. Genseric was one of the most powerful personalities of the era of the Migrations, and was the terror of the seas. He died at a great age on 25 January, 477. According to the law of succession which he had promulgated, not the son but the oldest male member of the royal house was to succeed to the throne (law of seniority). He was succeeded by his incompetent son Hunerich (477- 484), who at first protected the Catholics, owing to his fear of Constantinople, but from 482 he persecuted them in the most terrible manner. King Guntamund (484-96), his cousin and successor, protected them once more, and while Thrasamund (496-523), owing to his religious fanaticism, was hostile to Catholics, still he contented himself with bloodless persecutions. Hilderich (523-30) favoured the Catholics and granted religious freedom; consequently Catholic synods were once more held in North Africa. Hilderich's policy was opposed by his cousin Gelimer, who raised the banner of national Arianism. Hilderich was deposed and murdered in 533. This was taken as an excuse for interference by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. Gelimer was defeated in 533 and 534 by Belisarius, the commander of the armies of the Eastern Empire, and North Africa became a Roman province, from which the Vandals were expelled. Gelimer was honourably treated and received large estates in Galicia. He was also offered the rank of a patrician but had to refuse it because he was not willing to change his Arian faith.
FREE Catholic Classes Pick a class, you can learn anything
Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.
Mysteries of the Rosary
St. Faustina Kowalska
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saint of the Day for Wednesday, Oct 4th, 2023
St. Francis of Assisi
Female / Women Saints
7 Morning Prayers you need to get your day started with God
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- Daily Readings for Sunday, December 10, 2023
- Pope Saint Gregory III: Saint of the Day for Sunday, December 10, 2023
- Act of Love: Prayer of the Day for Sunday, December 10, 2023
- Daily Readings for Saturday, December 09, 2023
- St. Juan Diego: Saint of the Day for Saturday, December 09, 2023
- Prayer of Solace: Prayer of the Day for Saturday, December 09, 2023
Copyright 2023 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2023 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.