Vandals

Odoacer fall and death. 25 February, 493.

In 476, the barbarian warlord Odoacer founded the Kingdom of Italy as the first King of Italy, initiating a new era over Roman lands. Unlike most of the last emperors, he acted decisively. He took many military actions to strengthen his control over Italy and its neighboring areas. He achieved a solid diplomatic coup by inducing the Vandal king Gaiseric to cede to him Sicily. When Julius Nepos was murdered by two of his retainers in his country house near Salona (May 480), Odoacer assumed the duty of pursuing and executing the assassins, and at the same time established his own rule in Dalmatia. As Bury points out, “It is highly important to observe that Odovacar established his political power with the co-operation of the Roman Senate, and this body seems to have given him their loy...

Odovacer Becomes King of Italy – August 23, 476 AD

Not of Roman origin, Flavius Odovacer (or Odoacer) was an officer in the Roman Army by 470 AD. There is mention of an Odovacrius having fought against the Visigoths in 463, which may be the same person as Odovacer. Chronicler John of Antioch wrote that Odovacer was on the side of the Gothic magister militum, Ricimer, at the start of the battle against the emperor Anthemius, in 472. The scholar, Procopius of Caesarea, described Odovacer as one of the emperor’s bodyguards. Presumably he meant of Olybrius, whom Ricimer promoted to emperor against Anthemius. Olybrius only reigned for about seven months before he died of dropsy in October or November 472, a few months after Ricimer had died from a hemorrhage. The next Western emperor was Glycerius, elevated by the magister militum Gundobad, nep...

Probus Born – August 19, 232 AD

According to most sources, Marcus Aurelius Probus was born on August 19, 232 AD in Sirmium, Pannonia Inferior (modern-day Sremska Mitrovica, Serbia). David Vagi notes in his two-volume work, “Coinage and History of the Roman Empire”, Probus may have actually been instead born in Siscia, given the interesting and unusual attention paid to that city on his coinage. In fact, his coinage itself displays the most elaborate bust types, along with very unusual legends and a complex set of mintmarks that combine to make a multitude of varieties. The most extensive website of which I currently know on the coins of Probus, was created by my friend GK, at: http://probvs.net/probvs/ Not much is documented about Probus before he joined the military, around 250 AD, when he was of age. Civil wars and tri...

Carthage Falls to the Vandals – October 24, 439 AD

Gaiseric (also spelled Genseric and Geiseric) was born in Hungary, c.389 AD, the illegitimate son of King Godigisel of the Vandals. Godigisel was slain in battle against the Franks in 406, during the Crossing of the Rhine. Upon his death, his son Gunderic took the throne. He ruled for 22 years, often clashing with the Visigoths who were much more numerous. Gaiseric was crowned king in 428, when the Vandals were settled in Hispania Baetica. This  is a category of  Carthage coins. Gaiseric had great vision and ambition, but his relatively small Germanic tribe was in constant conflict with other tribes in the area. He decided to move all 20-80,000 of his people to North Africa, which was at the time under Roman Imperial rule and leave the fighting in Hispania to the Visigoths and Suebi. It is...

Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus – July 6, 83 BC

Numa Pompilius, after defeating the Italic Sabines in Rome, decided he and his Etruscans were going to settle the area to show their superiority. Most of the temples and shrines on the southern hilltop of the Capitoline Hill were destroyed so as to make room for the massive Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, which was to be visible from all the hills in the entire city. Construction began under the first king of the Etruscan dynasty, Tarquinius Priscus during early 6th Century BC. Nothing is mentioned in written records about progress under the second king, Servius Tullius. Tarquinius Superbus picked up the project again during his reign as the third king, but was interrupted by the death of his father. He was not able to finish the project before he was banished from Rome, ending the Etru...

The Sacking of Rome – June 16, 455 AD

The Vandals were living in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica during the reign of King Gunderic. After Gunderic’s death in 428 AD, his half-brother, Genseric (or Gaiseric), was elected king. He wanted to greatly expand the power and influence of his people, but was suffering from numerous attacks by their neighbors, the larger Visigoth tribe. After being attacked by another neighboring tribe, the Suebi, Genseric decided to move to North Africa, even though he was victorious in this battle. At the time, the Roman governor of North Africa, Bonifacius, was having disputes with Aetius, an accomplished Roman general and Master of Soldiers stationed there. By 429, Genseric had moved all of his people, between 20-80,000 of them, to the new lands and taking advantage of the Roman divided force...

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