ITALY AND HER INVADERS. VOLUME III. THE OSTROGOTHIC INVASION

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Another writer named Jordanes who lived in the sixth century A.

An Empire in Crisis

Today, many scholars believe this claim is untrue and that Jordanes, seeking to make the Goths look good, made it up. Around A.

This put a great deal of pressure on the Roman Empire, which was divided into eastern and western halves. This arrangement soon fell apart. On Dec. Although they had to fight battles against the Franks, the Vandals were able to enter into Gaul and eventually Iberia.

People and Identity in Ostrogothic Italy, - Patrick Amory - Häftad () | Bokus

At first, the Vandal march into Roman territory did not attract much attention as the Western Roman Emperor Honorius had far greater problems on his hands. A group known as the Siling Vandals would take over the province of Baetica south-central Spain , while another group known as the Hasding Vandals took part of Gallaecia northwest Spain. The Siling Vandals would suffer a defeat at the hands of the Visigoths in A. This was followed by the Hasdings being pushed out of Gallaecia by a Roman army. After these losses the Vandal survivors, now united in part of southern Spain, fought against the Romans again in This time they won a pivotal victory in a battle fought near Tarraco now called Tarragona , a port city in Spain.

The victory saved the Vandals from destruction and allowed them to invade Africa. The battle was a close affair that could have been a Roman victory. The Vandal forces were led or co-led by a man named Gunderic, while the Roman forces were led by a general named Castinus, who tried to starve the Vandal forces by cutting off their supply lines, notes Jeroen W.

At first this strategy was successful; however, the Visigoths, who had been allied with the Romans, deserted the Roman contingent, reducing the size of the Roman forces.

Then, Castinus made a critical error when he decided to launch a full-out attack against the Vandals rather than continue cutting off their supply lines. The Romans were "soundly beaten" in the assault and the Vandals had "won their first major victory since having crossed the Rhine and were clearly established as the dominant force in southern Spain," writes Wijnendaele in his book.

In the years after their victory the Vandals would consolidate their hold on Spain, capturing Seville after launching two campaigns against the city in and notes Wijnendaele. In , a new Vandal leader named Genseric or Geiseric became king and led them on their conquest of North Africa. Genseric was the half-brother of Gunderic, who appears to have died not long after Seville was taken, Wijnendaele noted.


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Under Genseric's rule, which lasted about 50 years, the Vandals would take over North Africa and form a kingdom of their own. Roman infighting helped him accomplish this. A Roman general named Aetius had her ear and conspired against the governor of North Africa, a powerful rival named Bonifacius. This resulted in Bonifacius finding himself an enemy of the Western Roman Empire.

Italy and Her Invaders: Volume III - The Ostrogothic Invasion

By the time the Vandals invaded North Africa, Bonifacius' forces had already beaten off two attacks launched by the Western Roman Empire, wrote Wijnendaele. Some ancient writers claimed that Bonifacius actually invited the Vandals into North Africa to fight on his behalf against the Western Roman Empire. However, Wijnendaele notes that the ancient writers who made that claim lived at least a century after the events took place and the ancient writers who lived in Africa at or near the time of the invasion did not claim that Bonifacius gave an invitation to the Vandals.

Whether Bonifacius invited them or not the Vandals scarcely needed an invitation.

What on Earth Happened to the Goths?

North Africa, at this time, was a wealthy area that provided Rome with much of its grain. The Vandals advanced quickly into North Africa turning against Bonifacius if they were ever on his side to begin with and laid siege to the city of Hippo Regius in Wijnendaele notes that even in the best case scenario, Bonifacius' troops would have been outnumbered three to one. Among the city's residents was the Christian bishop, Augustine, the philosopher, theologian and eventual saint, who died three months into the siege.

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The Vandals laid siege to Hippo Regius for over a year but were unable to take the city and were forced to withdraw. Procopius, a writer who lived in the sixth century, wrote that the Vandals "were unable to secure Hippo Regius either by force or by surrender, and since at the same time they were being pressed by hunger, they raised the siege. She was the sister of Theodoric the Great , and mother of Theodahad , both of whom also were kings of the Ostrogoths. In , to further cement his authority over the Vandals, Theodoric arranged a marriage alliance with Thrasamund , king of the Vandals , who became Amalfrida's second husband.

She brought a very large dowry, but also 5, Gothic troops. After her husband Thrasamund's death, his successor Hilderic issued orders for the return of all the Catholic bishops from exile, and Boniface, a strenuous asserter of orthodoxy , bishop of the African Church. In response, Amalfrida headed a party of revolt; she called in the assistance of the Moors , and battle was joined at Capsa , about three hundred miles to the south of the capital, on the edge of the Libyan desert.


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In , Amalafrida's party was beaten, and Hilderic had her arrested and imprisoned in a successful bid to overthrow Ostrogothic hegemony; he also had her Gothic troops killed. She died in prison, exact date unknown.

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Amalafrida had two children, the aforementioned Theodahad and Amalaberga , who married Hermanfrid , king of the Thuringii.