- Germanic people who crossed the Rhine (q.v.) in 406, moved into Spain (q.v.), and who in 429 crossed into North Africa (q.v.). In 439 they seized Carthage (q.v.), and they soon created a pirate fleet that menaced the coasts of Sicily, Sardinia, and Italy (qq.v.). By treaty in 442, the emperor Valentinian III (q.v.) recognized the existence of a Vandal state, doubtless in the vain hope that formal relations with the Vandal king Gaiseric (q.v.) would curb his ambitions. Instead, Gaiseric's fleet sacked Rome (q.v.) in 455, kidnapping Valentinian III's widow and daughters. Leo I's (q.v.) expedition against the Vandals in 468, led by the incompetent Basiliskos (q.v.), failed. By 475 the Vandals had conquered Sicily, Sardinia (q.v.), and Corsica. Only much later (in 533) did Justinian I's general Belisarios (qq.v.) vanquish the Vandal state, a state that had promoted Arianism (q.v.), persecuted its Orthodox citizens, and menaced the entirety of the western Mediterranean (q.v.) for a century.
Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . John H. Rosser .