Europe 429: Vandal crossing to North Africa

Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean on 13 May 429 (Theodosian Dynasty: Fall of Africa: Vandal crossing to North Africa), showing the following events: Octar’s expansion; Sigisvult vs Bonifatius; Vandal capture of Hispalis; Aetius’ Frankish campaign; End of Arsacid Armenia; Battle of Mérida; Vandal crossing to Africa.

Taking advantage of the Western Roman civil war with Bonifatius, the Vandal king Gaiseric and his people crossed from Spain to North Africa in May 429. Realizing the danger the Vandals posed, the Western empress regent Galla Placidia quickly pardoned Bonifatius, then dispatched him west to face the invaders.

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Main Events

427?–430 Octar’s expansion

By 430 Octar’s Huns were harassing the Burgundians on the Rhine, implying that the Huns must have overrun or absorbed the Alemanni and Thuringii in the late 420s—an event not recorded in any known sources. Perhaps as a side effect of this expansion, the Juthungi and the Nori—two long-forgotten tribes from this region—came into conflict with Rome in 430–431. in wikipedia

428–429 Sigisvult vs Bonifatius

In 428, on the orders of Western Roman empress Galla Placidia, the Gothic general Sigisvult led an expedition against Bonifatius in Africa and captured a number of major cities, including Carthage and Hippo Regius. However, Bonifatius remained at large in the interior and by 429 Placidia had become convinced of his innocence. In a treaty arranged by Placidia’s envoy Darius, the civil war was ended, Sigisvult was recalled to Italy, and Bonifatius was restored to the post of comes Africae, with instructions to lead the campaign against the invading Vandals. in wikipedia

428 Vandal capture of Hispalis

In 428 the Vandals captured Hispalis (Seville), one of the major cities of the province of Baetica, from the Romans in Hispaniae. Upon gaining control of the city, the Vandal king Gunderic attempted to seize the main church in order to convert it to the Arianism of the Vandals, but died suddenly and unexpectedly. As he had no son of age, the crown passed to his illegitimate half-brother, the 39-year-old Gaiseric. in wikipedia

428 Aetius’ Frankish campaign

In 428 the Western Roman comes Flavius Aetius fought against the Franks in northern Gaul, recovering Roman territory near the Rhine and Somme. It is possibly during this campaign that the Romans killed the Salian Frankish king Theodemer and his mother Ascyla, temporarily bringing an end to the Salian revolt. Despite this, the Salians would soon rise again under Theodemer’s successor Chlodio. in wikipedia

428 End of Arsacid Armenia

In 428 the nakharas (heads of nobility) of Armenia, having lost confidence in the rule of the young and weak-willed King Artaxias IV, petitioned Shah Bahram V of the Sasanian Persian Empire to bring the kingdom under direct Persian rule. Obliging, Bahram promptly deposed Artaxis and made Armenia into a Persian satrapy, bringing to an end both the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia and almost a thousand years of Armenian monarchy. in wikipedia

429 Battle of Mérida

While the Vandals were preparing to cross from Baetica to Mauretania Tingitana in early 429, a force of Suebi under the leadership of Heremigarius marched through the neighboring provinces of Carthaginiensis and Lusitania, plundering as they went. Threatened by the advancing Suebi, the Vandal king Gaiseric doubled back from the Spanish coast and, after trailing the invaders for some distance, intercepted and massacred them near Augusta Emerita (Mérida). Defeated, Heremigarius himself took flight, but was drowned while attempting to cross the Ana (Guadiana river). in wikipedia

May–?? 429 Vandal crossing to Africa

In May 429 the Vandal king Gaiseric and his people abandoned mainland Spain and crossed the Strait of Gades (Strait of Gibraltar) from the Spanish province of Baetica to Mauretania Tingitana in North Africa. Allegedly 80,000 people—men, women, and children of the Vandals, Alans, and other tribes—took part in this migration, but this number is likely to have been propaganda and the real figure was probably closer to the still substantial 50,000. Also dubious are later claims that this invasion was invited by the rebel comes Africae Bonifatius, as Bonifatius was reinstated soon afterwards. in wikipedia