Europe 430: Siege of Hippo Regius

Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean on 28 Aug 430 (Theodosian Dynasty: Fall of Africa: Siege of Hippo Regius), showing the following events: First Battle of Hippo Regius; Siege of Hippo Regius; Death of Octar; Aetius’ Juthungi campaign.

By May 430 the Vandals had advanced across North Africa to reach the outskirts of the important city of Hippo Regius. Here they defeated a Western Roman army under the restored Count Bonifatius but, despite a 14-month siege, were unable to capture the city itself. Even so, the siege cost many lives, among them the famed Christian thinker Augustine of Hippo, who died on 28 August 430.

This map has in-depth notes in the Journal, exclusive to Patrons on Classical Tier and above. Find them in the events descriptions, marked with the Journal icon .

Akatziri and the “Scythian Kingdom” (Kuban Huns)

Little is known about the region north and east of the Black Sea in the first half of the fifth century, except that in c. 400 a “Scythian King” (almost always assumed to be a Hun) lived in the Kuban region and by the 440s a Hunnic people known as the Akatziri lived east of the Dniester. Although fragmented, the Akatziri were powerful enough that, when the Eastern Romans aligned with all but one of their kingdoms in 447, it took over a year for Attila’s armies to crush them and install his son as their king. After this, Attila contemplated invading Persia, implying that suppressing the Akatziri had bought the periphery of his empire close to the Caucasus. All this suggests that the Akatziri may have extended into the North Caucasus and that the “Scythian King” may have been part of the Akatziri, although this is of course conjecture.

Main Events

May 430 First Battle of Hippo Regius

In early 430 the truce that the Western Roman envoy Darius had arranged with the Vandal king Gaiseric broke down and the Vandals resumed their march eastwards across the Diocese of Africa. In response Bonifatius—now re-installed as comes Africae—led his troops out against the invaders, but was defeated in around May and forced to take refuge in the nearby city of Hippo Regius. in wikipedia

May 430–Jul 431 Siege of Hippo Regius

After defeating Bonifatius in battle, the Vandals advanced to besiege the major city of Hippo Regius in around May 430, using their fleet to blockade the city from the sea. The siege lasted almost fourteen months until about July 431, when the Vandals, suffering from hunger just as much as the besieged, abandoned their efforts and drew back from the city. Among the casualties of the siege was the great Christian thinker Augustine of Hippo, who died on 28 August 430, in the third month of the siege. in wikipedia

430 Death of Octar

By 430 King Octar’s Huns were making repeated attacks on the Burgundians on the right bank of the Rhine, convincing the latter people to turn to the Romans for protection and adopt the Roman faith of Christianity. Apparently emboldened after their baptism in neighboring Gaul, the Burgundians returned to face the Huns, only to discover that Octar had died in the night after excessive feasting. Suddenly leaderless, Octar’s Huns were driven back from the Rhine, then fell under the rule of Octar’s brother Rugila. in wikipedia

430 Aetius’ Juthungi campaign

In the summer of 430 the Western Roman magister militum Flavius Aetius moved against the Juthungi, a former sub-tribe of the Alemanni who were at large in the Alpine province of Raetia in the Praetorian Prefecture of Italy. Aetius promptly defeated his opponents, subjugating them in a forceful but otherwise little known campaign. in wikipedia