|In AD 429 the
Vandals finished a long march from their home in Europe to the point of
Carthage, which they rebuilt. Carthage
was Rome’s ancient enemy (remember Hannibal and his elephants?). From these people we get our English word Vandalism.
thing about this set of campaigns is the complete improbability of it
all. Rome controlled the
Mediterranean. It is an axiom of naval
warfare that when one power controls -- and can closely blockade -- the ports
of another, the weaker power will have no way to challenge that naval
supremacy. The stronger power simply
destroys the ships as they are being constructed. If you had to predict the route of the next
invasion, this would not be it.
|Genseric, the leader
of the Vandals, conducted a sea campaign, taking most of the islands of the
middle Mediterranean in a series of ferocious battles. Sea battles at that time usually resulted
in the loser drowning -- total destruction of a fleet was common. The stated amount of bloodshed, and
certainly the destruction of merchant shipping, are consistent with the
campaigns of piracy the Vandals carried out.
|Genseric sacked Rome
in AD 455. Interestingly, Pope Leo
(who did not know he was a Pope; he
thought of himself only as Bishop of Rome) went out and begged for the lives
of the citizens. This request was
granted (rape and pillage were conducted on a business as usual basis). Thus we see a second connection to the
church -- and evidence of the “sealing”.
|Genseric died a
few months later (it seems that
sacking Rome is not good for your health).
The Vandals’ power waned, and another nation came on the scene.