Ancient tribe Vandals - Ancestry and origin
The Vandals come from northern Jutland, and are therefore a Germanic People. They settled in the delta region of the Oder and Weichsel Rivers and migrated onward to Silesia. Remaining details of their origin are not wholly explained. Today, we are attempting to understand the processes that lead to the origination of ethnic groups without depending on migrating groups as the explanation. Tacitus, Pliny and Ptolemeus all mention the Vandals as a people living in the Weichsel region, but define them differently. As with the Gutons/ Goths, there is continuity of name, but there are no clear statements about their background.
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Around 400 A.D. there were massive displacements and migrations to the north of the lower and middle Danube, probably owing to the invasions of the Huns. The Alans, a Scythian-Sarmatian alliance of tribes, the Suebians and the Vandals all migrated together in the direction of Gaul.
The Romans attempted to recruit soldiers from the first century A.D. on with federating treaties. They wanted to establish hegemony outside the borders of empire by mostly peaceful means, through their trade in industrial and luxury items. The Imperium Romanum was economically and politically stable, which gave it an enormous attraction to the "barbarian" societies. Gradually there arose specialized warriors, social differences, and internal conflicts. Tribes broke down and other units such as the Vandals and the Suebians appeared. It was not flight from starvation or cold that caused the old identities to disappear and new ones arose, but their ascending into the multifarious possibilities of the Mediterranean cityscapes.
At the beginning of the fifth century, the Vandals migrated further westward, settled near Mainz on December 31st, 406, and along with the Alans and Suebians, they plundered Gaul for three years before they attacked Spain together. Repulsed in 429 by the combined Romans, Visigoths and Suebians, the Hasding-Vandals, together with the remains of the defeated Alans and Silings totaling some 80,000 men, made their way to Africa. Under their King Geiserich of Spain, they founded a new empire centered on Carthage, which they conquered in 439. The Vandal fleet defeated the Roman, ruled the Mediterranean, and plundered coastal regions. The Arian kings o the Vandals repressed the Catholic church. Under Geiserich's successors, the power of the Vandals decreased. Their last king Gelimer surrendered in battle in the spring of 534.
The Vandals became Arian Christians around 350. Very little is known of the Vandals before the great migration. The Preszowesk Culture discovered in modern day Poland has been associated with the Vandals. In Gaul and Spain, though, there are no archeological finds that can be attributed to the Vandals.
In North Africa, the Vandals replaced the elites of Roman Africa and profited from the wealth of the land. The Vandals seem to have led a Roman lifestyle in Africa. This can be demonstrated on the basis of art and architecture, but also in written sources. The Vandal rulers integrated themselves into the economy of the late antique Mediterranean world. The culture of antiquity was also preserved. Vandal minting of coins is a topic of discussion yet today.
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