The Vandals summary å 8

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The Vandals is the first book available in the English Language dedicated to exploring the sudden rise and dramatic fall of this complex North African Kingdom This complete history provides a full account. This is an excellent work of scholarship about one of the least studied and understood “barbarian” groups who invaded the Western Empire in the fifth century – the VandalsThe Vandals are a particularly interesting group for many reasons their “Völkerwanderung” into Gaul then Spain and finally into North Africa is one of the most fascinating episodes of migration in late antiuity I always found it very fascinating how a Germanic barbarian group would successfully establish itself in a completely different cultural and climatic environment it loosely reminds me of the much later Norman establishment in SicilyThe Vandal invasion of North Africa was a pivotal event in the troubled history of the late Western Empire the removal of the important North African tax base from the ever dwindling resource pool of what left of the Western Empire can be arguably considered a very heavy blow if not a fatal blow to its survival prospects The peculiar character of the Vandal polity and the refusal of the Vandals to convert to the Nicene creed is also interesting as it represents an important point of difference to the political stance of the main “barbarian groups” settling in the Empire – and it is uite contrasting to the different path ultimately taken by other Germanic groups such as the Franks the Lombards and the Visigoths who all ultimately converted to the Nicene creed Getting now into the analysis of the book I must stress that the authors' approach is praiseworthy for the rigorous detailed and nuanced analysis of primary sources and recent archaeological findings and for the wide variety of sources taken into account The authors' findings are almost invariably very persuasively argued and supported by convincing evidence The only exception is in a couple of instances where the revisionist tendencies of the authors drive them to push for conclusions that are pretty uestionable and look uite artificial It is important to note that the book implicitly assumes the reader's prior knowledge of the detailed chronological narrative of the fifth century's Western Empire – the primary objective of this book is to analyse in depth the peculiar character of the Vandal State in its religious social political economic and cultural aspects – not that of providing another chronology of the associated militarypolitical events which are treated in the book but not to much detailThe ethnogenesis of the Vandals is very interesting and uite peculiar too as the Hastingi Vandals not “Hastings” as unfortunately anglicized by the authors that migrated from Spain into North Africa was one of the most ethnically heterogeneous groups settled in the Western Empire being composed of many different groups such as Sueves Goths “Hispano Romans” “Gallo Romans” remnants of Alans and othersThe authors depict a very convincing and detailed image of the flourishing state established by the Vandals; it is interesting how the disappearance of the annona and associated state subsidized transport of goods from Africa into the Empire did not significantly affect the North African economy; on the contrary it provided a stimulus to diversify its economy to focus on higher values products and to find new markets as confirmed by recent archaeological evidence The authors also show convincing evidence of the high level of continuity in urban development the classical erosion of cityscape experienced in North Africa was no different to similar transformational phenomena evident in many areas of the Empire especially in the West in economic and trading activity and even in cultural life for example the Vandal occupation left the educational infrastructure relatively unscathed and titles such as “vir clarissimus” were increasingly used by the African municipal elite to mark educational achievements even than social standing The strong integration of the pre existing urban elites into the Vandal court and polity is also persuasively argued Even the legal system was probably in better shape than virtually anywhere else in the Western Empire To complete the picture King Thrasamund has long been recognised as an important supporter of the arts which was at least partially the case for the majority of other Vandal rulers There is also evidence of continued agricultural development including continued exploitation of marginal landsThe authors also highlight how the diplomatic relationship between the Vandal State and the Roman Empire was not just one of constant conflict the first things that normally come to mind when thinking about the Vandals are the ill fated and horribly expensive expedition of AD 468 and the sack of Rome in AD 455 but also of trade cultural exchange and even close relationship which was the case with the accession of Hilderic who after all was through his mother Eudocia the grandson of the late Emperor Valentinian III On the other hand the conflictual relationship between the Nicene Church and the Arian creed of the Vandals is not neglected by the authors There is a detailed and nuanced treatment of this issue and it is uite fascinating to see how the African secular municipal elites generally demonstrated from the beginning a pragmatic approach towards the Vandal state there are many examples of court officials and state functionaries who were of Nicene creed Contrarily to what some authors suggested in the past probably influenced by many primary sources of Nicene Christian origin it appears that the Arian creed of the Vandal elite did not create such a fundamental fracture with the existing African Roman elites as to significantly damage the integrity of the state In conclusion this is a very informative and interesting book of excellent scholarship recommended to anybody who is interested in this intriguing and peculiar “barbarian” group and who has good prior knowledge of the history of the Late Western Roman Empire 45 stars rounded up to 5

review The Vandals

The VandalsOf the Vandals and re evaluates key aspects of the society including political and economic structures such as the complex foreign policy which combined diplomatic alliances and marriages with brutal rai. Brief historical overview of the Vandals Not terribly detailed but discussed themes like culture education and religion

Andrew Merrills Ì 8 free download

The Vandals summary å 8 ✓ The Vandals is the first book available in the English Language dedicated to exploring the sudden rise and dramatic fall of this complex North African Kingdom This complete history provides a full account of the Vandals and re evaluates key aspects of the society including political and economic structures such as the complex forDing; the extraordinary cultural development of secular learning and the religious struggles that threatened to tear the state apart; and the nature of Vandal identity from a social and gender perspective. The history of the Vandals may as well be so unknown because it did not occur in what’s today Europe It can be easy to forget how for hundredth of years the roman world also included all of North Africa and how rather than an “European” world of politics and kingdomsempires there was a Mediterranean world in which politics were as interconnected at the end of times of western Rome as were afterwards rather inland upwards across the continent The book is a perfect read to understand a bit of late antiuity and early medieval history concentrated in Carthage and into the politics of vandal north Africa With a very blurry history prior to the V century and development the book concentrates on the vandals mostly as the entity group that came to rule north African Rome and until its demise under the byzantine restoration of Justinian The authors attempt from the beginning to cut the biased created by popular culture and references in order to address what it is known without the prism of unproved or hard to believe old sources including medieval and modern interpretation of these There is a brief introduction of pre north African vandals using the scarce references of them north of the Danube prior to the 5th century and then recounting their journey across the Rhein alongside other groups Alans and Sueves all the way down through western Hispania and into North Africa to finally concentrate in the kingdom ruled from Carthage It is very interesting to see how the vandals that cross the Gibraltar developed a culture and an “ethnicity” alongside roman in North Africa; embracing Roman forms of administration and transforming its group into a new “vandal” society still differentiated to some extent from the roman population and yet blurry at some instancesThe author dives into the kingdom not as only a series of events but also as an attempt to explain how it worked politically economically religiously and culturally for its 100 odd years of existence The foreign policy of the vandals will also be assessed by presenting their complex relationships with the other main powers in the Mediterranean The western and eastern empires; the later Ostrogothic kingdom in Italy and the Moorish aristocracies around and inside the Kingdom The author’s discussion on ethnicity cultural religious and economic views of the kingdom as a whole and not only of the vandal group is one of the book’s most remarkable features as it goes around politics its leaves plenty of space for this alternative narratives regarding the people who were the vandals and the people who inhabited its north African kingdom how the Arian of the rulers permeated into the nicen orthodoxy of the Christian church of the afro romans; what economic networks existed and what good were traded between the kingdom and its neighbors how roman education continued to be regarded as important and how many urban centers were thrivingOnly the last chapter is a little bit confusing as the “restauration” politics of Justinian are discussed but somehow leave many uestions in how the kingdom further developed under eastern roman rule or how the by that point homogeneous vandal afro roman population reacted to its new overlords But this is also probably due to the lack of reliable sources and data The brief account of the reconuest by Justinian could also respond to this lack of sources or be just another proof of the sudden and fast demise of Gelimer’s Vandal Kingdom