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Biography of King of los vándalos Genserico (400-477)


King of the Vandals hasdingi (428-477), natural son of Godogisdo, brother of Gunderic and father of Huneric. Born about the year 400, possibly at Hispalis (Seville; Spain), and died on January 25, the year 477, in Carthage (Tunisia). As a politician and guerrero, Genseric is considered one of the most notable monarchs of the Germanic peoples that invaded the western part of the Roman Empire. In the course of popular migrations that occurred, vandal coordinated the displacement of the village to the South of the Iberian peninsula, under pressure from the Visigoths, and from Hispania to North Africa, where he founded a short-lived Kingdom that would last until the year 534, when the Byzantine general Belisarius expelled Gelimer, the last Vandal king.

On the death of his brother Gunderico in the year 428, Genseric ascended the throne of the hasdingi vandals and a part of the village of Alans. At the beginning of its mandate, and after defeating the Roman imperial army and a coalition of peoples of the Iberian Southeast, it fell back with his people in the territories of the Bética, which did not hesitate to control all major ports in the region. With a clear vision, political and certainly supported by the knowledge of the unfortunate internal situation were going through the Roman provinces of North African, Genseric quickly embarked on the construction of a powerful fleet to transport all his people to Africa, made up of about 80,000 people (of them only 15,000 warriors). Before leaving, in the year 429 Geiseric confronted the suevi commanded by their King Hermigario, who won in the vicinity of Emerita Augusta (Mérida), in whose battle the Swabian King died on the banks of the Guadiana river. That same year, Genseric and his people landed in North Africa. After the city of hiccup Regis (hippo; Tunisia) to a site of more than one year, in the course of which he died San Agustín, August 28 the year 430, the count Boniface, who ruled the region in the name of the Empress Galla Placidia, yielded the plaza and hastily fled to Italy with the few military forces still available.

Throughout the period that extends between 429 and 439, Genseric became virtual control of all of this region, one of the most romanized of the Roman Empire, which allowed him to organize a Kingdom that would dominate the Western Mediterranean for more than one century. Of the various Germanic peoples, only the vandals managed to exercise effective power over the sea.

Thanks to the Treaty signed on 11 February of the year 435, the Roman Emperor of the West, Valentinian III recognized the Vandals as a town land with Geiseric as an absolute owner of all North Africa, with the exception of the cities of Constantine and Carthage. But, despite the agreement signed, in February of the year 439 Genseric seized by surprise of Carthage, which became their new capital, to continue its expansionist campaign of devastation on the island of Sicily. This new situation forced Valentinian III to sign a new agreement, in the year 442, whereby Rome officially recognized Genseric sovereignty over all the territories conquered by the Vandals to date.

The new domination was terrible for the Roman owners and, at the same time, for the Catholic Church, whose possessions were expropriated in favour of the Arian clergy. From now on, Genseric behave as an implacable enemy of Rome. So, not content with all the power that had accumulated and the recognition of their sovereignty by Rome, in the year 455 Geiseric sent his terrible troops against Rome to the passivity of maximum Petronio Emperor and Pope Leo I. The intercession of the pontiff before Genseric so that this will not set fire to the Holy City or martirizase to its inhabitants, failed to soften the hearts of the Vandal king, since his warriors looted the city for fourteen consecutive days, committing all sorts of atrocities. Genseric returned to Carthage with its ships filled with treasures and, above all, of prisoners, among which were the Empress Eudoxia, widow of Valentinian III, and his daughter, Eudoxia, that Geiseric gave in marriage to his son and successor to the throne Huneric.

After a period of reduced belligerence that coincided with the reign of Majorian (457-461), with whom Genseric started peace talks, in the year 461 of this fleet returned to the attack to inflict a severe defeat to a self-confident fleet of Roman emperors of East and West, Leo I and Anthemius, respectively. With this victory, Genseric and his vandals suddenly became absolute owners of the entire Mediterranean. In its policy of expansionist and decided to take advantage of the weakness of the Roman emperors, Genseric set your next goal in the Greek Islands. In the year 476, the Byzantine Emperor Zeno, with a quite realistic and prudent view of the situation, agreed with Geiseric peace that Byzantium is committed to recognize the sovereignty of vandals throughout North Africa and the Western Mediterranean (Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and Balearic Islands), and not to meddle in the internal affairs of the Germanic Kingdom. For his part, Genseric pledged not to return to try to annex any territory within the Byzantine orbit, that is, all the Territories East of the Greek Islands. To his death the following year, the Kingdom passed to his son Huneric (477-484).

Geiseric established his Kingdom a dual regime based on the division of functions; in the hands of the Vandals, in minority, left the military defense and huge income from expropriated large properties (especially from the Imperial and ecclesiastical domains), while it allowed Roman and native populations continue to enjoy their own laws and magistrates in a subordinate position. In addition, Genseric codified an inheritance system based on transversal lines, the famous vandala tanistry, which made relapse the Crown to the oldest of the Royal family member. But the political and social tensions which the Kingdom was subjected vandal were magnified by the division between Arians and Catholics.


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