An Introduction to the Study of the Middle Ages (375-814)

By Ephraim Emerton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IV.
THE VANDALS AND BURGUNDIANS.

AUTHORITIES: -- Procopius: de bello Vandalico, in two books. An
account of the conquest of the Vandals by Justinian, with a
long introductory narrative of the foundation of the kingdom
and the career of Gaiseric. -- Victor Vitensis: historia persecu-
tionis Africanae
. Contemporary account of the Arian persecu-
tion under Gaiseric (c. 479).

MODERN WORKS: -- As above.

WE remember that the Roman armies which met and turned back the first assault of Alaric in Italy, were made up of soldiers hastily called in from their posts all along the historic line of the Rhine and Danube. Thus the frontier was left unguarded, and troop after troop of the barbarians came now pouring into the Empire. We cannot follow them all, but only such as founded states, and thus helped in the making of modern Europe.

Near the Goths, along the Baltic shore, we first hear of the Vandals, and can trace them with some certainty as they move by slow stages in a southeastern and then western course. At the time of the battle of Adrianople they were in Pannonia, on the Danube, where they had long been stationed as faithful allies and defenders of the frontier. The example of Alaric set them in motion. They moved rapidly to the northwest, carrying along with them their kinsmen, the Suevi, and a strange, un-German nation, the Alani. They crossed

The journey of the Vandals 378.

406

-35-

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