Geiseric the Statesman: A Study of Vandal Foreign Policy

A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the Division of the Humanities in Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philo

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A study of the foreign relations of the Vandal Kingdom in North Africa should extend at least from the accession of the Vandal King Geiseric in Spain in 428 to the end of the Vandal Kingdom in 533.

Because of the vast scope of such an undertaking,

I have ended the current study with the death of Geiseric in 477. I will probably extend my investigation to the year 533 before attempting publication. During the preparation of this dissertation I received considerable assistance from many members of the faculty of the University of Chicago.

Professors Edward L. Bassett, Richard T.

Bruère, and Benedict Einarson helped me interpret many a difficult passage in the sources.

Professor Eric Hamp aided me in dealing

with certain problems of German nomenclature.

Professor Walter

Kaegi gave me valuable help on many difficult points of Byzantine history.

I am particularly indebted to Professor Stewart I. Oost

for suggesting the topic to me and for providing critical and bibliographical assistance at every stage of preparation.


For a dissertation of this size, proofreading is an extremely difficult chore.

My father-in-law, Walter S. Wagner,

and my wife, Dorothy Helen, not only undertook this task, but also contributed many helpful suggestions regarding the content of my work.


TABLE OF CONTENTS Page P R E F A C E ................................................. LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS...................................

iii v

Chapter I.

THE I N V A S I O N ..................................



TOWARD C A R T H A G E ................................


C A R T H A G E .......................................



THE WARY E N T E N T E ..............................



R O M E ...........................................

I 38




A P P E N D I X ...............................................


LIST OF R E F E R E N C E S .....................................






Acta sanctorum.


Acta conciliorum oecumenicorum.

Acta synhodorum habitarum Romae

Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Acta synhodorum habitarum Romae a. CCCCXCVIII, DI, DII. MGH:AA, XII (1894), 393-455.

Adn. ad Cyclos Dion.

Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Adnotationes antiquiores ad cyclos dionysianos. MGHiAA. IX (1892), 749-56.


L'année épigraphique.

Anec. Paris.

Cramer, J. A. (ed.). Anecdota graeca e codd. manuscriptis Bibliothecae Regiae Parisiensis. 4 vols. Oxford, 1839-1841.

Aug. Ep.

Goldacher, A. (ed.). S. Aureli Augustini hipponiensis episcopi epistulae. CSEL, Vol. LVII, 1911.

Ps.-Aug. Serm. ii de symb.

Migne, J. P. (ed.). Sermo il de symbolo ad catechumenos. P L , XL (1887), 637-52.

________ .

Serm. iii. de symb.

Migne, J. P. (ed.). Sermo iii de symbolo ad catechumenos. P L , XL (1887), 651-60.

Serm. iv de symb.

Migne, J. P. (ed.). Sermo iv de symbolo ad catechumenos. PL, XL (1887), 659-68.

. ““



Contra Jud.

________ .· De cant, nov.

________ · De ult, quart, fer.

________ · De cat.

________ . De acced. ad gratiam i .

________ . De acced. ad gratiam ii.

Migne, J. P. (ed.)· Serroo de symbolo contra Judaeos} Paganos et Arianos. PL, XLII (1886), 1117-30. Migne, J. P. (ed.). De cantico novo sermo ad catechumenos. PL, XL (1887), 677-86. Migne, J. P. (ed.). Sermo de [ultimal quarta feria sive de cultura agri dominici. P L , XL (1887), 685-94. Migne, J. P. (ed.). De cataclysmo sermo ad catechumenos. P L , XL (1887), 693-700.

Mai, A. (ed.). Sermo de accedentibus ad gratiam i . Nova patrum bibliotheca, I (1852) , 251-64.

Mai, A. (ed.). Sermo de accedentibus ad gratiam il. Nova patrum bibliotheca. I (1852), 264-74.

________ .

Adv, quinque haer.

Migne, J. P. (ed.). Tractatus adversus quinque haereses, seu contra quinque hostium genera. PL, XLII (1886), 1101-16.

________ .

De temp, barb, i.

Migne, J. P. (ed.). De tempore barbarico i. P L , XL (1887), 699-708.

________ .

De temp, barb, ii.

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Bed. Chron.

Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Bedae Chronica. MGH:AA. XIII=Chron. Min.. III (1898), 223-354. vi

Ps. Bonif. E£.

Migne, J. P. (ed.)· PseudoBonifatii Epistulae. PL, XXXIII (1865), 1095-98.


MUller, C. (ed.). Candidi isauri fragmenta. FHG, IV (1868), 135-37.


Schwartz, E.

Cassiod. Chron.

Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Cassiodori Senatoris Chronica. MGH:AA, XI* Chron. Min., II (1894) , 111-61.

Cassiod. Var.

Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Cassiodori Senatoris Variae. MGH:AA. XII (1894), 1-385.


Bekker, I. (ed.). Georgii Cedreni Historiarum compendium. CSHB, XXXIV-XXXV, 1838-39.

Chron. Caesaraug.

Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Chronicorum caesaraugustanorum reliquiae. MGHrAA, XI=Chron. Min.. II (1894), 221-23.

Chron. Gall.

Chron. Min., I, II, III

(ed.). Capreoli e p isco p i C a rth a g in ie n sis e p is tu la ad ephesinam synodum. AC O , Tom. I, II (1925-1926), 65-65; Tom. I, III (1929), 81-82; Tom. I, I, Pt. 2 (1927), 52-54.

Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Chronica gallica. MGHrAA, IX=Chron. Min., I (1892), 611-66. Monumenta Germaniae historica: Auctores antiquissimi, IX (1892), XI (1894), XIII (1898).

Chron. Pasch.

Dindorf, L. (ed.). Chronicon paschale. CSHB. Vols. XVI-XVII, 1832.


Corpus inscriptionum latinarum. vii

Cod« Just,

Cod. Theod.

Krliger, P. (ed.)· Corpus iuris civilis. Vol. II: Codex iustinianus. Berlin, 1929.

Mommsen, T h ., and Meyer, P. ( e d s .) . Codex theodosianus . 2 vols. Berlin, 1905.

Computus C a r th a g in ie n s is

Krusch, B. ( e d .) .



Mommsen, Th. (ed.).



Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Consularia italica. MGH:AA» IX=Chron. Min., I (1892), 249-339.


Computus C a r th a g in ie n s is siv e De ra tio n e paschae. Studien zur c h r i s t l i c h m it t e la lt e r lic h e n Ch ron olo gie: Der 84-jährige Ostercyclus und seine Quellen, pp. 279-97. Consularia co n sta n tin o p o lita n a . MGH:AA» IX=Chron. M in ., I (1892), 197-247.

Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum.


Corpus scriptorum historiae byzantinae.


M illie r, C . ( e d .) . D exippl athéniensis fragmenta. FHG, III (n.d.), 666-87.


Dictionnaire d'histoire et


géographie e c c le s ia s t iq u e s . Ennod. Vit. Epif.


Vogel, F. (ed.).

Magni Felicis Ennodi V ita E p ifa n i b e a tis s im i v i r i e p isco p i t ic in e n s is e c c l e s i a e . MGH:AA, VII (1895), 84-109.

B id e z, J . , and Parm entier, L. (eds.). The Ecclesiastical History of Evagrius with the Scholia. London, 1898. viii

Exc. de ins.

De Boor, C. (ed.)· Excerpta historica iussu Imp. Constantini Porphyrogeniti. Vol. III: Excerpta de insidiis* Berlin, 1905.


de leg. Rom.

De Boor, C. (ed.). Excerpta historica iussu Imp. Constantini Porphyrogeniti. Vol. I, Pt. 1: Excerpta de legationibus Romanorum ad gentes. Berlin, 1903.


de leg, gent.

De Boor, C. (ed.). Excerpta historica iussu Imp. Constantini Porphyrogeniti. Vol. I, Pt. 2: Excerpta de legationibus gentium ad Romanos. Berlin, 1903.

Ferrand. V i t . F u lg .

Lapeyre, G. G . ( e d .) . V ie de S a in t Fulgence de Rüspe. Paris, 1929.


Müller, C. (ed.).

F iebiger-Schmidt

Fiebiger, 0., and Schmidt, L.

Fragmenta h isto rico ru m graecorum.

Inschriftensam m lung zur G esch ich te der Ostgermanen. Fiebiger

Fiebiger, 0. Inschriftensammlung zur Geschichte der Ostgermanen:

Neue F o lg e . Fredegar.

Krusch, B. (ed.). Chronicarum quae dicuntur Fredegarii Scholastici libri IV. MGH:SRM, II (1888), 1-168.

Gennad. De vir, ini.

Richardson, E. (ed.). Gennadii massiliensis Liber de viris inlustribus * (MTexte und Unter­ suchungen zur Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur," Vol. XIV, Pt. 1, 1896), pp. 57-97.


Greg. Magn. Dial.

Moricca, U. (ed.). Gregorii Magni Dialogi libri IV. ("Fonti per la storia d'italia," Vol. LVII.) Rome, 1924.

Greg. Tur.

Krusch, B., and Levison, W. (eds.). Gregorii episcopi turonensis Libri historiarum X . MGHrSRM, Vol. I, Pt. 1, 1951.

Honorat. Ep. Cohort.

Ruinart, T. (ed.). Honorati Antonini ep. constantinensis Epistula cohortatoria ad Arcadium. Historia persecutionis Vandalicae, pp. 209-12.


Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Hydatii Chronicon. MSH:AA, XI=Chron. Min., II (1894), 13-36.



________ .

Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Isidori Iunioris Chronica. MGH:AA, XI* Chron. Min.. II (1894), 424-81.

Hist. Goth. Vand. Sueb.

Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Isidori Iunioris Historia Gothorum Wandalorum Sueborum. MGH:AA, XI* Chron. Min., II (1894), 241-303.

Joh. Ant.

MUller, C. (ed.). Johannis antiocheni fragmenta. FH G , IV (1868), 534-622.



Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Jordanis de origine actibusque Getarum. MGH:AA, V (1882), 53-138.



Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Jordanis de origine actibusque Romanorum. MGH:AA, V (1882), 1-52.

Kal. Carth.

Migne, J. P. (ed.). Kalendarium Carthaginiense. P L , XIII (1845), 1219-30. X


Droysen, H. (ed.). Landolfi Sagacis Additamenta ad Pauli historiam romanam. MGH:AA, II (1879), 225-376.

Latere. Reg. Wand.

Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Laterculus regum Wandalorum et Alanorum. MGH:AA, XIII=Chron. Min., III (1898), 456-60.

Leo Sera.

Migne, J. P. (ed.). S . Leonis Magni Sermones. PL, LIV (1881) , 141-468.

Lib. Gen.

Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Liber pontificalis. MGH:GPR, Vol. I, Pt. 1, 1898.

Lib. Prom.

Braun, R. (ed.). Livre des promesses et des prédictions de Dieu. 2 vols. Paris, 1964.


Schwartz, E. (ed.). Liberati diaconi Carthaginiensis Breviarium causae Nestorianorum et Eutychianorum. AC O , Tom. II, V (1936), 98-141.


Dindorf, L. (ed.). Johannis Malalae Chronographia. CSHB, Vol. XV, 1831.


Müller, C. (ed.). Malchi philadelphensis fragmenta. IV (1868), 111-34.



Bekker, I. (ed.). Constantini Manassis Breviarium historiae metricum, CSHB, XXIX (1837) , 1-308.


Mansi, G. D. (ed.). Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio.


Marcell. Com.

Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Marcellin! Comitis Chronicon. MGH:AA. XI“ Chron. Min.. II (1894) , 60-104.

Mar. Avent.

Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Marii episcopi aventicensis Chronica. MGH:AA, XI=Chron. Min.. II (1894), 225-39.

Mart. Hier.

Quentin, H . , and Delehaye, H. (eds.). Martyrologium hieronymianum. AASS, Vol. II, Pt. 2 (November, 1931).


Vollmer, F. (ed.). FI. Merobaudis reliquiae. MGHrAA, XIV (1905),

1- 20. MGH:AA

Monumenta Germaniae historica: Auctores antiquissimi.


Monumenta Germaniae historica: Gesta pontificorum romanorum.


Monumenta Germaniae historica: Scriptores rerum merovingicarum.

Nestor. Lib. Her.

Driver, G. R., and Hodgson, L. (trans.). Nestorius: The Bazaar of Heracleides. Oxford, 1925. Also: Nau, F. (trans.). Le Livre d'Heraclide de Damas. Paris, 1910.


Migne, J. P. (ed.). Nicephorii Callisti Historia ecclesiastica. PG, CXLV (1865), 557-1132; CXLVI (1865), 9-1274; CXLVII (1865), 9-448.

Notitia Dignitatum

Seeck, O. (ed.). Notitia dignitatum: Accedunt notitia urbis constantinopolitanae et laterculi provinciarum. Berlin, 1876.

Not. Prov.

Halm, C. (ed.). Notitia provinciarum et civitatum Africae. MGH:AA, III (1878), 63-71. xii

Nov. Val.

Meyer, P., and Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Novellae Divi Valentiniani Augusti. Codex Theodosianus, II, 69-154.


Millier, C. (ed.). Olympiodori fragmenta. FHG, IV (1868) , 57-68.


Zangemeister, C. (ed.). Pauli Orosii Historiarum adversum paganos libri VII. CSEL. V (1882), 1-600.

Paul. Diae. Hist. Rom.

Crivellucci, A. (ed.). Pauli Diaconi Historia romana. ("Fonti per la storia d'italia," Vol. LI.) Rome, 1914.


Migne, J. P. (ed.). Patrologiae cursus completus: Series graeca.

Phot. Bibl.

Henry, R. (ed.). Photlus; Bibliothèque. Paris, 1959- .


Migne, J. P. (ed.). Patrologiae cursus completus : Series latina.


Weiskotten, H. T. (ed.). Sancti Augustini Vita scripta a Possidio episcopo. Diss.; Princeton, 1919.


Millier, C. (ed.). Prisci panitae fragmenta. FHG, IV (1868), 69-110.

Procop. De aed.

Haury, J . , and Wirth, G. (eds.). Procopii Caesariensis opera omnia. Vol. IV: De aedificiis libri V I . Leipzig, 1964.



Haury, J . , and Wirth, G. (eds.). Procopii Caesariensis opera omnia. Vol. I: Bellum persicum (1963), pp. 1-304.



Haury, J . , and Wirth, G. (eds.). Procopii Caesariensis opera omnia. Vol. I: Bellum vandalicum (1963), pp. 306-552. xiii


Mommsen, Th. (ed.). Prosperi Tironis Epitoma chronicon. MGH:AA, IX=Chron. Min., I (1892), 385-485.


Paully, A. von, Wissowa, G. et al. (eds.). Real-Encyclopédie der classischen Altertumswissen­ schaft.

Salv. De gub. Dei

Halm, K. (ed.). Salviani presbyteri massiliensis Libri de gubernatione Dei. MGH:AA, I, Pt. 1 (1877), 1-108.

Sidon. Carm.

Loyen, A. (ed.). Sidoine Apollinaire: Poèmes. Paris, 1960.

Sidon. Ep.

Luetjohann, C. (ed.). Gai Solii Apollinaris Sidonii Epistulae. MGH:AA, VIII (1887), 1-172.


Adler, A. (ed.). Suidae Lexikon. 5 vols. Leipzig, 1928-38.

Svn. Sath.

Sathas, K. N. (ed.). Synopsis Sathas. ΙΓ^σα ιωνική βιβλιοθήκη________ , VII (1894), 1-556.

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De Boor, C. (ed.). Theophanis Chronographia. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1883-1885.

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Of all the rulers of the Vandals, King Geiseric^ stands out as the one whose abilities in dealing with the Roman Empire most closely approached those of a statesman.

Under his leader­

ship, which extended from 428 to 477, Geiseric's people evolved from a confederation of somewhat nautically-oriented barbarians in Spain into a distinct political organism which had Carthage in North Africa as its base and which controlled the seas, at least in the western Mediterranean.

From the point of view of the Roman

Empire, Geiseric's reign spanned a period of crisis for the east­ ern half and of disintegration for the western half.

Indeed, when

he died in early 477, Geiseric had outlived the imperial succession

^For Geiseric's career, cf. Otto Seeck, s .v. "Geisericus," R E , VII (1912), 935-45. I have adopted the well-attested "ei" spelling for the first syllable of his name. Cf. Ferdinand Wrede, Ueber die Sprache der Wandalen: Ein Beitrag zur germanischen Namenund Dialektforschung ("Quellen und Forschungen zur Sprach- und Culturgeschichte," Vol. LIX; Strassburg, 1886), s.v. "Geisartx," pp. 56-60; and M. Schönfeld, Wörterbuch der altgermanischen Personenund Völkernamen (Heidelberg, 1911), s.v. "Gaisaricus," pp. 99-101. Similarly, for Geiseric's son Huniric, I have adopted the wellattested "i" for the second syllable. Cf. Wrede, s.v. "Hûnarîx," pp. 63-64; and Schönfeld, s.v. "Hunirix," pp. 143-44. 1

2 of the Roman Empire in the West by about five months. It is the purpose of this dissertation to investigate the features and motives of Geiseric's relations with the eastern and western halves of the Roman Empire, and with various barbarian peoples whose actions affected his dealings with the Romans.


an investigation involves the somewhat free use of certain terms regularly used in connection with diplomatic history.

The phrases

Mforeign policy," "balance of power," "diplomatic relations" and others like them do not carry the same connotations for interchange between Romans and barbarians in the fifth century as they do for modern diplomacy.

For example, neither the Romans nor the Vandals

of the fifth century maintained the regular contact which is characteristic of diplomatic relations today.

Both Vandals and

Remans, however, possessed the essence of a foreign policy:


sustained an underlying basic direction of activity and relation­ ship in their interchange with one another, whether the manifesta­ tions of that interaction were peace, war, or something in between these two extremes.^

Hence there is some justification of the use

of modern terminology to apply to less sophisticated foreign rela­ tions. When Geiseric became King in 428, his people had over half

^1 have adopted a modified version of the definition in Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (Springfield, Mass. , 1961), s .V. "foreign policy."

3 a millennium of migrations behind them.

The conglomeration of

tribes called the Vandals apparently originated in Scandinavia. About 100 B.C. they left their homeland and installed themselves in the plains of the upper Oder River.

Within this group there

were two confederations which came to monopolize the name "Vandal." The first, the Hasdings, extended itself in the direction of the Dniester River, and during the second century A.D. took refuge in the area around the Tisza River in Hungary under the pressure of the Gothic migrations.

It is possible that after settling in this

area the Hasdings became converts to the Arian faith, thus laying the foundation of the religion of the Vandals in Spain and North Africa.

The second confederation, the Silings, maintained itself

in Silesia.

Shortly after the Hunnish invasion of Europe in the

fourth century, some tribes of the Alans living in the lower Danube area moved westward, causing the Hasdings to abandon their quarters to the northeast of the province of Pannonia.

In the course of

their westward displacement, the Hasdings and Alans drew along some tribes of the Silings and the Sueves. At the end of 406 this assemblage of peoples crossed the Rhine River into Gaul.

After inflicting severe damage there, the

barbarians crossed the Pyrennees in 409 and overran Spain.


imperial government in the West recognized their presence in Spain by negotiating a treaty in 412, whereby the Hasdings obtained as their place of habitation the eastern part of the province of

4 Gallaecia; the Sueves received western Gallaecia; the Silings settled in Baetica; and the Alans established themselves in Lusi­ tania and Hispania Carthaginiensis. imperial service as foederati.

All these peoples entered into

The imperial government soon took

steps, however, to weaken or eliminate the power of these new arrivals in Spain.

During the period 416-418 the Visigothic King

Wallia entered into imperial service and all but annihilated the Silings and the Alans.

The remnants of these peoples joined with

the Hasdings; henceforth the monarch of this coalition of peoples took the title rex Vandalorum et Alanorum.

Shortly after this

amalgamation, the Vandals, as these united peoples are commonly called, moved into southern Spain, and by 422 established themselves firmly in Baetica.*

*For the origins of the Vandals down to their establishment in Spain, cf. Christian Courtois, Les Vandales et 1 'Afrique (Paris, 1955), pp. 11-51. For the Vandal occupation of Spain, cf. Manuel Torres, "Los Vandalos y Alanos; los Cuadosuevos," Historia de Espana, ed. Ramon Menéndez Pidal, III (Madrid, 1940), 17-25; Courtois, Vandales, pp. 51-58; and Ludwig Schmidt, Geschichte der Wandalen (2d ed.; Munich, 1942), pp. 21-30=H. E. del Medico (trans.), Histoire des Vandales (Paris, 1953), pp. 29-40. Hereafter, pagination in the French translation of the second edition will appear in parentheses after that of the original second edition. The decisive event for Vandal control of Baetica was the defeat of the Roman general Flavius Castinus in Spain in 422. Cf. Hydat. 77 (Chron. Min., II, 20), as dated by Chr. Courtois, "Auteurs et scribes: Remarques sur la chronique d'Hydace," Byzantion, XXI (1951), 23-54. Hereafter I follow Courtois' rather than Mommsen's chronology for Hydatius, un­ less otherwise indicated. For Castinus' defeat and its significance, cf. Schmidt, Wandalen, pp. 26-27 (36).

5 The proper starting point for an investigation of Geiseric's foreign policy is not the year 428, when he became King, but the year 425, when the Vandals under King Guntharic, Geiseric's prede­ cessor, began turning their attention beyond Baetica, their im­ mediate habitat.^- The basic source for their activities beginning in 425 is the Spanish chronicler Hydatius.

According to Hydatius,

in the year 425 the Vandals pillaged the Balearic Islands; then, after destroying Carthago Spartaria (Cartagena) and Hispalis (Seville) in the provinces of Hispania Carthaginiensis and Baetica, and after thoroughly plundering the Spains, they invaded Mauretania.

As it

stands, Hydatius' information bristles with chronological uncertain­ ties.

Did the Vandals raid the Balearic Islands, plunder a good 3

deal of Spain and invade Mauretania, all in 425?

Or is Hydatius

summarizing events beginning in 425 and extending over the next four years

^For Guntharic, cf. Courtois, Vandales, App. Ill, No. 7, p. 393. ^Hydat. 86 (Chron. Min., II, 21), s.a. 425: "Vandali Baliaricas insulas depraedantur deinde: Carthagine Spartaria et Hispali eversa et Hispaniis depraedatis Mauritaniam invadunt." O Schmidt, Wandalen, p. 27, n. 2 (36, n. 3), for instance, asserts categorically that the Vandals raided the Balearic Islands and Mauretania in 425. 4As Courtois, Vandales, p. 56, η. 3, suggests. Courtois points out that the Chron. Gall, a. DXI 584 (Chron. Min., I, 659), which copies Hydatius here, groups the same· events under the year 429.


The evidence is in favor of the latter interpretation. While Hydatius probably indicates that the Vandals did in fact raid the Balearic Islands in 425,^ his subsequent entries regarding the Vandals in Spain make it clear that in the earlier passage under discussion he is summarizing the last days of the Vandals in Spain, thus indulging in a common practice of fifth-century chroniclers.


Hydatius is not a good source for a Vandal "invasion"

or even a raid on one of the Mauretanias in 425, although one cannot dismiss the possibility.

3 The so-called Chronica Gallica,

1The bothersome part of Hydat. 86 (Chron. Min.» II, 21) is the phrase "Vandali . . . depraedantur deinde. . . . " The phrase can either mean that following the accession of Valentinian III as Augustus on 23 October 425 (cf. Hydat. 85, Chron. Min., II, 21), the Vandals pillaged the Balearic Islands; or it can signify that the Vandals plundered the Balearic Islands, and after that turned their attention to Seville, Cartagena, and Mauretania. The latter interpretation is preferable. In either case, however, a date of 425 for a Vandal raid on the Balearic Islands is possible. 2Cf. Hydat. 89, 90 (Chron. Min. , II, 21), s.aa. 428 and 429. Compare especially Hydat. 86, s.a. 425, where Seville is "destroyed," with Hydat. 89, s.a. 428, where Seville is "captured." In all probability, the Vandals "captured" Seville in or shortly before 428, and "destroyed" it before crossing over to North Africa in 429. ^The Chron. Gall, a. CCCCLII 98 (Chron. Min. , I, 658), s.a. 425, indicates that in 425 Carthage was fortified with a wall for the first time since 146 B.C. In general, cf. Auguste Audollent, Carthage romaine, 146 av. J.-C.-698 ap. J.-C. (Paris, 1901), pp. 154-57. The margin of chronological error for this chronicle is only two years at most for the period 424-450. The termini post and ante quern for the fortification are thus probably 423-427. Cf. Oswald Holder-Egger, "Untersuchungen Uber einige annalistische Quellen zur Geschichte des fünften und sechsten Jahrhunderts," Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft fUr altere deutsche Geschichtskunde, I (1876), 13-120, 213-368, at 119. The Chron. Gall, is not specific

7 Victor of Vita,^ and a treasure buried at Cartennae (Ténès) in Mauretania Caesariensis


all give inconclusive evidence of a raid

on one of the Mauretanias in ca. 425. as to what caused the walls to be built ca. 425. It is possible that a Vandal raid in one of the Mauretanias was the impetus. HansJoachim Diesner, Der Untergang der römischen Herrschaft in Nordafrika (Weimar, 1964), p. 43, n. 108, is perhaps on firmer ground in dating the event to 424, and taking it to be one of the defense measures of Count Boniface against the usurper John (see below, p. 1Î). ^ict. Vit. i. 1 (MGH:AA. III, Pt. 1, 2) states that "it is now the sixtieth year" since the Vandals "reached the boundaries of Africa." This information would be extremely valuable if one knew exactly when Victor wrote his work. Chr. Courtois, Victor de Vita et son oeuvre: Etude critique (Algiers, 1954), pp. 5-22, main­ tains that the bulk of the evidence points to composition in 484 prior to the death of the Vandal King Huniric on 22 December of that year, in which case a Vandal incursion did "touch the boundaries of Africa" in 425 (425+59=484). But (continues Courtois) there are difficulties to this interpretation: Victor does not use the term "Africa" in the strict sense to embrace the Mauretanias. Hence (states Courtois) it is more likely that Victor is referring to the invasion of 429, and that his work underwent revision in 489 or 490 (cf. esp. Courtois, Victor, pp. 11, 17). To add to the difficulties, Courtois' assessment is not entirely convincing. Cf. Pierre Courcelle, Review of Courtois' Victor. Revue des etudes latines, XXXIV (1956), 362-65. 2 * The treasure of Cartennae (Ténès), discovered in 1936, has recently received excellent publication by Jacques Heurgon, Le trésor de Ténès (Paris, 1958). The treasure consists of three gold fibulae, the gold fittings of three belts, four gold bracelets (one inlaid with precious stones), two gold lockets, one gold brooch, one silver flask, and one bronze vase handle. Heurgon, pp. 75-79, et passim, maintains that there are three distinct possibilities for the date of burial: (1) ca. 420-425, (2) ca. summer 429 (see below, p. 3