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Ruler: Vandals of North Africa
Reigned: c. 520 AD
Denomination: AE 10mm Nummus
Obverse: Crude diademed head right
Reverse: monogram
Weight: 1.1 gms
Diameter: 9.6 mm
Comment: Barbarous copy of Justin I


The Vandals were an ancient Germanic tribe living in Jutland (now in Denmark), who migrated to the valley of the River Oder about the 5th century BC. During the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD they settled along the Danube. They entered Gaul in 406, invaded Spain in 409 where they fought against both the Visigoths (another Germanic tribe) and the Romans. Gaiseric became king of the tribe in 428, and under him the Vandals achieved their greatest power. They moved to North Africa the following year and there defeated the Romans. Gaiseric's sovereignty was recognized by the Roman Emperor Valentinian III in 422. The Vandals settled in what is now Algeria and northern Morocco by 435 and conquered Carthage in 439. Their navy ruled the western Mediterranean, and they looted and plundered in Italy, including Rome in 455. Vandals were followers of Arianism, and dealt severely with Orthodox Christians. Their power began to decline after Gaiseric's death in 477, and in 534 they were defeated by the Byzantine general Belisarius. The modern word vandal reflects the looting and pillaging of Rome.

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