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Gunthamund (c. 450-496), King of the Vandals and Alans (484-496) was the third king of the north African Kingdom of the Vandals. He succeeded his unpopular uncle Huneric, and for that reason alone, enjoyed a rather successful reign.
Gunthamund was the second son born to Gento, the fourth and youngest son of Genseric, the founder of the Vandal kingdom in Africa. Because most of Genseric's immediate family was dead, his elder brothers having been murdered by Huneric, Gunthamund found himself as the eldest male member of the family when Huneric died in 484. In accordance with his grandfather's laws on succession, which decreed that the oldest member of the family will be the successor, he was proclaimed king.
Gunthamund benefited throughout his reign from the fact that the Vandals' most powerful rivals, the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, and the Byzantine Empire, were all heavily involved in wars. Although the Vandals' power had fallen off greatly since its zenith under Genseric, they enjoyed peace under Gunthamund. Gunthamund also eased up on the persecutions of the Catholics that had begun under Huneric, a move which eased some of the unrest in his kingdom, and stabilized the kingdom's economy, which was on the verge of collapse under Huneric.
Unfortunately for the Vandals, Gunthamund followed in the footsteps of his immediate family and died rather young, in his mid-forties. He was succeeded by his brother Thrasamund, who was not as effective in ruling the kingdom.
- Oman, Charles. The Dark Ages.
|King of the Vandals