Huneric

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Huneric or Honeric (died December 23, 484) was King of the Vandals (477–484) and the oldest son of Genseric. He dropped the imperial politics of his father and concentrated mainly on internal affairs. He was married to Eudocia, daughter of western Roman Emperor Valentinian III (419–455) and Licinia Eudoxia. She left him, probably in 472. She had one son by him, Hilderic.

Huneric was the first Vandal king who used the title King of the Vandals and Alans. Despite adopting this style, and that the Vandals maintained their sea-power and their hold on the islands of the western Mediterranean Sea, Huneric did not have the prestige that his father Genseric had enjoyed with other states.

His reign[edit]

Although Huneric was a fervent adherent to Arianism, his reign opened with making a number of positive overtures towards the local Roman population. Following the visit of a diplomatic mission from the Eastern Roman Empire led by Alexander, Huneric restored properties seized by his father from the merchants of Carthage.[1] He also lifted the policy of persecuting the local Catholics, allowing them to hold a synod wherein they elected a new Catholic bishop of Carthage, Eugenius, after a vacancy of 24 years.[2] However, not long after the ordination of Eugenius Huneric reversed himself and began to once again persecute Catholics.[3] Furthermore, he tried to make Catholic property fall to the state, but when this caused too much protest from the Eastern Roman Emperor, he chose to banish a number of Catholics to a faraway province instead. On February 1, 484 he organized a meeting of Catholic bishops with Arian bishops, but on February 24, 484 he forcibly removed the Catholic bishops from their offices and banished some to Corsica. A few were martyred, including the former proconsul Victorian along with Frumentius and other wealthy merchants, who were killed at Hadrumetum after refusing to become Arians.[4]

Additionally, Huneric murdered many members of the Hasdingi dynasty and also persecuted Manichaeans.[5] He was succeeded by his nephew Gunthamund (reigned 484–496), and because of his cruelty was little mourned by either the Vandals or their subjects.

Towards the end of his reign, the Moors in the Aurès Mountains (in modern-day Algeria) successfully rebelled from Vandal rule.[6]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Malchus, fragment 13. Translated by C.D. Gordon, Age of Attila: Fifth Century Byzantium and the Barbarians (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1966), p. 125f
  2. ^ Victor of Vita, 2.3-6; translated by John Moorhead, Victor of Vita: History of the Vandal Persecution (Liverpool: University Press, 1992), pp. 25f
  3. ^ Victor of Vita, 2.23-46; translated by John Moorhead, pp. 32-40
  4. ^ Saint Patrick's Church: Saints of March 23
  5. ^ Persecution of the Hasdingi: Victor of Vita, 2.12-17; translated by John Moorhead, pp. 28-30. Persecution of the Manichaeans: Victor of Vita, 2.1-2; translated by John Moorhead, p. 24
  6. ^ Procopius, De Bellus III.8.5. Translated by H.B. Dewing, Procopius (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1979), vol. 2 p. 75
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Genseric
King of the Vandals
477–484
Succeeded by
Gunthamund