Vandalic language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Native to Spain, North Africa
Extinct 6th century AD
Language codes
ISO 639-3 xvn
Linguist list
Glottolog None

Vandalic was a Germanic language probably closely related to Gothic. The Vandals, Hasdingi and Silingi established themselves in Gallaecia (Northern Portugal and Galicia) and in Southern Spain, following other Germanic and non-Germanic peoples (Visigoths, Alans and Suevi), before moving to North Africa in AD 429.


By the 1st century CE, the writings of Pomponius Mela, Pliny the Elder, and Tacitus indicate a division of Germanic-speaking peoples into large groupings who shared ancestry and culture. (This division has been appropriated in modern terminology about the divisions of Germanic languages.)

The expansion of the Germanic tribes 750 BC – AD 1 (after the Penguin Atlas of World History 1988):
   Settlements before 750 BC
   New settlements by 500 BC
   New settlements by 250 BC
   New settlements by AD 1

Surviving Vandalic[edit]

Very little is known about the Vandalic language other than various phrases and a small number of personal names of Vandalic origin, mainly known from documents and personal names in Spanish. The regional name Andalusia is believed to be derived from the Vandals[citation needed], according to the traditional view. When the Moors invaded and occupied Spain from the 8th century to the end of the 15th, the region was called "Al-Andalus".

The epigram De Conviviis Barbaris in the Latin Anthology, of North African origin and disputed date, contains a fragment in a Germanic language that some authors believe to be Vandalic,[1][2] although the fragment itself refers to the language as "Gothic". This may be because both languages were East Germanic and closely related; scholars have pointed out in this context[3] that Procopius refers to the Goths, Vandals, Visigoths, and Gepids as "Gothic nations" and opines that they "are all of the Arian faith, and have one language called Gothic".[4] The fragment reads:

Inter "eils" Goticum "scapia matzia ia drincan!"
non audet quisquam dignos educere versus.


Amid the Gothic "Hail! Let's get [something to] eat and drink"
nobody dares to put forth decent verses.

Another Vandalic phrase is found in Collatio Beati Augustini cum Pascentio ariano 15 by Pseudo-Augustine: Froja armes, "Lord, have mercy!"[5]


Though the Vandals did not survive as an ethnic group, in the 16th, 18th and 19th century, the Prekmurje Slovenes of Prekmurje, Somogy, and Vas were believed to be the descendants of the Vandals, and their language the Vandalic language. This caused Hungarian, Latin, and other documents to call the Prekmurian language (dialect of the Hungarian Slovenes and the Prekmurje) Vandalic language.[6] However, Prekmurian is a Slavic language that descended from Slovene, while Vandalic is a Germanic language.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Greule, Albrecht and Matthias Springer. Namen des Frühmittelalters als sprachliche Zeugnisse und als Geschichtsquellen. P. 49-50.
  3. ^ Greule, Albrecht and Matthias Springer. Namen des Frühmittelalters als sprachliche Zeugnisse und als Geschichtsquellen. P. 48
  4. ^ Procopius of Caesarea, THE VANDALIC WAR I,2-8
  6. ^ Francek Mukič - Marija Kozar: Slovensko Porabje, Mohorjeva družba, Celje 1982.