Gunderic

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Gunderic (Latin: Gundericus; 379–428), King of Hasding Vandals (407-418), then King of Vandals and Alans (418–428), led the Hasding Vandals, a Germanic tribe originally residing near the Oder River, to take part in the barbarian invasions of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century.

History[edit]

He was a son of King Godigisel, the Hasdingi's Vandal king when his people breached the Rhine river frontier of the Empire on the last day of 406. During that year, the Vandals had become heavily involved in a war with the Franks, who were already settled as allies of the Romans, and who attempted to keep the Vandals out. Godigisel was killed in the fighting and Gunderic succeeded him.

Gunderic and his people ultimately crossed the Pyrenees into the Iberian Peninsula. With the Hasdingi portion of the Vandals he established the Kingdom in the Roman province of Gallaecia (north-western Iberia).

Conflicts with the Suebi drove him into Baetica in the south of Hispania, where he joined the surviving Silingi portion of the Vandals. They were later driven out by the Visigoths, along with the Alans and were forced to leave Hispania.

Around 418 (or 426), Attaces, the king of the Alans, fell in battle against the Visigoths, who at the time were allies of Rome, in Hispania, and most of the surviving Alans appealed to Gunderic. Gunderic accepted their request and thus became King of the Vandals and Alans.

Late in his reign, the Vandals themselves began to clash more and more with the Visigothic federates, often getting the worse of these battles because the Visigoths were so much more numerous. Having seen the Gothic campaign recalled in 427, and the Western Empire once more embroiled in another civil war, Gunderic became more ambitious and captured the city of Seville in 428 and began the preparations needed to make it into a capital. Hydatius writes that in 428 Gunderic laid "hands on the church of that very city, by the will of God he was seized by a demon and died." It is unclear how Gunderic died, however it is theorized that Hydatius' writing was in reference to Gunderic's attempt to convert a Catholic Church to an Arian church. The attempt was short-lived: not long after his attempt to seize the church in Hispalis, he unexpectedly died. After Gunderic died early in 428, the Vandals elected his half-brother Genseric as his successor, and Genseric left Iberia to the Visigoths in favor of invading Roman Africa.

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Godigisel
King of the Vandals
407–428
Succeeded by
Genseric