Page 1074

1074 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.

From this time, for a period of eight years,

the Vandals became the terror of the Mediterranean. The coasts of Spain, Liguria,

Tuscany, Campania, Lucania, Bruttium, Apulia, Calabria, Venetia, Dalmatia, Epirus,

Greece, Sicily, Sardinia, and indeed of all the

countries from Gibraltar to Egypt, were assailed by the piratical craft of Genseric. With

all of his conquests and predatory excursions

the Vandal king showed himself capable of

policy and statecraft. After the capture of

Rome, he took the Empress Eudoxia and her

daughter, Eudocia, to Carthage. He compelled the young princess to accept his son

Hunneric in marriage, and thus established a

kind of legitimacy in the Vandal government.

Eudoxia and her other daughter, Placidia,

were then restored from their captivity.

The separation between the Eastern and

Western Empires had now become so complete that the one could no longer depend

upon the other for succor. The West was

thus left to struggle with the barbarians as

best she might; nor were her appeals for aid

much regarded by the court of Constantinople.

The warlike Count Ricimer, leader of the barbarian armies in Italy in alliance with Rome,

was reduced to the necessity of tendering the

submission of the country to the Eastern Emperor as the condition of protection against

the Vandals.

On his return to his African kingdom,

Genseric again found himself embroiled with

his Catholic subjects. The orthodox bishops

openly disputed with his ministers in the

synods, and the king resorted to persecution

as a means of intellectual conquest. In the

reign of Hunneric, who succeeded his father

in the year 477, the Catholic party was still

more seriously proscribed. Many were exiled,

and a few were tortured on account of their

religious creed. After the death of Hunneric

in 484, the throne descended successively to

his two nephews, Gundamund and Thrasimund, the former of whom reigned twelve

and the latter twenty-seven years.

This period in Vandal history was occupied

with the quarrels and wars of the Arian and

orthodox parties in the Church. Meanwhile,

Hilderic, the son of Hunneric, grew to his majority, and after the death of his cousin

Thrasimund, in 523, acceded to the throne.

His disposition was much more humane than

that of his predecessors, but his goodness was

supplemented by feebleness, arid, after halting

through a weak reign of seven years, he was

supplanted on the throne by his cousin Gelimer. The end of the Vandal power, how-

ever, was already at hand. Partly with a

view to exterminate the Arian heresy, and

partly for the purpose of restoring the supremacy of the Empire throughout the West, Belisarius was dispatched into Africa and intrusted with the work of reconquering the

country. The years 530-534 were occupied

by the great general in overthrowing the dominion established by Genseric south of the

Mediterranean. Gelimer was driven from the

throne, and attempted to make his escape to

the capital of the Visigoths in Spain. He

made his way as far as the inland districts of

Numidia, but was there seized and brought

back a prisoner. In the year 534, Belisarius

was honored with a triumph in the streets of

Constantinople, and the appearance of the

aged Gelimer in the captive train was a notification to history that the kingdom of the

Vandals existed no longer.

The origin and course of the Frankish Nation down to the time of Clovis has already

been narrated in the preceding pages. It

will be remembered that, after their settlement

in Gaul in the beginning of the fifth century,

the Franks were ruled in the German manner

by a noble family, which traced its origin to

the prince Meroveus and was known as the

Merovingian House. The chieftains of this

family were elevated on the bucklers of their

followers and proclaimed kings of the Franks.

They were represented as having blue eyes

and long, flaxen hair, tall in stature, warlike

in disposition. Clodion, the first of these

kings, held his court at a town between Louvain and Brussels. His kingdom is said to

have extended from the Rhine to the Somme.

On his death the kingdom was left to his two

sons, the elder of whom appealed to Attila,

and the younger-Meroveus-to the court of

Rome. Of the reign of Meroveus not much is