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The Vandals sacked Rome, but do they deserve their reputation?

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tags: Rome, ancient history, classics



OVER THE CENTURIES, their name became so interchangeable with destruction that it became its synonym. But it turns out the Vandals, a Germanic tribe that managed to take over Rome in 455, may not deserve that connotation.

The first known written reference to the tribe was in A.D. 77, when Pliny the Elder mentioned “Vandilii.” However, the Vandals’ roots are uncertain, and their early history is contested. They are thought to have migrated into what is now Germany from Scandinavia. They may also have included members of the Przeworsk culture, an Iron Age culture that lived in what is now Poland. Historians think they were farmers and cattle herders.

During the 2nd century A.D., the Vandals began clashing with the Roman Empire. They participated in multiple wars along the Roman frontier, including the Marcommanic Wars along the Danube River, which raged from the 160s A.D. through 180.

Read entire article at National Geographic

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