The Origins of "The Vandals"

Coined in the early 1900s by a sportswriter on our school newspaper, The Argonaut, because of the way we "vandalized" our opponents, the name was adopted for a team that had no mascot at the time. So, who were the Vandals? Here's a quick look at the barbaric warriors who ruled the roost during the 4th and 5th centuries.

Tom Hanson
The original Vandal, a warrior who defeated the great Roman army.
"And when Bonifacius heard this, he repented of his act and of his agreement with the barbarians, and he besought them incessantly, promising them everything, to remove from Libya. But since they did not receive his words with favor, but considered that they were being insulted, he was compelled to fight with them, and being defeated in battle, he retired to Hippo Regius [modern Bona], a strong city in the portion of Numidia that is on the sea. There the Vandals made camp under the leadership of Gaiseric and began a siege; for Gontharis had already died. And they say that he perished at the hand of his brother. The Vandals, however, do not agree with those who make this statement, but say that Gontharis was captured in battle by Germans in Hispania and impaled, and that Gaiseric was already sole ruler when he led the Vandals into Libya. This, indeed, I have heard from the Vandals, stated in this way. But after much time had passed by, since they were unable to secure Hippo Regius either by force or by surrender, and since at the same time they were being pressed by hunger, they raised the siege. And a little later Bonifacius and the Romans in Libya, since a numerous army had come from both Rome and Byzantium and Aspar with them as general, decided to renew the struggle, and a fierce battle was fought in which they were badly beaten by the enemy, and they made haste to flee as each one could. And Aspar betook himself homeward, and Bonifacius, coming before Placidia, acquitted himself of the suspicion, showing that it had arisen against him for no true cause.

So the Vandals, having wrested Libya from the Romans in this way, made it their own."

Read More

A Partial History of the Vandals.

Another read on the Vandals.

Tom Hanson's Moscow & University of Idaho Historical Images page.

ALL Vandals Top Stories