The Vandals And The Decline Of Mediterranean

Navigation Essay, Research Paper


439 Gaiseric an

Vandals conquer Carthage with a fleet they had been using for destructive raids

on Sicily. Romans try to make agreements with Gaiseric, he broke, and 3

unsuccessful expeditions to try and get it back. ?

Persistently pillaged

Sicily in fifties and sixties 0 took land Sardinia, Baleari, Corsica etc.? Rome in 455.? Eventually put down by Justinian in 533 huge fleet, not naval power,

but land logistics. ?

Rouge – Gradual

decline shipping in Med from 3rd century? – decline before Vandals foregone conclusion.? Linked to virtual disappearance of effect

military fleet. Capable of policing the waters.? Vandals, with piracy, step into this vacuum. ?

Hodges and Whitehouse

? show some trade, maybe small flotillas but re-emergence of trade end 5th

century coincides with Vandal peace ? Justinian?s wars of reconquest that

really slowed trade ?

Vandal domination of

Western waters was a political and military problem, not an economic or

commercial one ? linked to decline in Med. Navigation as this allowed Vandals

to operate without obstruction at sea.?

Economic point of view Justinian?s war entirely indispensable ? peace

with Vandal realm contributed to relative prosperity under Anastasius in B. and

Theoderic in West at turn 5th century. ?

Long run ? military

and political view Eastern emperors, imbued with Roman heritage, could not take

peace and stability of Eats procured at expense of cessation of its stern part

to forces beyond Constantinople?s control. ?

Vandals more of a

psychological factor ? like piracy on BCE ? sharpened awareness of importance

Mediterranean in minds of people who dreamt of Roman unification. ?

Justinian: intolerable

dilemma – urge to reconquer Empire greater than political convenience.? Attempt to reconquer tore apart economic

fabric of Mediterranean basic.? West

suffered first but then East itself suffered, vulnerable to attacks from

neighbours. ?

Sassanid Persians

still most dangerous enemy.? B relations

with SP and commitments in MB totally linked ? made a confrontation between

these two great power os late antiquity entirely unavoidable.


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