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A History of the Vandals Hardcover – June 12, 2012

3.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

TORSTEN CUMBERLAND JACOBSEN is a former curator of the Danish Royal Arsenal Museum. He is the author of The Gothic War: Rome’s Final Conquest in the West, also available from Westholme Publishing.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Westholme Publishing; 1 edition (June 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594161593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594161599
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,152,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In 455 AC the king of the Vandals Geiseric was called to Rome by the widow of the emperor Valentinian III against the usurper Petronio Massimo. "Geiseric was true to his word and did not destroy the buildings. Also, we hear nothing of killings. Despite the negative connotation their name now carries, the Vandals conducted themselves much better during the sack of Rome than did any other invading barbarians" (p. 143).
Attributing a tendency to irrational violence to the Vandals is a relatively recent linguistic habit. The term `vandalism' (from which the verb vandalize came) was coined in 1794 by the French republican abbot Grégoire de Blois to stigmatize some actions of the army against buildings and men of Church. In 1798 the term was inserted in the Dictionnaire de l'académie française. The dictionary Webster distinguishes between the adjective Vandalic, which names the ancient ethnic group, and that vandalistic, which names the criminal action. After detecting in the consulted sources on the Vandalic kingdom the prevalence of spiritual elements and the absence of an irrational use of violence, I assert that the noun `vandalism', the verb `vandalize' and the adjective `vandalistic' should disappear in English and in other languages. The use of force can be considered natural, legal and rational if one reacts to a harm or to an attempt at harming. Language is not reality and can be changed according to reality.
The Vandals tried to assert Arius' truth developed in the Hellenistic Alexandria, the capital of science in that age, which negated divinity to the Jewish Jesus of Nazareth.
Between 455-534 AC they occupied Gallura, where I live, and Corsica.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great reading about the Northern (European) Germanic tribes moving south and west into "France", "Spain" and then to North Africa for the Vandals. Otherwise not much more than what Procopius reported in 532-533 in the War against the Vandals - the core of Torsten book! - Anyway interesting reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a engaging book on a much maligned sub Gothic culture who carved their way through Europe. It focused on all of the verified historical documentation of the combined two known tribes who founded a Kingdom in Africa.
It is a good reference as well as an enjoyable read. I look forward to another book by Torsten.
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Format: Hardcover
Like anyone attempting a credible narrative of events during the times of the Vandals, Jacobsen must resort to a multitude of plausible likelihoods in order to construct a coherent text, which especially involves evaluation of the credibility of the few and biased ancient sources on various subjects; if Jacobsen if free with conjecture, he at least does provide a readable narrative that contains much of interest, and a plausible history by the standards of the general reader, though various scholars may well dispute this and that point ad infinitum. In any case, no scholar, no matter how erudite and learned, can reconstruct an ironclad history of the Vandals: too much is simply forever lost to history (thank you, book-burning religious boneheads).

Jacobsen often discounts and moderates exaggerated assertions by the ancient chroniclers and panegyrists, and it must be quite frustrating for an author to continually discount the sources upon which he is utterly reliant. If I were he, I think I also might have discounted the claim that the vast fleet assembled by Justinian for reconquest of Africa all congregated in the Sea of Marmara (or Golden Horn) before departing for Carthage, seeing that most of the vessels were recruited from Cilicia and Egypt. When we consider the perils of navigation and the extreme difficulties and expense of provisioning the thousands of troops and sailors, it doesn't seem to stand to reason that they would be required to go from Alexandria to Constantinople merely to receive the emperor's blessing, before turning around and sailing to Carthage (during which time they suffered many casualties).
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