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Huneric was the first Vandal king who used the title King of the Vandals and Alans. Despite adopting this style, and that of the Vandals of maintaining their sea-power and their hold on the islands of the western Mediterranean, Huneric did not have the prestige that his father Genseric had enjoyed with other states.
Huneric was a son of King Genseric (or Gaiseric), and was sent to Italy as a hostage in 435, when his father made a treaty with the Western emperor Valentinian III. Huneric became king of the Vandals on his father's death on 25 January 477. Like Gaiseric he was an Arian, and his reign is chiefly memorable for his persecution of Catholic Christians in his dominions. Eudocia
, daughter of Valentinian III, was Huneric's wife.
Huneric was a fervent adherent to Arianism. Yet his reign opened with making a number of positive overtures towards the local Roman population. Following the visit of a diplomatic mission from the Eastern Roman Empire led by Alexander, Huneric restored properties seized by his father from the merchants of Carthage
. He also lifted the policy of persecuting the local Catholics (Nicene Christians), allowing them to hold a synod wherein they elected a new Catholic bishop of Carthage, Eugenius
, after a vacancy of 24 years.
However, not long after the ordination of Eugenius, Huneric reversed himself and began to once again persecute Catholics. Furthermore, he tried to make Catholic property fall to the state, but when this caused too much protest from the Eastern Roman Emperor, he chose to banish a number of Catholics to a faraway province instead. On February 1, 484 he organized a meeting of Catholic bishops with Arian bishops, but on February 24, 484 he forcibly removed the Catholic bishops from their offices and banished some to Corsica. A few were executed, including the former proconsul Victorian along with Frumentius and other wealthy merchants
, who were killed at Hadrumetum
after refusing to become Arians.
Among those exiled was Vigilius
, bishop of Thapsus, who published a theological treatise against Arianism.
A 17th century engraving depicting the death of Huneric from putrefaction by Jan Luyken
Upon his death on December 23, 484, Huneric was succeeded by his nephew Gunthamund, who reigned until 496. A lurid account of Huneric's death by putrefaction and "an abundance of worms" is included in the Historia persecutionis Africanae Provinciae, temporibus Genserici et Hunirici regum Wandalorum
(History of the African Province Persecution, in the Times of Genseric and Huneric, the Kings of the Vandals), written by his contemporary, Victor Vitensis, although it is probable that this particular section was added at a later date.
Hunericopolis, the Catholic Metropolitan Archbishopric Hadrumetum renamed after him
- ^ One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Hunneric". Encyclopædia Britannica. 13 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 932.
- ^ Malchus, fragment 13. Translated by C.D. Gordon, Age of Attila: Fifth Century Byzantium and the Barbarians (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1966), p. 125f
- ^ Victor of Vita, 2.3-6; translated by John Moorhead, Victor of Vita: History of the Vandal Persecution (Liverpool: University Press, 1992), pp. 25f
- ^ Victor of Vita, 2.23-46; translated by Johp Moorhead, pp. 32-40
- ^ Saint Patrick's Church: Saints of March 23
- ^ Persecution of the Hasdingi: Victor of Vita, 2.12-17; translated by John Moorhead, pp. 28-30. Persecution of the Manichaeans: Victor of Vita, 2.1-2; translated by John Moorhead, p. 24
- ^ Procopius, De Bellus III.8.5. Translated by H.B. Dewing, Procopius (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, 1979), vol. 2 p. 75
- ^ Victor of Vita: History of the Vandal Persecution. Translated by Moorhead, John. Liverpool University Press. 2006. p. xvi. ISBN 0-85323-127-3.
This page was last edited on 29 April 2021, at 16:24