With this organization, under the popes Zosimus, Boniface and Celestine the Roman Church came into conflict on somewhat trivial grounds, and was, on the whole, being worsted in the struggle, when the Vandal invasion of Africa took place, and for nearly a century to come the Catholic communities were subjected to very hard treatment.
There is no evidence for its survival in Italy or Africa after the fall of the Ostrogothic and Vandal kingdoms, while in Spain it is doubtful whether the Visigoths retained their language until the Arabic conquest.
Through his generals Ardoburius and Aspar he waged two fairly successful wars against the Persians (421 and 441), and after the failure of one expedition (431) by means of a gigantic fleet put an end to the piracies of the Vandal Genseric. A Hunnish invasion in 408 was skilfully repelled, but from 441 the Balkan country was repeatedly overrun by the armies of Attila, whose incursions Theodosius feebly attempted to buy off with everincreasing payments of tribute.
The wrongs of Hilderic, a Catholic, and with the blood of Theodosius in his veins, afforded to Justinian a long-coveted pretext for overthrowing the Vandal dominion, the latent weakness of which was probably known to the statesmen of Constantinople.
Theodoric gave back Lilybaeum to the Vandal king Thrasamund as the dcwry Sicily and kidnapping that followed them, filled the Mediter of his sister Analafrida (Proc. Bell.
The battle did not reflect any great credit either on Byzantine or Vandal generalship. It was in fact a series of blunders on both sides, but Belisarius made the fewest and victory remained with him.
In the 5th century, under Vandal dominion, it declined in importance.
In 428 or 429 the whole nation set sail for Africa, upon an invitation received by their king from Bonifacius, count of Africa, who had fallen into disgrace with the court of Ravenna Gunderic was now dead, and supreme power was in the hands of his bastard brother, who is generally known in history as Genseric, though the more correct form of his name is Gaiseric. This man, short of stature and with limping gait, but with a great natural capacity for war and dominion, reckless of human life and unrestrained by conscience or pity, was for fifty years the hero of the Vandal race and the terror of Constantinople and Rome.
But they lived on, suffering with their orthodox brethren in the Vandal invasions of the 5th century, and like them finally disappearing before the Saracen onslaught two centuries later.
Gelimer, who was strangely ignorant of the plans of Justinian, had sent his brother Tzazo with some of his best troops to quell a rebellion in Sardinia (that island as well as the Balearic Isles forming part of the Vandal dominions), and the landing of Belisarius was entirely unopposed.