Vandals. Where did that moniker come from? From whom or what is it derived? What does it mean? All good questions to ask.
I seemed to remember that it described a people from ancient times who wantonly destroyed things that belonged to other people. So I looked it up. Voila! The term has been saved by history and means about the same thing today as it did way back then.
The Vandals were a “barbarian” Germanic people who sacked Rome, battled the Huns and the Goths, and founded a kingdom in North Africa that flourished for about a century until it succumbed to an invasion force from the Byzantine Empire in A.D. 534.
The featured image of this post, the “Sack of Rome”, by Karl Briullov, is a painting that hangs in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. It depicts Genseric, king of the Vandals, invading the Roman capital in 455 A.D. That would have been about the time Rome was weak, exhausted and near its end. Rome fell in 476 A.D. and so began the Middle Ages of Western Civilization.
“Vandals”, then and now, are predators who prey on the weak and exhausted. By the early 5th Century that fairly described the Romans and made them vulnerable to barbaric Vandals. Is the state of America today equal to 5th Century Rome. Weak, exhausted, unable to stand up for itself?
Not yet, I’d say. But that could be our future if our leaders don’t soon do their jobs and put a stop to the all the nonsense that pervades us today.
History has not been kind to the Vandals. The name “Vandal” eventually became a synonym for wanton destruction. The sacking of Rome represents the high point of Vandal fortunes. As happens to most criminal gangs, internal squabbles were the undoing of the Vandals and they soon lost all they had gained by looting and violence.
I believe the same will be the inevitable outcome of today’s modern vandals. They will gain nothing and will, I pray, get their just deserts. That cannot come soon enough. All criminal gangs have rivals.