Back to the Vandal Kingdom

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by ValiantKnight, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. ValiantKnight

    ValiantKnight MMDCCXLV A·V·C Supporter

    Life got a bit busy for me these past few weeks so I hadn't had much free time for posting besides promoting my sales. But things seem to be slowing down so it looks like I'll have more time to dedicate to the ancients forum.

    Without further adieu I want to share a couple of Vandal (not "barbarous") nummi I picked up recently. It's always tough to fully attribute these little Vandal bronzes on account of the often poor condition they are in, and these are only a level or two above that. I am however very certain they depict the rulers I believe they depict.

    The first is a ruler I didn't have before, Thrasamund, who ruled from 496-523 AD. On my coin more-or-less preserved is a part of the obverse legend "DN RC" (or RG according to Helvetica's spreadsheet- I think it is more likely RG since it would most likely stand for the Latin "Rege" or "king", but RC is what I have found in the few other sources I've found that mention this type), which is found on coins of the later Vandal kings such as Thrasamund and Hilderic. The full legend on Thrasamund's coin of this type is "DN RC/RG TRSA". On my coin I believe I see the T and also the R and A to the right of the bust. The helveticas spreadsheet only records the DN RG/Victory advancing for Thrasamund and Hilderic, with Hilderic's version of this type having a reverse legend consisting of "VICTO", so mine not having a reverse legend must mean mine is indeed Thrasamund.


    Thrasamund, Vandal Kingdom
    AE nummus
    Obv: D N RG TRSA, pearl-diademed, draped bust right
    Rev: Victory advancing right, holding wreath, cross to right(?)
    Mint: (North Africa, probably Carthage)
    Ref: MIB Vandals 16

    Thrasamund was the fourth king of the Vandals and Alans. His grandfather Gaiseric had led his people in Hispania and had brought them to conquer and settle in Roman North Africa, making Carthage the capital of the kingdom. By 496 AD, of Gaiseric's male family, only Thrasamund and another male grandson were still alive. Due to a law passed by Gaiseric, the eldest male would inherit the throne, so that made Thrasamund the new king, succeeding Gaiseric's youngest son Gunthamund.

    During his reign, around the year 500, Thrasamund entered into an alliance with Ostrogothic king Theodoric in Italy by marrying Theodoric's widowed sister Amalafrida. This gained for Thrasamund Lilybaeum in Sicily and a retinue of elite soldiers. But Thrasamund failed to hold up his part of the alliance by not helping to fend off the Byzantine fleet during its assaults on southern Italy. Thrasamund also had to deal with the troublesome Berbers, who were often raiding towns and cities under his control. The most notable victim of these attacks was the city of Leptis Magna.

    Thrasamund managed to win favor with the Eastern Roman Empire by ending Vandal persecution of Catholic Romans (Thrasamund and the Vandals were Arian Christian). He was, according to Procopius, "a very special friend of the Emperor Anastasius."

    Thrasamund died in 523 AD and his cousin Hilderic became king.


    The second coin is a freebie the seller was very kind to have sent along with the Thrasamund (he knows I am passionate about the early Germanic coins). It is the Hilderic with cross-in-wreath reverse, a type I've shown before. If you look closely you can see where the D from his name (in the upper left corner of the obverse) broke/flaked off, leaving a sideways D-shaped patch in the patina.

    Here is my informative thread on Hilderic:


    Hilderic, Vandal Kingdom
    AE nummus
    Obv: HILD [REX], pearl-diademed, draped, cuirassed bust right
    Rev: Cross potent within wreath, ring above
    Mint: Carthage (struck 523-530 AD)
    Ref: BMC Vandals 9

    Map of the Vandal Kingdom:

    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
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  3. Mikey Zee

    Mikey Zee Delenda Est Carthago

    Very interesting synopsis and coin examples V-K !!!

    I'm still missing coins of the Vandals or any others that the Germanic tribes may have issued....but I will pick up a few as time moves on----the only 'tribe' coin I have is of a Celtic/Gaulish tribe centuries earlier...

    To fill out the history of the Roman empire, in my opinion, one has to have an example or two of coins of the type you posted.
  4. ValiantKnight

    ValiantKnight MMDCCXLV A·V·C Supporter

    Or to fill out the history of Carthage. Hannibal must have been laughing in the afterlife when the Vandals took Carthage and made it an enemy (for most of the time, anyways) of the Romans again.
    Andres2 and Mikey Zee like this.
  5. stevex6

    stevex6 Random Mayhem

    Fricken Vandals!! (they tossed rocks through our bus-stop window!!)

    ... but man, they sure make cool coins, eh?

    Date: 523-533 AD
    Size: 20.26 mm
    Weight: 6.28 grams
    Obverse: Soldier standing facing
    Reverse: Head of horse left, XXI in exergue
    Attribution: MEC 45

    Vandal Horse.jpg

    ... great new pickup, Jango (congrats => I'm pretty sure that you're happy with this new dawg, considering that you're unloading a few of your other sweet coins!!)
  6. ValiantKnight

    ValiantKnight MMDCCXLV A·V·C Supporter

    A little something I like to call, "a German vacation in Africa":

    Johndakerftw, Orfew, Pishpash and 3 others like this.
  7. Ancientnoob

    Ancientnoob Money Changer

    You know someone got a sun burn!
    ValiantKnight likes this.
  8. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    All the more reason to worship Belisarius :smuggrin:

    Renovatio Imperii for life!

    Nice piece of history VK, congrats!
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
  9. ValiantKnight

    ValiantKnight MMDCCXLV A·V·C Supporter

    Thanks Magmax. I'm a fan of renovatio imperii also but not so much its execution by Justinian. And yes, I consider Belisarius one of the best Roman generals :)

    If you want a great account of Belisarius and his campaigns I recommend you pick up this (it also covers the Vandalic War and its aftermath):

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2015
  10. Eng

    Eng Senior Eng

    Very nice Jeff, love your new pickups and always great info...well done!!:)
  11. seth77

    seth77 Well-Known Member

    Very nice focus area. At some point I also wanted to start a foray into the coinage of the Germanic kingdoms of Europe and Africa but my main interests in late roman and medieval Hungarian leaves no time for other venues.
    Congratulations on the new coins!
  12. Magnus Maximus

    Magnus Maximus Dulce et Decorum est....

    Noted. Thanks!
  13. Valens

    Valens New Member

    North Africa-Vandals
    Coin from the set
    Clearly bigger. Weight 1.3 g
    Thrasamund?[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  14. HBrider

    HBrider Member

    Vandals weren't exactly the best coin makers, were they? But I love the history behind the coins. And I love the punk band The Vandals. I have a King Hilderic coin i'll post when i'm home.
  15. gsimonel

    gsimonel Well-Known Member

    Interesting thread. I have two questions about the OP coins. What are the size and weights? The first coin is referenced to "MIB Vandals." What is this reference?
  16. Valens

    Valens New Member

    Nummus AE4 Weight 0.5. and 0.6 g. The Carthage Mint 523-530
    References: MEC 24-25, MIB21, BMC Vandals149-10
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Weight: 07 g and 0.5 g of the Carthage Mint
    Attribution: Vandals, Gelimer? -Wroth 26, 68ff or Murice Tiberius W.Hahn, M.Metlich 134a, 134b or Justinian

    Weight: 0.7 g of the Carthage Mint
    Attribution: MSV 185-191, BMC Vandals 16-172, MEC 1

    Weight: 0.5 g of the Carthage Mint
    Attribution: MEC 1,13-14; BMC Vandals 150-1
  17. Valens

    Valens New Member

    Nummus AE4 Weight: 0.6 g, 0.5 g, 0.6 g, 0.5 g, 0.9 g Mint of Carthage 496-523
    References: MEC 1,31-2, BMC Vandals 37-41
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Valentinian III

    RIC X 2148 (C) Weight 1.1g Mint: Carthage,Rome?
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    And one more
  18. Valens

    Valens New Member


    These coins were stolen and did not reach me
    Beautiful sets :(:(:(
    Same seller
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    randygeki likes this.
  19. Valens

    Valens New Member

    Next from North Africa (Vandals)

    Valentynian III

    RIC 2163 Weight 1g. Mint Rome ,Karthage?
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    randygeki, Alegandron and Bing like this.
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