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(more correctly Gaiserich). A king of the Vandals, was the illegitimate son of Godigiselus, succeeding his brother Gonderic in A.D. 429. In the same year he left Spain, which had been partly conquered by the Vandals, and crossed over into Africa, at the solicitation of Boniface, governor of that province, who had been induced, by the arts of his rival Aetius, to rebel against Valentinian III., emperor of the West. Boniface soon repented of the step he had taken, and advanced to meet the invader. But his repentance came too late. The Moors joined the standard of Genseric, and the powerful sect of the Donatists, who had been bitterly attacked by the Catholics, assisted him against their adversaries. Boniface was defeated, and obliged to retire into Hippo Regius, where he remained till he obtained a fresh supply of troops. Having ventured upon a second battle, and being again defeated, he abandoned the province to the barbarians, and sailed away to Italy. Hippo Regius fell after a siege of thirteen months, and was sacked with an almost infernal fury, which laid waste indiscriminately churches, fields, and houses, and earned for the name of Vandal the enduring infamy which a proverb can confer. A peace was concluded between Genseric and the Emperor of the West, by which all Africa to the west of Carthage was ceded to the Vandals. This peace, however, did not long continue, and the city of Carthage was taken by the Vandals, by surprise, A.D. 439. The Emperors of the West and East made great preparations for the recovery of the province, but an alliance which Genseric made with Attila, king of the Huns, effectually secured him against their attempts. Genseric's next object was the formation of a naval power. An immense number of ships were built, and his fleets ravaged the shores of Sicily and Italy. (See Attila.) Invited by the empress Eudoxia, he sailed up the Tiber, A.D. 455, and permitted his soldiers, for the space of fourteen days, to pillage Rome. In A.D. 460 he destroyed the fleet which the emperor Majorian had collected for the invasion of Africa; and, as his power increased, his ravages became more extensive. The island of Sardinia was conquered, and Spain, Italy, Sicily, Greece, Egypt, and Asia Minor were plundered every year by the Vandal pirates. Leo, the emperor of the East, at last resolved to make a vigorous effort for the recovery of Africa. A great army was assembled, and the command was given to Basilicus. He landed at Bona, and at first met with considerable success, but was at length obliged to retire from the province. After this victory Genseric met with no further opposition, but remained undisturbed master of the sea till his death, which happened A.D. 477. He was succeeded by his son Hunneric. Genseric was an Arian, and is said to have persecuted the Catholics with great cruelty (Procopius, De Bell. Vand.; Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chaps. xxxiii.-xxxvi.). See Vandali.

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