Part of his booty from the sack of Rome had been Valentinian IIFs women his

Part of his booty from the sack of rome had been

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more ambitious, political, agenda. Part of his booty from the sack of Rome had been Valentinian IIFs women: his wife Licinia Eudoxia, and his daughters Eudocia and Placidia. Eudocia was duly married to Geiseric's eldest son Huneric. Probably in 462, Eudoxia and Placidia were freed to go to Constantinople, where Placidia married a Roman senator called Anicius Olybrius, who had fled to the eastern capital to escape the sack. After 462, Geiseric was canvassing for Anicius Olybrius as heir to the western throne. From the Vandal point of view, this would have had the desirable outcome that the next western emperor would have the next king of the Vandals for a brother-in-law: another route to the political acceptance that Geiseric so obviously craved. 22 The history that had brought the Vandals to North Africa was only marginally less respectable, from a Roman point of view, than that which had seen Visigoths and Burgundians installed in Gaul. All three had forced treaties out of the Roman state by military action, or the threat of it; given the choice, the west Roman imperial authorities would rather have had nothing to do with any of them. The real problem undermining Geiseric's bid to be admitted to the immigrant powers" club was not so much past indiscretions per se, but the fact that, while in flagrante, he had come into possession of the richest, most productive provinces of the western Empire. Since the 440s, in addition to the lands he already held in North Africa, he had seized Tripolitania and a number of Mediterranean islands. His annual raids were spreading fear and disorder up and down the Italian coastline. Destroying the Vandals would therefore achieve two highly desirable ends in one fell swoop. It would take out one of the three major barbarian powers established on western soil, and, more important, return an invaluable reservoir of wealth to the imperial treasury. It is worth indulging here in a little counterfactual history. The knock-on effects of a decisive victory over Geiseric, itself far from inconceivable, 23 would have been far-reaching. With Italy and North Africa united, Spain could have been added to the new western power- base. Unlike the Vandal-Alan coalition, the Suevi who had stayed in Spain were no more than a relatively minor irritant. Their power ebbed and flowed according to the amount of Roman resources devoted to the peninsula at any one time, and there is no reason to think that they would have been able to hold out against a full-scale imperial counterattack. Then, once Hispanic revenues had begun to Copyright © ${Date}. ${Publisher}. All rights reserved.
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END OF EMPIRE 397 flow in again, much reconstruction would in turn have become possible in Gaul. At the very least, Visigoths and Burgundians could have been reduced to much smaller enclaves of influence, stripped of some of their more recent acquisitions such as Narbonne and the cities of the Rhone valley. The assertive Bagaudae of the north could likewise have been brought back into line.
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