This introduction summarizes recent work on Vandal Africa and sets out the fundamental problem with the kingdom. The Vandals’ arrival in North Africa provoked a conflict between groups described by most surviving texts as Catholics and Arians. This conflict led Victor of Vita, the author of the sole detailed contemporary historical account of the kingdom, to portray Vandal rule as persecution, a reign of terror by heretical barbarians. Recent revisionist historiography has salvaged a functioning post-imperial polity from Victor’s apologetic narrative; this introduction shows how the same critical analysis can reshape our understanding of the kingdom’s ecclesiastical controversy.
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