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This arcticle has many problems. As indicated by others, the article should appear under the name Gaiseric/Geiseric. His year of birth and especially the location (Lake Balaton) are completely speculative. There is no source giving us either information. All we know is that he died in old age and that he was born east of the Rhine. The information about the size of his people (80,000) relies on sources that have probably been misinterpreted. The number was most likely significantly smaller. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:29, 23 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This is good, if a little breathlessly enthusiastic about the Vandals. Why is it 'Gaiseric' all the way through if the entry is under 'Geiseric'? Create a new one and redirect. I removed much 'fall of the Western Empire' language - specialists have tossed out that idea. Specifically, the article makes two weird mistakes that I removed - first, it had Geiseric doing well, and then 'only to see' the collapse of the Vandal kingdom after his death. I rewrote that. Second, it had: "and lived to see the fall of the western empire that he had bedeviled for a half-century." Even if one accepted the 'decline and fall' model (which I do not, and I have a Ph.D. in the period), Geiseric died in 477. Romulus Augustus was only deposed in 476, and in 477 no one had any way of knowing that there wouldn't be another widely recognized person holding the title of Emperor in the West until 800. MichaelTinkler

Geiseric is one of three accepted spellings for his name. Gaiseric is the one I most often see, but you also see Genseric a lot, as well as Geiseric. And some people say it doesn't mean "Caesar-king", but "spear-king". There's also some dispute about the year he was born; it was either 389, 390, 400 or 406. I went with Caesar and Gaiseric in the original, and since there are contemporary accounts that he died in his 87th year, that means either 389 or 390 is most likely correct. But who knows? That would make him 65 when he sacked Rome and 78 when he defeated Basilicus, and that seems rather old. He must have had whatever secret to youth that Narses had. John

I believe Geiseric should be pronounced as if it was/is spelled Gaiseric by native English speakers. That is how you'd naturally tend to pronounce Geiseric in German, as well as in Danish, anyhow. So there might be an inherent method to the madness. -A Dane

As a German, I'm not sure what you mean. Geiseric in German is usually spelt "Geiserich" (I don't distinctly remember a different spelling) following the trend in German historiography to write all Germanic rulers that end on -ricus in Latin as -rich. Now the "Gei" syllable in German would intuitively be pronounced like the English word "guy", as would "Gai" - there is no real difference in pronounciation between the two in German. Does anyone happen to know how either "Gaiseric" or "Geiseric" would be pronounced in classical Latin? And talking about that, what do most late Roman sources call him?

Agreed. 'Gei' is pronounced almost exactly as the english word 'guy', in German and in Danish. But when you write 'Gei' a native English speaker would (I believe) be more likely to pronounce it as 'gay', whereas 'Gai' to a native English speaker would tend to suggest 'guy', which seems more correct to both the German and Danish intuitive reading. That's all I was saying. -Same Dane

I've taken out the "Caesar-king" definition, as this is surely a folk etymology based on superficial similarity. I don't think there's any doubt in modern linguistic circles that the name should be interpreted as a native Vandal formation whose first element means "spear". Gerhard Koebler -- whose first name, coincidentally, contains the West Germanic variant of the word -- cites a number of parallels in his Gotisches Woerterbuch (Gothic Dictionary): Gaiswalds, Gesalacus, Gesimund, Gesiulf, Radagaisus, Unigis, ON Gesualdo [ ]. Both elements occur together elsewhere in Germanic, e.g. Old Norse 'Geirrekr' (Reykdæla saga). Similarly, the final element -ric appears independently in the names of other Vandal kings, and is another standard Germanic naming element. I'm not aware of any other Vandal names in which a Latin 'c' has been replaced by 'g', or how this could be explained in terms of known sound changes, or of any parallels among the Vandal royal names that would support the Caesar hypothesis. -- Dependent Variable.

Vandalic was an east-Germanic language, so Gothic spellings are probably more relevant than German ones. No offense. And in Gothic Gai- would sound more-or-less like English Guy- but Gei- would sound more like English Key- but with an initial G. (talk) 01:17, 27 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No Gothic or East Germanic spelling of Gaiseric's name survived. It can, however, be easily reconstructed as "Gaisereiks". However, the Gothic or East Germanic form is entirely irrelevant for the history of the Vandals or of Gaiseric. All we have are the latinized forms of his name, i.e. Gaisericus, Geisericus and Gensericus. Both elements of his name are Germanic. Gais-/Geis- is the East Germanic form of common Germanic Ger- meaning spear. The second part of his name is common in all Germanic dialects, i.e. -ric meaning king.

What is also irrelevant is the translation of his name as "Spearking", even though the elements are translated correctly. The elements should not be read together. Germanic nameing practice treated the elements completely independently, often following family tradiditions.

Since some nationalistic Slavs claim the Vandals to be Slavs, the only relevance of the Gaiseric's name is to add to the mountain of linguistic proof, that the Vandals were Germanic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tejas552 (talkcontribs) 11:48, 23 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Rod of God"?[edit]

Is there any real source for this cognomen? The reference given is to an unsourced claim on someone's personal genealogy page, which also includes the false claim that Geiseric married Valentinian's widow. —Abou 02:59, 5 July 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Something is wrong with this article[edit]

When Genseric took Carthage, we hear, the reasonable Genseric didn't bother much about the Catholics, he just let them be Catholics and went about the perfectly reasonable business of using the Roman fleet at Carthage to establish himself in the Mediterranean. He required of someone, we hear - his own regime? that they be Arians. The article does not really say who. Well, I dare say, the whole meaning of the word vandal must be a big mistake! With reasonable men like that in power, who would want to contend against them? The only trouble is, the article leaves out a few things, such as murder, torture, rape, exiles, executions, parades of nude, beaten and mutilated women through the streets and a few other minor affairs such as that. What are those bewteen us reasonable Germanics, is that the idea? He wasn't so bad. We wonder why Victor Vitensis ever bothered. What was all the furor? Maybe someone better start checking a few sources. I don't notice any in here. The furor! The furor!Dave (talk) 15:53, 7 September 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Vandals did nothing in capturing Carthage that any invading army would not have done in the year 439. There was nothing notable or unusual about it. There was no such thing as a Geneva Convention or international law in the fifth century. In fact, by the standards of that era, the Vandals were not notably cruel in their victories and conquests. Did they persecute Catholics? Yes, but the Romans at that time were persecuting Arians, Manicheans, Monophysites, people who still followed Greco-Roman paganism, and basically anybody else who disagreed with whoever the Emperor was. Gaiseric did require that people in his government's service be Arian. So what? The Romans required they be Catholic, unless it was some mercenary chief with a lot of troops they couldn't do without. Jsc1973 (talk) 05:21, 8 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Invasion of Rome[edit]

A book I've read states that Genseric invaded Tome because Petronius Maximus took Valentinian's duaghter Eudocia as his daughter-in-law even though she had been engaged to Genseric's son Huneric since age 5. In addition, though Genseric agree to Pope Leo's request of not burning down Rome and not partaking in massacre, the Vandals took thousands of prisoners and looted all of Rome.

Nardo, Don ed. "The End of Ancient Rome." Turning Points in World History. Green Haven Press, San Diego: 2001. pages 84-85 PakoPenguin (talk) 17:30, 28 March 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I thought the form "Genseric" was thought to derive from manuscript corruptions, like "Jornandes" and "Odoacer"? (talk) 01:18, 27 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why are Slavicised forms included?[edit]

Are they any more relevant than the usual English form (Gaiseric) or whatever the Spanish, Berber, and Arabic forms are? (talk) 01:20, 27 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Godzimirek or Gniewomirek are his slavic names, because we all know vendals and luzian sorbs and alans are slavic tribes. by deleting his names, they, "germans", try to change history. the same way as romans and greeks do. (talk) 12:22, 1 July 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Slavicised forms should be excluded?[edit]

In the ancient sources the name is rendered as Gaisericus, Geisericus and Gensericus. These are all Germanic, in fact East Germanic forms. Gais-/Geis- is the East Germanic form of common Germanic Ger- meaning spear. The second part of the name -ric is the well known word for king. Indeed, all Vandalic royal names are Germanic (e.g. Godegisel, Gunderic, Hilderic, Thrasamund, Gunthamaund, etc.) and the few remaining fragments of Vandalic proves that they spoke East Germanic, i.e. a dialect very similar to Gothic.

Removed wartime propaganda/pseudohistory[edit]

The "further reading" section listed Bigelow's Genseric: King of the Vandals and the First Prussian Kaisar, but I removed it because Gaiseric had nothing to do with Prussia and Bigelow is just so wrong about so much when making that connection. (talk) 03:23, 27 April 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Real Name?[edit]

Curious what his real name was? Clearly not "Genseric". I am guessing the "ric" is likely "rich", but what about the prefix? (talk) 15:21, 7 January 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

His name in Latin was Gaisericus; maybe Gaisa-reiks.-- (talk) 16:26, 10 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If his name was Gaiseric (as it clearly was), why is this article entitled 'Genseric'? Djwilms (talk) 02:29, 15 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Because it seems he is known in English as Genseric. LordAtlas (talk) 01:44, 17 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Google Scholar actually gets more hits for "Geiseric" (1560 hits) than for "Genseric" (1510); "Gaiseric" also gets 657 hits. So on first approximation, it seems like he is in fact named by most scholarly sources as "Geiseric". Rwenonah (talk) 13:23, 17 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Well, they're nearly tied. Someone chose this one for a reason. Maybe times have changed. Who knows? LordAtlas (talk) 23:09, 17 May 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oldest available text is titled "Genseric" and never refers to "Genseric". No sign of a reason. (talk) 00:29, 14 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Requested move 14 November 2018[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved. (non-admin closure)Ammarpad (talk) 09:27, 21 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

GensericGaiseric – 1. Gaiseric is a generally-accepted form. Geiseric is also. Either would be an improvement. 2. The oldest available text of this article only uses "Genseric" in the title. 3. For Gaiseric: Guy Halsall uses Gaiseric in Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West. On Google scholar, since 1918, excluding patents and citations, "Gaiseric" Vandals -Vandalism gets 521 results. 4. For Geiseric: Peter Heather uses Geiseric in Fall of the Roman Empire. On Google scholar, since 1918, excluding patents and citations, "Geiseric" Vandals -Vandalism gets 442 results. 5. For Genseric: seems to predominate among older 19th and early-20th century sources. On Google scholar, since 1918, excluding patents and citations, "Genseric" Vandals -Vandalism gets 412 results. (talk) 00:29, 14 November 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Mass Reversions of Wikilinks Here[edit]

Since the move, I've tried to correct the name on articles which link here, unless the context (names of paintings, etc.) favors Genseric over Gaiseric or is unclear. I can't do that on semi-protected articles, and I am getting mass-reversed when I do that elsewhere. Is anyone else having similar trouble? (talk) 17:46, 3 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

... And on this article, where it was also reversed. (talk) 17:48, 3 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion about use of name in other articles[edit]

Please see this discussion which is a proposal to replace Genseric with Gaiseric in other articles about the Vandals. Thanks. No Great Shaker (talk) 10:57, 27 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]