• Germany edition
 
Exhibition explores Vandal legacy
Photo: DPA

Exhibition explores Vandal legacy

Published: 23 Oct 2009 17:35 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Oct 2009 17:35 GMT+02:00

The word “vandal” these days is associated with acts of senseless violence and destruction. However, this new exhibition explores the history behind the actual Vandals, a Germanic civilisation that stretched across Eastern Europe to North Africa in the 5th century. "The Vandal Kingdom" hopes to offer visitors a new perspective on this unfamiliar culture and infamous word.

Curator Astrid Wenzel said the show in Karlsruhe is the first of its kind. “Throughout the world, there has never been such an exhibition about the Vandals,” said Wenzel, who is an archaeologist. The museum employed a ten-strong team to prepare the unique items sent from Tunisia, Algeria, Italy, Spain and the United States.

Click here for a photo gallery of the exhibition.

Despite the Vandals' terrible reputation, Wenzel said the violence they administered across much of Europe was "no worse than other migrating tribes.”

In the 4th and 5th centuries AD, raiding and plundering was the most common way to acquire material assets for various Germanic groups and the rich but weakened Roman Empire seemed particularly appealing to the Vandals. Wenzel said the Vandals performed a "logistical masterpiece" in 429 when 80,000 tribesmen crossed from Spain to North Africa in commandeered ships.

The exhibition shows how the Vandals also adopted the Christian faith on their journey from the area that is today’s Poland, across Germany, France, Italy, Spain and finally to Africa. It features early Christian relics from Tunisia, in addition to some 300 other items, such as stone sarcophagi, precious jewellery, mosaics and ceramics.

The exhibition will runs until February 21.

Related links:

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

00:15 October 24, 2009 by DavidtheNorseman
Gaiseric was a genius, politically and militarily. The Vandals were also much more tolerant of other kinds of Christians than were their enemies (they allowed freedom of worship but exiled priests, whereas their enemies in Rome and Constantinople were always trying to kill everyone not exactly like themselves).
10:05 October 24, 2009 by Nemesis
This expedition is a wonderful idea.

It will educate a lot of people on a time in Germany and European history, of which very little is known.

Bringing Gaiseric into the conscionousness of this generation will help to educate a lot of people and dispell myths regarding history.
11:45 October 25, 2009 by richard_vijay
Guten Gott, at alst an exhibition to show that (at least) one of the ancient Germanic tribes was not the mindlessly violent people characterised by the Church as well folks who hate the Germans.The ancient Germans like their noble and often wronged desendants (the people of Germany) were valours and courageous.
07:06 October 26, 2009 by wood artist
Although we might well find the practices of various "barbarian tribes" abhorrent by today's standards, the fact remains that life was much different then, and the ideas of looting and pillage, not to mention slavery and rape, were viewed much differently.

Without passing moral judgment upon anyone, it's always valuable to learn more about the history that defined us all. The early "Germans" were little different than the early people in most every locale, and it's unreasonable to blame more recent history on the folks who passed through the area centuries before.

I only wish I could be in the country to see this.
07:20 October 26, 2009 by Nemesis
@ richard_vijay,

Agreed.

There was so many Germanic tribes. The rewriting of history so as to placate christians that everything came from Rome, when in fact all that came from there was genocide, destruction and death for entertainment, needs to be challenged.

Arminius or Herman the German, needs to be highlighted to all. His achievement at Teutoburg can not be downplayed.

The history of the Goths, Vandals, Macromani, Lombards, Visigoths, Saxons, Angles, Jutes, Cherusci and all the various other Germanic groupings needs to be shown to all and taught more frequently in schools.

We should learn about our common European heritage in schools and museums and our Celtic, Germanic, Hellenistic and slavic histories in Europe. We should learn the fact that there was once more than a roman empire.

When learning about the roman empire, we should learn about what they did to Dacia, the Hellenes, Gauls, jews and other groups whose entire countries/peoples were laid waste and sold into slavery.

The destruction of technology which still continues today from rome should be highlighted. A good example of this is the antikythera mechanism. See www.antikythera-mechanism.gr and http://www.antikythera-mechanism.gr/node/35 for more information on that. The same mindset that destroyed that technology at the time, still prevails in Rome.
02:46 October 27, 2009 by MAT-CT-USA
This history proves at least one thing. The result of all the invading and subsequent intermarrying and what not leads me to believe that all of us from the United Kingdom over to Greece are related by blood relations.
Today's headlines
Bundesbank warns of ECB 'change of course'
Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann: Photo: DPA

Bundesbank warns of ECB 'change of course'

The head of Germany's powerful Bundesbank sharply criticised what he called a radical new approach by the European Central Bank of easy money, in an interview published Sunday. READ  

MH17 Crash
Families of German MH17 victims to sue
Australian and Dutch investigators examine a piece of debris of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 plane. Photo: EPA/DPA/ Igor Kovalenko

Families of German MH17 victims to sue

Relatives of German victims of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plan to sue Ukraine and its president for criminal negligence for not closing the country's airspace, a lawyer said Sunday. READ  

Sport
Wonder goal puts new boys Paderborn on top
Paderborn players celebrate after defeating Hanover 2-0 to go top of the Bundesliga. Photo: DPA

Wonder goal puts new boys Paderborn on top

Promoted Paderborn went top of the Bundesliga helped by an extraordinary 80-metre goal at Hanover on Saturday as champions Bayern Munich were held to a goalless draw by struggling Hamburg. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Oktoberfest opens to toast millions
Celebrities Carolin Reiber and Marianne Sägebrecht raise their glasses at Oktoberfest 2014. Photo: DPA

Oktoberfest opens to toast millions

Germany's world-famous Oktoberfest kicked off Saturday with the traditional tapping of the first barrel of beer, as millions of revellers are set to soak up the frothy atmosphere in the 16-day annual extravaganza. READ  

Germany plan air lifts to help fight Ebola
A Liberian man holds his daughter as they wait for treatment for suspected Ebola symptoms in Monrovia. Photo: DPA

Germany plan air lifts to help fight Ebola

Germany and France will send military transport planes to West Africa to help efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel and military officials said on Friday. READ  

Germany beefs up asylum rules for Balkans

Germany beefs up asylum rules for Balkans

Germany made it harder Friday for people from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia to apply for asylum after lawmakers classified the three Balkan countries as safe, with respect for basic rights. READ  

German Muslims rally against extremism
Muslims pray in Kreuzberg, Berlin, on Friday outside a mosque which was damaged in an arson attack. Photo: DPA

German Muslims rally against extremism

Muslims across Germany held a day of prayers and rallies on Friday to condemn both Islamic extremism and a backlash against their faith that has seen arson attacks on mosques. READ  

German military flight to Iraq starts with a hiccup
The trainers on the air strip in Hohn, Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: Bundeswehr.

German military flight to Iraq starts with a hiccup

Military trainers flew to northern Iraq from Germany on Friday, ahead of a huge delivery of weapons from the German military, but things didn’t initially go as planned. READ  

Munich gets four Euro 2020 matches
Photo: DPA

Munich gets four Euro 2020 matches

UPDATE: Munich will play host to four Euro 2020 games, European football’s governing body Uefa announced in Geneva on Friday, but London was the real winner. READ  

Driver, 18, ploughs into school pupils
The scene by the bus stop outside the school in Diepholz. Photo: DPA

Driver, 18, ploughs into school pupils

An 18-year-old drove into a group of students outside a school in western Germany on Friday morning, injuring several. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Culture
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,348
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd