The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe who in 429 under king Genseric entered Africa and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, Malta and the Balearics. In 455, they sacked the city of Rome. Their kingdom collapsed in the Vandalic War of 533_4, in which Justinian I managed to reconquer the Africa province for the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire. Renaissance and Early Modern writers characterized the Vandals as barbarians, 'sacking and looting' Rome. This led to the use of the term vandalism, to describe any senseless destruction, particularly the barbarian defacing of artworks. However, modern historians tend to regard the Vandals during the transitional period (from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages) as perpetuators, not destroyers, of Roman culture.
Contributions by Wiglaf, Fastifex, and Szopen.