Gunthamund

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Gunthamund (c. 450-496), King of the Vandals and Alans (484-496) was the third king of the north African Kingdom of the Vandals. He succeeded his unpopular uncle Huneric, and for that reason alone, enjoyed a rather successful reign.

Gunthamund was the second son born to Gento, the fourth and youngest son of Geiseric, the founder of the Vandal kingdom in Africa. Because most of Geiseric's immediate family was dead, Gunthamund found himself as the eldest male member of the family when Huneric died in 484. In accordance with his grandfather's laws on the succession, he was proclaimed king.

Gunthamund benefitted throughout his reign from the fact that the Vandals' most powerful rivals, the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, and the Byzantine Empire, were all heavily involved in wars. Although the Vandals' power had fallen off greatly since its zenith under Geiseric, they enjoyed peace under Gunthamund. Gunthamund also eased up on the persecutions of the Catholics that had begun under Huneric, a move which eased some of the unrest in his kingdom, and stabilized the kingdom's economy, which was on the verge of collapse under Huneric.

Unfortunately for the Vandals, Gunthamund followed in the footsteps of his immediate family and died rather young, in his mid-forties. He was succeeded by his brother Thrasamund, who was not as effective in ruling the kingdom.

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