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A member of a Germanic people that ravaged Gaul, Spain, Rome (455), and North Africa in the 4th–5th centuries, destroying many books and works of art. They were eventually defeated by the Byzantine general Belisarius (c.505–65), after which their North African kingdom fell prey to Muslim invaders.

The name is recorded in English from the mid 16th century; from the mid 17th century, the word vandal is used for a person who deliberately destroys or damages public or private property.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).

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