Northern Africa 435: Treaty of Hippo Regius

Political map of Northern Africa on 11 Feb 435 (Africa and Rome Divided: Treaty of Hippo Regius), showing the following events: Recall of Bonifatius; Battle of Rimini; Aetius vs Sebastianus; Rugila’s Danubian crisis; Treaty of Hippo Regius.

In 434, feeling threatened by the Huns, the Eastern Roman Empire recalled its general Aspar and his troops from Africa, where they had been campaigning against Gaiseric’s Vandals. As this left Africa vulnerable, the Western generalissimo Aetius made peace with the Vandals in early 435 by granting them land and recognizing them as Roman foederati.

This map has in-depth notes in the Journal, exclusive to Patrons on Classical Tier and above. Find them in the events descriptions, marked with the Journal icon .

Main Events

432 Recall of Bonifatius

Taking advantage of the powerful general Aetius’ absence on the Rhine, the Western Roman empress regent Galla Placidia recalled Count Bonifatius from Africa in early 432, leaving the African command in the hands of the Eastern Roman general Aspar. Upon arriving in Rome, Bonifatius was promptly promoted to comes et magister utriusque militiae—the most powerful military office in the Western Empire—and Aetius was officially stripped of his command and position at court. As Aetius was of course still at large with his army in Gaul, these political actions effectively triggered a civil war between the two generals. in wikipedia

432 Battle of Rimini

Concerned by the Western Roman empress regent Galla Placidia’s promotion of Bonifatius, the deposed magister militum Aetius invaded Italy with his troops from Gaul in late 432. Bonifatius, apparently advancing from Rome, met his opponent near Ariminum (Rimini) and defeated him, but was himself seriously wounded in the battle. As a result, it was agreed that Aetius would voluntarily step down from his command and retire to his estates in Italy. in wikipedia

433 Aetius vs Sebastianus

In spring or summer 432 Aetius returned to Italy with the backing of Rugila’s Huns to face down Sebastianus, Bonifatius’ son-in-law and successor as magister utriusque militiae of the Western Roman Empire. Despite calling on the Visigoths for aid, Sebastianus proved unable to mount sufficient opposition and any support he seems to have had quickly collapsed. Accepting reality, the empress regent Galla Placidia deposed Sebastianus and restored Aetius to the position of magister utriusque militiae. in wikipedia

434–435 Rugila’s Danubian crisis

In around 434 the Amilzuri, Itimari, Tounsoures, Boisci, and other Danubian tribes fled Hunnic rule for Roman territory, where they offered their services to the Eastern emperor Theodosius II. Angered, the Hunnic king Rugila sent his envoy Esla to demand that the Eastern Romans return these and other fugitives, beginning a confrontation that convinced Theodosius’ court to recall the Eastern general Aspar from Africa, where he was campaigning against the Vandals. It is uncertain whether the Huns followed these events by invading the Roman Empire, but the crisis ended towards the end of 435, when Rugila suddenly died in his own lands. in wikipedia

11 Feb 435 Treaty of Hippo Regius

Learning that the Eastern Roman court was intent on recalling its general Aspar and his army from Africa, the Western magister militum Aetius dispatched the official Trygetius there to negotiate terms with the Vandal king Gaiseric in late 434. The following February, after much discussion, the Vandals agreed to peace at Hippo Regius, becoming Roman foederati in return for lands in Numidia and Mauretania. As part of this treaty, the Romans also seem to have officially recognized Gaiseric as a military commander and granted him the title dux. in wikipedia