Scripophily site
a collection of historic bonds and shares

Vandalia Railroad Company and the Vandal Kingdom
(update October 7th 2000)

Dr. Hugo H. van der Molen - Wederikweg 114 - 9753 AE Haren, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)50 534 8795; Fax: +31 (0)50 534 0852; email: [email protected]

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he Vandals were an ancient German people, living in a German area now known as the "Riesengebirge" (Giant Mountans). They moved later to Dacia (now part of Roumania) and Spain, where the people gave Andalusia it's name. In the year 429 A.D. they crossed the Mediteranean Sea to Africa under their King Geiserik, who established there a Vandal kingdom with Carthago as capital (439). They built a fleet with which they terrorised the Mediteranean coasts. The Romans tried to appease them and make them into allies, but the Vandals were wilde people: they could only destroy and not build up.Their 100 year presence in Africa has left only memories of destruction. Geiserik landed in Italy in 455 and looted Rome during a fortnight. So, it is no wonder that we still use the word "vandalism" for destructive behaviour !. The Vandal kingdom weakened after Geiserik's death in 477 and it was under the last King, Gelimer, that the Vandals were defeated by general Belisarius, who served under the Roman emperor Iustinianus. He fought 2 battles with the Vandals, near Carthago, and defeated them decisively,  being the definitive end of the Vandals.

E.N.S.I.E., Vol X, p. 1197.
Fischer & Szper, 1939

I have no idea why a railroad company would call itself Vandalia. Was it to refer to the strength of a warrior-people ? Nowadays we would probably associate building a railroad also, if not primarily with vandalism related to the nature the Railroad is built through. At least that is large part of the present Dutch discussion about building a new railroad from Rotterdam to Germany ! Who can tell me the historic reason for the name Vandalia ?

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