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New Medieval Books: Byzantine Cavalryman vs Vandal Warrior

Byzantine Cavalryman vs Vandal Warrior: North Africa AD 533–36

By Murray Dahm

Osprey Publishing
ISBN: 9781472853707

A military history of the Byzantine Conquest of North Africa in 533-536. The book begins by examining both the Byzantine and Vandal forces, then offers details about the campaigns and battles, and ends with an analysis of the Byzantine victory.


In June 533, the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I (r. 527–65) launched the first of his campaigns to reconquer the Western Roman Empire. This was not to be a campaign in Italy but in North Africa – modern-day Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Morocco – conquering the Vandal kingdom that had been in place there since the early 5th century. This war pitted one of the greatest Byzantine generals, Belisarius, against the Vandal king, Gelimer (or Geilamir, r. 530–33). Our best source for the war is the History of the Wars by Procopius of Caesarea, a participant and eyewitness. He begins his Vandalic War (books 3 and 4 of the eight-book History of the Wars) with a long account of the rise of the Vandals (3.1.1–9.26).


Who is this book for?

Osprey is well known for making books focusing on military history. While they are not particularly long (this one is 81 pages), they are detailed and make for an excellent introduction to the topic. If you are interested in medieval military history or Byzantine history, this will be a book you will want to check out.

The author:

Murray Dahm is a well-known writer of ancient and medieval history, including here on He is currently the Assistant Editor of Ancient Warfare magazine. You can follow Murray on Twitter/X @murray_dahm


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