The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe, or group of tribes, who lived in the south of what is today Poland. A large group of them moved via Gaul into Iberia in 409 and then in 429, under king Genseric, entered North Africa. By 439 they established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia, Malta and the Balearics. In 455, they sacked the city of Rome. Their kingdom collapsed in the Vandalic War of 533–4, in which Justinian I managed to reconquer the Africa province for the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.
Renaissance and Early Modern writers characterized the Vandals as barbarians, "sacking and looting" Rome. This led to the use of the term vandalism, to describe any senseless destruction, particularly the barbarian defacing of artworks. However, modern historians tend to regard the Vandals during the transitional period (from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages) as perpetuators, not destroyers, of Roman culture.