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Boniface

Boniface (bŏnˈəfās) [key], d. 432, Roman general. He defended (413) Marseilles against the Visigoths under Ataulf. Having supported Galla Placidia in her struggle with her brother, Emperor Honorius, Boniface fled to Africa in 422. There, as semi-independent governor, he supported (424) Valentinian III against the usurper John and was rewarded with the title count of Africa. Recalled in 427, he rebelled; a civil war between Africa and the imperial government began. This struggle prepared the way for the invasion (429) of Africa by the Vandals under Gaiseric. A truce was arranged between Africa and Rome, and Boniface attacked the Vandals. He was defeated and besieged (430) at Hippo; during the siege his good friend St. Augustine died. Beaten again in 431, Boniface was recalled to Italy by Placidia to assist her against the general Aetius. He defeated (432) Aetius but died of a wound received in the battle. The historian Procopius, without convincing evidence, held Boniface responsible for inviting the Vandals into Africa.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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