Cook Family
Genealogy Pages

Home Page  |  What's New  |  Photos  |  Histories  |  Headstones  |  Reports  |  Surnames

First Name:

Last Name:

Hermeric of the Suevi, King of Galicia

Male 360 - 441  (81 years)

Personal Information    |    PDF

  • Name Hermeric of the Suevi  
    Suffix King of Galicia 
    Born 360  Germany Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 441  Galicia, Spain Find all individuals with events at this location 

      «b»Hermeric«/b» (died 441) was the «u»Suevic «/u» «u»King of Galicia«/u» from perhaps as early as 406 and certainly no later than 419 until his retirement in 438. He was a «u»pagan «/u» and an enemy of the «u»Roman Empire «/u» throughout his life. He is given a reign of thirty two years in most manuscripts of «u»Isidore of Seville's «/u» «i»Historia Suevorum«/i», but fourteen years in one manuscript.
      Hermeric led the Suevi across the frozen «u»Rhine «/u» along with the «u»Vandals «/u» and «u»Alans «/u» in December 409. They crossed «u»Gaul «/u» and the «u»Pyrenees «/u» and settled in the «u»Hispania «/u». While «u»Theodore Mommsen «/u» believed the Suevi were \ul«i»foederati \ulnone«/i» and Ernst Stein seconded the notion by believing they had made an agreement with the «u»Roman usurper «/u» «u»Magnus Maximus «/u» whereby they received the western half of Iberia, there is no primary evidence for any alliance between the Suevi and Rome. In 411 (according to Ludwig Schmidt) or 417 (according to Felix Dahn), Hermeric made a treaty with the «u»Roman emperor «/u» «u»Honorius «/u», but in fact the only event of note in 411 was the division of Iberia «i»sorte«/i» (by lot) between the barbarian peoples. The east of the province of «u»Gallaecia «/u» with its capital of «u»Braga «/u» (Bracara Augusta) fell to the Suevi, while the west of the province went to the populous «u»Hasdingi «/u».
      Between 416 and 418, the «u»Visigoths «/u» under «u»Wallia «/u» made war on Hermeric on behalf of Rome. In 419, after a personal dispute between Hermeric and the Vandal king «u»Gunderic «/u», the Vandals attacked the Suevi and trapped Hermeric in the Nervasian (Erbasian) Mountains before the Roman general «u»Asterius «/u» intervened and the Vandals retreated. Thereafter, until the Vandals left Iberia for Africa in 429, Hermeric remained peaceful, but in 430 he began to raid Gallaecia. In 431 a Gallaecian named «u»Hydatius «/u» went to «u»Flavius Aëtius «/u» to plead for help against the Suevi, but Aëtius delayed until 432 the sending of the legate «u»Censorius «/u». According to Hydatius' «i»Chronicle«/i» of contemporary events, the Gallaecian «i»plebs«/i» in the better-fortified strongpoints defeated Hermeric and his men, inflicting heavy casualties and taking many prisoners, which forced the Sueves to release the Gallaecian families they had taken captive (430).
      In 435, "on episcopal intervention", possibly Hydatius', Hermeric made peace with the Gallaecians. In that same year, Hermeric negotiated through the Catholic bishop «u»Symphosius «/u» directly with the «u»Western Roman Emperor «/u». In 437, Censorius made a second expedition accompanied by Fretimund.
      After seven years of illness, Hermeric was forced to retire from the kingship in 438 and pass it on to his son «u»Rechila «/u». The story, recorded in Isidore, that Hermeric sent Rechila to «u»Baetica «/u» to defeat «u»Andevotus «/u», «i»Romanae militiae dux«/i», is false, as there is no contemporary evidence that Hermeric retained any authority after his abdication. There appears to have been no principle of elective monarchy among the Suevi and the successes of their raids may have accounted for the contentment of their people. Hermeric's royal line lasted until 456.
      In 429, there appeared briefly a Suevic military leader named «u»Heremigarius «/u» operating in «u»Lusitania «/u» who may have been a joint monarch with Hermeric, but there is no primary source to prove it.
    • (Research):
    Person ID I61275  Glenn Cook Family
    Last Modified 26 Apr 2015 

    Father Alaric of the Suevi,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F551619525  Group Sheet

     1. Rechila of the Suevi, King of Galicia,   b. 380, Braga, Portugal Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 448, Mérida, Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)
    Last Modified 19 Jun 2013 
    Family ID F551617533  Group Sheet