Boniface

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Boniface

(bŏn`əfās), d. 432, Roman general. He defended (413) Marseilles against the VisigothsVisigoths
(West Goths), division of the Goths, one of the most important groups of Germans. Having settled in the region W of the Black Sea in the 3d cent. A.D., the Goths soon split into two divisions, the Ostrogoths and the Visigoths.
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 under Ataulf. Having supported Galla PlacidiaGalla Placidia
, c.388–450, Roman empress of the West, daughter of Theodosius I. Captured by Alaric I in the course of his Italian campaign, she was held by the Visigoths as a hostage and married (414) Alaric's successor Ataulf.
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 in her struggle with her brother, Emperor Honorius, Boniface fled to Africa in 422. There, as semi-independent governor, he supported (424) Valentinian IIIValentinian III,
419–55, Roman emperor of the West (425–55). Two years after the death of his uncle, Honorius, he was placed on the throne by his cousin Theodosius II, who deposed the usurper John.
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 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 VandalsVandals,
ancient Germanic tribe. They originated in N Jutland and, along with other Germanic peoples, settled in the valley of the Oder about the 5th cent. B.C. They appeared in Pannonia and Dacia in the 3d cent. A.D., apparently under imperial aegis. In the early 5th cent.
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 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 AetiusAetius,
c.396–454, Roman general. At first unfriendly to Valentinian III, he later made his peace with Valentinian's mother, Galla Placidia, and was given a command in Gaul.
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. 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.
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Boniface

jovial innkeeper; name became generic for restaurateur. [Br. Drama: The Beaux’ Stratagem; Espy, 129]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Boniface

Saint. original name Wynfrith. ?680--?755 ad. Anglo-Saxon missionary: archbishop of Mainz (746--755). Feast day: June 5
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005