Vandals Hit Northern Michigan Course

Damage At The Lakes Course at the Loon Resort, Gaylord, Michigan
Damage At The Lakes Course at the Loon Resort, Gaylord, Michigan. Photo via Reddit user flodevil_55

Vandals on off-road vehicles hit the Lakes Course at the Loon Resort in Gaylord, Michigan last weekend. The course’s manager, Regan Bebble, put the cost at $10,000.

I just can’t understand why some people feel as though it is fun to do things like this. As far as I’m concerned, the perps should be shot at dawn.

Putting my history teacher hat on, I’ll end with a quick word about the origin of the word “vandal.”

The Vandals were a Germanic people who, starting in the second century BC, migrated from southern Scandinavia through Europe. They finally ended up in North Africa in the 5th century Ad, where a series of conquests established a powerful Vandal kingdom. In the mid-400s, the Vandals established themselves as sea raiders, dominating the Mediterranean to the point where the Old English word for Mediterranean was Wendelsæ, or Sea of the Vandals.

A peace treaty between the Vandals and Rome collapsed following the assassination of the Roman Emperor Valentinian in 455. Vandal king Genseric led an assault on Italy, which resulted in the fourteen day plunder of Rome.

Thereafter, European sources characterized the Vandals as barbarians for “sacking and looting Rome.” The meme was so strong that the name Vandal became synonymous with senseless destruction.

The irony, however, is that the Valdal “sack” of Rome was relatively tame by the sacking standards of the time. As the story goes, When Pope Leo I asked that Genseric spare Rome’s citizens and leave the buildings intact, the Vandal king agreed. The doors to the city were opened, and the looting proceeded. The assassin and usurper Maximus was killed by a Roman mob as he fled the city.

The sacks of Rome by Alaric of the Goths in 410, and by the Normans in 1084 seem much worse from the descriptions.

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