BONIFACIUS (d. 432), the Roman governor of the province of Africa who is generally believed to have invited the Vandals into that province in revenge for the hostile action of Placidia, ruling in behalf of her son the emperor Valentinian III. (428-429). That action is by Procopius attributed to his rival Aëtius, but the earliest authorities speak of a certain Felix, chief minister of Placidia, as the calumniator of Bonifacius. Whether he really invited the Vandals or not, there is no doubt that he soon turned against them and bravely defended the city of Hippo from their attacks. In 432 he returned to Italy, was received into favour by Placidia, and appointed master of the soldiery. Aëtius, however, resented his promotion, the two rivals met, perhaps in single combat, and Bonifacius, though victorious, received a wound from the effects of which he died three months later.
The authorities for the extremely obscure and difficult history of these transactions are well discussed by E.A. Freeman in an article in the English Historical Review, July 1887, to which the reader is referred. But compare also Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. iii. pp. 505-506, edited by J.B. Bury (London, 1897).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)