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Huns / हूण

  • The Huns were a confederation of Central Asian equestrian nomads or semi-nomads, who had established an empire in Eurasia.
  • The Huns may have stimulated the Great Migration, a contributing factor in the collapse of the Roman Empire. They were possibly the descendants of the Xiongnu who had been northern neighbours of China and may be the first expansion of Turkic peoples across Eurasia. They moved into Europe in the 4th and 5th centuries. They formed a unified empire under Attila the Hun, which collapsed after his death in the 5th century AD.
  • Their descendants, or successors with similar names, are recorded by neighboring populations to the south, east, and west as having occupied parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia roughly from the 4th century to the 6th century. Variants of the Hun name are recorded in the Caucasus until the early 8th century.
  • The Huns first appeared in Europe in the 4th century. They show up north of the Black Sea around 370. The Huns crossed the Volga river and attacked the Alans, who were then subjugated. Jordanes reports that the Huns were led at this time by Balamber while modern historians question his existence, seeing instead an invention by the Goths to explain who defeated them.
  • The Huns and Alans start plundering Ostrogothic settlements. The Ostrogothic king, Ermanaric, commits suicide and his great-nephew, Vithimiris, takes over. Vithimiris is killed during a battle against the Alans and Huns in 376. This results in the subjugation of most of the Ostrogoths.
  • Vithimiris' son, Viderichus, was only a child so command of the remaining Ostrogothic refugee army fell to Alatheus and Saphrax. The refugees stream into Visigoths territory, west of the Dniester, and then into Roman territory.