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The Western Hunnic Empire stretched from the steppes of Central Asia into modern Germany, and from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea.
A 14th century chivalric-romanticized painting of "the Huns" laying siege to a city. Note anachronistic details in weapons, armor and city type. Hungarian Chronicon Pictum, 1360.

The Huns were a group of nomadic pastoral people who, appearing from beyond the Volga, migrated into Europe c. 370 AD and built up an enormous empire in Europe. Since De Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu who had been northern neighbours of China three hundred years before,[1] considerable scholarly effort has been devoted in investigating such a connection. However, there is no evidence for a direct connection between the Xiongnu and the Huns.[2] The relationships of the language of the Huns have been the subject of debate for centuries. The leading current theory is that it was a Turkic language.[3] However, numerous other languages were spoken within the Hun pax including East Germanic.[4] Their main military technique was mounted archery.

The Huns may have stimulated the Great Migration, a contributing factor in the collapse of the Roman Empire.[5] They formed a unified empire under Attila the Hun, who died in 453; their empire broke up the next year. Their descendants, or successors with similar names, are recorded by neighbouring 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.


Appearance and customs

All surviving accounts were written by enemies of the Huns, and none describe the Huns as attractive either morally or in appearance.

Jordanes, a Goth writing in Italy in 551, a century after the collapse of the Hunnic Empire, describes the Huns as a "savage race, which dwelt at first in the swamps,--a stunted, foul and puny tribe, scarcely human, and having no language save one which bore but slight resemblance to human speech."

"They made their foes flee in horror because their swarthy aspect was fearful, and they had, if I may call it so, a sort of shapeless lump, not a head, with pin-holes rather than eyes. Their hardihood is evident in their wild appearance, and they are beings who are cruel to their children on the very day they are born. For they cut the cheeks of the males with a sword, so that before they receive the nourishment of milk they must learn to endure wounds. Hence they grow old beardless and their young men are without comeliness, because a face furrowed by the sword spoils by its scars the natural beauty of a beard. They are short in stature, quick in bodily movement, alert horsemen, broad shouldered, ready in the use of bow and arrow, and have firm-set necks which are ever erect in pride. Though they live in the form of men, they have the cruelty of wild beasts."[6]

Jordanes also recounted how Priscus had described Attila the Hun, the Emperor of the Huns from 434 - 453, as: "Short of stature, with a broad chest and a large head; his eyes were small, his beard thin and sprinkled with grey; and he had a flat nose and tanned skin, showing evidence of his origin."[7]

Society and culture

The Huns kept herds of cattle, horses, goats, and sheep.[8] Their other sources of food consisted of wild game and the roots of wild plants. For clothes they had round caps, trousers or leggings made from goat skin, and either linen or rodent skin tunics. Ammianus reports that they wore these clothes until the clothes fell to pieces. Priscus describes Attila's clothes as different from his men only in being clean.[9] In warfare they utilized the bow and javelin. The arrowheads and javelin tips were made from bone. They also fought using iron swords and lassos in close combat. The Hun sword was a long, straight, double-edged sword of early Sassanian style.[10] These swords were hung from a belt using the scabbard-slide method, which kept the weapon vertical. The Huns also employed a smaller short sword or large dagger which was hung horizontally across the belly. A symbol of status among the Huns was a gilded bow.[10] Sword and dagger grips also were decorated with gold.

With the arrival of the Huns, a separate tradition of composite bows arrived in Europe. Each siyah was stiffened by two laths, as in the longstanding Levantine tradition, and the grip by three. Therefore, each bow possessed seven grip and ear laths, compared with none on the Scythian and Sarmatian bows and four (ear) laths on the Middle Eastern Yrzi bow.[11] There is no evidence that the Huns used bows in any way superior to those of their contemporaries.

Ammianus mentions that the Huns had no kings but were instead led by nobles. For serious matters they formed councils and deliberated from horseback.

Jordanes and Ammianus report that the Huns practiced scarification, slashing the faces of their male infants with swords to discourage beard growth. Another custom of the Huns was to strap their children's noses flat from an early age, in order to widen their faces, as to increase the terror their looks instilled upon their enemies. Certain Hun skeletons have shown evidence of artificially deformed skulls that are a result of ritual head binding at a young age.[12]


Hunnic cauldron from the 5th century, found in Hungary[13].

Traditionally historians have associated the Huns who appeared on the borders of Europe in the 4th century with the Xiongnu who migrated out of the Mongolia region in the 1st century AD. However the evidence for this has not been definitive (see below), and the debates have continued ever since Joseph de Guignes first suggested it in the 18th century. Due to the lack of definitive evidence, a school of modern scholarship in the West instead uses an ethnogenesis approach in explaining the Huns' origin. Jordanes attributes their origins to the intercourse of Gothic witches and unclean spirits.[14]

Modern ethnogenesis interpretation

There are no historical records that definitively answer where the Huns in Europe of the 4th century came from. Ammianus reported that they arrived from the north, near the 'ice bound ocean', prompting suggestions of Finno-Ugrian roots.[15] Modern understanding[16] suggests that the large steppe confederations of history were not ethnically homogeneous[16] , but rather unions of multiple ethnicities such as Turkic, Yeniseian, Tungusic, Ugric, Iranic,[17] Mongolic, among others. This likely suggests the same was true for the Huns.[16] Many clans may have claimed to be Huns simply based on the prestige and fame of the name or it was attributed to them by outsiders describing their common characteristics, believed place of origin, or reputation.[16] Similarly, Greek or Latin chroniclers may have used "Huns" in a more general sense, similar to the use of "barbarian".

Because of these factors – no ethnic homogeneity among comparable groups; and association with the Hunnic name by outside chroniclers – many modern historians have turned to an ethnogenetic approach in explaining the origins of the Huns. An ethnogenetic approach does not assume that a group is a linguistically or genetically homogeneous tribe, that has a single place of origin or a single tribal history. Rather, small groups of aristocratic warriors may have carried ethnic traditions from place to place and generation to generation. Followers would coalesce or disband around these nuclei of tradition. Hunnic ethnicity would then require acceptance into these groups but no requirement to have been born into a "tribe". "All we can say safely," says Walter Pohl, "is that the name Huns, in late antiquity (4th century), described prestigious ruling groups of steppe warriors."[16]

Traditional Xiongnu theory

Debate about the Asian origin of the Huns has been ongoing since the 18th century when Joseph de Guignes first suggested that the Huns should be identified as the Xiongnu of Chinese sources.[8] De Guignes focused on the genealogy of political entities and gave little attention to whether the Huns were the physical descendants of the Xiongnu.[18] Yet his idea, which comes in the context of the ethnocentric and nationalistic scholarship of the late 18th and 19th centuries[19], gained traction and was modified over time to encompass the ideals of the Romantics.

Evidence which may support a link between Huns and Xiongnu

Other indirect evidence includes the transmission of grip laths for composite bows from Central Asia to the west[11] and the similarity of Xiongnu and Hunnic cauldrons, which were buried on river banks both in Hungary and in the Ordos.[20].

The Central Asian Bactrian ancient Sogdian letters from the 4th century mention Huns, while the Chinese sources write Xiongnu, in the context of the sacking of Luoyang[21][22]. However there is a historical gap of 300 years between the Chinese and later sources. As Peter Heather writes "The ancestors of our [4th Century European] Huns could even have been a part of the [1st century] Xiongnu confederation, without being the 'real' Xiongnu. Even if we do make some sort of connection between the fourth-century Huns and the first century Xiongnu, an awful lot of water has passed under an awful lot of bridges in the three hundred years worth of lost history."[23] In other words, we simply have no idea what happened to the Xiongnu for three hundred years and thus associating them with the 4th century Huns is speculative.

Skeletal remains from Kazakhstan (Central Asia), excavated from different sites dating between the 15th century BC to the 5th century AD, have been analyzed for the hypervariable control region and haplogroup diagnostic single-nucleotide polymorphisms of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genome. The distribution of east and west Eurasian lineages through time in the region is concordant with the available archaeological information: prior to the 13th - 7th century BC; all samples belong to European lineages. Later an arrival of East Asian sequences that coexisted with the previous genetic substratum was detected.[24]

Evidence that does not support a link between Huns and Xiongnu

The Huns practiced artificial cranial deformation, while there is no evidence of such practice amongst the Xiongnu.[18] Ammianus and Jordanes mention the Huns as scarifying infant's faces to prevent the later growth of beards; the Chinese recorded General Ran Min having led a military campaign against a faction of the Xiongnu Confederation called the Jie, who were described as having full beards, around Ye in 349 AD.

A specific passage in the Chinese Book of Wei (Wei-shu) is often cited as definitive proof in the identity of the Huns as the Xiongnu.[18] It appears to say that the Xiongnu conquered the Alans (Su-Te 粟特) around the same time as recorded by Western sources. This theory hinged upon the identity of the Su-Te as the Yan-Cai (奄蔡), as claimed by the Wei-shu. Similar passages are also found in the Bei-Shi and the Zhou-Shu. Critical analysis of these Chinese texts reveals that certain chapters in the Book of Wei had been copied from the Bei-Xi by Song editors, the chapter on the Xiongnu included. The Bei-Shi author assembled his text by making selections from earlier sources, the Zhou-Shu among them. The Zhou-Shu does not mention the Xiongnu in its version of the chapter in question. Additionally, the Book of the Later Han (Hou-Han-Shu) treats the Su-Te and the Yan-Cai as distinct nations. Lastly, Su-Te has been positively identified as Sogdiana and the Yan-Cai with the Hephthalites.[18]


The literary sources, Priscus and Jordanes, preserve only a few names and three words of the language of the Huns, which have been studied for more than a century and a half. Our sources do not give the meaning of any of the names, only of the three words. These words (medos, kamos, strava) do not seem to be Turkic.[25]

The standard discussion remains Pritsak 1982, "The Hunnic Language of the Attila Clan."[26], who concluded: "It was not a Turkic language, but one between Turkic and Mongolian, probably closer to the former than the latter. The language had strong ties to Old Bulgarian and to modern Chuvash, but also had some important connections, especially lexical and morphological, to Ottoman and Yakut.", "The Turkic situation has no validity for Hunnic, which belonged to a separate Altaic group." On the basis of the existing sparse name records, a number of scholars suggest that the Huns spoke a Turkic language of the Oghur branch, which also includes Bulgar, Avar, Khazar and Chuvash languages.[27] English scholar Peter Heather called the Huns "the first group of Turkic, as opposed to Iranian, nomads to have intruded into Europe".[28] Other schools of thought came to the conclusion that "To judge by the tribal names, a great part of the Huns must have spoken a Turkish language." But "The personal names give a different picture", because "The number of Hun names which are certainly or most probably Turkish is small." - Otto Maenchen-Helfen.[25]

A variety of languages were spoken by the subjects of the Huns. "Being a mixture of peoples, in addition to their own languages they cultivate Hunnic or Gothic or (in the case of those who have dealings with the Romans) Latin."[29]

But other prominent scholars (like Doerfer [30], Rona-Tas [31], Sinor [32]) pointed out that the Hunnic language at the present state must be classified as unknown, because these Turkic and Mongolic theories are just mere speculations, since they do not have any linguistical evidence, so it is advisable in the present stage to refrain from any categorical statements (Poppe[33]).

A suggested path of Hunnic movement westwards



By 139 AD, the European geographer Ptolemy writes that the "Chuni" (Χοῦνοι or Χουνοἰ) are between the Bastarnae and the Roxolani in the Pontic area under the rule of Suni. He lists the beginning of the second century, although it is not known for certain if these people were the Huns. It is possible that the similarity between the names "Chuni" (Χοῦνοι) and "Hunnoi" (Ουννοι) is only a coincidence considering that while the West Romans often wrote Chunni or Chuni, the East Romans never used the guttural Χ at the beginning of the name.[8] The 5th century Armenian historian Moses of Khorene, in his "History of Armenia," introduces the Hunni near the Sarmatians and describes their capture of the city of Balkh ("Kush" in Armenian) sometime between 194 and 214, which explains why the Greeks call that city Hunuk.

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.[8] The Huns and Alans started plundering Greuthungic settlements.[8] The Greuthungic king, Ermanaric, committed suicide and his great-nephew, Vithimiris, took over. Vithimiris was killed during a battle against the Alans and Huns in 376. This resulted in the subjugation of most of the Ostrogoths.[8] Vithimiris' son, Viderichus, was only a child so command of the remaining Ostrogothic refugee army fell to Alatheus and Saphrax. The refugees streamed into Thervingic territory, west of the Dniester.

With a part of the Ostrogoths on the run, the Huns next came to the territory of the Visigoths, led by Athanaric. Athanaric, not to be caught off guard, sent an expeditionary force beyond the Dniester. The Huns avoided this small force and attacked Athanaric directly. The Goths retreated into the Carpathians. Support for the Gothic chieftains diminished as refugees headed into Thrace and towards the safety of the Roman garrisons.

In 395 the Huns began their first large-scale assault on the East Roman Empire.[8] Huns attacked in Thrace, overran Armenia, and pillaged Cappadocia. They entered parts of Syria, threatened Antioch, and swarmed through the province of Euphratesia. Emperor Theodosius left his armies in the West so the Huns stood unopposed until the end of 398 when the eunuch Eutropius gathered together a force composed of Romans and Goths and succeeded in restoring peace.

During their momentary diversion from the East Roman Empire, the Huns appear to have moved further west as evidenced by Radagaisus' entering Italy at the end of 405 and the crossing of the Rhine into Gaul by Vandals, Sueves, and Alans in 406.[8] The Huns do not then appear to have been a single force with a single ruler. Many Huns were employed as mercenaries by both East and West Romans and by the Goths. Uldin, the first Hun known by name[8], headed a group of Huns and Alans fighting against Radagaisus in defense of Italy. Uldin was also known for defeating Gothic rebels giving trouble to the East Romans around the Danube and beheading the Goth Gainas around 400-401. Gainas' head was given to the East Romans for display in Constantinople in an apparent exchange of gifts.

The East Romans began to feel the pressure again in 408 by Uldin's Huns. Uldin crossed the Danube and captured a fortress in Moesia named Castra Martis. The fortress was betrayed from within. Uldin then proceeded to ravage Thrace. The East Romans tried to buy Uldin off, but his sum was too high so they instead bought off Uldin's subordinates. This resulted in many desertions from Uldin's group of Huns.

Alaric's brother-in-law, Athaulf, appears to have had Hun mercenaries in his employ south of the Julian Alps in 409. These were countered by another small band of Huns hired by Honorius' minister Olympius. Later in 409, the West Romans stationed ten thousand Huns in Italy and Dalmatia to fend off Alaric, who then abandoned plans to march on Rome.

The Huns, led by Attila, invade Italy, after a 19th century painting by Ulpiano Checa

A unified Empire under Attila

Under the leadership of Attila the Hun, the Huns achieved hegemony over several rivals using the composite bow and their horsemanship in traditional mounted archery tactics. Supplementing their wealth by plundering and raising tribute from Roman cities to the south, the Huns maintained the loyalties of a number of tributary tribes including elements of the Gepids, Scirii, Rugians, Sarmatians, and Ostrogoths. The only lengthy first-hand report of conditions among the Huns is by Priscus, who formed part of an embassy to Attila.

After Attila

After Attila's death, his son Ellac overcame his brothers Dengizich and Ernakh (Irnik) to become king of the Huns. However, former subjects soon united under Ardaric, leader of the Gepids, against the Huns at the Battle of Nedao in 454. This defeat and Ellac's death ended the European supremacy of the Huns, and soon afterwards they disappear from contemporary records. The Pannonian basin then was occupied by the Gepids, whilst various Gothic groups remained in the Balkans also.

Later historians provide glimpses of the dispersal and renaming of Attila's people. According to tradition, after Ellac's loss and death, his brothers ruled over two separate, but closely related hordes on the steppes north of the Black Sea. Dengizich is believed to have been king (khan) of the Kutrigur Bulgars, and Ernakh king (khan) of the Utigur Bulgars, whilst Procopius claimed that Kutrigurs and Utigurs were named after, and led by two of the sons of Ernakh. Such distinctions are uncertain and the situation is not likely to have been so clear cut. Some Huns remained in Pannonia for some time before they were slaughtered by Goths. Others took refuge within the East Roman Empire, namely in Dacia Ripensis and Scythia Minor. Possibly, other Huns and nomadic groups retreated to the steppe. Indeed, subsequently, new confederations appear such as Kutrigur, Utigur, Onogur / (Onoghur), Sarigur, etc., which were collectively called "Huns". Similarly, the 6th century Slavs were presented as Hun groups by Procopius.

However, it is likely that Graeco-Roman sources habitually equated new barbarian political groupings with old tribes. This was partly due to expectation that contemporary writers emulate the ‘great writers’ of preceding eras. Apart from exigencies in style was the belief that barbarians from particular areas were all the same, no matter how they changed their name.[34]

The Barbarian invasions of the fifth century were triggered by the destruction of the Gothic kingdoms by the Huns in 372-375. The city of Rome was captured and looted by the Visigoths in 410 and by the Vandals in 455.

Chroniclers writing centuries later often mentioned or alluded to Huns or their purported descendants. These include:

Mediaeval Hungarians continued this tradition (see Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum, Chronicon Pictum, Gesta Hungarorum).


The King of the Huns transfixing Saint Ursula with an arrow after she refused to marry him, in Caravaggio's 1610 "The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula".

Memory of the Hunnic conquest was transmitted orally among Germanic peoples and is an important component in the Old Norse Völsunga saga and Hervarar saga and in the Middle High German Nibelungenlied. These stories all portray Migration Period events from a millennium earlier.

In the Hervarar saga, the Goths make first contact with the bow-wielding Huns and meet them in an epic battle on the plains of the Danube.

In the Nibelungenlied, Kriemhild marries Attila (Etzel in German) after her first husband Siegfried was murdered by Hagen with the complicity of her brother, King Gunther. She then uses her power as Etzel's wife to take a bloody revenge in which not only Hagen and Gunther but all Burgundian knights find their death at festivities to which she and Etzel had invited them.

In the Völsunga saga, Attila (Atli in Norse) defeats the Frankish king Sigebert I (Sigurðr or Siegfried) and the Burgundian King Guntram (Gunnar or Gunther), but is later assassinated by Queen Fredegund (Gudrun or Kriemhild), the sister of the latter and wife of the former.

During a 16th-century peasant revolt in southern Norway, the rebels claimed, during their trial, that they expected the "Hun king Atle" to come from the north with a great host.

Successor realms

Locations of Hun successor states in 500 AD.

Many realms (and nations) have tried to assert themselves as ethnic, or cultural successors to the Huns. For instance, the Nominalia of the Bulgarian Khans may indicate that they believed themselves to have descended from Attila. A number of similarities between Hunnic and Bulgar cultures, for instance, the practice of artificial cranial deformation, as well as other archaeological evidence, suggest a strong continuity between the two. The most characteristic weapons of the Huns and early Bulgars (a particular type of composite bow and a long, straight, double edged sword of the Sassanid type, etc.) are virtually identical in appearance. Some scholars have hypothesized that the Chuvash language, (which is believed to be a descendant of the Bulgar language), is the closest surviving relative of the Hunnic language.[35]

The Magyars (Hungarians) in particular lay claim to Hunnic heritage. Although Magyar tribes only began to settle in the geographical area of present-day Hungary in the very end of the 9th century, some 450 years after the dissolution of the Hunnic tribal confederation, Hungarian prehistory includes Magyar origin legends, which may have preserved some elements of historical truth. The Huns who invaded Europe represented a loose coalition of various peoples, so some Magyars might have been part of it, or may later have joined descendants of Attila's men, who still claimed the name of Huns. The national anthem of Hungary describes the Hungarians as "blood of Bendegúz'" (the medieval and modern Hungarian version of Mundzuk, Attila's father). Attila's brother Bleda is called Buda in modern Hungarian. The city of Buda has been said to derive its name from him. Until the early 20th century, many Hungarian historians believed that the Székely people were the descendants of the Huns, but that is no longer the scholarly consensus.

In 2005, a group of about 2,500 Hungarians petitioned the government for recognition of minority status as direct descendants of Attila. The bid failed, but gained some publicity for the group, which formed in the early 1990s and appears to represent a special Hun(garian)-centric brand of mysticism. The self-proclaimed Huns are not known to possess any distinctly Hunnic culture or language beyond what would be available from historical and modern-mystical Hungarian sources.[36]

After the disintegration of the Hun Empire, they never regained their lost glory. One reason was that the Huns never fully established the mechanisms of a state, such as bureaucracy and taxes, unlike Bulgars, Magyars or the Golden Horde. Once disorganized, the Huns were absorbed by more organized polities. Like the Avars after them, once the Hun political unity failed there was no way re-create it, especially because the Huns had become a multiethnic empire under Attila. The Hun Empire included, at least nominally, a great host of diverse peoples, each of whom may be considered 'descendants' of the Huns. However, given that the Huns were a political creation, and not a consolidated people, or nation, their defeat in 454 marked the end of that political creation. Newer polities which later arose might have consisted of people formerly in the Hun confederacy, and carrying the same steppe cultures, but they were new political creations.

Huns in battle with the Alans, 1870s engraving after a drawing by Johann Nepomuk Geiger (1805-1880).

20th-century use in reference to Germans

On July 27, 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion in China, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany gave the order to act ruthlessly towards the rebels: "Mercy will not be shown, prisoners will not be taken. Just as a thousand years ago, the Huns under Attila won a reputation of might that lives on in legends, so may the name of Germany in China, such that no Chinese will even again dare so much as to look in askance at a German."[37]

This speech gave rise to later use of the term "Hun" for the Germans during World War I. The comparison was helped by the Pickelhaube or spiked helmet worn by German forces until 1916, which was reminiscent of images depicting ancient Hun helmets. An alternative reason sometimes given for the use of the term was the motto Gott mit uns (God with us) on German soldiers' belt buckles during World War I. It is suggested that the word uns was mistaken for Huns. This usage, emphasising the idea that the Germans were barbarians, was reinforced by Allied propaganda throughout the war. The French songwriter Theodore Botrel described the Kaiser as "an Attila, without remorse", launching "cannibal hordes".[38]

The usage of the term "Hun" to describe a German resurfaced during World War II. For example Winston Churchill referred in 1941 to the invasion of the Soviet Union as "the dull, drilled, docile brutish masses of the Hun soldiery, plodding on like a swarm of crawling locusts."[39]. Nevertheless, its use was less widespread than in the previous war. British and American WWII troops more often used the term "Jerry" or "Kraut" for their German opponents.

See also


  • Dorn'eich, Chris M. (2008). Chinese sources on the History of the Niusi-Wusi-Asi(oi)-Rishi(ka)-Arsi-Arshi-Ruzhi and their Kueishuang-Kushan Dynasty. Shiji 110/Hanshu 94A: The Xiongnu: Synopsis of Chinese original Text and several Western Translations with Extant Annotations. Berlin. To read or download go to: [2]
  • de la Vaissière, E. "Huns et Xiongnu", Central Asiatic Journal, 2005-1, p. 3-26.
  • Lindner, Rudi Paul. "Nomadism, Horses and Huns", Past and Present, No. 92. (Aug., 1981), pp. 3–19.
  • Otto J. Mänchen-Helfen (ed. Max Knight): The World of the Huns: Studies in Their History and Culture (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1973) ISBN 0-520-01596-7
  • Maenchen-Helfen, Otto (1944-1945), "The Legend of the Origin of the Huns", Byzantion 17: 244–251 
  • E. A. Thompson: A History of Attila and the Huns (London, Oxford University Press, 1948)
  • J. Webster: The Huns and Existentialist Thought (Loudonville, Siena College Press, 2006)
  • R. C. Blockley: "The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire" (Francis Cairns, Liverpool, UK, 1983)


  1. ^ De Guignes, Joseph (1756-1758), Histoire générale des Huns, des Turcs, des Mongols et des autres Tartares 
  2. ^ The Cambridge History of Early Inner Asia. David Sinor. Page 178 there is no evidence to show that the dominant element in the Hun state was historically connected with that of the Hsiung-nu
  3. ^ Frucht, Richard C., Eastern Europe, (ABC-CLIO, 2005), 744.
  4. ^ Sinor. Page 202
  5. ^ "However, the seed and origin of all the ruin and various disasters that the wrath of Mars aroused... we have found to be (the invasions of the Huns)" [Ammianus Marcellinus], book XXXI, chapter 2. Loeb edition, Transl. John Rolfe, first pub. 1922
  6. ^ Jordanes. The origins and deeds of the Goths XXIV (127-8), translated by Charles C. Mierow.
  7. ^ The Goths by Jordanes. Translated by Charles Gaius Mierow. Chapter 35: Attila the Hun.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Thompson, E.A. (1996), The Huns, The Peoples of Europe (Revised ed.), Oxford: Blackwell, ISBN 0631214437 
  9. ^ fr. 13, (Exc. de Leg. Rom. 3) trans RC Blockley, in The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire,, Francis Cairns, Liverpool, UK, 1983.
  10. ^ a b Nicolle, David; McBride, Angus (1990), Attila and the Nomad Hordes, Osprey Military Elite Series, London: Osprey, ISBN 0850459966 
  11. ^ a b Coulston J.C., 'Roman Archery Equipment', in M.C. Bishop (ed.), The Production and Distribution of Roman Military Equipment. Proceedings of the Second Roman Military Equipment Seminar, BAR International Series 275, Oxford, 1985, 220-366.
  12. ^ Delius, Peter; Verlag (2005), Visual History of the World, Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, ISBN 0-7922-3695-5 
  13. ^ Hunnic age sacrificial cauldron has been found 2006, Hungary
  14. ^ Jordanes. The origins and deeds of the Goths XXIV (121-2), translated by Charles C. Mierow
  15. ^ Peter Heather. The Goths. Page 98
  16. ^ a b c d e Walter Pohl (1999), "Huns" in Late Antiquity, editor Peter Brown, p.501-502 .. further references to F.H Bauml and M. Birnbaum, eds., Attila: The Man and His Image (1993). Peter Heather, "The Huns and the End of the Roman Empire in Western Europe," English Historical Review 90 (1995):4-41. Peter Heather, The Fall of the Roman Empire (2005). Otto Maenchen-Helfen, The World of the Huns (1973). E. de la Vaissière, "Huns et Xiongnu", Central Asiatic Journal 2005-1 pp. 3-26
  17. ^ History of Russia, Central Asia, and Mongolia, David Christian, Wiley-Blackwell, 1998, ISBN 0631208143, p. 227.
  18. ^ a b c d Maenchen-Helfen, Otto (1944-1945), "Huns and Hsiung-Nu", Byzantion 17: 222–243 
  19. ^ Michael Kulikowski (2005). Rome's Gothic Wars. Cambridge University Press. Page 52-54
  20. ^ E. de la Vaissière, Huns et Xiongnu "Central Asiatic Journal" 2005-1 pp. 3-26
  21. ^ The Xiongnu and the Huns: Three Archaeological Links, Miklós Érdy (independent scholar), CESS Conference 2000
  22. ^ Sogdian Ancient Letters
  23. ^ Peter Heather. The Fall of the Roman Empire. Pg 149
  24. ^ "Unraveling migrations in the steppe: mitochondrial DNA sequences from ancient Central Asians", Unitat d'Antropologia, Departimenti Biologia Animal, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Avinguda Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
  25. ^ a b Otto Maenchen-Helfen, Language of Huns, Ch. 9.
  26. ^ Pritsak, Omeljan. 1982 "The Hunnic Language of the Attila Clan." Harvard Ukrainian Studies, vol. 6, pp. 428-476.[1]
  27. ^ Johanson, Lars & Éva Agnes Csató (ed.). 1998. The Turkic languages. London: Routledge.
  28. ^ Peter Heather, "The Huns and the End of Roman Empire in Western Europe", The English Historical Review, Vol. 110, No. 435, February 1995, p. 5.
  29. ^ Priscus fr. 8. Trans R. C. Blockley: "The Fragmentary Classicising Historians of the Later Roman Empire" (Francis Cairns, Liverpool, UK, 1983)
  30. ^ Zur Sprache der Hunnen , Gerhard Doerfer, CAJ 17, no. 1 (1973): 1-50.
  31. ^ Őseink nyomában, 2004.
  32. ^ The Outlines of Hungarian Prehistory , Denis Sinor , 1977, Journal of World History 4(3), 513-540.
  33. ^ Introduction to Altaic Linguistics. Nicholas Poppe, Ural-Altaische Bibliothek, 1965. Wiesbaden.
  34. ^ Halsall. 2007. Page 48
  35. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1997: Turkic languages: "Formerly, scholars considered Chuvash probably spoken by the Huns."
  36. ^ Nick Thorpe, "Hungary blocks Hun minority bid", BBC News, April 12, 2005
  37. ^ Weser-Zeitung, July 28, 1900, second morning edition, p. 1: 'Wie vor tausend Jahren die Hunnen unter ihrem König Etzel sich einen Namen gemacht, der sie noch jetzt in der Überlieferung gewaltig erscheinen läßt, so möge der Name Deutschland in China in einer solchen Weise bekannt werden, daß niemals wieder ein Chinese es wagt, etwa einen Deutschen auch nur schiel anzusehen'.
  38. ^ "Quand un Attila, sans remords, / Lance ses hordes cannibales, / Tout est bon qui meurtrit et mord: / Les chansons, aussi, sont des balles!", from Theodore Botrel, by Edgar Preston T.P.'s Journal of Great Deeds of the Great War, February 27, 1915

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also huns


Proper noun


  1. Plural form of Hun.


  • Anagrams of hnsu
  • shun


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

The Huns appear in The Conquerors Expansion and their unique unit is the Tarkan which is a cavalry unit, effective against buildings.

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Simple English

The Huns were an early group of Central Asian equestrian nomads or semi-nomads.[1] .


  1. Walter Pohl has remarked "early medieval peoples were far less homogeneous than often thought. They themselves shared the fundamental belief to be of common origin; and modern historians, for a long time, found no reason to think otherwise." (Walter Pohl, "Conceptions of Ethnicity in Early Medieval Studies" Debating the Middle Ages: Issues and Readings, ed. Lester K. Little and Barbara H. Rosenwein, (Blackwell), 1998, p 16). In reviewing Joachim Werner's Beiträge zur Archäologie des Attila-Reiches (Munich 1956), in Speculum 33.1 (January 1958), p 159, Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen noted with relief that "the author is not concerned with the slightly infantile question, 'who' the Huns were; he does not ask where the Huns 'ultimately' came from."

Further reading

Note:These may not be written in Basic English.

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