Ancient tribe Huns
The Huns were Central Asian equestrian peoples who lived as nomads, later as semi-nomads. Their homeland was originally the area between the now Kyrgyz Yssykköl Lake and the now Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar. They were to carry great weight in Asian and European history.
In pre-Christian times they were probably the Xiongnu people for the Chinese. The Chinese defeated them in the first century BC, and many of them moved west. Around 370 they subdued the Alans in the North Caucasus and the Ostrogoths. Under King Attila they owned a large empire north of the Black and Caspian Seas. The Byzantine Empire fell into their dependence. Their raids were frightening and they advanced as far as southern France and Rome. Finally they were defeated by the Romans and Visigoths on the Catalan fields in 451. After Attila's death in 453, the Hun Empire began to disintegrate.
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The Asian Huns
The origin of the Huns had been connected by older research with the fall of the Hsiung-nu Empire. The Hsiung-nu empire divided into a southern and a northern part around the middle of the 1st century. The southern part became a Chinese protectorate, while the northern part disappeared towards the end of the 1st century.
The real "Hun storm" began in the 4th century: in 350 the Chionites, a Hun group, began to attack the Sassanid Empire under Shapur II. They conquered Bactria and pushed the Kidarites (these are remnants of the Yüe-tschi under Kidara) into Afghanistan and northern India. Shapur II defeated the Chionites, who served as auxiliaries in the Roman-Persian War in 359 and took part in the siege of the fortress of Amida. They were followed by the Hephtalites (White Huns, but not Europeans), who crossed the Syr-daja in 425 and ruled the Chionites until 450. In 451 or 484 also the time of the Kidarites ended. The White Huns were involved in the decline of the Indian Great Empire of the Gupta and also had differences with Persia (in 484 the Sassanide Peroz I died, in 498/99 they were involved in the Sassanid throne disputes).
The European Huns (Black Huns)
At the turn of time Sarmatians related to the Scythians ruled the steppes of Eastern Europe, in the 3rd century the Goths joined them. Then the Black Huns triggered a great migration of peoples in the 70s of the 4th century. A change in the climate caused food for the herds to become scarce. However, all this is only speculative. Under their leader Balamir the Huns crossed the Volga. In 374 they defeated the Alanian Empire and formed an alliance with them. On the Tauris peninsula, the Crimea, they destroyed Ermanarich's empire of the Greutations in 375 (cf. especially Ammianus Marcellinus, 31, 2f.). A part of the atrocities fled to the west (5).
Then the Huns reached the borders of the Eastern Roman Empire, the Terwings fled the Black Sea area in 394. The East Roman population called the Black Huns Tartars, which later applied to all Asian equestrian peoples. The word Tartaros is translated with the devilish, derived from the Greek hell or underworld. The Huns brought an Asian disease to Europe: smallpox.
The Black Huns made a demonic impression on their enemies. They cut - according to the Jordanian - the male infants' faces to prevent them from growing beards. The warriors smeared black earth into their battle wounds to form thick-skinned scars. They also formed high tower skulls. Such skulls were found in Thuringia and at Talas (Kyrgyzstan). The Black Huns were shorn bald - a sign of submission - only the "Khagan", the leader of the horde, was allowed to wear long hair.
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