The Hunnic War Machine: The Push Westward – Part I

The Hunnic War Machine: The Push Westward – Part I

The steppe has produced many notable horse archers who brought terror and devastation to the known world during ancient times. But of the many steppe peoples who penetrated the civilized world, none brought more destruction then the Huns.

Sometime during the mid-to-late fourth century, the Huns pushed westward. While on the move, they encountered the Alans. The Huns quickly engaged and slaughtered them. Afterwards, the Huns made an alliance with the survivors. With the Alans riding alongside the Huns, they headed towards the lucrative lands of Goths, particularly that of Greuthungs, led by King Ermanaric, sometime in the 370’s. The attack was so swift and relentless that the Goths could not halt their progress. Ermanaric could do little to thwart the Hun advance, and in despair, he committed suicide. With Ermanaric dead, another took his place by the name of Vithimiris. Vithimiris continued the fight, even hiring Hun mercenaries. However, it was all in vain. Vithimiris could not defeat the Huns and eventually lost his life in 376.

Huns in battle with the Alans. An 1870s engraving after a drawing by Johann Nepomuk Geiger.

A suggested path of Hunnic movement westwards. ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

With Vithimiris dead, Alatheus and Saphrax took charge, as Viderichus, the son of Vithimiris, was too young to rule. Rather than to continue fighting the Huns, they led the Greuthungs to the Danube River in 376. Furthermore, the names Alatheus and Saphrax appear Alanic, and may have been of a Sarmatian/Alan origin.

The Seeds of Destruction

Besides the Greuthungs, the Thervingi Goths, led by Fritigern and Alavivus, also joined them to escape the Huns, and in hopes of seeking asylum in the Eastern Roman Empire. The total number of refugees is disputed. The fourth century Greek sophist and historian Eunapius indicates that 200,000 Goths appeared along the Danube, while Peter Heather suggests roughly 100,000. Whatever the number, the impact was great, not only on the Goths but also on the Eastern Roman Empire. Two years after arriving at the Danube, the Goths were allowed to enter into Eastern Roman territory. Once established, the Roman provincial commanders Lupicinus and Maximus took advantage of the refuges, leading the Goths to revolt which ended in a Gothic victory at the Battle of Adrianople in 378.

“Grande Ludovisi” sarcophagus, with battle scene between Roman soldiers and Goths.

While the Battle of Adrianople on the surface has nothing to do with the Huns, most important is what lies beneath. The Goths, over a period of years, would not have trickled to the Danube, seeking asylum into the Eastern Roman Empire had it not been for the menace from the east.

What the Goths knew the Romans brushed off. In the words of Ammianus: “The seed-bed and origin of all this destruction and of the various calamites inflicted by the wrath of Mars, which raged everywhere with unusual fury, I find to be this: the people of the Huns.”

The Hunnic Invasion

The Huns were a steppe nomadic confederation that arrived in the area of the Black Sea sometime during the 370's. These strange invaders were not like other peoples in the area. Everything from their physical appearance to their mode of warfare was new and terrifying to the Barbarians in their path, and to the civilization of Rome who would soon encounter them.



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  • Stilicho, Alaric, Attila, and the Changing World of the Ancient Roman Empire
  • The Scourge of God: Did Attila the Hun Really Deserve the Nickname?
  • The great and powerful Xiongnu

Attila the Hun has long been known in the West as &ldquothe scourge of God.&rdquo This was propaganda against the pagan king of an empire that stretched from the Black Sea to France. Historian Jordanes referred to Attila as, &ldquoa lover of war, yet restrained in action, mighty in counsel, gracious to suppliants, and lenient.&rdquo According to Priscus, he was also a man of his word. From 440 AD onward, Attila refused to attack the Romans, as they paid their yearly tribute of 318 kilograms (700 lb) of gold.

Attila was born some time in the fifth century into a Hunnic royal family. As a child, he was trained in horsemanship, archery, lasso, and military strategy. However, he also mastered Latin and Gothic so that he could do business with his neighbors. Reports describe Attila as dressing simply, without any ostentation. And while he entertained guests with fine meals served on silver plates, Attila ate only meat off wooden planks.

10. Baby Head Shaping

Also called “artificial cranial deformation,” this is a practice almost as old as humanity itself. The practice was performed all throughout the world, from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Oceania, and even in some parts of Europe. In fact, in France cranial deformation was performed up until the 19 th century. Though not dangerous in any way, the process does change the physical appearance. The techniques used do vary somewhat from place to place, either by using wooden planks or pieces of fabric to achieve the desired result. Flat, elongated, rounded, and conical cranial shapes were among the most sought after around the world. From about one to six months old, a baby’s skull is highly malleable, and during this time its head is tightly wrapped in cloth, in order to give it its alien-looking head shape.

And according to archaeological evidence, it seems that the Huns also practiced head shaping. Together with their ethnic origins, the Huns looked totally outlandish to the various peoples of Europe – especially the Romans. Numerous contemporary descriptions attest this fact. And it’s no wonder that these strangely shaped heads gave the Huns a terrifying look to those they attacked and slaughtered. And in fact, the Huns were the ones who introduced the practice in the European peoples they subjugated, including the above mentioned French.

Bow and Arrow

The primary weapon of the Hunnic horse archer was the composite bow. The Hunnic reflex bow was made of wood, horn, and sinew. The ears of the bow had seven bone plaques, while the handle had three, two on the side one on its top.

The foundation of the bow was made of wood. The type of wood used could have been maple, yew, poplar or ash. When the tree of choice had been selected, the bowyer would choose to use the heartwood of the tree instead of the growing outer layer or sapwood.

Scythians shooting with composite bows, fourth century BCE. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

After the selecting and fashioning the wood into shape, a layer of sinew is applied. Sinew gives the bow its penetrating power. Once the sinew is applied, the bow would be bellied with horn, which provides compressive strength and on release of the arrow, the bone brings the bow back to original position like a coil. To keep this complex weapon together, glue made from boiled animal hide was used. These multiple layers of bone made the bow quite stiff and powerful upon release.

The Hunnic bow was between 130-160 centimeters long or between four and five feet in length. Unlike other steppe bows, the length of the Hunnic bow was not ideal for use by a horse archer. The ancient Scythian bow was 80 centimeters or (2.6 feet) in length, making it ideal for horse archery, even though some were found to be 127 centimeters or (4.2 feet) in length. The Huns got around this by making the bow asymmetrical. Its upper half was slightly longer than the lower. The reason for the lower half being shorter was so as not to poke the horse in the neck. Another reason why the Huns extended the length of the bow was to produce more power. Upon release, the Hunnic horse archers could effectively hit an unarmored opponent at 150 to 200 meters or (492-656 feet), and an armored opponent at 75 to 100 meters or (246-328 feet).

A modern reconstruction of an historical composite bow. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The type of bowstring used also varied. The string for the bow must not be too heavy or light nor stretch easily. The materials used could have been from twisted gut, sinew, horsehair, vines, and even silk. The Hunnic horse archer probably had a variety of bowstrings on hand for various climate conditions. Horsehair strings were best suited for colder climates, whereas sinew absorbed moisture, making them less desirable due to stretching.

The Huns used a variety of arrowheads. One type was a large leaf-shaped and the other a large three-bladed iron arrowhead. The Huns are also said to have used “sharp bone” according to Ammianus. They are said to have fixed bone balls behind the tips called “whistlers”, which produce a terrifying sound for psychological effect. When placing the arrowhead on the shaft, the Huns and other eastern steppe peoples did not socket it into place like the Scythians and Sarmatians did. Instead, the Hunnic arrowheads had a tang, which was sunk into the arrow shaft. The possible reason for this is that it was easier to produce arrowheads with tangs than socketed. Later on western steppe tribes adopted the eastern tang style.

The type of arrow shafts possibly used was cane, reed, birch, cornel, rose-willow, hornbeam, and ash. Reed may have been the preferred material to use for it would travel further and easier to produce. The feathers used in fletching would generally have been from either ducks or geese. The number of feathers attached to the shaft was between two and four. The feathers provided aerodynamic stabilization for the flight of the arrow.

Ancient Greek bronze leaf-shaped, trefoil and triangular arrowheads. (Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. / CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Huns carried a broad shaped bow case, which hung on the left side, and an hour glassed shape quiver or tube-like on the right side, which had a flap. The materials used to construct these cases were made of leather, bark or wood. Upon firing the arrow, the Hun would place the arrow on the right side of the bow. The archer would draw the bowstring with three fingers with the thumb locked under the first three fingers and protected by a ring of bone, horn, ivory or even stone.

An Empire of Conquest

In conclusion, the Hunnic war machine was like that of any other nomadic steppe tribe but with a twist. The twist is the Huns could do it better. Whereas the Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans and many others could only do little in terms of conquest and confiscation, their goals to expand beyond the steppe frontier was never considered, even when they were united. This is not to say that they did not take the plunge into the civilized sedentary world. They did, but in small strikes and fast retreats from those who posed a challenge. The Huns, like the others mentioned, became powerful enough to challenge the various steppe tribes and absorbed them through conquest. While the Huns initially were still not united, their appetite for conquest and confiscation could not be quenched and was a shared goal among them. Even when the Huns pushed out the Goths, they still found plunder by joining with the Romans. Once Attila came on the scene with his brother Bleda, the brothers were able to negotiate and coerce the tribes to coalesce as one. Therefore, the Huns were the first true nomadic empire to establish itself before the civilized world.

But their world was not long term, as the Hunnic economy was based on war and extortion with no lasting goal. In the end, the Hunnic war machine that set foot in Europe, before mighty Roman and the fractured Barbarians, would soon disappear, but the carcass of the machine remained to be absorbed by those affected, to be restudied and implemented to make their (Romans and Barbarians) armies much more effective on the battlefield.

A Storm from the West part IV: The Baktun of the Holy War. (a Sunset Invasion Megacampaign)

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Chilean Monarchist

A Storm from the West part IV: The Baktun of the Holy War.

I finally start part IV of the AAR i started back in 2018 and have slowly continued over the years, this is a Megacampaign that started with a small Phoenician Kingdom that fell in Eu4 and then migrated to the American Continent in a small mod i made for CK2 and were assimilated by the Mayans, after that they invaded Europe and had many strange adventures. I never expected to continue this in CK3 before seeing Vicky 3 but if i have some luck i hope part VI is in that game

Many unexpected things have happened in all parts, in part I the Romans were conquered by the Etruscans, who in turn expanded into most of Europe and then collapsed in part III, the Huns went crazy and conquered most of the world in short periods of time and the Mayans had to convert to Christianity to save the world from becoming the playground of the nomadic hordes. and when everything seemed to be controlled the Slavs showed up and conquered most of Western Europe. In this part i will be playing with the following mods:

- Sunset Invasion
- Community Flavor Pack
- More Faith Icons
- Sunset Invasion CFP Compatibility Patch
- A small mod made with localizations and gfx.

This time, and to make things more difficult because the Mayans (who will from now be called Atlantean-Mayans) conquered a lot of lands in Part III i will be playing as a minor and irrelevant Duke and my few lands will surely get invaded by the Nahua from beyond the sea i will have the following objectives:

- Conquer all the provinces with a "Maya" Culture
- Convert all these lands to a custom faith i made
- Survive the onslaught of Christians and Nahua
- Form the Third Mayan Empire and then return to the Mayab.

Rulers and chapters of the Current Part.

Mayan High Priesthood and Duchy of the Atlantean Islands (825-830)
High Priest Pacal Q'uk'umatz, 825-830 CE. ( The Baktun of the Holy War, Part I )

Duchy of the Atlantean Islands (830-)

Older parts of the AAR:


Chilean Monarchist

“For many historians is still surprising to look to the past and realize that a century ago most Christian realms were united into a single Confederation and that they elected their leaders without the rivalries of today (1), Etruscans, Vandals, Greeks, Mayans, Phoenicians, all had their opportunity to take the mantle of Emperor and rule with the support of the Papacy to protect the interests of Christianity against the violent invasions of the Hunnic Hordes and the Slavic tribes. But once the eastern threat ended, the Hunnic Hordes started to settle in the lands they had conquered and many Slavic tribes converted to Christianity there was no need for the continuation of the Mediterranean Confederation, or at least that’s what the noble Houses of the period believed. Now more than before time had shown us that without the unity, peace and prosperity that the Confederation gave us, we are not better than the Huns and wage petty wars between ourselves instead of focusing our forces on expanding Christianity like in the past. […] The Pope represents the divine authority on earth but even if he has recently managed to unite all the Italian duchies after the fall of the Kingdom of Etruria, he has not been able to stop the endless and unprecedented state of violence between Christians that the past century has seen.

I lost the screenshots of Part III thanks to an inopportune virus, but the Mediterranean Confederation encompassed all Fraticelli lands except the Armenian territories and Mali.

But to understand the current state of affairs we must study what happened during the migration period and why people like the Atlanteans and the Vandals came to live in such places like Byzantium or Sardinia […]

The Slavic Tribes.

330-340 Sarmato-Slavic invasion of the Empire of Lydia, the Volhynian tribes settle in Anatolia.
535 The Polish tribes liberate the valley of the Vistula river from the Ugekid Horde and start a general migration to the west taking advantage of the complete state of chaos caused by the First Great Hunnic War in Western Europe.
540 Pomeranian-Polabian invasion of Central Europe.
541 The Czech invades Raetia and create their own Kingdom.
545 A group of Slavic tribes invade Gaul, they became known as the Galliya after assimilating the native population and expelling the Frankish tribes from the region.
550 Some Polish tribes invade Scandinavia fleeing from the advance of the Shambatid Horde.

555 Taking advantage of the end of the First Great Hunnic War many Slavic tribes settle in the Balkans and most of them convert to Christianity.

Some historians say that the Migration Period started with the invasion of Sarmatian-Slavic tribes to the Empire of Lydia and with the Slavic princesses taking control of it they ended the Hellenic period of domination in Eastern Europe with such speed, that the chaos that followed engulfed the entire continent. The descendants of these invaders are now called the “Volhynians” and live to this day as subjects in the Empire of the Frontier, most of them have been converted to Christianity over time.

After these events there are records of Slavs serving under the command of the Ostrogothic and Hunnic invaders that came from the end, but nothing would have made even the craziest writer of the period about what was about to happen.

In the middle of the 6th century a great migration wave came from the east and displaced or killed millions in their advance taking advantage of the Hunnic hordes becoming weakened by the First Great Hunnic war, most of Central and Western Europe became populated to this day by many different Slavic tribes.

The important of them were the Galliya and the Czech who converted to Christianity and created powerful Kingdoms, the Raetian Kingdom was capable to defeat by themselves an invasion from the Mediterranean Confederation in the first half of the 8th century, inflicting one of the few defeats the Christian Empire suffered during their existence.

The Galliya is a culture that appeared in the mod WTWSMS of CK2 when the Slavs mixed with the Gallic population.

300? Arrival of the Huns in the east, triggering the Sarmato-Slavic migration to the south
360-370 First Etruscan-Hunnic War ended in a Pyrric victory for the Etruscans after the defeat in the Battle of Heves in 366 and a culminated with a disastrous civil war in the Hunnic Empire.
415 The Ugekid Horde invades the Etruscan heartlands, murdering millions and completely destroying Ravenna, the historical Etruscan Capital.
420 Expansion of the Hunnic Empire into southern Italy.
490 Askungur “The Monster” of the Sinnion Horde conquers Anatolia
493 The Shambatid Horde conquers the totality of Gaul
495 The Utyakid Horde conquers eastern Iberia
500 The Ugekid Horde settles in the valley of the river Vistula in the north
505 The Hunnic Empire invades Carthage.
526-553 First Great Hunnic War against the Shambatid and Ugekid Hordes and against the Hunnic Empire, the Mayan Empire manages to kick the nomads from Italy at a great cost.
591-610 Second Great Hunnic War, the Mediterranean Confederation kicks the Shambatid Horde and the Hunnic Empire from the Balkans and sets the Danube river as the eastern frontier. The Hunnic Empire collapsed in the aftermath of the war.
761 The Shambatid Horde invades the Etruscan Kingdom and destroys it in a quick war. They create the Kingdom of Ferrara and settles In the region, starting the process of sedentarization of the Western Huns and ending the Migration Period.

The greatest conquerors of the Migration Period were the various Hunnic Hordes and of course the Hunnic Empire, chaotic and destructive, they were like an unforgiving force of nature conquering everything and everyone until the Mayans united the Christians to stop their brutal advance. Clever in the art of war, they were almost unbeatable by normal means, and having the Ostrogoths as their faithful allies they had no problems conquering Italy more than once. At the end of the 5th Century they had managed to conquer most of Western Europe until the Atlantean-Mayan victory in the First Great Hunnic war halted their advance and saved Christianity for certain extermination.

After the Second Great Hunnic War and the end of the Mediterranean Confederation it seems like the Huns became divided across two cultural groups:

The Eastern Huns, who still live in the steppes and have settled in part of the Balkans, they value their old traditions and have settled in the lands they have historically occupied and have became tribal after generations of nomadic life. They live mostly in the reformed Hunnic Empire and are ruled by the Uldin Clan, who also managed to retain the position of leaders of the Tengri faith.

The Western Huns who live in the lands that were once occupied by the many Hordes that invaded the west, they have adopted customs and traditions of the people they conquered across the centuries and are a pretty diverse group, lately they absorbed the Magyar and most of the Bulgarian Hordes that lived to the east and fled from the Hunnic Empire a few decades ago. Their most important Kingdom is the founded after the dissolution of the Shambatid Horde is the Kingdom of Ferrara led by the Shambatid clan.

390 Arrival of the Visigoths in southern Gaul and creation of the Kingdom of Tolosa
395 Arrival of the Suebi in Iberia
400 Arrival of the Ostrogoths to the Balkans and creation of their first Kingdom
405 The Kingdom of Tolosa invades central Iberia
405 The Franks settle in northern Gaul
418 The Vandals invade Sardinia and Corsica.
425 Vandalic Invasion of the Kingdom of Carthage
470 The Ostrogoths sacrifice Comatus to their gods , the last Etruscan King of the old Kingdom and settle in Central Italy

540-547 The Slavs invade the homeland of the Germanic tribes of Central and Western Europe, replacing them as the inhabitants of the region.​

The Germanic people used to be a privileged group of people who lived in the northern lands of the old Etruscan Empire and served as administrators, commanders and soldiers being fully integrated into the Imperial structures of power, after the at least twenty civil wars of the 4th century provoked by the ambitions and moral decadence of the old Etruscan generals and politicians they realized that they had the potential and the capacity to take over the Empire and rule over their own destinies.

After the fragmentation and dissolution of the Empire at the start of the 5th century the Franks settled in northern Gaul and prospered there until the Galliya nearly exterminated them in the Slavic Migration of the 6th Century, they, alongside the Frisians are the only Germanic tribes that survive in their former homeland.

A hardened group of survivors, that’s how I would describe the Ostrogothic people who still live in Southern Italy and the Balkans, after the Shambatid Invasion of Etruria and the creation of the Kingdom of Ferrara they returned to serve their old masters and even abandoned Christianity in favor of the Tengri faith, some would say that they betrayed the true faith again and deserved even a worse fate, but they are just trying to survive in these tumultuous times.

The Visigoths and the Suebi invaded Iberia centuries ago and became one with the natives of the region, Castilians, Suebi, Visigoths and Catalonians all serve under the rule of the Atlantan Mayans, maybe they will be return to prominence in the future, who knows.

The Lusitanians and the Basque are the only original Iberians that survived part III.

307 Conquest of Southern Iberia by the Atlantean-Mayans and creation of the Kingdom of Ispania
385 Conquest of Carthage by the Mayan Empire
553 As a result of the First Great Hunnic War, the Mayan Empire conquers the entire Italian Peninsula
559 Creation of the Mediterranean Confederation.
560 Consolidation of Atlantean-Mayan rule in central Iberia.
610 Creation of the Atlantean-Maya Kingdom of the Frontier to protect the east from Hunnic incursions

They had an old myth tracing their origin to a mysterious land called the Mayab, but the fact is that they come from the Atlantean Islands and after increasing their numbers because of many prosperous harvests they invaded Iberia in 302 CE, ending the Turdetani rule in the region. After that and some centuries of internal struggles for power the Atlantan-Mayans expanded to the east, conquered Carthage, defeated the Huns in the two Great Hunnic Wars and became the most important people in the Mediterranean.

Their most powerful Kingdoms are:

The Kingdom of Galicia, formed after the “Great Purgue” of 830 CE from the old Kingdom of New Tikal they are the oldest Atlantean-Mayan Kingdoms and one of the most powerful and is still led by the House of Q’uk’umatz, they are at war with the Empire of Hispania led by House Massin, another realm from the same culture and religion.

And the Empire of the Frontier, formed as a shield against the Huns in the region and responsible in part for the dissolution of the Mediterranean Confederation, they are ruled by the recently formed House Qukumatz-Brysis, a cadet house of the Q’uk’umatz. The Empire of the Frontier rule over many people, Etruscans, Greeks, Bulgarians, Western Hun, Volhynians and Armenians amongst others.

In the next chapter of this book we will be analyzing the fate of the people that once ruled the world during the Hellenic Period…"

(1)The author idealizes the Mediterranean Confederation, in fact there were many rivalries and internal conflicts between the Germano-Etruscan Viceroyalties and the Mayan Kingdoms.


Basileus Romaion


Keeper of the Converters

Midnite Duke




Jews have their own kingdom? So I guess there is no Jewish Diaspora in this world

Anyway I'm interested with the "next chapter of this book"


Chilean Monarchist

Thanks, i love long runs and creating worlds. i'm thinking about making an Imperator to HOI5 in the next decade, maybe

Jews have their own kingdom? So I guess there is no Jewish Diaspora in this world

Anyway I'm interested with the "next chapter of this book"


Emperor of Greece and Rome and Holy Roman Emperor

Well, this will be interesting.

Won't this author and those like him be surprised when that old legend turns out to be true. The Mayans do exist, after all.

I have a megacampaign AAR as Byzantium here. It also now has a spinoff in OT - The Demetriad
I have a poetic AAR on the Romano-Mongols here.
I have a Stellaris AAR here.
I have a CK3 AAR here.
I have another megacampaign AAR (this one as Epirus). Part 1 is here.
I also have a Victoria II AAR here.
Full AAR list (with AwAARds!) is at my Inkwell

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
Tempus et mort vincent omnia - Time and death conquer all


Chilean Monarchist


Chilean Monarchist

The world of our ancestors had been experienced a golden age of prosperity and development of knowledge for centuries and it seemed to never end, the Etruscan and Lydian Empires where the shining jewels of an era that seems to be almost mythological in nature because of how much we lost and how our Empires crumbled and fell to never recover. We live in barbaric times and after the end of the Hellenic Period and the horrible tragedy of the Migration Period our world is not as glorious as it once was, and maybe it will never be.

The Lydian Empire was the most powerful of the Hellenic realms and was an unlikely candidate to fell to the wrath of the barbaric hordes of the east, but they fell anyways in 330 CE and the Hellenes have lived centuries of disgrace and oppression under the boots of the Slavs, Huns, Ostrogoths, Phoenicians, Egyptians and other Christians, most of them have converted to Christianity over time but remain as subjects of cruel foreign powers, they once expanded into the entirety of the Balkans and the eastern steppes…now they don’t even are the owners of their own destinies anymore…that’s seems to be the sad fate of people that once ruled the world around them.

The Etruscans went from being the masters of Western Europe to be partitioned by the Shambatid, the Frontier and the Papacy.

After millennia of following the old Kemetic religion a new sect appeared that mixed the increasingly popular Christian faiths of the east with an old minoritarian cult to the sun and created the strong Atenic faith, at first they tried to get integrated into the Fraticelli church as equals but were rejected because of their heretic beliefs (replacing God with a Solar deity is the minor of their heresies) and condemned in the 5th Ecumenical Council of 825 CE, the answered by naming their Emperor as the sole authority of their faith and he became their equivalent of their Pope, a mockery of what true Christians stand for.

They have been pretty tolerant with the Jewish people in the Holy land and have even allowed some of their nobles to have the control of some counties and use that as an example of the benign rule of House Minaid.

The Armenian Empire once was the greatest ally in the east that the Mediterranean Confederation ever had, but then their Empire fell to absurd internal disputes and the Persians and Muslims took advantage over that, to solve their complicated situation the Armenian King convince his priests to accept the Fraticelli Ecumenical Councils and the authority of the Pope, the Armenians then joined the Western Church and thanks to that, they have been able to create the alliances needed to stop the advance of the eastern heathens over their lands.

Another survivor of the Hellenic Period and that was almost assimilated by the Atlanteans, Vandals and Huns are the Carthaginians. They were conquered time after time by different groups of people, but then, after centuries of Atlantean-Mayan domination and under the leadership of the House Haytili they experienced a prosperous era with many of them becoming Emperors of the Mediterranean Confederation, they became the best administrators of the era and became absurdly rich and used that wealth to improve their situation, at the end of the Migration Period they lost their lands In the southern Balkans to the Egyptians and Sicily to the Empire of Hispania, but conquered the heretic Empire of Africa in 870 CE, following the mandate of the 5th and 6th Ecumenical Councils of war against the heretics in the Mediterranean.

Will the Pictish Empire rule the waves at some point?

Annex: The Ecumenical Councils of the 9th Century.

The 5th Ecumenical Council of Rome, Papal States 825

“During the past years the Mayan Traditionalists had been strangely active both in North Africa and Iberia, although for many centuries the pagan religion of the Maya had been protected by the laws of the Mediterranean Confederation not even a decade had passed since its dissolution and the Fraticelli priests started to persecute the nonbelievers with greater zeal than ever before incentivized by the Pope in Rome who wanted to strengthen his control over the situation in the Mediterranean, after all… he was still the de jure leader of the Confederation and had the moral authority over the churches of the former members of the union. Some local nobles protested against the intervention of the Church in the independent Kingdoms and that the laws of the Mediterranean Confederation were part of the customs and laws of their people for the past centuries and the “Mayan Kings” of Iberia and North Africa backed their people in their position against the perceived tyranny of the Church.

The Pope seeing this situation as an opportunity to enforce his authority over the Christian realms called for a Fifth Ecumenical Council and invited the Mayan Kings to it as observers, the Etruscans and other “easterners” saw this as the final opportunity to declare war against the pagans or those who accepted the pagans, it was time to enforce the Christian faith over the always privileged Mayans.

In the Fifth Ecumenical Council the Priests and Cardinals unanimously voted to persecute and eradicate heresy on all it forms in all the Christian world and invited the Mayan Kings to accept the laws of the Church, after all, they had accepted Christianity generations ago and the laws of the Mediterranean Confederation to protect the Mayan Pagans had ceased to have relevance and were nullified when Emperor Anoki II Q’uk’umatz accepted the independence of the Mayan Kingdoms in 772 CE. Another heresy that was discussed was the Atenic faith that was gaining relevance in Egypt at the time, it was condemned for treating the local rulers as divine vessels of the Holy Spirit and the voice of God on Earth, giving God a physical form as a solar deity amongst many other perversions that take them away from the true spirit of Christianity.

  • The Mayan pagan faith would no longer be tolerated on Christian realms with the threat of excommunication to the rulers that tolerated such aberration. The Church was in charge of cleanse the heresy and Christian rulers gained the right to invade the realms who tolerates the spread of the pagan faith.
  • The Atenic form of Christianity was condemned and proclaimed as a form of idolatry.
  • The possibility of the Pope declaring Great Wars like the Emperors of old was discussed but not approved because it was considered contrary to the nature of the office.
  • Iconoclasm was discussed but not condemned as was a minor heresy.
  • The theology of the Holy Trinity proposed by the Hellenic priest was repudiated, again.

As was mentioned before, the Armenian Church was independent from the Fraticelli Church since the dawn of time mostly because of political issues, the Emperors of the Mediterranean Confederation and of the Armenian Empire did not wanted to pollute their respective churches with the political issues of the time and even if the eastern Church recognized at least partially most of the canon of the western Church excluding the Papal authority over them they were considered separate Churches.

This changed when both empires fell and the political situation changed with it, at the end of this century the Armenians desperately needed allies as they were surrounded by enemies and because of this they sent envoys to Rome to discuss an rapprochement with their western brothers, the Pope only asked for two things: they had to recognize the authority of the Pope over them and to accept all the resolutions taken in the past Ecumenical Councils.

They of course accepted that.

  • The Armenian Church will enter in communion with the Fraticelli and will accept the authority of the Pope
  • As war against the heathens was a possibility, the Pope as the only authority of the Christian world that was respected by everyone would be able to declare Great Wars against heathens to protect the interests of Christianity as a whole.
  • The last doctrine was extended to “Armed Pilgrimages”, now Christians could form Holy Orders to protect Christians across the world when they traveled to the holy sites of the faith, the Church would authorize priests to join the armed groups to guide them.

Midnite Duke



Chilean Monarchist



Ok so you changed Atenic to be offshoot of Christian. Not a bad idea I like that you gave them crusades too it should really help them especially against Muslims. I don't think this faith should have lay clergy, but maybe after all this reforms it somehow happened so I'm not complaining here
I hope more Christian heresies wil be created cause it's pretty plain for now.

I didn't know Tengrism was reformed, that's huge. That means they are legitimate religion and now Christianity faiths will rival with them for influence in still pagan countries.

The only thing I don't know how I feel about is that both "West Hun" and "Atlantean-mayans" are rly spread out maybe in EU IV you could make for example west atlantean-mayans and the one from the Frontier different cultures maybe in the same culture group, if they survive of course. Maybe now they are still the same people but after 600 years they wouldn't be for sure

The another interesting part is fact that Islam rised in 610s before its own creation in 622 P

Edit: Mb with Islam it may still make sense sorry


Chilean Monarchist

Ok so you changed Atenic to be offshoot of Christian. Not a bad idea I like that you gave them crusades too it should really help them especially against Muslims. I don't think this faith should have lay clergy, but maybe after all this reforms it somehow happened so I'm not complaining here
I hope more Christian heresies wil be created cause it's pretty plain for now.

I didn't know Tengrism was reformed, that's huge. That means they are legitimate religion and now Christianity faiths will rival with them for influence in still pagan countries.

The only thing I don't know how I feel about is that both "West Hun" and "Atlantean-mayans" are rly spread out maybe in EU IV you could make for example west atlantean-mayans and the one from the Frontier different cultures maybe in the same culture group, if they survive of course. Maybe now they are still the same people but after 600 years they wouldn't be for sure

The another interesting part is fact that Islam rised in 610s before its own creation in 622 P

Edit: Mb with Islam it may still make sense sorry

The Atenic faith has lay clergy because the Emperor needed to be the head of the faith, its more straighforward that way (due to game mechanics) and its relation with Christianity is just there for flavor.

The Huns were unbeatable in part 3 because they were reformed, they did that at the start of the campaign and got the hability to do norse-styled invasions.

And yes, the cultures will began to drift away over time i just copied them directly from CK2, "western huns" maybe will be give way for the Hungarians of this timeline and something new if they survive in Anatolia-Italy only time will tell. Atlantean-Mayans are a different culture now and they have that name to differentiate them from the ones from the Mayab. They will also have changes over time but their fate is to be conquered by the "Maya-Christians" that survive in the shadows, they will be shown in the first chapter.

The rise of Islam was part of the WTWSMS mod and their expansion got stopped by the Tamils crushing their Caliphate, i dont know if they will survive this part with the Crusades and the powerful faiths that sorrounds them.

And yes, there will be plenty of Christian heresies, so far CK3 looks more dynamic with the heretics, i like having a lot of diverse cultures and religion on the map anyways.


Emperor of Greece and Rome and Holy Roman Emperor

Christian Atenism? interesting.

Islam brought low many ancient empires, it seems.

I have a megacampaign AAR as Byzantium here. It also now has a spinoff in OT - The Demetriad
I have a poetic AAR on the Romano-Mongols here.
I have a Stellaris AAR here.
I have a CK3 AAR here.
I have another megacampaign AAR (this one as Epirus). Part 1 is here.
I also have a Victoria II AAR here.
Full AAR list (with AwAARds!) is at my Inkwell

"The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
Tempus et mort vincent omnia - Time and death conquer all




Chilean Monarchist

Chapter 4.1 The Baktún of Holy War part I, 830 CE​

42 years before
New Tikal, Kingdom of New Tikal, 830 CE

The situation in the Atlantean-Mayan Kingdoms after the 5th Ecumenical Council was violent because the Fraticelli Priesthood burned several pagan temples in their zeal to preserve their religion pure and far from the "satanic" influences of the old faiths, all across the Christian Mediterranean the "Pagans" had to fled from their homes as the Priests who dressed, behaved and were armed like if they were soldiers in a real war and accompanied by angry mobs of zealots persecuted all people suspected of heresy, the penalty for that crime against Christianity in most cases was execution, it was an era of terror and zealotry.

This generalized persecution against Pagans from all denominations provoked that many Atlantean-Mayan nobles declared open rebellion against Papal authority in the affairs of their Kingdoms and embraced the faith of their ancestors not because they sincerely believed in the old gods, but because they saw in the figure of the Pope an oppressive and undesirable foreign interference in their territories and interests, if the religious activity of the Traditionalists (as the Mayan-Pagan and Maya-Christians ended calling themselves) had increased before the 5th Ecumenical Council, now several duchies and kingdoms during the last decade saw a revival of the proselytizing activity of the old religion because the High Priest of the faith gladly sent many of his priests to the continent in order to try to revive the old structures of power and perhaps re-create the Third Mayan Empire with himself at the head to fulfill the old prophecies and end the Christian persecutions by the use of force if necessary.

Nahil Q’uk’umatz, King of New Tikal, was outraged with this act of desobedience because the High Priest had not only broken the old treaty, but had dared to come to HIS capital and met with nobles who were questioning his power and authority as leader of the sacred bloodline of the Q'uk'umatz, something that only the ambitious traitors of the Kingdom of the Frontier had dared to do and after the meeting in the central square of New Tikal the pagan leader had requested an audience with him at the royal palace to request permission to celebrate the new Baktun in the Great Pyramid of Q'uk'umatz, in the old and abandoned temple-district of the old religion. Nahil had not been able to refuse such an insulting request without making the pagan nobles and supporters think that the King feared the nonexistent power of the old religion and he was also somewhat curious to meet the leader of the Traditionalists, after all, this was the first time in centuries that the High Priest entered the palace of New Tikal as the position of High Priest was abolished when the Kuhul Ahau took all his roles at the start of the 5th century and was a good opportunity to monitor the opposition giving it a little space to maneuver under his control…

The High priest entered the courtroom flanked by his 50 most talented priests and supported by several local nobles, many more than Nahil would have liked, this meant that this was more than a religious movement caused by the proximity of the next Baktun and this had taken on quite dangerous political overtones. Perhaps if the King of New Tikal did not acted quickly and brutally the High Priest could even attempt to take his place as the legitimate ruler of the Mayan world and put the Fraticelli between the Mayan hammer and the Hunnic anvil, this was not an empty threat…in North Africa the Anoki had created a pagan empire and expelled the Christian priests after a short war and with each passing day the old religion gained more followers . with or without Baktun, difficult times were coming for the western Christians.

The King had the spiritual leader of his enemies right in front of him, such a poor and insignificant man that was surely amazed by the beauty of the Royal Palace of New Tikal and was backed by so many ambitious and powerful men…his enemy was so close to him that he could even smell the High Priest, the leader of the insurgents, of the Satanists who planned to return to the aberrations of old religion and that still sacrificed animals to the cruel gods that previously needed human blood, this was undoubtedly an opportunity to finish with them once for all. In his heart he had already made an important decision, but due to the protocol he had to first listen to the request of the High Priest, so he made a signal with his hand to allow Pacal Q’uk’umatz speak:

- “Oh wise King of New Tikal and Guardian of the sacred Pyramid of our dynasty, I present my respects to your authority and talent "-the High priest placed great emphasis in the word OUR, something that immediately tensed the atmosphere-. "I know that I have broken the law by coming here to request the right we have to be allowed to occupy the old Pyramid to carry out the ceremony of the new Baktún, but it would be a great show of wisdom and love for our ancestors" - again the emphasis – "to give us the permit to carry on with the celebration in such a sacred place, since apart from our differences we have many things in common . Isn't Christ-Kukulkan who we adore and who made the maximum sacrifice so that our ancestors would stop their human sacrifices? Isn't it that we worship the same and only God above our heads? Isn't it Saint Iacobus (OTL Saint James, here syncretized with Buluc Chabtan) who we pray to before going to the battlefield? Isn't Ixchel-Maria the mother of our Savior whom we revere for being a mother being a virgin? Our similarities are greater than our differences and that is why we request to celebrate the Baktun in the Pyramid of our ancestors, if our antecessors used it for pagan purposes, we will do so in order to celebrate the change of Baktun, for the glory of Christ and of our Dynasty "

The nobles in the room murmured in agitation, some saw no malice in the High Priest's request, others instead frowned upon that heretics were allowed to speak that way in the royal court and were offended at the idea that they thought about re-occupying the old Temple-District and to use that cursed Pyramid where human sacrifices were once performed. The King was in the latter group and after silently looking at all the people in the room and weighing each word that came out of the heretical mouth of the High Priest of the Traditionalists, he spoke about it with great seriousness.

- "I do not know what you are smoking in your abominable pagan ceremonies, High Priest, but from your mouth I have not heard anything but heresies and insults to our faith, our people already have too many problems to allow heretics like you to walk through our cities and desecrate our presence with such obscenities. Guards!" -The King waved his left hand as if he wanted to clean the filth of the courtroom- "Take these pagans prisoner but make sure the High Priest returns safely to his island without receiving a single scratch, and I warn everyone who are listening to me right now, the nobles who have colluded with the Pagans must announce that they publicly repent from their treachery or they will suffer the consequences!"

The Palace Guards, who had been waiting all this time hiding in another room, quickly entered the audience chamber armed with their spears and easily took prisoner the 50 Traditionalist priests who accompanied the High Priest if there was a bit of resistance the Guards imposed the will of their King by the force of arms as the priests have spent all their lives inside their temples studying the stars and the sacred nature of the Gods little could do to face the best warriors that the King of New Tikal had at his service, Pacal Q'uk'umatz, upon seeing what was happening, spoke in a loud and clear voice so that all who were present would hear:

- "This is a betrayal to the memory of our ancestors !, I curse Balam-Quitzé (3) for having allowed you to deviate from the correct path for our people !, and I warn you that by not celebrating the beginning of the new Baktun you are condemning our people to forget their origins and dying like a tree after losing its roots, you are risking angering the Gods and your very ancestors, we are all children of Q'uk'umatz and our kingdoms where built thanks to the blessings of the Gods and the efforts of those whom you" -he said pointing to the King with his index finger- "call pagans, you will regret following the Etruscan Pope! Only a Maya can rule a Maya, you still have time to change this path to damnation!"

The King, who had been sitting on his throne all this time, stood up in outrage and said with disgust at the man in front of him:

- "Stop with this nonsense! If I don't order your execution right now it's because you belong to the royal family and out of respect for our ancestors and our sacred bloodline! Go back to your miserable island and preach to your chickens if that's what makes you happy! build a clay pyramid and worship your satanic gods but do it far from us and our land! Your impertinence has far exceeded my patience . I was thinking of doing this after the Baktun, but I want you and your people to understand that heresy has no place in Christian kingdoms! . "

The King sat again on his throne and summoned some of his heralds while two burly guards forced the High Priest to kneel before him, the head of Pacal was almost touching the ground, the room was in complete silence.

One of the King's Heralds, dressed in fine garments woven from fabrics probably brought from the east, carried an elegant scroll on his hands and after delicately opening it read it in a ceremonious but firm voice.

- “Because of the climate of generalized disobedience, the increase in pagan activity and the acts of witchcraft and blasphemy that have been experienced throughout the Kingdom, Nahil Q'uk'umatz King of New Tikal declares that the Great Pyramid of Q ' uk'umatz will be partially demolished to allow the construction of a great Cathedral, this project will have financing from the entire Christian world, who with great joy have announced that they will support the Mayan Kingdoms to eradicate the pagans once and for all [… ], your holiness, Pope XXXX blesses this initiative that once and for all will end a situation that created so many conflicts in the era of the Mediterranean Confederation. "

Silence reigned in the throne room, even the most staunch followers of the Pope as the highest authority in the Christian world were in absolute shock, one thing was to combat heresy another was to destroy the legacy of their ancestors and the pride of the city of New Tikal… but nothing could be done, after all… this was necessary to overcome the religious conflict that was increasing tensions throughout the Mayan world.

The High Priest tried to look at the King but the guards forced him to remain knelt and looking at the floor.

- "No, . you can't do this," - Pacal Q’uk’umatz muttered with great sadness knowing that there was nothing he could do to change the situation.

The king gazed at him proudly from atop his throne.

-"Of course I can” he said, slowly tapping one of the bracers on the Jade throne inherited by generations of Q’uk’umatz rulers..

(1) Chapter 3.28 of Part 3.
(2) I explained what is a Baktun in Chapter 3.22 of part 3, basically is a period in the “bigger wheel of time” that covers 394.4 Years, in OTL we are currently in Baktun 13, in this part of the AAR they are near the end of Baktun 10 and the start of Baktun 11. If you remember 2012, that was the end of Baktun 12.
(3) Balam-Quitzé was the last "Kuhul Ahau" and the first Mayan Emperor who fully converted into Christianity, after him everything went downhill for the non-Christians in the Mayan Kindoms.

Rome's Greatest Enemies Gallery

Attila ruled the Hunnic Empire from 440 to 453 AD, first with his brother Bleda, then alone after he had Bleda murdered. A first-hand account of Atilla by the Roman historian Priscus tells us that he was intelligent and extremely modest in his dress, although capable of violent outbursts of anger.

He ruled at the height of Hunnic power, when the dominant Huns had gathered under their control many of the Roman Empire's Germanic neighbours: Goths, Gepids, Rugi, Heruli and others. Attila set his huge war machine loose from the Great Hungarian Plain on two major campaigns against the eastern Empire in 442 and 447 AD, taking many of the major cities of the Balkans and defeating the imperial armies in open battle.

The huge booty he extracted was supplemented by an annual subsidy from Constantinople of 2000lbs of gold. This wealth shows up in a string of fabulously rich burials of the Hunnic era, found in central Europe. In 451 and 452 AD, he turned westwards, attacking Gaul and Italy respectively. Again, these were not wars of conquest, but raids to extract wealth. Neither was completely successful.

Attila retreated from Gaul after defeat at the Catalaunian Plains and from Italy when his army was ravaged by disease. He died on the latest of many wedding nights in 453 AD, apparently from a hemorrhage. On his death, his sons quarrelled over succession and the Germanic subject peoples took the opportunity to reassert their independence. This destroyed Hunnic power and in 469 AD Attila's only surviving son, Hernac, himself sought asylum in the eastern Empire.

Sailing From Londinium

They call themselves Romans but later historians distinguish each group of Romans calling the west Londinium and the east Nicomedian.

The Western Empire will survive

I'll have to read it later though


After the Kersonnegutan and Utigur Hunnic Kingdoms refused to continue paying tribute to the Goktürks they were ruthlessly invaded and subjugated. While their kingdoms were not entirely destroyed only much smaller vassal states remained as the Goktürks appeared to be preparing for to invade Nicomedia through Albania and Armenia a force from the east came. The
After the Kersonnegutan and Utigur Hunnic Kingdoms refused to continue paying tribute to the Goktürks they were ruthlessly invaded and subjugated. While their kingdoms were not entirely destroyed only much smaller vassal states remained as the Goktürks appeared to be preparing for to invade Nicomedia through Albania and Armenia a force from the east came. The Khazartürks, like the Goktürks before them, were skilled nomadic horsemen pushed westwards by the expanding Eastern Goktürk Khaganate. The Khazartürk Bulgars forced the Goktürks further westward occupying the land that they had occupied. The Goktürks in turn swept into Eastern Europe invading and absorbing the Ostrogothic Kingdom and Venedia. The Goktürks did not press on further into Middle Europe instead demanding tribute Raška, Nicomedia, and Hunnia. The Nicomedian Emperor, when hearing of the demands made to his empire, scoffed and said no Roman would ever pay a nomad again. The Goktürks crossed the Danube River and invaded Nicomedia. The troop levels in the Balkans were lower than normal for they were at the time moving through Mesopotamia in preparation for the invasion of Oman or in Italia pacifying the former Arianate territory. That being said the Nicomedian military was one of the most, if not the most, powerful military machine of its era and crushed the invasion force leading to a Slavic rebellion. Though Nicomedia had dispatched the Goktürks the Slavs would not throw of the yoke of the Goktürks for some time.

The driving force behind the Khazar migration westwards was the expansion of the Easter Goktürk Khaganate. The Khaganate expanded westwards conquering the Hephthalite Khanate and creating one of the largest continuous land empires in history. The Xiyú City-States to the south of the great Khaganate remained independent, by paying tribute to the Khazars.

In 548 the Hispanian Empire invaded Africa-Roma’s holdings in Iberia to throw the pagans out. Unlike Londinium which had been severally weakened or was distracted in more important theaters of war Africa-Roma invaded fought to retain its holdings and to expand into the impotent Roman state. The other members of the Holy Roman Empire did not move to assist the Hispanians, the various monarchs of the other states content to see them loose land and loose standing within the confederation. The pagan tide rolled across southern Iberia prompting the true Roman Empire of Londinium to invade Hispania to defend the Catholic faith. Since the great catastrophe that pushed the Empire to the brink the Roman Empire had regained its footing on the mainland and looked to retake all that it had lost. Though neither Africa-Roma nor Londinium were de jure at war with each other they existed in a de facto race of conquest. With the ‘partitioning of Hispania’ come to an end a rump Hispanian state was left to create a buffer state between the two resurgent empires.

In 553 the Frankish kingdom of Francia, ally to Londinium, petitioned to enter the Holy Roman Empire. With Hispania much smaller and holding less sway within the confederation and with the Holy Roman Emperor nearing death the Frankish king war a shoe in for the position of Holy Roman Emperor. In 556, the Frankish king Clotaire III became the Holy roman Emperor.
In 543 Axum invaded its pagan neighbor of Alwa with an overwhelming force, made of both Arab and Ethiopian troops, the Axumites conquered the Southern Nile kingdom. The Coptic population of Alwa was already quite large, Alwa being pagan in only leadership, and was quick to integrate into the mostly Coptic Empire.

In 556, 4 Nicomedian legions marched into Oman, each legion consisting of 5,200 men plus auxiliaries. The Eastern Roman invasion of Oman was purely monetarily motivated the conquest of Oman would give Nicomedia even greater control over the silk and spice trade. To the west, the Axum Empire was not going to allow Nicomedia to gain control over all of Oman, lest Nicomedia push it out of Arabia. In 557, the Axumite Empire invaded Omen from the west, moving quicker than the Nicomedians because most of the Oman forces were fighting the Eastern Romans.


The origins of the Huns and their links to other steppe people remain uncertain: [6] scholars generally agree that they originated in Central Asia but disagree on the specifics of their origins. Classical sources assert that they appeared in Europe suddenly around 370. [7] Most typically, Roman writers' attempts to elucidate the origins of the Huns simply equated them with earlier steppe peoples. [8] Roman writers also repeated a tale that the Huns had entered the domain of the Goths while they were pursuing a wild stag, or else one of their cows that had gotten loose, across the Kerch Strait into Crimea. Discovering the land good, they then attacked the Goths. [9] Jordanes' Getica relates that the Goths held the Huns to be offspring of "unclean spirits" [10] and Gothic witches. [11]

Relation to the Xiongnu and other peoples called Huns

Since Joseph de Guignes in the 18th century , modern historians have associated the Huns who appeared on the borders of Europe in the 4th century AD with the Xiongnu who had invaded China from the territory of present-day Mongolia between the 3rd century BC and the 2nd century AD . [2] Due to the devastating defeat by the Chinese Han dynasty, the northern branch of the Xiongnu had retreated north-westward their descendants may have migrated through Eurasia and consequently they may have some degree of cultural and genetic continuity with the Huns. [12] Scholars also discussed the relationship between the Xiongnu, the Huns, and a number of people in central Asia who were also known as or came to be identified with the name "Hun" or "Iranian Huns". The most prominent of these were Chionites, the Kidarites, and the Hephthalites. [13]

The campaigns of the Huns under Attila in Europe, leading to their defeat at the Catalaunian Plains in 451 AD, occur at roughly the same time as the conflicts between the Kidarites and the Sasanian Empire and the Gupta Empire in Southern Asia. [14] The Sasanian Empire temporarily lost to the Kidarites in 453 AD, falling into a tributary relationship, while the Gupta Empire repelled the Kidarites in 455 AD, under emperor Skandagupta. It is almost as if the imperialist empire and the east and west had combined their response to a simultaneous Hunnic threat across Eurasia. [14] In the end, Europe succeeded in repelling the Huns, and their power there quickly vanished, but in the east, both the Sasanian Empire and the Gupta Empire were left much weakened. [14]

Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen was the first to challenge the traditional approach, based primarily on the study of written sources, and to emphasize the importance of archaeological research. [15] Since Maenchen-Helfen's work, the identification of the Xiongnu as the Huns' ancestors has become controversial. [16] Additionally, several scholars have questioned the identification of the "Iranian Huns" with the European Huns. [17] Walter Pohl cautions that

none of the great confederations of steppe warriors was ethnically homogenous, and the same name was used by different groups for reasons of prestige, or by outsiders to describe their lifestyle or geographic origin. [. ] It is therefore futile to speculate about identity or blood relationships between H(s)iung-nu, Hephthalites, and Attila's Huns, for instance. All we can safely say is that the name Huns, in late antiquity, described prestigious ruling groups of steppe warriors. [18]

Recent scholarship, particularly by Hyun Jin Kim and Etienne de la Vaissière, has revived the hypothesis that the Huns and the Xiongnu are one and the same. De la Vaissière argues that ancient Chinese and Indian sources used Xiongnu and Hun to translate each other, [19] and that the various "Iranian Huns" were similarly identified with the Xiongnu. [20] Kim believes that the term Hun was "not primarily an ethnic group, but a political category" [21] and argues for a fundamental political and cultural continuity between the Xiongnu and the European Huns, [22] as well as between the Xiongnu and the "Iranian Huns". [23]

Name and etymology

The name Hun is attested in classical European sources as Greek Οὖννοι (Ounnoi) and Latin Hunni or Chuni. [24] [25] John Malalas records their name as Οὖννα (Ounna). [26] Another possible Greek variant may be Χοὖνοι (Khounoi), although this group's identification with the Huns is disputed. [27] Classical sources also frequently use the names of older and unrelated steppe nomads instead of the name Hun, calling them Massagetae, Scythians and Cimmerians, among other names. [28]

The etymology of Hun is unclear. Various proposed etymologies generally assume at least that the names of the various Eurasian groups known as Huns are related. There have been a number of proposed Turkic etymologies, deriving the name variously from Turkic ön, öna (to grow), qun (glutton), kün, gün, a plural suffix "supposedly meaning 'people'", [29] qun (force), and hün (ferocious). [29] Otto Maenchen-Helfen dismisses all of these Turkic etymologies as "mere guesses". [30] Maenchen-Helfen himself proposes an Iranian etymology, from a word akin to Avestan hūnarā (skill), hūnaravant- (skillful), and suggests that it may originally have designated a rank rather than an ethnicity. [31] Robert Werner has suggested an etymology from Tocharian ku (dog), suggesting based on the fact that the Chinese called the Xiongnu dogs that the dog was the totem animal of the Hunnic tribe. He also compares the name Massagetae, noting that the element saka in that name means dog. [32] Others such as Harold Bailey, S. Parlato, and Jamsheed Choksy have argued that the name derives from an Iranian word akin to Avestan Ẋyaona, and was a generalized term meaning "hostiles, opponents". [33] Christopher Atwood dismisses this possibility on phonological and chronological grounds. [34] While not arriving at an etymology per se, Atwood derives the name from the Ongi River in Mongolia, which was pronounced the same or similar to the name Xiongnu, and suggests that it was originally a dynastic name rather than an ethnic name. [35]

Physical appearance

Ancient descriptions of the Huns are uniform in stressing their strange appearance from a Roman perspective. These descriptions typically caricature the Huns as monsters. [36] Jordanes stressed that the Huns were short of stature, had tanned skin and round and shapeless heads. [37] Various writers mention that the Huns had small eyes and flat noses. [38] The Roman writer Priscus gives the following eyewitness description of Attila: "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." [39]

Many scholars take these to be unflattering depictions of East Asian ("Mongoloid") racial characteristics. [40] Maenchen-Helfen argues that, while many Huns had East Asian racial characteristics, they were unlikely to have looked as Asiatic as the Yakut or Tungus. [41] He notes that archaeological finds of presumed Huns suggest that they were a racially mixed group containing only some individuals with East Asian features. [42] Kim similarly cautions against seeing the Huns as a homogenous racial group, [43] while still arguing that they were "partially or predominantly of Mongoloid extraction (at least initially)." [44] Some archaeologists have argued that archaeological finds have failed to prove that the Huns had any "Mongoloid" features at all, [45] and some scholars have argued that the Huns were predominantly "Caucasian" in appearance. [46] Other archaeologists have argued that "Mongoloid" features are found primarily among members of the Hunnic aristocracy, [47] which, however, also included Germanic leaders who were integrated into the Hun polity. [48] Kim argues that the composition of the Huns became progressively more "Caucasian" during their time in Europe he notes that by the Battle of Chalons (451), "the vast majority" of Attila's entourage and troops appears to have been of European origin, while Attila himself seems to have had East Asian features. [49]


Damgaard et al. 2018 found that the Huns were of mixed East Asian and West Eurasian origin. The authors of the study suggested that the Huns were descended from Xiongnu who expanded westwards and mixed with Sakas. [50] [51]

Neparáczki et al. 2019 examined the remains of three males from three separate 5th century Hunnic cemeteries in the Pannonian Basin. They were found to be carrying the paternal haplogroups Q1a2, R1b1a1b1a1a1 and R1a1a1b2a2. [52] In modern Europe, Q1a2 is rare and has its highest frequency among the Székelys. All of the Hunnic males studied were determined to have had brown eyes and black or brown hair, and to have been of mixed European and East Asian ancestry. [53] The results were consistent with a Xiongnu origin of the Huns. [54]

In an interdiciplinary study, Savelyev & Jeong 2020 found no clear evidence of continuity between the Xiongnu and the Huns, and concluded that no genetic evidence suggest that the steppe component of the Huns was derived from the Xiongnu or other populations of the eastern steppe. [55]

Keyser et al. 2020 found that the Xiongnu shared certain paternal and maternal haplotypes with the Huns, and suggested on this basis that the Huns were descended from Xiongnu, who they in turn suggested were descended from Scytho-Siberians. [56]

Before Attila

The Romans became aware of the Huns when the latter's invasion of the Pontic steppes forced thousands of Goths to move to the Lower Danube to seek refuge in the Roman Empire in 376. [57] The Huns conquered the Alans, most of the Greuthungi or Eastern Goths, and then most of the Thervingi or Western Goths, with many fleeing into the Roman Empire. [58] In 395 the Huns began their first large-scale attack on the Eastern Roman Empire. [59] Huns attacked in Thrace, overran Armenia, and pillaged Cappadocia. They entered parts of Syria, threatened Antioch, and passed through the province of Euphratesia. [60] At the same time, the Huns invaded the Sasanian Empire. This invasion was initially successful, coming close to the capital of the empire at Ctesiphon however, they were defeated badly during the Persian counterattack. [60]

During their brief diversion from the Eastern Roman Empire, the Huns may have threatened tribes further west. [61] Uldin, the first Hun identified by name in contemporary sources, [62] 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. The East Romans began to feel the pressure from Uldin's Huns again in 408. Uldin crossed the Danube and pillaged 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. Uldin himself escaped back across the Danube, after which he is not mentioned again. [63]

Hunnish mercenaries are mentioned on several occasions being employed by the East and West Romans, as well as the Goths, during the late 4th and 5th century. [64] In 433 some parts of Pannonia were ceded to them by Flavius Aetius, the magister militum of the Western Roman Empire. [65]

Under Attila

From 434 the brothers Attila and Bleda ruled the Huns together. Attila and Bleda were as ambitious as their uncle Rugila. In 435 they forced the Eastern Roman Empire to sign the Treaty of Margus, [66] giving the Huns trade rights and an annual tribute from the Romans. When the Romans breached the treaty in 440, Attila and Bleda attacked Castra Constantias, a Roman fortress and marketplace on the banks of the Danube. [67] War broke out between the Huns and Romans, and the Huns overcame a weak Roman army to raze the cities of Margus, Singidunum and Viminacium. Although a truce was concluded in 441, two years later Constantinople again failed to deliver the tribute and war resumed. In the following campaign, Hun armies approached Constantinople and sacked several cities before defeating the Romans at the Battle of Chersonesus. The Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II gave in to Hun demands and in autumn 443 signed the Peace of Anatolius with the two Hun kings. Bleda died in 445, and Attila became the sole ruler of the Huns.

In 447, Attila invaded the Balkans and Thrace. The war came to an end in 449 with an agreement in which the Romans agreed to pay Attila an annual tribute of 2100 pounds of gold. Throughout their raids on the Eastern Roman Empire, the Huns had maintained good relations with the Western Empire. However, Honoria, sister of the Western Roman Emperor Valentinian III, sent Attila a ring and requested his help to escape her betrothal to a senator. Attila claimed her as his bride and half the Western Roman Empire as dowry. [68] Additionally, a dispute arose about the rightful heir to a king of the Salian Franks. In 451, Attila's forces entered Gaul. Once in Gaul, the Huns first attacked Metz, then his armies continued westwards, passing both Paris and Troyes to lay siege to Orléans. Flavius Aetius was given the duty of relieving Orléans by Emperor Valentinian III. A combined army of Roman and Visigoths then defeated the Huns at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains.

The following year, Attila renewed his claims to Honoria and territory in the Western Roman Empire. Leading his army across the Alps and into Northern Italy, he sacked and razed a number of cities. Hoping to avoid the sack of Rome, Emperor Valentinian III sent three envoys, the high civilian officers Gennadius Avienus and Trigetius, as well as Pope Leo I, who met Attila at Mincio in the vicinity of Mantua, and obtained from him the promise that he would withdraw from Italy and negotiate peace with the emperor. The new Eastern Roman Emperor Marcian then halted tribute payments, resulting in Attila planning to attack Constantinople. However, in 453 he died of a haemorrhage on his wedding night. [41]

After Attila

After Attila's death in 453, the Hunnic Empire faced an internal power struggle between its vassalized Germanic peoples and the Hunnic ruling body. Led by Ellak, Attila's favored son and ruler of the Akatziri, the Huns engaged the Gepid king Ardaric at the Battle of Nedao, who led a coalition of Germanic Peoples to overthrow Hunnic imperial authority. The Amali Goths would revolt the same year under Valamir, allegedly defeating the Huns in a separate engagement. [69] However, this did not result in the complete collapse of Hunnic power in the Carpathian region, but did result in the loss of many of their Germanic vassals. At the same time, the Huns were also dealing with the arrival of more Oghur Turkic-speaking peoples from the East, including the Oghurs, Saragurs, Onogurs, and the Sabirs. In 463, the Saragurs defeated the Akatziri, or Akatir Huns, and asserted dominance in the Pontic region. [70]

The western Huns under Dengizich experienced difficulties in 461, when they were defeated by Valamir in a war against the Sadages, a people allied with the Huns. [71] His campaigning was also met with dissatisfaction from Ernak, ruler of the Akatziri Huns, who wanted to focus on the incoming Oghur speaking peoples. [70] Dengzich attacked the Romans in 467, without the assistance of Ernak. He was surrounded by the Romans and besieged, and came to an agreement that they would surrender if they were given land and his starving forces given food. During the negotiations, a Hun in service of the Romans named Chelchel persuaded the enemy Goths to attack their Hun overlords. The Romans, under their General Aspar and with the help of his bucellarii, then attacked the quarreling Goths and Huns, defeating them. [72] In 469, Dengizich was defeated and killed in Thrace. [73]

After Dengizich's death, the Huns seem to have been absorbed by other ethnic groups such as the Bulgars. [73] Kim, however, argues that the Huns continued under Ernak, becoming the Kutrigur and Utigur Hunno-Bulgars. [70] This conclusion is still subject to some controversy. Some scholars also argue that another group identified in ancient sources as Huns, the North Caucasian Huns, were genuine Huns. [74] The rulers of various post-Hunnic steppe peoples are known to have claimed descent from Attila in order to legitimize their right to the power, and various steppe peoples were also called "Huns" by Western and Byzantine sources from the fourth century onward. [75]

Pastoral nomadism

The Huns have traditionally been described as pastoral nomads, living off of herding and moving from pasture to pasture to graze their animals. [76] Hyun Jin Kim, however, holds the term "nomad" to be misleading:

[T]he term 'nomad', if it denotes a wandering group of people with no clear sense of territory, cannot be applied wholesale to the Huns. All the so-called 'nomads' of Eurasian steppe history were peoples whose territory/territories were usually clearly defined, who as pastoralists moved about in search of pasture, but within a fixed territorial space. [44]

Maenchen-Helfen notes that pastoral nomads (or "seminomads") typically alternate between summer pastures and winter quarters: while the pastures may vary, the winter quarters always remained the same. [77] This is, in fact, what Jordanes writes of the Hunnic Altziagiri tribe: they pastured near Cherson on the Crimea and then wintered further north, with Maenchen-Helfen holding the Syvash as a likely location. [78] Ancient sources mention that the Huns' herds consisted of various animals, including cattle, horses, and goats sheep, though unmentioned in ancient sources, "are more essential to the steppe nomad even than horses" [79] and must have been a large part of their herds. [78] Additionally, Maenchen-Helfen argues that the Huns may have kept small herds of Bactrian camels in the part of their territory in modern Romania and Ukraine, something attested for the Sarmatians. [80]

Ammianus Marcellinus says that the majority of the Huns' diet came from the meat of these animals, [81] with Maenchen-Helfen arguing, on the basis of what is known of other steppe nomads, that they likely mostly ate mutton, along with sheep's cheese and milk. [78] They also "certainly" ate horse meat, drank mare's milk, and likely made cheese and kumis. [82] In times of starvation, they may have boiled their horses' blood for food. [83]

Ancient sources uniformly deny that the Huns practiced any sort of agriculture. [84] Thompson, taking these accounts at their word, argues that "[w]ithout the assistance of the settled agricultural population at the edge of the steppe they could not have survived". [85] He argues that the Huns were forced to supplement their diet by hunting and gathering. [86] Maenchen-Helfen, however, notes that archaeological finds indicate that various steppe nomad populations did grow grain in particular, he identifies a find at Kunya Uaz in Khwarezm on the Ob River of agriculture among a people who practiced artificial cranial deformation as evidence of Hunnic agriculture. [87] Kim similarly argues that all steppe empires have possessed both pastoralist and sedentary populations, classifying the Huns as "agro-pastoralist". [44]

Horses and transportation

As a nomadic people, the Huns spent a great deal of time riding horses: Ammianus claimed that the Huns "are almost glued to their horses", [88] [89] Zosimus claimed that they "live and sleep on their horses", [90] and Sidonius claimed that "[s]carce had an infant learnt to stand without his mother's aid when a horse takes him on his back". [91] They appear to have spent so much time riding that they walked clumsily, something observed in other nomadic groups. [92] Roman sources characterize the Hunnic horses as ugly. [89] It is not possible to determine the exact breed of horse the Huns used, despite relatively good Roman descriptions. [93] Sinor believes that it was likely a breed of Mongolian pony. [94] However, horse remains are absent from all identified Hun burials. [94] Based on anthropological descriptions and archaeological finds of other nomadic horses, Maenchen-Helfen believes that they rode mostly geldings. [95]

Besides horses, ancient sources mention that the Huns used wagons for transportation, which Maenchen-Helfen believes were primarily used to transport their tents, booty, and the old people, women, and children. [96]

Economic relations with the Romans

The Huns received a large amount of gold from the Romans, either in exchange for fighting for them as mercenaries or as tribute. [97] Raiding and looting also furnished the Huns with gold and other valuables. [98] Denis Sinor has argued that at the time of Attila, the Hunnic economy became almost entirely dependent on plunder and tribute from the Roman provinces. [99]

Civilians and soldiers captured by the Huns might also be ransomed back, or else sold to Roman slave dealers as slaves. [100] The Huns themselves, Maenchen-Helfen argued, had little use for slaves due to their nomadic pastoralist lifestyle. [101] More recent scholarship, however, has demonstrated that pastoral nomadists are actually more likely to use slave labor than sedentary societies: the slaves would have been used to manage the Huns' herds of cattle, sheep, and goats. [102] Priscus attests that slaves were used as domestic servants, but also that educated slaves were used by the Huns in positions of administration or even architects. Some slaves were even used as warriors. [103]

The Huns also traded with the Romans. E. A. Thompson argued that this trade was very large scale, with the Huns trading horses, furs, meat, and slaves for Roman weapons, linen, and grain, and various other luxury goods. [104] While Maenchen-Helfen concedes that the Huns traded their horses for what he considered to have been "a very considerable source of income in gold", he is otherwise skeptical of Thompson's argument. [105] He notes that the Romans strictly regulated trade with the barbarians and that, according to Priscus, trade only occurred at a fair once a year. [106] While he notes that smuggling also likely occurred, he argues that "the volume of both legal and illegal trade was apparently modest". [106] He does note that wine and silk appear to have been imported into the Hunnic Empire in large quantities, however. [107] Roman gold coins appear to have been in circulation as currency within the whole of the Hunnic Empire. [108]

Connections to the Silk Road

Christopher Atwood has suggested that the reason for the original Hunnic incursion into Europe may have been to establish an outlet to the Black Sea for the Sogdian merchants under their rule, who were involved in the trade along the Silk Road to China. [109] Atwood notes that Jordanes describes how the Crimean city of Cherson, "where the avaricious traders bring in the goods of Asia", was under the control of the Akatziri Huns in the sixth century. [109]

Hunnic governmental structure has long been debated. Peter Heather argues that the Huns were a disorganized confederation in which leaders acted completely independently and that eventually established a ranking hierarchy, much like Germanic societies. [110] [111] Denis Sinor similarly notes that, with the exception of the historically uncertain Balamber, no Hun leaders are named in the sources until Uldin, indicating their relative unimportance. [64] Thompson argues that permanent kingship only developed with the Huns invasion of Europe and the near constant warfare that followed. [112] Regarding the organization of Hunnic rule under Attila, Peter Golden comments "it can hardly be called a state, much less an empire". [113] Golden speaks instead of a "Hunnic confederacy". [114] Kim, however, argues that the Huns were far more organized and centralized, with some basis in organization of the Xiongnu state. [115] Walter Pohl notes the correspondences of Hunnic government to those of other steppe empires, but nevertheless argues that the Huns do not appear to have been a unified group when they arrived in Europe. [116]

Ammianus said that the Huns of his day had no kings, but rather that each group of Huns instead had a group of leading men (primates) for times of war . [117] E.A. Thompson supposes that even in war the leading men had little actual power. [118] He further argues that they most likely did not acquire their position purely heriditarily. [119] Heather, however, argues that Ammianus merely means that the Huns didn't have a single ruler he notes that Olympiodorus mentions the Huns having several kings, with one being the "first of the kings". [110] Ammianus also mentions that the Huns made their decisions in a general council (omnes in commune) while seated on horse back. [120] He makes no mention of the Huns being organized into tribes, but Priscus and other writers do, naming some of them. [85]

The first Hunnic ruler known by name is Uldin. Thompson takes Uldin's sudden disappearance after he was unsuccessful at war as a sign that the Hunnic kingship was "democratic" at this time rather than a permanent institution. [121] Kim however argues that Uldin is actually a title and that he was likely merely a subking. [122] Priscus calls Attila "king" or "emperor" (βασιλέυς), but it is unknown what native title he was translating. [123] With the exception of the sole rule of Attila, the Huns often had two rulers Attila himself later appointed his son Ellac as co-king. [124] [125] Subject peoples of the Huns were led by their own kings. [126]

Priscus also speaks of "picked men" or logades (λογάδες) forming part of Attila's government, naming five of them. [127] Some of the "picked men" seem to have been chosen because of birth, others for reasons of merit. [128] Thompson argued that these "picked men" "were the hinge upon which the entire administration of the Hun empire turned": [129] he argues for their existence in the government of Uldin, and that each had command over detachments of the Hunnic army and ruled over specific portions of the Hunnic empire, where they were responsible also for collecting tribute and provisions. [130] Maenchen-Helfen, however, argues that the word logades denotes simply prominent individuals and not a fixed rank with fixed duties. [131] Kim affirms the importance of the logades for Hunnic administration, but notes that there were differences of rank between them, and suggests that it was more likely lower ranking officials who gathered taxes and tribute. [132] He suggests that various Roman defectors to the Huns may have worked in a sort of imperial bureaucracy. [133]

Art and material culture

There are two sources for the material culture and art of the Huns: ancient descriptions and archaeology. Unfortunately, the nomadic nature of Hun society means that they have left very little in the archaeological record. [134] Indeed, although a great amount of archaeological material has been unearthed since 1945, as of 2005 there were only 200 positively identified Hunnic burials producing Hunnic material culture. [135] It can be difficult to distinguish Hunnic archaeological finds from those of the Sarmatians, as both peoples lived in close proximity and seem to have had very similar material cultures. Kim thus cautions that it is difficult to assign any artifact to the Huns ethnically. [136] It is also possible that the Huns in Europe adopted the material culture of their Germanic subjects. [137] Roman descriptions of the Huns, meanwhile, are often highly biased, stressing their supposed primitiveness. [138] [139]

Archaeological finds have produced a large number of cauldrons that have since the work of Paul Reinecke in 1896 been identified as having been produced by the Huns. [140] Although typically described as "bronze cauldrons", the cauldrons are often made of copper, which is generally of poor quality. [141] Maenchen-Helfen lists 19 known finds of Hunnish cauldrons from all over Central and Eastern Europe and Western Siberia. [142] He argues from the state of the bronze castings that the Huns were not very good metalsmiths, and that it is likely that the cauldrons were cast in the same locations where they were found. [143] They come in various shapes, and are sometimes found together with vessels of various other origins. [144] Maenchen-Helfen argues that the cauldrons were cooking vessels for boiling meat, [145] but that the fact that many are found deposited near water and were generally not buried with individuals may indicate a sacral usage as well. [146] The cauldrons appear to derive from those used by the Xiongnu. [147] [148] Ammianus also reports that the Huns had iron swords. Thompson is skeptical that the Huns cast them themselves, [149] but Maenchen-Helfen argues that "[t]he idea that the Hun horsemen fought their way to the walls of Constantinople and to the Marne with bartered and captured swords is absurd." [150]

Both ancient sources and archaeological finds from graves confirm that the Huns wore elaborately decorated golden or gold-plated diadems. [151] Maenchen-Helfen lists a total of six known Hunnish diadems. [152] Hunnic women seem to have worn necklaces and bracelets of mostly imported beads of various materials as well. [153] The later common early medieval practice of decorating jewelry and weapons with gemstones appears to have originated with the Huns. [154] They are also known to have made small mirrors of an originally Chinese type, which often appear to have been intentionally broken when placed into a grave. [155]

Archaeological finds indicate that the Huns wore gold plaques as ornaments on their clothing, as well as imported glass beads. [156] Ammianus reports that they wore clothes made of linen or the furs of marmots and leggings of goatskin. [79]

Ammianus reports that the Huns had no buildings, [157] but in passing mentions that the Huns possessed tents and wagons. [150] Maenchen-Helfen believes that the Huns likely had "tents of felt and sheepskin": Priscus once mentions Attila's tent, and Jordanes reports that Attila lay in state in a silk tent. [158] However, by the middle of the fifth century, the Huns are also known to have also owned permanent wooden houses, which Maenchen-Helfen believes were built by their Gothic subjects. [159]

Artificial cranial deformation

Various archaeologists have argued that the Huns, or the nobility of the Huns, as well as Germanic tribes influenced by them, practiced artificial cranial deformation, the process of artificially lengthening the skulls of babies by binding them. [160] The goal of this process was "to create a clear physical distinction between the nobility and the general populace". [161] While Eric Crubézy has argued against a Hunnish origin for the spread of this practice, [45] the majority of scholars hold the Huns responsible for the spread of this custom in Europe. [162] The practice was not originally introduced to Europe by the Huns, however, but rather with the Alans, with whom the Huns were closely associated, and Sarmatians. [163] It was also practiced by other peoples called Huns in Asia. [164]


A variety of languages were spoken within the Hun Empire. Priscus noted that the Hunnic language differed from other languages spoken at Attila's court. [165] He recounts how Attila's jester Zerco made Attila's guests laugh also by the "promiscuous jumble of words, Latin mixed with Hunnish and Gothic." [165] Priscus said that Attila's "Scythian" subjects spoke "besides their own barbarian tongues, either Hunnish, or Gothic, or, as many have dealings with the Western Romans, Latin but not one of them easily speaks Greek, except captives from the Thracian or Illyrian frontier regions". [166] Some scholars have argued that Gothic was used as the lingua franca of the Hunnic Empire. [167] Hyun Jin Kim argues that the Huns may have used as many as four languages at various levels of government, without any one being dominant: Hunnic, Gothic, Latin, and Sarmatian. [168]

As to the Hunnic language itself, only three words are recorded in ancient sources as being "Hunnic," all of which appear to be from an Indo-European language. [169] All other information on Hunnic is contained in personal names and tribal ethnonyms. [170] On the basis of these names, scholars have proposed that Hunnic may have been a Turkic language, [171] a language between Mongolic and Turkic, [172] or a Yeniseian language. [173] However, given the small corpus, many hold the language to be unclassifiable. [174]

Marriage and the role of women

The elites of the Huns practiced polygamy, [175] while the commoners were probably monogamous. [176] Ammianus Marcellinus claimed that the Hunnish women lived in seclusion, however the first-hand account of Priscus shows them freely moving and mixing with men. [177] Priscus describes Hunnic women swarming around Attila as he entered a village, as well as the wife of Attila's minister Onegesius offering the king food and drink with her servants. [178] Priscus was able to enter the tent of Attila's chief wife, Hereca, without difficulty. [179]

Priscus also attests that the widow of Attila's brother Bleda was in command of a village that the Roman ambassadors rode through: her territory may have included a larger area. [179] Thompson notes that other steppe peoples such as the Utigurs and the Sabirs, are known to have had female tribal leaders, and argues that the Huns probably held widows in high respect. [179] Due to the pastoral nature of the Huns' economy, the women likely had a large degree of authority over the domestic household. [175]


Almost nothing is known about the religion of the Huns. [180] [181] Roman writer Ammianus Marcellinus claimed that the Huns had no religion, [182] while the fifth-century Christian writer Salvian classified them as Pagans. [183] Jordanes' Getica also records that the Huns worshipped "the sword of Mars", an ancient sword that signified Attila's right to rule the whole world. [184] Maenchen-Helfen notes a widespread worship of a war god in the form of a sword among steppe peoples, including among the Xiongnu. [185] Denis Sinor, however, holds the worship of a sword among the Huns to be aprocryphal. [186] Maenchen-Helfen also argues that, while the Huns themselves do not appear to have regarded Attila as divine, some of his subject people clearly did. [187] A belief in prophecy and divination is also attested among the Huns. [188] [189] [186] Maenchen-Helfen argues that the performers of these acts of soothsaying and divination were likely shamans. [a] Sinor also finds it likely that the Huns had shamans, although they are completely unattested. [191] Maenchen-Helfen also deduces a belief in water-spirits from a custom mentioned in Ammianus. [b] He further suggests that the Huns may have made small metal, wooden, or stone idols, which are attested among other steppe tribes, and which a Byzantine source attests for the Huns in Crimea in the sixth century. [193] He also connects archaeological finds of Hunnish bronze cauldrons found buried near or in running water to possible rituals performed by the Huns in the Spring. [194]

John Man argues that the Huns of Attila's time likely worshipped the sky and the steppe deity Tengri, who is also attested as having been worshipped by the Xiongnu. [195] Maenchen-Helfen also suggests the possibility that the Huns of this period may have worshipped Tengri, but notes that the god is not attested in European records until the ninth century. [196] Worship of Tengri under the name "T'angri Khan" is attested among the Caucasian Huns in the Armenian chronicle attributed to Movses Dasxuranci during the later seventh-century. [191] Movses also records that the Caucasian Huns worshipped trees and burnt horses as sacrifices to Tengri, [191] and that they "made sacrifices to fire and water and to certain gods of the roads, and to the moon and to all creatures considered in their eyes to be in some way remarkable." [191] There is also some evidence for human sacrifice among the European Huns. Maenchen-Helfen argues that humans appear to have been sacrificed at Attila's funerary rite, recorded in Jordanes under the name strava. [197] Priscus claims that the Huns sacrificed their prisoners "to victory" after they entered Scythia, but this is not otherwise attested as a Hunnic custom and may be fiction. [198] [186]

In addition to these Pagan beliefs, there are numerous attestations of Huns converting to Christianity and receiving Christian missionaries. [199] [200] The missionary activities among the Huns of the Caucasus seem to have been particularly successful, resulting in the conversion of the Hunnish prince Alp Ilteber. [186] Attila appears to have tolerated both Nicene and Arian Christianity among his subjects. [201] However, a pastoral letter by Pope Leo the Great to the church of Aquileia indicates that Christian slaves taken from there by the Huns in 452 were forced to participate in Hunnic religious activities. [202]

Strategy and tactics

Hun warfare as a whole is not well studied. One of the principal sources of information on Hunnic warfare is Ammianus Marcellinus, who includes an extended description of the Huns' methods of war:

They also sometimes fight when provoked, and then they enter the battle drawn up in wedge-shaped masses, while their medley of voices makes a savage noise. And as they are lightly equipped for swift motion, and unexpected in action, they purposely divide suddenly into scattered bands and attack, rushing about in disorder here and there, dealing terrific slaughter and because of their extraordinary rapidity of movement they are never seen to attack a rampart or pillage an enemy's camp. And on this account you would not hesitate to call them the most terrible of all warriors, because they fight from a distance with missiles having sharp bone, instead of their usual points, joined to the shafts with wonderful skill then they gallop over the intervening spaces and fight hand to hand with swords, regardless of their own lives and while the enemy are guarding against wounds from the sabre-thrusts, they throw strips of cloth plaited into nooses over their opponents and so entangle them that they fetter their limbs and take from them the power of riding or walking. [203]

Based on Ammianus' description, Maenchen-Helfen argues that the Huns' tactics did not differ markedly from those used by other nomadic horse archers. [89] He argues that the "wedge-shaped masses" (cunei) mentioned by Ammianus were likely divisions organized by tribal clans and families, whose leaders may have been called a cur. This title would then have been inherited as it was passed down the clan. [204] Like Ammianus, the sixth-century writer Zosimus also emphasizes the Huns' almost exclusive use of horse archers and their extreme swiftness and mobility. [205] These qualities differed from other nomadic warriors in Europe at this time: the Sarmatians, for instance, relied on heavily armored cataphracts armed with lances. [206] The Huns' use of terrible war cries are also found in other sources. [207] However, a number of Ammianus's claims have been challenged by modern scholars. [208] In particular, while Ammianus claims that the Huns knew no metalworking, Maenchen-Helfen argues that a people so primitive could never have been successful in war against the Romans. [150]

Hunnic armies relied on their high mobility and "a shrewd sense of when to attack and when to withdraw". [209] An important strategy used by the Huns was a feigned retreat−pretending to flee and then turning and attacking the disordered enemy. This is mentioned by the writers Zosimus and Agathias. [89] They were, however, not always effective in pitched battle, suffering defeat at Toulouse in 439, barely winning at the Battle of the Utus in 447, likely losing or stalemating at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains in 451, and losing at the Battle of Nedao (454?). [210] Christopher Kelly argues that Attila sought to avoid "as far as possible, [. ] large-scale engagement with the Roman army". [210] War and the threat of war were frequently used tools to extort Rome the Huns often relied on local traitors to avoid losses. [211] Accounts of battles note that the Huns fortified their camps by using portable fences or creating a circle of wagons. [212]

The Huns' nomadic lifestyle encouraged features such as excellent horsemanship, while the Huns trained for war by frequent hunting. [213] Several scholars have suggested that the Huns had trouble maintaining their horse cavalry and nomadic lifestyle after settling on the Hungarian Plain, and that this in turn led to a marked decrease in their effectiveness as fighters. [214] [215]

The Huns are almost always noted as fighting alongside non-Hunnic, Germanic or Iranian subject peoples or, in earlier times, allies. [216] As Heather notes, "the Huns' military machine increased, and increased very quickly, by incorporating ever larger numbers of the Germani of central and eastern Europe". [137] At the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, Attila is noted by Jordanes to have placed his subject peoples in the wings of the army, while the Huns held the center. [217]

A major source of information on steppe warfare from the time of the Huns comes from the 6th-century Strategikon, which describes the warfare of "Dealing with the Scythians, that is, Avars, Turks, and others whose way of life resembles that of the Hunnish peoples." The Strategikon describes the Avars and Huns as devious and very experienced in military matters. [218] They are described as preferring to defeat their enemies by deceit, surprise attacks, and cutting off supplies. The Huns brought large numbers of horses to use as replacements and to give the impression of a larger army on campaign. [218] The Hunnish peoples did not set up an entrenched camp, but spread out across the grazing fields according to clan, and guard their necessary horses until they began forming the battle line under the cover of early morning. The Strategikon states the Huns also stationed sentries at significant distances and in constant contact with each other in order to prevent surprise attacks. [219]

According to the Strategikon, the Huns did not form a battle line in the method that the Romans and Persians used, but in irregularly sized divisions in a single line, and keep a separate force nearby for ambushes and as a reserve. The Strategikon also states the Huns used deep formations with a dense and even front. [219] The Strategikon states that the Huns kept their spare horses and baggage train to either side of the battle line at about a mile away, with a moderate sized guard, and would sometimes tie their spare horses together behind the main battle line. [219] The Huns preferred to fight at long range, utilizing ambush, encirclement, and the feigned retreat. The Strategikon also makes note of the wedge shaped formations mentioned by Ammianus, and corroborated as familial regiments by Maenchen-Helfen. [219] [204] [220] The Strategikon states the Huns preferred to pursue their enemies relentlessly after a victory and then wear them out by a long siege after defeat. [219]

Peter Heather notes that the Huns were able to successfully besiege walled cities and fortresses in their campaign of 441: they were thus capable of building siege engines. [221] Heather makes note of multiple possible routes for acquisition of this knowledge, suggesting that it could have been brought back from service under Aetius, acquired from captured Roman engineers, or developed through the need to pressure the wealthy silk road city states and carried over into Europe. [222] David Nicolle agrees with the latter point, and even suggests they had a complete set of engineering knowledge including skills for constructing advanced fortifications, such as the fortress of Igdui-Kala in Kazakhstan. [223]

Military equipment

The Strategikon states the Huns typically used mail, swords, bows, and lances, and that most Hunnic warriors were armed with both the bow and lance and used them interchangeably as needed. It also states the Huns used quilted linen, wool, or sometimes iron barding for their horses and also wore quilted coifs and kaftans. [224] This assessment is largely corroborated by archaeological finds of Hun military equipment, such as the Volnikovka and Brut Burials.

A late Roman ridge helmet of the Berkasovo-Type was found with a Hun burial at Concesti. [225] A Hunnic helmet of the Segmentehelm type was found at Chudjasky, a Hunnic Spangenhelm at Tarasovsky grave 1784, and another of the Bandhelm type at Turaevo. [226] Fragments of lamellar helmets dating to the Hunnic period and within the Hunnic sphere have been found at Iatrus, Illichevka, and Kalkhni. [225] [226] Hun lamellar armour has not been found in Europe, although two fragments of likely Hun origin have been found on the Upper Ob and in West Kazakhstan dating to the 3rd–4th centuries. [227] A find of lamellar dating to about 520 from the Toprachioi warehouse in the fortress of Halmyris near Badabag, Romania, suggests a late 5th or early 6th century introduction. [228] It is known that the Eurasian Avars introduced lamellar armor to the Roman army and Migration-Era Germanic people in the mid 6th century, but this later type does not appear before then. [225] [229]

It is also widely accepted that the Huns introduced the langseax, a 60 cm (24 in) cutting blade that became popular among the migration era Germanics and in the Late Roman army, into Europe. [230] It is believed these blades originated in China and that the Sarmatians and Huns served as a transmission vector, using shorter seaxes in Central Asia that developed into the narrow langseax in Eastern Europe during the late 4th and first half of the 5th century. These earlier blades date as far back as the 1st century AD, with the first of the newer type appearing in Eastern Europe being the Wien-Simmerming example, dated to the late 4th century AD. [230] Other notable Hun examples include the Langseax from the more recent find at Volnikovka in Russia. [231]

The Huns used a type of spatha in the Iranic or Sassanid style, with a long, straight approximately 83 cm (33 in) blade, usually with a diamond shaped iron guard plate. [232] Swords of this style have been found at sites such as Altlussheim, Szirmabesenyo, Volnikovka, Novo-Ivanovka, and Tsibilium 61. They typically had gold foil hilts, gold sheet scabbards, and scabbard fittings decorated in the polychrome style. The sword was carried in the "Iranian style" attached to a swordbelt, rather than on a baldric. [233]

The most famous weapon of the Huns is the Qum Darya-type composite recurve bow, often called the "Hunnish bow". This bow was invented some time in the third or second centuries BC with the earliest finds near Lake Baikal, but spread across Eurasia long before the Hunnic migration. These bows were typified by being asymmetric in cross-section between 145 and 155 cm (57 and 61 in) in length, having between 4–9 lathes on the grip and in the siyahs. [234] Although whole bows rarely survive in European climatic conditions, finds of bone Siyahs are quite common and characteristic of steppe burials. Complete specimens have been found at sites in the Tarim Basin and Gobi Desert such as Niya, Qum Darya, and Shombuuziin-Belchir. Eurasian nomads such as the Huns typically used trilobate diamond shaped iron arrowheads, attached using birch tar and a tang, with typically 75 cm (30 in) shafts and fletching attached with tar and sinew whipping. Such trilobate arrowheads are believed to be more accurate and have better penetrating power or capacity to injure than flat arrowheads. [234] Finds of bows and arrows in this style in Europe are limited but archaeologically evidenced. The most famous examples come from Wien-Simmerming, although more fragments have been found in the Northern Balkans and Carpathian regions. [235]

In Christian hagiography

After the fall of the Hunnic Empire, various legends arose concerning the Huns. Among these are a number of Christian hagiographic legends in which the Huns play a role. In an anonymous medieval biography of Pope Leo I, Attila's march into Italy in 452 is stopped because, when he meets Leo outside Rome, the apostles Peter and Paul appear to him holding swords over his head and threatening to kill him unless he follows the pope's command to turn back. [236] In other versions, Attila takes the pope hostage and is forced by the saints to release him. [237] In the legend of Saint Ursula, Ursula and her 11,000 holy virgins arrive at Cologne on their way back from a pilgrimage just as the Huns, under an unnamed prince, [238] are besieging the city. Ursula and her virgins are killed by the Huns with arrows after they refuse the Huns' sexual advances. Afterwards, the souls of the slaughtered virgins form a heavenly army that drives away the Huns and saves Cologne. [239] Other cities with legends regarding the Huns and a saint include Orléans, Troyes, Dieuze, Metz, Modena, and Reims. [240] In legends surrounding Saint Servatius of Tongeren dating to at least the eighth century, Servatius is said to have converted Attila and the Huns to Christianity, before they later became apostates and returned to their paganism. [241]

In Germanic legend

The Huns also play an important role in Germanic heroic legends, which frequently convey versions of events from the migration period and were originally transmitted orally. [242] Memories of the conflicts between the Goths and Huns in Eastern Europe appear to be maintained in the Old English poem Widsith as well as in the Old Norse poem "The Battle of the Goths and Huns", which is transmitted in the thirteenth-century Icelandic Hervarar Saga. [243] [244] Widsith also mentions Attila having been ruler of the Huns, placing him at the head of a list of various legendary and historical rulers and peoples and marking the Huns as the most famous. [245] The name Attila, rendered in Old English as Ætla, was a given name in use in Anglo-Saxon England (e.g. Bishop Ætla of Dorchester) and its use in England at the time may have been connected to the heroic kings legend represented in works such as Widsith. [246] Maenchen-Helfen, however, doubts the use of the name by the Anglo-Saxons had anything to do with the Huns, arguing that it was "not a rare name." [247] Bede, in his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, lists the Huns among other peoples living in Germany when the Anglo-Saxons invaded England. This may indicate that Bede viewed the Anglo-Saxons as descending partially from the Huns. [248] [249]

The Huns and Attila also form central figures in the two most-widespread Germanic legendary cycles, that of the Nibelungs and of Dietrich von Bern (the historical Theoderic the Great). The Nibelung legend, particularly as recorded in the Old Norse Poetic Edda and Völsunga saga, as well as in the German Nibelungenlied, connects the Huns and Attila (and in the Norse tradition, Attila's death) to the destruction of the Burgundian kingdom on the Rhine in 437. [250] In the legends about Dietrich von Bern, Attila and the Huns provide Dietrich with a refuge and support after he has been driven from his kingdom at Verona. [251] A version of the events of the Battle of Nadao may be preserved in a legend, transmitted in two differing versions in the Middle High German Rabenschlacht and Old Norse Thidrekssaga, in which the sons of Attila fall in battle. [251] The legend of Walter of Aquitaine, meanwhile, shows the Huns to receive child hostages as tribute from their subject peoples. [252] Generally, the continental Germanic traditions paint a more positive picture of Attila and the Huns than the Scandinavian sources, where the Huns appear in a distinctly negative light. [253]

In medieval German legend, the Huns were identified with the Hungarians, with their capital of Etzelburg (Attila-city) being identified with Esztergom or Buda. [254] The Old Norse Thidrekssaga, however, which is based on North German sources, locates Hunaland in northern Germany, with a capital at Soest in Westphalia. [255] In other Old Norse sources, the term Hun is sometimes applied indiscriminately to various people, particularly from south of Scandinavia. [255] [256] From the thirteenth-century onward, the Middle High German word for Hun, hiune, became a synonym for giant, and continued to be used in this meaning in the forms Hüne and Heune into the modern era. [257] In this way, various prehistoric megalithic structures, particularly in Northern Germany, came to be identified as Hünengräber (Hun graves) or Hünenbetten (Hun beds). [258] [259]

Links to the Hungarians

Beginning in the High Middle Ages, Hungarian sources have claimed descent from or a close relationship between the Hungarians (Magyars) and the Huns. The claim appears to have first arisen in non-Hungarian sources and only gradually been taken up by the Hungarians themselves because of its negative connotations. [260] [261] [262] The anonymous Gesta Hungarorum (after 1200) is the first Hungarian source to mention that the line of Árpádian kings were descendants of Attila, but he makes no claim that the Hungarian and Hun peoples are related. [263] [264] The first Hungarian author to claim that Hun and Hungarian peoples were related was Simon of Kéza in his Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum (1282–1285). [265] Simon claimed that the Huns and Hungarians were descended from two brothers, named Hunor and Magor. [c] These claims gave the Hungarians an ancient pedegree and served to legitimize their conquest of Pannonia. [267] [268] [269]

Modern scholars largely dismiss these claims. [270] [271] [247] [272] Regarding the claimed Hunnish origins found in these chronicles, Jenő Szűcs writes:

The Hunnish origin of the Magyars is, of course, a fiction, just like the Trojan origin of the French or any of the other origo gentis theories fabricated at much the same time. The Magyars in fact originated from the Ugrian branch of the Finno-Ugrian peoples in the course of their wanderings in the steppes of Eastern Europe they assimilated a variety of (especially Iranian and different Turkic) cultural and ethnic elements, but they had neither genetic nor historical links to the Huns. [273]

Generally, the proof of the relationship between the Hungarian and the Finno-Ugric languages in the nineteenth century is taken to have scientifically disproven the Hunnic origins of the Hungarians. [274] Another claim, also derived from Simon of Kéza, [275] is that the Hungarian-speaking Székely people of Transylvania are descended from Huns, who fled to Transylvania after Attila's death, and remained there until the Hungarian conquest of Pannonia. While the origins of the Székely are unclear, modern scholarship is skeptical that they are related to the Huns. [276] László Makkai notes as well that some archaeologists and historians believe Székelys were a Hungarian tribe or an Onogur-Bulgar tribe drawn into the Carpathian Basin at the end of the 7th century by the Avars (who were identified with the Huns by contemporary Europeans). [277] Unlike in the legend, the Székely were resettled in Transylvania from Western Hungary in the eleventh century. [278] Their language similarly shows no evidence of a change from any non-Hungarian language to Hungarian, as one would expect if they were Huns. [279] [280] While the Hungarians and the Székelys may not be descendants of the Huns, they were historically closely associated with Turkic peoples. [281] Pál Engel notes that it "cannot be wholly excluded" that Arpadian kings may have been descended from Attila, however, and believes that it is likely the Hungarians once lived under the rule of the Huns. [270] Hyun Jin Kim supposes that the Hungarians might be linked to the Huns via the Bulgars and Avars, both of whom he holds to have had Hunnish elements. [282]

While the notion that the Hungarians are descended from the Huns has been rejected by mainstream scholarship, the idea has continued to exert a relevant influence on Hungarian nationalism and national identity. [283] A majority of the Hungarian aristocracy continued to ascribe to the Hunnic view into the early twentieth century. [284] The Fascist Arrow Cross Party similarly referred to Hungary as Hunnia in its propaganda. [285] Hunnic origins also played a large role in the ideology of the modern radical right-wing party Jobbik's ideology of Pan-Turanism. [286] Legends concerning the Hunnic origins of the Székely minority in Romania, meanwhile, continue to play a large role in that group's ethnic identity. [287] The Hunnish origin of the Székelys remains the most widespread theory of their origins among the Hungarian general public. [288]

20th-century use in reference to Germans

On 27 July 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 askance at a German." [289] This comparison was later heavily employed by British and English-language propaganda during World War I, and to a lesser extent during World War II, in order to paint the Germans as savage barbarians. [290]

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BIBLE: GENESIS 10, 8-13: Cush was the father of Nimrod, who began to show himself a man of might on earth. ‘Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord’. His kingdom in the beginning consisted of Babel, Erech, and Accad, all of them in the land of Shinar/Sumer in Meopotamia. From that land he migrated to Asshur and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and Resen, a great city between Nineveh and Calah.’

MYTHOLOGY – ORIGINS AND EARLY HISTORY of Hungarians, who call themselves Magyar, have an ancient traditional pre-christian account of their origins according to which they were the descendents of Nimrod, son of Cush Nimrod and Eneth had two sons, Magor and Hunor Magor was the ancestor of the Magyars, and Hunor was the ancestor of the Huns, thus symbolizing the common origins of the Huns and of the Magyars. Byzantine sources mention that the Magyars were also known as the Sabirs who originated from Northern Mesopotamia. Numerous other ancient and medieval sources also refer to the Scythians, Huns, Avars and Magyars as identical peoples. Scholarly research has confirmed the Sumerian-Scythian-Hun-Avar-Magyar scientific and scholarly research all concur with the Hungarians’s own ancient account of their origins.

10000 BCE-8000 BCE The Neolithic revolution: the invention of agriculture and animal domestication in the ancient Near East, the “Fertile Crescent” – the region between the Eastern Mediterranean and the Zagros mountains of Western Iran – by the peoples who formed the distinct (non-Semitic and non-Indo-European) ethno-linguistic group from which the Sumerians, the creators of the first civilization, originated.

5500 BCE Beginning of the Copper Age: Mesopotamia becomes the culturally dominant region of the Near East: first Northern Mesopotamia (Subir-ki/Subartu), and from 4500 BCE, Southern Mesopotamia, the land of Sumer. Due to the demographic and economic growth resulting from the Neolithic revolution, the Near Eastern population begins to expand, settling in the Mediterranean and Danubian basins, Eastern Europe, Iran, India, and Central Asia, laying the foundations of civilization in those regions and exerting a determining cultural influence upon the later formation of the various Eurasian ethno-linguistic groups.

5000 BCE THE SETTLEMENT OF THE CARPATHIAN BASIN — The first of several waves of Near Eastern settlers appear in the Carpathian Basin, the territory of Historical Hungary. The archeological, anthropological, ethno-linguistic and historical evidence indicates that the Carpathian Basin was settled in successive waves from approximately 5000 BCE by the Neolithic, Copper and Bronze Age peoples originating from Anatolia, Transcaucasia and Mesopotamia, followed by the Turanian peoples of Central Eurasia: the Scythians (600 BCE), the Huns (400s AD), the Avars (500s AD), the Magyars (800s AD), the Petchenegs (1000s AD), the Cumans (1200s AD), and Khazar Empire (450 AD-800 AD). These Turanian peoples originated from the same ancient Near-Eastern ethno-linguistic group as the Neolithic, Copper and Bronze Age settlers of the Carpathian Basin. The Hungarians are therefore the descendants of these Turanian peoples and of the original settlers of the Carpathian Basin.

3200 BCE SUMER – Beginning of the Bronze Age: Height of the Sumerian civilization development of numerous cultural and technological inventions (writing, the wheel). First Sumerian Empire extends from the Eastern Mediterranean to Western Iran, including all of Mesopotamia.

3000 BCE-2000 BCE Sumerian colonies are established from the Atlantic Ocean through the Mediterranean and Danubian basins to India and Central Asia (Turan), and from the Caucasus to Northeast Africa. The vast belt of Eurasian grasslands stretching from the Carpathian mountains to the Altay range, bordered in the North by the Eurasian forest belt and in the South by the Caucasus and the Iranian plateau, is gradually settled by Sumerians and Sumerian-related peoples from Mesopotamia, Transcaucasia and Iran. These Near Eastern settlers of the Eurasian grasslands became the peoples which were later referred to as the Scythians, Huns, Avars and Magyars among others, and collectively known as the Turanians. The Turanians were therefore the descendents of the Sumerian-Mesopotamian peoples, and the inheritors of this ancient Near Eastern culture. The Turanian peoples had a profound cultural impact on their Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, Finnic, Siberian and East Asian neighbours, which have preserved numerous Turanian ethno-linguistic and cultural elements.

3000 BCE – 2455 BCE First appearance of nomadic Semitic tribes in Sumerian Mesopotamia. Semitic peoples begin to settle in increasing numbers in Mesopotamia. The Sumerian civilization exerts a dominant influence upon the development of later Semitic cultures.

2455 BCE – 2356 BCE The Semitic Accadians impose their hegemony upon the Sumerian city-states. Mesopotamia is devastated by wars, the population is decimated, oppressed and enslaved by the Accadians. Many Sumerians flee to their colonies.

2356 BCE – 1900 BCE The Sumerian city-states and their allies overthrow the Semitic Accadian hegemony, liberating themselves from foreign oppression.

1900 BCE – 1733 BCE The Semitic Babylonians impose their hegemony upon Mesopotamia.

1733 BCE – 1163 BCE The Kassites, one of the Sumerian-related peoples inhabiting Western Iran, overthrow the Semitic Babylonian hegemony and establish their rule over Northern Mesopotamia. A Sumerian dynasty rules over Southern Mesopotamia from 1860 BC to 1492 BC.

1115 BCE – 612 BCE The Semitic Assyrians impose their hegemony over the Near East after centuries of warfare. The ensuing devastation, decimation, deportations and oppression alter the ethnic composition of the Near East, including Mesopotamia, as the Semitic element increases and the Sumerians decrease.

612 BCE THE SCYTHIAN EMPIRE – The Sumerian-related Chaldeans, Medes and Scythians annihilate the Assyrian Empire. The Scythians dominate the vast Eurasian grasslands from the Carpathian Basin to the Altay during centuries. Altay is a city in Kazakh, in Easter Europe with Turkic peoples near Ural mountains, and has 142,000 inhabitants.

600 BCE-300 BCE SCYTHIAN DOMAINS included gold clothing ornament, Kul Oba Kurgan, Crimea

539 BCE-331 BCE After overthrowing the Median Empire, the Persians conquer Mesopotamia and the rest of the Near East.

256 BCE-226 AD After the fall of Persia, the Parthian Empire rules over Mesopotamia, Armenia and Iran. The Turanian Parthians, custodians of the ancient Sumerian civilization, resist the Eastern expansion of the Roman Empire. In 226 AD, the Persian Sassanids overthrow the Parthian Empire which experiences a revival between 272 AD and 326 AD.

200 BCE THE HUN EMPIRE – The Hun Empire reaches its greatest extent from the Pacific to the Aral sea, from Siberia to the Parthian Empire and China. The Huns face centuries of struggle against an increasingly offensive and encroaching Chinese imperialism and expansionism.


200 BCE The Huns break through the Great Wall of China

200 AD-400 AD Facing mounting pressures from China in the East, the Huns begin to expand into Europe. The Huns begin their Western military campaigns.

375 AD the Huns defeat the Goths, triggering fear in Germanic Tribes & the great migration of Germanic tribes which also contributed to the collapse of the Roman Empire. The unstoppable Hun charge terrified the peoples of what is now norther Europe. The pope pleads for mercy as Atilla stands victorious at the gates of Rome.

400 AD-500 AD The Huns continue their crushing military campaigns against the Roman Empire. The Huns expel the Romans from the Carpathian Basin (North of Danube River — Pannonia and Dacia where the Romans had perpetrated genocidal warfare against the indigenous inhabitants) & and the Hun Empire establishes its centre of power in the Carpathian-Danubian region.


453 AD THE WESTERN HUN EMPIRE covered all of Northern Europe. Following Atilla’s death under suspicious circumstances, the Huns’ Germanic allies turn against them and the bulk of the Hunnic tribes regroup to the East of the Carpathians, leaving a rear-guard tribe in the Eastern Carpathians.

453 AD-TODAY This Hunnic tribe still inhabits this region today and they are the Hungarian Székely people. Of course, the Khazar Empire followed after the decline of the Huns.

528 AD The Byzantine attempt to convert the Huns to the Christian religion, but fail after the Huns rebel against the destruction of their ancient religious symbols.

562 AD THE AVARS – The Avar-Huns establish their empire in Central and Eastern Europe, with the Carpathian Basin as the centre of power. The Avars continue their centuries-long struggle against the encroaching German and Byzantine empires.

700 AD AVAR GOLD TREASURE of Sânnicolau Mare or Nagyszentmiklós found in 1799 in the Kingdom of Hungary – the treasure was transferred to Vienna, the capital of the empire.


997 AD THE MAGYARS — Following the reign of the Hungarian ruler Géza, during which foreign interests gain increasing influence under the guise of Christianization, Géza’s son István (Stephen) is installed as king of Hungary with the assistance of foreign armed intervention, in violation of ancient Hungarian traditions and of the sacred Covenant of Blood. Koppány, the rightful heir to the throne and leader of the national resistance is captured and quartered. Under the rule of István, feudalism and Christianity are imposed by force. The ancient Hungarian runic scriptures are burned and the traditionalist leaders and priests persecuted and exterminated.

830 AD The early Hungarian Empire & The Magyars Empire

800 AD Following the settlement of a small number of Spanish Jewish refugees in the Khazar Empire, the ruling dynasty of the Khazars, another Turanian people, is converted to Judaism and seeks to impose this religion upon all its subjects. This precipitates a civil war. Several rebel Khazar tribes join the Hungarian tribal federation which was led by the Magyar tribe. At that time the Hungarians were established in their own independent state of Dentumagyaria led by Álmos, between the Avar and Khazar empires.

895 AD-896 AD After the collapse of the Khazar Empire, the Magyars and the other Hungarian tribes move West into the Etelköz region, where the Covenant of Blood takes place. This Covenant effectively creates the Magyar (Hungarian) nation which proceeds with the reconquest of the Carpathian Basin and its surrounding regions. After expelling foreign encroaching powers from the Carpathian region and uniting with their previously settled Hun-Avar ethnic kin, the Magyars establish the Hungarian State in 896 as the successor state to the Hun and Avar empires. Árpád is chosen as the leader of the Hungarians.

907 AD Following Hungarians victory over the invading German tribes in 907, they launch a series of military campaigns in Europe to prevent the formation of a large powerful united empire in the West that would threaten the Hungarian State & also to recover the Avar gold treasures pillaged by the invading Germans during the previous century.

997 AD Following the reign of the Hungarian ruler Géza, during which foreign interests gain increasing influence under the guise of Christianization, Géza’s son István (Stephen) is installed as king of Hungary with the assistance of foreign armed intervention, in violation of ancient Hungarian traditions and of the sacred Covenant of Blood. Koppány, the rightful heir to the throne and leader of the national resistance is captured and quartered. Under the rule of István, feudalism and Christianity are imposed by force. The ancient Hungarian runic scriptures are burned and the traditionalist leaders and priests persecuted and exterminated. The Westernization of Hungary results in the enslavement of the Hungarian population under an increasingly foreign feudal ruling class and church where foreign influences and foreign interests become predominant.

997 AD-1526 AD MEDIEVAL HUNGARY: With the exception of a few periods of relative peace and prosperity under the reign of Hungarian kings, medieval Hungary was characterized by an almost continuous political instability due to the constant struggle for power between various ruling factions. “Pagan” and “peasant” rebellions demonstrated the Hungarian people’s resentment against the foreign Christian feudal regime. Hungary was increasingly forced into the sacrificial role of “Easternmost bastion of Western Christianity”, which caused incalculable losses to the Hungarian nation as it was maneuvered by foreign interests into conflicts with the Mongols (1200s AD) and the Turks (13oos AD- 1600s AD). The execution of rebel Hungarian peasants by the feudal rulers included torture and execution. The Petcheneg tribal leader Tonuzoba was buried alive with his wife and horse as a result of his refusal to convert to Christianity.

1526 AD-1699 AD HUNGARY UNDER HABSBURG RULE was partitioned – As a result of the previous centuries of feudal regime, a weakened and internally divided Hungary was unable to withstand external pressures. The foreign-influenced ruling feudal class failed to defend the national interests and this led to the 1526 military defeat at Mohács against the Ottoman army and to the subsequent partition of Hungary. Thus, Hungary was occupied and partitioned by the Habsburgs and the Ottomans, with the Principality of Transylvania remaining as an autonomous entity. These events proved to be catastrophic for the future historical development of Hungary as the Hungarian population suffered great losses due to centuries of warfare and foreign occupation.

1701 AD-1711 AD After the Ottoman Empire’s withdrawal, the Austrian Habsburg take-over of Hungary was met with Hungarian resistance in the 1701-11 War of Independence, but Hungary remained under Habsburg control. Hungary thus became an oppressed, exploited and colonized land as a result of which the Hungarian nation became politically, economically, socially, culturally and demographically marginalized in its own country.

1701 AD-1711 AD Prince Ferenc Rákóczi, leader of the Hungarian War of Independence & Hungarian Freedom Fighters, were part of the Hungarian War of Independence

1848 AD-1849 AD Another Hungarian War of Independence took place, which was defeated with Russian intervention. However, Austria was unable to obstruct the Hungarian national will to reassert its historical rights later.

1867 AD The Austro-Hungarian Compromise took place, granting Hungary domestic self-rule, but the ministries of finance, foreign affairs and war remained under Habsburg imperial control. As the Habsburgs continued their policy of divide and rule, they incited the foreign ethnic groups settled in Hungary against the Hungarians, and this policy led to the First World War.

1918 AD-1944 AD Trianon Hungary – After the armistice ending WWI, a liberal government took over in Hungary as the country was occupied by enemy forces, paving the way for a Communist coup carried out by mostly non-Hungarians in 1919. This led to the territorial dismemberment of Hungary at the Treaty of Trianon in 1920, whereby Hungary lost nearly 3/4 of its territory and millions of Hungarians were forced under the oppressive foreign rule of the neighboring states newly created and enlarged at Hungary’s expense. The treaties ending WWI were responsible for WWII, and once again, Hungary was forced to participate in a war against its will. Between 1938 and 1941, Hungary recovered some of its lost territories. Hungary entered the war following an unprovoked attack by foreign (supposedly Soviet) forces in 1940. After attempting peace negotiations with the Allies, Hungary was invaded by the Nazis in 1944, and later that same year by the Soviets.

1944 AD-1990 AD Hungary under Soviet occupation – At the Paris Treaty of 1947, the Trianon borders of 1920 are reimposed upon Hungary. In 1948, a Communist regime is imposed in Hungary. Once again, the hard-core of the Hungarian Communist Party is formed by non-Hungarians imported from the Soviet Union. In 1956 the Hungarian National Uprising against the Soviet Communist regime takes place but is crushed by yet another Soviet military intervention. The Hungarian Communist regime continues its anti-Hungarian policies aiming to destroy Hungarian national consciousness and traditional cultural values. In the 1980’s the Hungarian Communist regime was financed by huge loans from Western financial institutions.

1990 AD-Today THE “POST-COMMUNIST” ERA – After decades of totalitarian dictatorship, the Hungarian Communist party successfully consolidated and entrenched itself, and was able to stage what appeared to be a peaceful transition to a freely elected democratic political regime. However, the Communists Jews remain in control of all the key positions in the state apparatus, including the media, the legal system and the academic institutions, and in the newly expanding private sector of the economy. As a result, the marginalization and exclusion of Hungarian national interests continues to this day. Hungary is still burdened by the increasing foreign debt for which the Communist regime was responsible. The privatization of Hungarian State assets by the former Communist elite in collaboration with foreign corporate interests has been fraudulent and has resulted in the illegal acquisition of most of Hungary’s economy by foreign interests with the intentional exclusion of Hungarian ownership. Hungary has been pressured to sign disadvantageous treaties with several neighboring countries whereby, in exchange for the Hungarian recognition of the current state borders and the renunciation of any future territorial claim, the neighboring countries in question promise to respect the rights of the Hungarian ethnic populations living under their rule. However, far from respecting these treaties, Hungary’s neighbors continue to implement their policies of anti-Hungarian discrimination and ethnic cleansing which they have pursued since 1920. As a result of these trends and policies, the entire Hungarian nation is facing threats to its existence on multiple fronts, politically, economically, socially, culturally, and demographically. Realizing the seriousness of this situation, various movements and political parties have begun to mobilize and lobby for the protection of the Hungarian national interests.

Watch the video: Erosion of the Western Roman Empire Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, 451 AD Part 12