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Hunok, Huns

1. Magyarul, in Hungarian
2. in English, Angolul


1.
A hunok Belső-Ázsia sztyeppéiről származó, ismeretlen nyelvű nomád nép tagjai voltak. A Kárpát-medencei központú Hun Birodalom jól ismert az írott forrásokból, a hunok társadalmáról azonban viszonylag kevés feljegyzéssel rendelkezünk.
A legelfogadottabb nézet szerint a hsziungnuk voltak a későbbi hunok – azaz a közép-ázsiai és európai hunok – ősei. Alátámasztja ezt, hogy a szogdok a hsziungnukat hunoknak hívták, jogos tehát őket ázsiai hunoknak hívni. Az európai hunokra nézve ez azonban csak annyit jelent, hogy közöttük a hsziungnu arisztokrácia fontos szerepet játszott, nem is feltétlenül meghatározót. Hasonló módon voltak a hsziungnuk az elődei a heftalitáknak, vagy másképpen fehér hunoknak.


A hunok eredete:
A hunok eredete pontosan nem ismert, de feltételezések szerint a hsziungnuk (hiungnuk) leszármazottai lehettek, akik fél évezreden át uralták Belső-Ázsia keleti területeit. (pinjin: xiōngnú, egykori ejtése kb.: hiungnu, közelítő mai kiejtés: hsziungnu.) A hsziungnuk birodalma az i. e. 3. századtól a 2. századig állt fenn. Állandóan hadban álltak a kínai seregekkel, ami a kínai nagy fal felépítéséhez is vezetett. A korai Han-dinasztia uralkodója végül legyőzte őket, és ekkor két részre bomlott a hsziungnu törzsszövetség. A nyugati águkból származhattak a hunok,egyes vélemények szerint az avarok és a magyarok. A hun népnév elsőként egy 311-es nomád támadásról szóló szogd nyelvű krónikából ismeretes. A 350-es években Közép-Ázsia vagy korabeli nevén Tokharisztán területét egy hódító nomád nép vette birtokába. Uralkodói a Baktriában veretett görög nyelvű pénzérméiken magukat oino néven nevezték, amiből egy hjóno névalak rekonstruálható. Ugyanekkor kínai források is a hsziungnuk közép-ázsiai megjelenéséről és Szogdia elleni támadásáról értesítenek. A hiungnu, hun, hjóno nevek kétségkívül egy tőről fakadnak, és feltételezhetően azonos népet jelöltek, amint azt a kínai és szogd írásos források tartalmi egybevetése bizonyítja.


Történetük:
Amennyiben tehát a hjóno nevű nép azonos volt a hunokkal, akkor a hunok első ismert szállásterülete a közép-ázsiai Tokharisztán volt, ahová a kínai támadások elől vándorolhattak, és ahol jelentős törzsszövetséget alkottak. A korábban itt fennálló alán királyságot (kínai: alan-liao) megdöntötték. Az alánok egy része a Volgán túlra, a Kaukázus északi részéhez vándorolt előlük, a helyben maradtak pedig feltehetőleg összeolvadtak velük. A másik nagyobb szállásterületük ezzel nagyjából egyidőben a Volga vidékén alakult ki, ahová az északi törzsek jutottak el. 375-ben, Balambér (Valamibir) vezetésével átlépték a Volgát, és az egész kelet-európai sztyeppeövezetet uralmuk alá hajtva erős birodalmat hoztak létre. Többek között az itt élő alánokat és gótokat is leigázták. Innen az Al-Duna és a Balkán felé folytatták hódításaikat. A terület megismerése céljából több sikeres hadjáratot vezettek. Még a Keletrómai Birodalom ellen is indítottak hadjáratokat, bár ezek kezdetben csak felderítő portyázások voltak.


Kárpát-medencei hun birodalom:
Az 5. század elején indultak meg és hatoltak be a Kárpát-medencébe, ahol meg is telepedtek. Attila, a legnagyobb és legismertebb hun király fényes Kárpát-medencei udvaráról egykorú beszámoló is fennmaradt a bizánci követtől, Priszkosz rétortól. A hunok Ruga, Bleda (Buda) és Attila vezetésével kezdetben a Nyugatrómai Birodalom szövetségesei voltak, hadsereggel támogatva azt a Keletrómai Birodalommal szemben. A két birodalom között a keletrómaiak elleni két nagy hadjárat eredményeként egyensúly alakult ki. Ezt követően Attila király a nyugatrómaiak ellen fordult. 451-ben, a catalaunumi csata eldöntetlenül végződött. 452-ben Attila betört Itáliába és Róma felé vonult. III. Valentinianus császár Ravenna erős falai mögé menekült. A pápa tanácsadói is a menekülést javasolták Leó pápának. Ő azonban a legenda szerint egy különösen finoman megmunkált arany karperecet emelt fel az asztalról, és a következőt mondta: „Ez a hunok munkája. Egy nép, amelyik ilyen műalkotásokra képes, hajlandó lesz az Élet igéjének befogadására is.” Misszionárius munkát hirdetett a hunok között. Kíséretével Mantovánál találkozott Attilával és sikerült elérnie, hogy a hunok megkíméljék Rómát, és békét kössenek a birodalommal. (Igaz ebben szerepet játszott az is, hogy a hunok táborában járvány tört ki.) 453-ban, Attila egy lakoma során hirtelen meghalt. Ez után fiainak az örökségért folyó viszálykodása meggyengítette a birodalmat. A küzdelemből Ellák került ki győztesen, de már nem bírta hatalmát megszilárdítani. Sorra támadtak ellene a legyőzött és megadóztatott népek, ami a hunok kivonulásával zárult. Ismét korábbi szállásterületükön, a mai ukrán és délorosz sztyeppéken telepedtek le, ahol később összeolvadtak más népekkel. Attila halála és utódainak visszavonulása a végét jelentette a hunok államszervező hódításainak Európában. A VII. század első felében még a mai Ukrajna déli területein alkottak összefüggő törzseket, ezután végleg eltűntek.


Fehér hunok:
Toharisztánban 456-ban a Heftal-dinasztia került hatalomra, amiről Toharisztán lakóit heftalitáknak nevezték. A heftalitákat a szanszkrit források húna néven emlegették, amikor betörtek Indiába, és ott újabb birodalmat alapítottak („fehér hunok”). A közép-ázsiai heftaliták uralmát a türkök támadása döntötte meg. Amikor I. Justinianus bizánci császár (527-565) egy türk követséget fogadott 531-ben, ez a párbeszéd zajlott közte és a követek között: „Vajon a heftaliták városban laknak avagy falvakban?” Így feleltek a követek: „Uram, ez a nép városokban lakik.” „Tehát”, szólt közbe a császár, „ti nyilván valamennyi városunkat elfoglaltátok?” „Úgy van”, felelték a követek.


Attila birodalmából kivált kisebb birodalmak:

Attila halálával megszűnt a hunok közti összetartó erő, birodalmuk kisebb törzsszövetségi keretekre oszlott, amelyek vezetői Attila fiai leszármazottjai közül kerültek ki. Irnek hunjai visszavonultak a meotiszi őshazába. Scythia Minorban maradt hunok másik részét Dengizik vezette, akit ugyan megöltek egy csatában, de valószínűleg leszármazottjai folytatták az uralkodást. Később a források néhol beszámolnak egy-egy hun uralkodóról, mint például a Morava folyó mellett élő Mundóról, aki az osztrogót Theoderikkel harcolt a gepidák ellen. 682-ben egy Izrael nevű keresztény misszionárius püspök a Kaukázusban és Dagesztánban élő hunokról számol be. Izrael püspök leírja, hogy „keresztény templomok épültek a hunok országában”, beszámol a hunok Derbendtől északra fekvő fővárosáról, „a fénypompás Varachanról”, amelynek utcái, terei vannak, ahol „ügyes ácsok” dolgoznak, akik egy állatmotívumokkal díszített hatalmas keresztet is állítottak, ötvöseik pedig arany- és ezüstszobrokat készítenek.


A hunok beolvadása más népekbe:
Míg a heftalita hunok Közép-Ázsia déli részén és Indiában uralkodtak, a részben valószínűleg ugyancsak heftalita eredetű avarok ismét a Kárpát-medencében szerveztek államot. A Fekete-tenger északi vidékén volt a Kárpát-medencéből visszavonuló hunok utolsó állama. Ezen a területen alakult ki az onogur törzsszövetség. Az onogur uralkodók Attilától és utódaitól származtak, és feltehetően az onogur törzsek kialakításában is részt vettek a hunok. Az onogur törzsszövetségbe tartoztak a magyarok, a bolgártörökök és a mai csuvasok ősei is. Az ősmagyarok műveltsége mindig szoros rokonságban volt a sztyeppén élő rokon népekével. Középkori krónikáink is sokat említik a hunokkal való szoros kapcsolatunkat. A Kaukázus és a Kaszpi-tenger közötti területen jutottak hatalomra a kazárok is, akik mintegy három évszázadon át tartották fönn államukat. A kazárok részben ugyancsak rendelkezhettek hun eredettel.


A hunok régészeti hagyatéka:
A hunok tárgyi emlékei nagy hasonlóságot mutatnak a korábbi szkíta és hsziungnu leletekkel. A sztyeppei szkíta-hsziungnu-hun művészet hagyatéka a Kínai nagy faltól a Kárpát-medencéig mindenütt föllelhető. A hun korszak talán legismertebb tárgyai a két vagy négy darabban öntött, majd összeforrasztott bronzüstök. Ugyanilyen bronzüstök a belső-ázsiai (Ordosz-vidéki) hsziungnu lelőhelyekről is nagy számban kerültek elő. Elterjedésük jól tükrözi a hsziungnuk és hunok uralmának kiterjedését. Magyarországon Törtelről és Hőgyészről ismerünk ép példányokat. A hun előkelők temetkezéseire jellemző volt a sírtól külön elrejtett halotti áldozat; ilyen a Pécs-Üszögpusztán előkerült leletegyüttes (kard aranylemezes tokborítása és rekeszdíszes függőgombja, reflexíj aranyborítása, aranyozott pálcarudas vasszablya, nyeregkápa aranyborítása, arany kantárdíszek), a Szeged-nagyszéksósi fejedelmi kincs (arany nyakperec, aranycsatok, nyereg- és kardhüvelydíszek, lószerszámveretek, rekeszdíszes arany szíjvégek, faedények aranypántjai és egy perzsa borostyánkehely). Ugyancsak egy hun előkelő sírjához kapcsolódó áldozati együttes került elő Bátaszéken. Csornán találták meg az eddig egyetlen hiteles hun aranydiadémot egy női csontváz koponyáján. E rekeszdíszes aranydiadémok a sztyeppei viselet jellegzetes tartozékai voltak. A hun kor másik jellegzetes viseleti tárgya a nagy szárnyú rovart utánzó úgynevezett cikádafibula.


A hun nyelv:
Az európai hun nyelvről alig vannak nyelvemlékek, ezért nyelvi hovatartozásukat csak találgathatjuk. A tudomány mai álláspontja szerint az európai hunok részben azonosak az ázsiai hsziungnukkal, akiknek egy része nyugat felé haladva nevét megőrizte, de sok más etnikumú népet magába olvaszthatott. A hunok Európában akkor jelentek meg, amikor az eurázsiai sztyeppén az indoeurópai népek (szkíták, szarmaták, szakák, dahák, stb.) dominanciáját kezdték megtörni a török népek, de az első török nyelvű birodalom, a türköké, csak a hunok utáni évszázadban alakult ki. A sztyeppén könnyű nevet, vagy nyelvet váltani, nagy óvatossággal kell a nyelvészeti kérdéseket megközelíteni. Gondoljunk például az onogur-bolgárokra, akiket ma szláv bolgárokként ismerünk.


Hun nyelvű leletek:
A valószínűen multietnikumú hunok által feltételezetten beszélt ókori és kora középkori hun nyelv meghatározása nehéz és nem sok sikerrel kecsegtető feladat, részben, mert igen kevés emléke maradt fenn: leginkább más nyelvű (gót, görög, latin) forrásokból maradt ránk néhány hun személynév. Ismertek még a Volga-vidéki imenkovi kultúra rovásírásos feliratai a 4-6. századból, ezeket egyes régészek vitatottan a hunoknak tulajdonítják, bár eddig nem sikerült teljesen megfejteni őket. A szövegek rekonstruálásához más sztyeppei népek rovásírásos emlékei szolgálnak alapul, például a Közép-Ázsiában fennmaradt és teljesen megfejtett ótörök nyelvű orkhoni feliratok.


A nyelvi hovatartozás meghatározásának problémája:
Ezért nem tisztázott a hunok nyelvi hovatartozása sem: Egyes kutatók a 19. században néhány európai forrástöredék alapján a török (türk) nyelvek közé sorolták és a török kutatók még most is feltételezik, hogy a hunok egy olyan török nyelvcsaládba tartozó nyelvet beszéltek, amely a többi török nyelvtől erősen eltérő úgynevezett csuvasos nyelvek közé tartozott. Ilyen volt a középkorban szintén kihalt bolgártörök nyelv és ilyen a mai csuvas nyelv. A 20. században ezt az elméletet erősen támadván megjelentek olyanok is, amelyek valamely szibériai kis nép (osztják, ket) közé sorolták be a nyelvemlékeket. Miután ismertté váltak a késő ókori és koraközépkori jüecsi (tokhár) és a keleti szkíta (szaka) nyelvek emlékei Belső-Ázsiában, egyre több kutató (például Harmatta János) a szakával és a jüecsivel rokonítja a hun nyelvet, és így a kelet-iráni nyelvek közé sorolja. Egy-egy kortárs kutató (például Ucsiraltu) felvetette a mongollal rokoníthatóság lehetőségét is.


A magyarok külső neve:
A magyarokat más népek Ungarisch, Hongrois, Hungarian, Vengr néven ismeri, ami az onogurok nevéből ered, nyilván azért, mert a magyarok Etelközben ott laktak, ahol előttük az onogurok onogur-bolgár birodalma létezett. Az onogur eredet az orosz Vengr és német Ungar alakban látszik a legjobban, amiből még hiányzik a szóeleji H, amit a francia nyelv tett hozzá, és adott így tovább a normannok révén az angoloknak is. Az onogurok és magyarok esetén nemcsak egymásutániságról van szó Etelközben, hanem részleges együttélésről is, aminek emlékét (és nem a hunokét) őrizte meg Hunor és Magor legendája, ahol Hunorban valószínűleg az onogurokat kell látnunk és nem a hunokat. A mondában szereplő Dula alán fejedelem is valószínűleg az onogur uralkodó dinasztia, Kuvrat dinasztiája, a Dulo-klán emlékét őrzi.


A hunok megítélése a későbbi korokban és ma:
A kínai boxerlázadás idején II. Vilmos német császár a Kínába induló csapatokhoz intézett beszédben azt mondta, legyenek félelmetesek, mint a hunok. Erre alapozva az első világháborús brit és amerikai propaganda gyakran nevezte „hunoknak” a németeket, amikor brutalitásukat akarta kihangsúlyozni. Másrészt azonban Párizsban, ha az ember betér az Eiffel-torony környékén lévő Szent Leó templomba, a diadalíven Attilát látja, aki lován vágtat a Szentatya, I. Leó pápa ellen. A hunok megítélése a mai köztudatban országonként változó. Ma már a kínaiak elismeréssel szólnak a hsziungnukról, akikkel közel egy évezreden át harcoltak, tőlük a lovasnomád harcművészeteket eltanulták, és államukat ezáltal megvédték, megerősítették. A nyugati világban ezzel szemben máig kettős a hunok megítélése. A hunok világbirodalmának gyors összeomlása okot is ad erre a kettős megítélésre. Mindenesetre elmondhatjuk, hogy az európai Hun Birodalmat megszervező Balambér, majd Ruga és testvére, a Himnuszban is szereplő Bendegúz („gyorslövő”, törökös nevén Mundzuk), különösen pedig Attila idejében nemcsak nagy katonai erő, hanem magas fokú sztyeppei civilizáció és fejlett állami élet jellemezte a hunokat.
Ha a lap tetejére szeretne menni akkor kattintson ide:
www.latika.eoldal.hu/cikkek/tortenetek--stories/hunok--huns.html

2.
History:
Pre Attila:
In the west, Hunnoi are first mentioned by Tacitus as being near the Caspian Sea in 91 AD. By AD 139, the geographer Ptolemy writes that the "Huni" (Χοῦνοι or Χουνοἰ) are between the Bastarnae and the Roxolani in the Pontic area under the rule of Suni. He lists the beginning of the 2nd century, although it is not known for certain if these people were the Huns. It is possible that the similarity between the names "Huni" (Χοῦνοι) and "Hunnoi" (Ουννοι) is only a coincidence considering that while the West Romans often wrote Chunni or Chuni, the East Romans never used the guttural Χ at the beginning of the name. The Huns first appeared in Europe in the 4th century. They show up north of the Black Sea around 370. The Huns crossed the Volga river and attacked the Alans, whom they subjugated. Jordanes reports that the Huns were led at this time by Balamber while modern historians question his existence, seeing instead an invention by the Goths to explain who defeated them. Denis Sinor suggests if Balamber existed, he may have been a chief of a small faction of Huns, since Vithimiris utilized Hun mercenaries against him, which suggests a lack of unity among the Huns. Sinor also cites Ammianus' statement that the Huns "are subject to no royal restraint," casting further doubt on Balamber's status as king. After the Huns defeated the Alans, the Huns and Alans started plundering Greuthungic settlements. The Greuthungic king, Ermanaric, committed suicide and his great-nephew, Vithimiris, took over. Vithimiris was killed during a battle against the Alans and Huns in 376. This resulted in the subjugation of most of the Ostrogoths. Vithimiris' son, Viderichus, was only a child so command of the remaining Ostrogothic refugee army fell to Alatheus and Saphrax. The refugees streamed into Thervingic territory, west of the Dniester. With a part of the Ostrogoths on the run, the Huns next came to the territory of the Visigoths, led by Athanaric. Athanaric, not to be caught off guard, sent an expeditionary force beyond the Dniester. The Huns avoided this small force and attacked Athanaric directly. The Goths retreated into the Carpathians. Support for the Gothic chieftains diminished as refugees headed into Thrace and towards the safety of the Roman garrisons. After these invasions, the Huns begin to be noted as Foederati and mercenaries. As early as 380, a group of Huns was given Foederati status and allowed to settle in Pannonia. Hunnish mercenaries were also seen on several occasions in the succession struggles of the Eastern and Western Roman Empire during the late 4th century. However, it is most likely that these were individual mercenary bands, not a Hunnish kingdom. In 395 the Huns began their first large-scale attack on the East Roman Empire. Huns attacked in Thrace, overran Armenia, and pillaged Cappadocia. They entered parts of Syria, threatened Antioch, and swarmed through the province of Euphratesia. The forces of Emperor Theodosius were fully committed in the West so the Huns moved unopposed until the end of 398 when the eunuch Eutropius gathered together a force composed of Romans and Goths and succeeded in restoring peace. It is uncertain though, whether or not Eutropius' forces defeated the Huns or whether the Huns left on their own. There is no record of a notable victory by Eutropius and there is evidence that the Hunnish forces were already leaving the area by the time he gathered his forces. Whether put to flight by Eutropius, or leaving on their own, the Huns had left the Eastern Roman Empire by 398. After this, the Huns invaded the Sassanid Empire. This invasion was initially successful, coming close to the capital of the empire at Ctesiphon, however, they were defeated badly during the Persian counter-attack and retreated toward the Caucasus Mountains via the Derbend Pass. During their brief diversion from the Eastern Roman Empire, the Huns appear to have threatened tribes further west, as evidenced by Radagaisus' entering Italy at the end of 405 and the crossing of the Rhine into Gaul by Vandals, Sueves, and Alans in 406. The Huns do not then appear to have been a single force with a single ruler. Many Huns were employed as mercenaries by both East and West Romans and by the Goths. Uldin, the first Hun known by name, headed a group of Huns and Alans fighting against Radagaisus in defense of Italy. Uldin was also known for defeating Gothic rebels giving trouble to the East Romans around the Danube and beheading the Goth Gainas around 400-401. Gainas' head was given to the East Romans for display in Constantinople in an apparent exchange of gifts. The East Romans began to feel the pressure from Uldin's Huns again in 408. Uldin crossed the Danube and captured a fortress in Moesia named Castra Martis, which was betrayed from within. Uldin then proceeded to ransack Thrace. The East Romans tried to buy Uldin off, but his sum was too high so they instead bought off Uldin's subordinates. This resulted in many desertions from Uldin's group of Huns. Alaric's brother-in-law, Athaulf, appears to have had Hun mercenaries in his employ south of the Julian Alps in 409. These were countered by another small band of Huns hired by Honorius' minister Olympius. Later in 409, the West Romans stationed ten thousand Huns in Italy and Dalmatia to fend off Alaric, who then abandoned plans to march on Rome.


Under Attila and Bleda:
Brothers Attila and Bleda ruled together, but each king had his own territory and people under him. Never did two Hun kings rule the same territory. Attila and Bleda were as ambitious as king Rugila. They forced the Eastern Roman Empire to sign the Treaty of Margus, giving the Huns trade rights and an annual tribute from the Romans. With their southern border protected by the terms of this treaty, the Huns could turn their full attention to the further subjugation of tribes to the east.
However, when the Romans failed to deliver the agreed tribute, and other conditions of the Treaty of Margus were not met, both Hunnic kings turned their attention back to the Eastern Romans. Reports that the Bishop of Margus had crossed into Hun lands and desecrated royal graves further angered the kings. War broke out between the two empires, and the Huns capitalized on a weak Roman army to raze the cities of Margus, Singidunum and Viminacium. Although a truce was signed in 441, war resumed two years later with another failure by the Romans to deliver the tribute. In the following campaign, Hun armies came alarmingly close to Constantinople, sacking Sardica, Arcadiopolis and Philippopolis along the way. Suffering a complete defeat at the Battle of Chersonesus, the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius II gave in to Hun demands and the Peace of Anatolius was signed in autumn 443. The Huns returned to their lands with a vast train full of plunder. In 445, Bleda died, leaving Attila the sole ruler of the Hun Empire.


Unified Empire under Attila:
With his brother gone and as the only ruler of the united Huns, Attila possessed undisputed control over his subjects. In 447, Attila turned the Huns back toward the Eastern Roman Empire once more. His invasion of the Balkans and Thrace was devastating. The Eastern Roman Empire was already beset by internal problems, such as famine and plague, as well as riots and a series of earthquakes in Constantinople itself. Only a last-minute rebuilding of its walls had preserved Constantinople unscathed. Victory over a Roman army had already left the Huns virtually unchallenged in Eastern Roman lands and only disease forced a retreat, after they had conducted raids as far south as Thermopylae. Our only lengthy first-hand report of conditions among the Huns is by Priscus, who formed part of an embassy to Attila. The war finally came to an end for the Eastern Romans in 449 with the signing of the Third Peace of Anatolius. Throughout their raids on the Eastern Roman Empire, the Huns had maintained good relations with the Western Empire, this was due in no small part to their friendship with Flavius Aetius, a powerful Roman general (sometimes even referred to as the de facto ruler of the Western Empire) who had spent some time with the Huns. However, this all changed in 450 when Honoria, sister of the Western Roman Emperor Valentinian III, sent Attila a ring and requested his help to escape her betrothal to a senator. Although it is not known whether Honoria intended this as a proposal of marriage to Attila, that is how the Hun King interpreted it. He claimed half the Western Roman Empire as dowry. To add to the failing relations, a dispute arose between Attila and Aetius about the rightful heir to the kingdom of the Salian Franks. Finally, the repeated raids on the Eastern Roman Empire had left it with little to plunder. In 451, Attila's forces entered Gaul, with his army recruiting from the Franks, Goths and Burgundian tribes en route. Once in Gaul, the Huns first attacked Metz, then his armies continued westwards, passing both Paris and Troyes to lay siege to Orléans. Aetius was given the duty of relieving Orléans by Emperor Valentinian III. Bolstered by Frankish and Visigothic troops (under King Theodoric), Aetius' own Roman army met the Huns at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains also known as the Battle of Châlons. Although a tactical defeat for Attila, thwarting his invasion of Gaul and forcing his retreat back to non-Roman lands, the macrohistorical significance of the allied and Roman victory is a matter of debate. The following year, Attila renewed his claims to Honoria and territory in the Western Roman Empire. Leading his horde across the Alps and into Northern Italy, he sacked and razed the cities of Aquileia, Vicetia, Verona, Brixia, Bergamum, and Milan. Hoping to avoid the sack of Rome herself, Emperor Valentinian III sent three envoys, the high civilian officers Gennadius Avienus and Trigetius, as well as the Bishop of Rome 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. Prosper of Aquitaine gives a short, reliable description of the historic meeting, but gives all the credit of the successful negotiation to Leo. Priscus reports that superstitious fear of the fate of Alaric—who died shortly after sacking Rome in 410—gave him pause. In reality, Italy had suffered from a terrible famine in 451 and her crops were faring little better in 452; Attila's devastating invasion of the plains of northern Italy this year did not improve the harvest. To advance on Rome would have required supplies which were not available in Italy, and taking the city would not have improved Attila's supply situation. Therefore, it was more profitable for Attila to conclude peace and retreat back to his homeland. Secondly, an East Roman force had crossed the Danube under the command of another officer also named Aetius—who had participated in the Council of Chalcedon the previous year—and proceeded to defeat the Huns who had been left behind by Attila to safeguard their home territories. Attila, hence, faced heavy human and natural pressures to retire from Italy before moving south of the Po. Attila retreated without Honoria or her dowry. The new Eastern Roman Emperor Marcian then halted tribute payments. From the Carpathian Basin, Attila mobilised to attack Constantinople. Before this planned attack he married a German girl named Ildico. In 453, he died of a nosebleed on his wedding night.


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


Successor realms:
After the breakdown of the Hun Empire, they never regained their lost glory. One reason was that the Huns never fully established the mechanisms of a state, such as bureaucracy and taxes, unlike Bulgars, Magyars or the Golden Horde. Once disorganized, the Huns were absorbed by more organized polities. Like the Avars after them, once the Hun political unity failed there was no way to re-create it, especially because the Huns had become a multiethnic empire even before Attila. The Hun Empire included, at least nominally, a great host of diverse peoples, each of whom may be considered 'successors' of the Huns. However, given that the Huns were a political creation, and not a consolidated people, or nation, their defeat in 454 marked the end of that political creation. Newer polities which later arose might have consisted of people formerly in the Hun confederacy, and carrying closely related steppe cultures, but they were new political creations. Later historians provide brief hints of the dispersal and renaming of Attila's people. According to tradition, after Ellac's defeat and death, his brothers ruled over two separate, but closely related hordes on the steppes north of the Black Sea. Dengizich is believed to have been king (khan) of the Kutrigur Bulgars, and Ernakh king (khan) of the Utigur Bulgars, whilst Procopius claimed that Kutrigurs and Utigurs were named after, and led by two of the sons of Ernakh. Such distinctions are uncertain and the situation is not likely to have been so clear cut. Some Huns remained in Pannonia for some time before they were slaughtered by Goths. Others took refuge within the East Roman Empire, namely in Dacia Ripensis and Scythia Minor. Possibly, other Huns and nomadic groups retreated to the steppe. Indeed, subsequently, new confederations appear such as Kutrigur, Utigur, Onogur / (Onoghur), Sarigur, etc., which were collectively called "Huns", "Bulgarian Huns", or "Bulgars". Similarly, the 6th century Slavs were presented as Hun groups by Procopius. However, it is likely that Graeco-Roman sources habitually equated new barbarian political groupings with old tribes. This was partly due to expectation that contemporary writers emulate the ‘great writers’ of preceding eras. Apart from exigencies in style was the belief that barbarians from particular areas were all the same, no matter how they changed their name.


Appearance and customs:
All surviving accounts were written by enemies of the Huns, and none describe the Huns as attractive either morally or in appearance (the Huns were illiterate and thus kept no records). Jordanes, a Goth writing in Italy in 551, a century after the collapse of the Hunnic Empire, describes the Huns as a "savage race, which dwelt at first in the swamps, a stunted, foul and puny tribe, scarcely human, and having no language save one which bore but slight resemblance to human speech." "They made their foes flee in horror because their swarthy aspect was fearful, and they had, if I may call it so, a sort of shapeless lump, not a head, with pin-holes rather than eyes. Their hardihood is evident in their wild appearance, and they are beings who are cruel to their children on the very day they are born. For they cut the cheeks of the males with a sword, so that before they receive the nourishment of milk they must learn to endure wounds. Hence they grow old beardless and their young men are without comeliness, because a face furrowed by the sword spoils by its scars the natural beauty of a beard. They are short in stature, quick in bodily movement, alert horsemen, broad shouldered, ready in the use of bow and arrow, and have firm-set necks which are ever erect in pride. Though they live in the form of men, they have the cruelty of wild beasts."
Jordanes also recounted how Priscus had described Attila the Hun, the Emperor of the Huns from 434-453, as: "Short of stature, with a broad chest and a large head; his eyes were small, his beard thin and sprinkled with grey; and he had a flat nose and tanned skin, showing evidence of his origin." Artificial cranial deformation was practiced by the Huns and sometimes by tribes with whom they influenced. However, Ammianus may have been incorrect in saying that the facial scars dated from infancy. Maenchen-Helfen writes: "Ammianus' description begins with a strange misunderstanding... This was repeated by Claudian and Sidonius and reinterpreted by Cassiodorus. Ammianus' explanation of the thin beards is wrong. Like so many other people, the Huns inflicted wounds on their live flesh as a sign of grief when their kinsmen were dying." When a leader died, it was tradition to mourn them with blood instead of tears and so the warriors would slash their cheeks to "cry blood".


Society and culture:
The Huns kept herds of cattle, horses, goats and sheep. Their other sources of food consisted of wild game and the roots of wild plants. For clothes they had pointed caps, trousers or leggings made from ibex skin, and either linen or rodent skin tunics. Ammianus reports that they wore these clothes until the clothes fell to pieces. Priscus describes Attila's clothes as different from those of his men only in being clean. Women would embroider the edges of the garments and often stitch small colorful stone beads  
on them as well. In warfare they used the bow and javelin. Early writers such as Ammianus (followed by Thompson) stated that they used primitive, bone-tipped arrowheads. Maenchen-Helfen outright disputes this claim. He states: "Had the Huns been unable to forge their swords and cast their arrow-heads, they never could have crossed the Don. The idea that the Hun horsemen fought their way to the walls of Constantinople and to the Marne with bartered and captured swords is absurd." (See: Maenchen-Helfen The World of the Huns p 12) They also fought using iron swords and lassos in close combat. The Hun sword was a long, straight, double-edged sword of early Sassanian style. These swords were hung from a belt using the scabbard-slide method, which kept the weapon vertical. The Huns also employed a smaller short sword or large dagger which was hung horizontally across the belly. A symbol of status among the Huns was a gilded bow. Sword and dagger grips also were decorated with gold. With the arrival of the Huns, a tradition of using more bone laths in composite bows arrived in Europe. Bone laths had long been used in the Levantine and Roman tradition, two to stiffen each of the two siyahs (the tips of the bow), for a total of four laths per bow. (The Scythian and Sarmatian bows, used for centuries on the European steppes until the arrival of the Huns, had no such laths.) A style that arrived in Europe with the Huns (after centuries of use on the borders of China), was stiffened by two laths on each siyah, and additionally reinforced on the grip by three laths, for a total of seven per bow.


Language:
The subject of the Hunnic language is met with much controversy. So far, there is no general consensus on the exact origin or classification of Hunnic. A group of authors suppose that it may have been a member of, or related to, the Turkic language family. Having said that, the literary sources of Priscus and Jordanes preserve only a few names, and three words, of the language of the Huns, which have been studied for more than a century and a half. The sources themselves do not give the meaning of any of the names, only of the three words. These words (medos, kamos, strava) do not seem to be Turkic, but probably a satem Indo-European language similar to Slavic and Dacian. Traditionally notable studies include that of Pritsak 1982, "The Hunnic Language of the Attila Clan.", who concluded, "It was not a Turkic language, but one between Turkic and Mongolian, probably closer to the former than the latter. The language had strong ties to Old Bulgarian and to modern Chuvash, but also had some important connections, especially lexical and morphological, to Ottoman and Yakut... The Turkic situation has no validity for Hunnic, which belonged to a separate Altaic group." On the basis of the existing name records, a number of scholars suggest that the Huns spoke a Turkic language of the Oghur branch, which also includes Bulgar, Avar, Khazar and Chuvash languages. English scholar Peter Heather called the Huns "the first group of Turkic, as opposed to Iranian, nomads to have intruded into Europe". Maenchen-Helfen held that many of the tribal names among the Huns were Turkic. However, the evidence is scant (a few names and three non-Turkic words), thus scholars currently conclude that the Hunnic language cannot presently be classified, and attempts to classify it as Turkic and Mongolic are speculative. A variety of languages were spoken within the Hun pax. Roman sources, e.g. Priscus, recorded that Latin, Gothic, "Hun" and other local 'Scythian" languages were spoken. Based on some etymological interpretation of the words strava and medos, and subsequent historical appearance, the latter has been taken to include a form of pre-Slavic language.


Legends:
Medieval retellings:

Chroniclers writing centuries later often mentioned or alluded to Huns or their purported descendants. These include:
-Theophylact Simocatta
-Annales Fuldenses
-
Annales Alemannici
-
Annals of Salzburg
-
Liutprand of Cremona's Antapodosis
-
Regino of Prüm's chronicle
-
Widukind of Corvey's Saxon Chronicle
-
Nestor the Chronicler's Primary Chronicle
-
Legends of Saints Cyril and Methodius
-
Aventinus's Chronicon Bavaria,
-
Constantine VII's De Administrando Imperio, and
-Leo VI the Wise's Tactica.
Mediaeval Hungarians continued this tradition (see Gesta Hunnorum et Hungarorum, Chronicon Pictum, Gesta Hungarorum). Memory of the Hunnic conquest was transmitted orally among Germanic peoples and is an important component in the Old Norse Völsunga saga and Hervarar saga and in the Middle High German Nibelungenlied. These stories all portray Migration Period events from a millennium earlier. In the Hervarar saga, the Goths make first contact with the bow-wielding Huns and meet them in an epic battle on the plains of the Danube. In the Nibelungenlied, Kriemhild marries Attila (Etzel in German) after her first husband Siegfried was murdered by Hagen with the complicity of her brother, King Gunther. She then uses her power as Etzel's wife to take a bloody revenge in which not only Hagen and Gunther but all Burgundian knights find their death at festivities to which she and Etzel had invited them. In the Völsunga saga, Attila (Atli in Norse) defeats the Frankish king Sigebert I (Sigurðr or Siegfried) and the Burgundian King Guntram (Gunnar or Gunther), but is later assassinated by Queen Fredegund (Gudrun or Kriemhild), the sister of the latter and wife of the former. During a 16th-century peasant revolt in southern Norway, the rebels claimed, during their trial, that they expected the "Hun king Atle" to come from the north with a great host.


Claims of Hunnic origins:
Many nations and ethnic groups have tried to assert themselves as ethnic, or cultural successors to the Huns. For instance, the Nominalia of the Bulgarian Khans may indicate that they believed that they descended from Attila. There are many similarities between Hunnic and Bulgar cultures, such as the practice of artificial cranial deformation. This along with other archaeological evidence suggest continuity between the two cultures. The most characteristic weapons of the Huns and early Bulgars (a particular type of composite bow and a long, straight, double edged sword of the Sassanid type, etc.) are virtually identical in appearance. The Magyars (Hungarians) in particular lay claim to Hunnic heritage. Although Magyar tribes only began to settle in the geographical area of present-day Hungary in the very end of the 9th century, some 450 years after the dissolution of the Hunnic tribal confederation, Hungarian prehistory includes Magyar origin myths, which may have preserved some elements of historical truth. The Huns who invaded Europe represented a loose coalition of various peoples, so some Magyars might have been part of it, or may later have joined descendants of Attila's men, who still claimed the name of Huns. The national anthem of Hungary describes the Hungarians as "blood of Bendegúz'" (the medieval and modern Hungarian version of Mundzuk, Attila's father). Attila's brother Bleda is called Buda in modern Hungarian. Some medieval chronicles and literary works derive the name of the city of Buda from him.There is an ancient legend, amongst the Székely people that says: "After the death of Attila, in the bloody Battle of Krimhilda, 3000 Hun warriors managed to escape, to settle in a place called "Csigle-mező" (today Transylvania) and they changed their name from Huns to Szekler (Székely)." When Magyars came to Pannonia in the 8th century, the Szeklers joined them, and together they conquered Pannonia (today Hungary).


20th century use in reference to Germans:
On July 27, 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion in China, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany gave the order to act ruthlessly towards the rebels: "Mercy will not be shown, prisoners will not be taken. Just as a thousand years ago, the Huns under Attila won a reputation of might that lives on in legends, so may the name of Germany in China, such that no Chinese will even again dare so much as to look askance at a German." The term "Hun" from this speech was later used for the Germans by British propaganda during World War I. The comparison was helped by the Pickelhaube or spiked helmet worn by German forces until 1916, which would be reminiscent of images depicting ancient Hun helmets, some British found. This usage, emphasising the idea that the Germans were barbarians, was reinforced by Allied propaganda throughout the war. The French songwriter Theodore Botrel described the Kaiser as "an Attila, without remorse", launching "cannibal hordes". The usage of the term "Hun" to describe a German resurfaced during World War II. For example Winston Churchill 1941 said in a broadcast speech: "There are less than 70,000,000 malignant Huns, some of whom are curable and others killable, most of whom are already engaged in holding down Austrians, Czechs, Poles and the many other ancient races they now bully and pillage." Later that year Churchill referred to the invasion of the Soviet Union as "the dull, drilled, docile brutish masses of the Hun soldiery, plodding on like a swarm of crawling locusts." During this time American President Franklin D. Roosevelt also referred to the German people in this way, saying that an Allied invasion into the South of France would surely "be successful and of great assistance to Eisenhower in driving the Huns from France." Nevertheless, its use was less widespread than in the previous war. British and American World War II troops more often used the term "Jerry" or "Kraut" for their German opponents. The term "Hun" is also used by Catholics in Northern Ireland as a term of abuse for Northern Irish Protestants, without any implication of Central Asian cultural or genetic origins.

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