Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Hun, Alan, Avar, and other Steppe Nomad Movements
The Kidarites weren't Huns, they were Gok-Turks. There was only one group of Huns, albeit some remaining ones probably got absorbed by the Hepthaltites. The concept of 4 Hunnic groups (Black, White, Red, and Yellow) was a later application to the whole of Steppe nomads.

Quote:Eastern Alans also practiced cranial deformation and tools and weapons can pass on to different cultures through trade and war.

Very true, but I believe he also says they had Altaic skull features.

As for the Huns, it's about ethnogenesis. Only beginning in the Mid 3rd century you begin to see the first Hunnic group form, but prior to that there aren't any: they were there, but they were controlled by Alan overlords (like Barbarian Cantons and Gasinders).

By the year 300 there are two Sarmatian and two Hunnic groups on the Don (all, evidently, related): the Itimari and Rhobasci/Boisci, and the Alpilcuri and Tonguri, respectively. 350 saw these groups being pushed west due to nomad pressure and drought. To move West, they had to be able to defeat their Alan neighbors, who were better organized and used armored cavalry.

The Hun advantage was their bow. It had 3 additional lathes in the handle, while the Sarmatian bow only had 4 lathes (2 on either horn). This stiffened the bow, gave it a better recurve effect, and made it far more powerful.
In regard to the Kidarites, they could possibly have been Turkic but in Sogdiana they were known as Iranian Huna so they seem to have been associated with Kushans or earlier Yueh-chih but their empire reached its peak about 350AD, well before Gokturks who rose late 6th century. They could be ancestors but no proof as far as I know.
In regard to these tribes you mentioned (Itimari, Rhobasci, Boisci, Alpicuri and Tonguri, there seem to be some discrepancies in Priscus. In Fragment 1 in about 300AD they are located near Maeotic marshes and Don being pushed by the Huns and in Fragment 2 in about 432AD Rua is demanding the leaders of these slightly differently named but still the same tribes who are now living north of the Danube in Fragment 2 they are the Amilzuri, Itimari, Tounsoures & Boisci who wish to cross the Danube to seek Roman protection. The only explanation seems to be that the Huns have taken over the tribes but the various old leadership groups have flown the coup and were still creating problems for the huns but we are looking at 100-130 years difference. So I am naturally suspicious of these tribal names, I even think that Alpicuri/Amilzuri are the same as Alkitziri. I also think Rhobasci is the same as Boisci with Rho put in front as Rhos/Rheos could be an old Greek word meaning river or stream but could go back to Indo-European roots srou/sreu/sru meaning to flow. Just as an aside as a person who reads a lot about Sarmatians, I have always been disappointed with a lot of explanations about how Roxalani/Rhoksalans/Rox-alan/Roksh-alan name came about with various explanations saying that the Rox/Rhoks prefix meant light, bright, fair, lightly armed, shining or Rus. Dr Laszlo Torday whose main interest is Central Asian history and linguistics and tribal ethnology in his book ‘Mounted Archers’ thinks that with the Rox/Rhos in front of Alan, means ‘River Lords’ or River Alans as all Alans liked others to think that they were ‘noble’ and above other steppe people. So even steppe people had their airs and graces. Ammianus even referred to them as ' the noble Alans' . So the Roxalani, in their history of moving west, always seemed to occupy deltas of major river systems, be it Volga, Don, Dneister and Danube rivers. It seems a much better & sensible explanation than the others. Sorry I digress & back to the topic of huns.
In regard to the Hunnic bow, my understanding is that the Hunnic bow was invented in 1st or 2nd century. Middle to Late Sarmatians used a bigger bow than the Scythian bow shown on Trajan’s Column, the fact that later Sarmatians and Alans discarded the gorytus, which was too small for the Hunnic bow and instead carried a softer bowcase alongside one or two cylindrical quivers proves that they used bigger bows. Maybe they were less powerful than the bow used by the Huns & I accept what you said about Huns using 7 lathe bows but I do not see any evidence that the Hun’s bow was the super weapon that made the difference unless I read Peter Heather, E.A. Thompson or OMH’s book which disappointingly is incomplete regarding Hunnic swords etc. I still think it was organisation that defeated the Alans, not superior technology or weaponry.
Michael Kerr
Michael Kerr
"You can conquer an empire from the back of a horse but you can't rule it from one"
The problem is that Alpilcuri is a preservation of a Lir-Turkic name. It neatly translates into the three roots Alp, -il, and -cur. Tongur (Ton, -cur) does as well.

Priscus' Acatziri translates to Akat and -ir, not Alp, -il, and -cur. This is, of course, correcting for the Grecization of the word.

The Alipicurs and Tongurs were Hunnic groups, the latter of which is still recorded as fleeing under Dengzich in 460.

The Tongurs and Alpilcurs were tribes subject to whomever Rua was in charge of: probably the UItinzur Huns as I have mentioned before. The Akatir did not live on the Danube, but were still situated near the Sea of Azov until their end in the 7th century AD.
In researching a novel set in the Later Roman Empire, I just finished "The Huns" by H.J. Kim.
In his book he states that after the Gothic war the Greuthung who had not surrendered to the Huns occupied Wallachia. However, they were a vassal state to the Huns.

Then it must mean that the Terving were divided into the northern half in the Hauha-land and the southern in Lower Moesia.

I had never heard of the Greuthung north of the Danube being vassals, but it makes sense. Any comments?
AKA Tom Chelmowski

Historiae Eruditere (if that is proper Latin)
Peter Heather identifies like a dozen groups of Goths in the primary sources. The Tervingi, Grethungi, and Radagasius' Goths all go on to form the Visigoths. The Amali emerge some time around 440, and eventually form the Ostrogoths under Theodoric. The Tetraxite Goths in the Crimea remain independent until the 7th Century AD. There's something like 2 groups under Hun domination that get variously mentioned after the fall of Attila's empire as well, and a third group that got settled in Thrace in the 420's and was eventually absorbed by Theodoric's Goths before forming the Ostrogoths.

Or something. Check out Peter Heather, "The Goths."

Possibly Related Threads…
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Ancient trousers from steppe nomad Dave G 24 5,245 06-14-2014, 08:14 AM
Last Post: Alanus
  Avar gorget mentioned in the Maurikios Strategikon Targitios 1 2,251 10-09-2011, 09:12 PM
Last Post: Joze Noriker

Forum Jump: