Studia Classica et Orientalia
1 (2010)

WydaWnictWo UniWersytetU rzeszoWskiego rzeszóW 2010

REVIEwED by prof. dr hab. Ryszard Kulesza EDIToR Marek Jan olbrycht Department of Ancient History and Oriental Studies University of Rzeszów Al. Rejtana 16C 35-310 Rzeszów Poland email: EDIToRIAL boARD Daryoush Akbarzadeh (Iran, National Museum, Tehran) Agustí Alemany (Spain, Autonomous University of Barcelona) Touraj Daryaee (USA, Irving University, California) Jangar Ilyasov (Uzbekistan, Academy of Sciences) Ryszard Kulesza (Poland, University of Warsaw) Jeffrey D. Lerner (USA, Wake Forest University) Valentina Mordvintseva (Ukraine, Crimean Branch of the Institute of Archaeology, National Academy of Sciences) Sabine Müller (Germany, University of Kiel) Ruslan Muradov (Turkmenistan, National Department for Protection, Research and Restoration, Ashgabad) Valery P. Nikonorov (Russia, Russian Academy of Sciences, Sankt-Petersburg) Tomasz Polański (Poland, Jan Kochanowski University) Karolina Rakowiecka (Poland, Jagiellonian University) Eduard V. Rtveladze (Uzbekistan, Academy of Sciences) Martin Schottky (Germany)

book layout and cover designed by M.J. olbrycht with the support of L. and D. olbrycht The Editor would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Vice-Rector for Research and International Affairs of Rzeszów University

ISSN 2082-8993
648 WyDAWNICTWO UNIWERSyTETU RzESzOWSKIEGO 35-959 Rzeszów, ul. prof. S. Pigonia 6, tel. 17 872 13 69, tel./fax 17 872 14 26 email:; wydanie I; format B5; ark. wyd. 19,75; ark. druk. 19,75; zlec. red. 103/2010 Druk i oprawa: Drukarnia Uniwersytetu Rzeszowskiego

............. Muhammad A.............................................. Dandamayev Šūzubu.......................................... a Citizen of Uruk in the Sixth Century B............. Rtveladze The Great Indian Road: India – Central Asia – Transcaucasia ........ Jeffrey D.......................C............................. Eduard V. Igor V.......................ANABASIS 1 (2010) STUDIA CLASSICA ET ORIENTALIA CONTENTS Marek Jan Olbrycht Józef Wolski 1910–2008.................................................................... Litvinskii Problems of the History and Culture of Baktria in Light of Archaeological Excavations in Central Asia ........................ 159 5 ..................................................... ...... Lerner Revising the Chronologies of the Hellenistic Colonies of Samarkand-Marakanda (Afrasiab II–III) and Aï Khanoum (northeastern Afghanistan) ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 144 Vladimir A................................................................................................................................................. Piankov The Tochari – Who Are They? .................................................................................. Tom Boiy Between the royal administration and local elite: the pā‹ātu in Hellenistic Babylonia as epistates? .................... Boris A............... An Epitaph ......... 135 Marek Jan Olbrycht The Early Reign of Mithradates II the Great in Parthia ........ 107 Jérôme Gaslain Mithridates Ier et Suse ................................................. Livshits The Avroman Parchment III in Parthian ............. 7 18 23 49 58 80 97 Aleksei Gorin Parthian Coins from Kampyrtepa ..........

......................................... Jagiellonian University Press.......... Ein Beitrag zur Korrektur der armenischen Königsliste ............. Sankt-Peterburg 2008 .................... 256 Valerii P.................. 208 Dieter Metzler Arsakiden und andere parthische Fürsten als Anhänger fremder Religionen .................. 314 6 ..................................... 264 Hubertus von Gall Ein Kopf des Darius am ehemaligen Postfuhramt in Berlin ................ Schottky Edward Dąbrowa (ed... R.................................... Wójcikowski V................. Nikonorov “Like a Certain Tornado of Peoples”: Warfare of the European Huns in the Light of Graeco-Latin Literary Tradition ....................................................... 307 Abbreviations ............S..................................................................................... Po materialam raskopok na gorodishche Zartepa (Kushanshahr under the Sasanians...............................................................................).............................. Fakul’tet filologii i iskusstv Sankt-Peterburskogo gosudarstvennogo Universiteta........ 311 Guidelines to Contributors ......... 226 Touraj Daryaee Ardaxšīr and the Sasanians’ Rise to Power .....................A............................................. 292 REVIEWS M............................................................... Kushanshahr pri Sasanidakh... 303 M..................... 236 Daryoush Akbarzadeh A New Collection of Sasanian Coins in the National Museum of Iran ................J........................... Zavialov..........................................Valentina Mordvintseva Tillya-tepe gold jewellery and its relation to the Sarmatian Animal Style of the Northern Black Sea area ......................... On the results of excavations of the Zartepa site).............................. 175 Martin Schottky Armenische Arsakiden zur Zeit der Antonine........ Kraków 2008 . Olbrycht....... Studies in Ancient History 14).......... Studies on the Greek and Roman Military History (Electrum............

military organization. strategy. had invaded the steppes of the Northern Pontic area. 470 A. e. Attila In the early 370s. (as described by the Late Classical Authors)’ sponsored by the Research Support Scheme (RSS). arms. c. poliorcetics. g. not so long. from behind the Volga river certain nomads. which has been called ‘The Great Migration Period’. turned into the strongest military and political power in South-Eastern and Central Europe. the Huns. Shortly after. who were named Huns (Hun[n]i and Chuni in Latin. tactics. Greek and Latin sources. Eastern Germans and others). ∗ This paper is a reduced English version of a monograph published in Russian.D. which occurred under his sons. 1 See. Some additional data included in it resulted from the author’s scholarly stay in the United States in 2000–2001 as a Fulbright Program lecturer at the University of Houston Department of History. a space of time (just about one century) had. 1721/841/1998. Ϥííïé in Greek)1 in the Late Classical tradition. The Hun domination lasted there until the fall of the empire created by the great king Attila. Their invasion delivered a mighty impulse to the great movement of tribes within the western part of Eurasia. 264 . grant no. in the first half of the 5th century.D. armour. Nikonorov (Russia) ‘LIKE A CERTAIN TORNADO OF PEOPLES’: WARFARE OF THE EUROPEAN HUNS IN THE LIGHT OF GRAECO-LATIN LITERARY TRADITION∗ Key words: European Huns.ANABASIS 1 (2010) STUDIA CLASSICA ET ORIENTALIA Valery P. 209–210. see Nikonorov 2002a. That. Research for this work was undertaken mainly within the group project ‘Warfare of the Barbarian Peoples of South-Eastern Europe in the 2nd – 6th Centuries A. thanks to their superiority in warfare over local peoples (Sarmato-Alans. Budanova 2000.

siegecraft and the structure of military organization. Bell-Fialkoff 2000. to the 2nd century A. who was nicknamed the ‘Scourge of God’ by his European contemporaries. Zosimus. a reply must be given to an old problem of correlating the eastern Central Asian people called Hsiung-nu. Indeed. but obviously going back to military antiquities of the first centuries A. 2). 1999. armed forces. Claudian. 6–18. 108–109. 4–14. 265 .D. among which the most principal ones come from the works of Ammianus Marcellinus. Olympiodorus of Thebes.D.D. a considerable influence upon the world of Late Antiquity. 215–217. the noted bronze cauldrons that were very characteristic just for the Hsiung-nu culture. True. strategy and tactics. an analysis of various data. The majority of these authors were contemporaries of the Huns. the literary evidence is supplemented with archaeological material to shed more light on the matters in question. First of all. Sozomenus. 4 See in detail Zasetskaia 1994. on the one hand. it should be 2 General surveys of the ancient written tradition concerning the European Huns are adduced in Thompson 1948. Zasetskaia. at least in a large part. on the other. 3 See Sinor 1990. Hun hordes led by Attila. such as written sources. This very complicated matter has been discussed very much. in order to reveal as better as possible the chief peculiarities of Hun warfare. left by the Hsiung-nu and other steppe peoples of Central Asia. The present paper deals with all the basic components of martial practices of the European Huns. enables the present author to share a point of view that the Hun horde intruding in the West must have consisted. of the descendants of those Hsiung-nu who had departed in the 2nd century A. 151–155. westwards from their homeland in Mongolia after the defeats caused by the Chinese and the Hsien-pi.nevertheless. with the European Huns. The main data to be analysed are the available written records from surviving Late Roman and Early Byzantine literary sources. who were from the 2nd century B. horse equipment. unfortunately.4 Running ahead. archaeological finds and anthropological observations. n.2 When necessary. iron arrowheads having no parallels in armament of the previous. Bokovenko 1994. but answered differently.3 However that might be.C. Ethnic-cultural links between the Hsiung-nu and the European Huns are well confirmed by such categories of Hun material culture as: 1). those of Olympiodorus and Priscus) have survived as a whole. Priscus of Panium. Sidonius. de La Vaissière 2005. 1–17. 4–7. culture of the Northern Pontic area. 14. and Jordanes. Merobaudes. Nikonorov 2002a. Maenchen-Helfen 1973. classical descriptions of the Huns’ outward appearance give no doubt that these newcomers belonged to the Mongoloid race. 228–232. Besides. did threaten more than once the existence itself of the Western civilization. constant and dangerous enemies of Han China. 1993. not all of their writings (in particular. 177–179. Sarmatian-Alan. such as arms and armour. Golden 2002.

128. including through the instrumentality of the Huns themselves. 26–30. the main body of Hun armies consisted of light-armed cavalry. 187). Khudiakov 1986. tactics.8 Khudiakov 1986. 35–36. Zosim. 243–246. Zasetskaia 1994. Gorelik 1995. 54. Get. 115–119. 47. bows (‘arcus’: Sidon. Rausing 1967. 167–170. 30–35. Coulston 1985. 50. 242–243. In all likelihood. their wooden stave. therefore. Bows of this type (which is only conditionally called by researchers ‘Hun’ or ‘Qum Darya’ or even ‘Hun-Parthian’) had originated in the eastern part of the Central Asian steppes during the last centuries B.C. a warrior originating from the same Central Asian milieu as the Huns. Farbtaf. as a badge of power in the midst of the Huns. 4. Bóna 1991. Land. Iord. 50. 46–50. Iord. Carm. PécsÜszögpuszta and Bátaszék in Hungary. etc. Abb. This is confirmed by the fact that among their high nobility there were in use models of the arm outfitted with golden end laths. 143–144.D. 19 B. bone. IV. that an ancient Turk rider. 150. the so-called ‘golden bows’. XII. Sidon.7 The Huns. 20. Such laths have been discovered in Hun princely burials at Jakuszowice in Poland. as a rule backed with sinew. 110–111. We may suppose this. who were involved in the movement of the departing Hsiung-nu on their long route to Europe. 6 5 266 . 176–177. fr. 68–69. one can see many common features in weaponry. 266. If one compares martial practices of the former5 with those of the latter to be brought to light below. Land. II. Khazanov 1971. 25–52. and subsequently spread far westwards. 47. including their leaders. each Hun warrior had more than one bow at his disposal. Sag. Bóna 1991. Sag. Lebedynsky 2001. 18 D = fr. 7 Harley Walker 1915. 223–229. strategy. XII. 187) that were the Hun principal weapon of offence. XVII. 364–371. much more long-range. carried with himself two or three bows together with a respective number of strings. II. 255.6 The appearance of such mighty. Get. Werner 1956. 8 László 1951. see also Laufer 1914. for instance. It is to be added that the name ‘Huns’ applied to the entire Hun horde also covered some peoples of the Finno-Ugrian and Middle Asian (Iranian) origins. 128. 55. 122–128. too. The bow served. Carm. i. being told by the Arabic literary tradition of the 9th century A. were particularly noted for their great skill of archery (åšöõåóôÜôç ôïîåßá: Olymp. Taf. 667. Harmatta 1951.stated that one more strong evidence of genetic relationship of the Hsiung-nu with the Huns comes from the sphere of warfare. composite. As it follows from the available source data. 54. bows revolutionized very much ancient mounted warfare. playing a very prestigious social role. Its troopers were equipped with big (120–150 cm long at average) and powerful. e. They had the shape of two arches joined by a straight handle.and horn-reinforced. 266–269. was necessarily reinforced with bone and horn laths on its ears and handle to make the entire construction more flexible and.

Zasetskaia 1994. II. Pan. 80. ‘iacula’: Sidon. Huns employed two kinds of swords: one with a long (until 90 cm) double-edged blade and the other with a shorter (50–60 cm) single-edged blade. According to archaeological data. Get. they were forced to limit the use of bone arrowheads and give preference to iron ones. the European Huns’ forebears. 12 Laing 2000. p. Carm. the manufacture of which did not require any complicated technology. 1 B. 214–216. e. 17. 2 B. 81–82. refers solely to those provided with bone heads skilfully attached to shafts and variously produced (‘acutis ossibus pro spiculorum acumine arte mira coagmentatis et distinctis’). 80). 23–34. cannot be employed to call Ammianus’ information in question as this is sometimes done. It does not mean. For close fighting the Huns used the sword (‘ferrum’: Amm. 1b D = 6. when the Huns came in Europe into collision with safely protected foes. see also Iord. whereas ones of bone have not been found yet. ‘a óðÜèç-bearer’). ‘spicula’: Sidon. HF II. in particular. Ep. Iord. 2. fr. 5: óðáèÜñéïò. cf. XII. He rather simply paid attention to this. Huns made use of metal (iron) arrowheads too. II. II. II. 266. 11 Khudiakov 1986. the Huns even brought with themselves new types of the latter. by the way. 9. 60. ‘ensis’: Merob. óáãßôá: Malal. 128. In this connection deserving attention is the fact of the combined being of a long double-edged 9 Zasetskaia 1994. Marc. were suitable only to hit the enemies bearing no armour. 89. Get. Land. VII. kind of arrowheads. 6: ‘gladius’. ‘sagittae’: Hier. 1. Carm.12 Of other articles of Hun archery equipment there is a mention of guilt quivers (‘auratae pharetrae’) in Latin literary tradition (Merob. As it has been said above. XXXI. i. There is an opinion that arrows shot from Hun bows could pierce through armour at a distance of 100 m. 359. 9). 208–209. i. The latters discovered in a less number are thought to have appeared in South-Eastern Europe just with the Huns. II. Sag. 183 and Greg. 15. Marc. Bóna 1991. Carm. VII. Sidon. 358. fr 8 D = 12. Pan. that these were the only ones applied by the Huns at his time.13 It cannot be ruled out that Hun riders did have such a sword set. It is interesting that Ammianus Marcellinus. 8 D = 13. âÝëç: Prisc. 9. 175–176. 36–39. 39–42. 10 267 . 236. Iord. 1 B. cf. arrowheads made from bone.9 This fact. 13 Werner 1956. For sure. p.In reports of the Classical writers the arrows figure as well (‘missilia tela’ = ‘spicula’: Amm.11 True. 38–46. Tur. that bone arrowheads were widespread among the Hsiung-nu of Central Asia. e. ‘tela’: Merob. Pan. especially as solely they have come from graves of the Hun epoch in South-Eastern Europe.10 because it is well known. 206).2. fr. 2. 34–37. 21. Ibid. 249. when speaking of Hun arrows (XXXI. very exotic. 249. Get. King 1987 [1995]. Malal. XXXI. 130. îßöïò: Prisc. And so. of course. 261. such as the Romans. 298. 83. 187.

only one spearhead has been uncovered at Hunepoch sites of the Northern Pontic area by now. 141–142. 18 See. which is based on a lost. 116–117. II. 239–240. unfortunately. As body Kazanski 1991.19 which the Huns threw on their opponents at a middle range (Amm. 20 Cf. 16 Zasetskaia 1994. There is a reference to ‘the custom of the Panonians’ (these were. 50–51. the sword was esteemed by the Huns as a sacral object personifying a god of war (Prisc.17 By the way. with the destruction of the Burgundian realm by the Huns in 437. we are spoken by one of our informants (Merob. 8 D = 12. 17 Bruhn Hoffmeyer 1966. belt (‘gravis… auro balteus’). 8: âñü÷ïò = ó÷ïéíßïí). to which a sword with no less rich ornamentation seems to have been suspended. 26. reflected in modern reconstructions of the Hun warrior’s aspect. Get. 143. It is important to notice that none of the written sources lists javelins or other kinds of spear in the composition of Hun armament. where this device under the term óüêêïò figures as used by rather Hun mercenaries of the Gothic chief Athaulf than by his own soldiers (see Baldwin 1980.sword and a shorter single-edged broadsword in some burials of the Germanic nobles in Western Europe.14 Another interesting evidence comes from the ‘Waltharius’ – a Latin heroic poem of the 9th century A. this ill-grounded opinion has been. fr. e. 79–80) of a Hun heavy. Iord. was the lasso. 35. Pan. These circumstances allow to agree with a conclusion that ‘this type of weaponry did not spread in the Hun host’. 132–133.18 One more important offensive arm.16 On the other hand. Like the bow. 19 Khazanov 1971. Germanic legend related to the famous Nibelungen epic dealing.15 Is it an echoe of the Huns’ martial habit to carry both such weapons? Besides. Sinor 1981. very typical for nomadic peoples of Eurasia at all. one should reject a point of view that the Huns had even lances. 2. fr. Nickel 1973. 15 14 268 . 151. This fact finds support in archaeological materials: so.20 Heavy armour did not spread to any considerable degree in the bulk of Hun troops because of their tactics consisting in both heightened mobility and preference to fight from a distance. XXXI. according to a historical context of the narrative. 120. not in hand-to-hand combat (see below). 226). 17 D = 18 B.D. 64. Maenchen-Helfen 1973. g. Ferrill 1991. Sozom. Hildinger 1997. much elder. Golden 2002. adorned with gold. 9: ‘lacinia’. Marc. 1 B. VII. in turn. see also Maenchen-Helfen 1973: 278–280). Olymp. rather Huns) to belt oneself with a double set of bladed arms – a long two-edged sword (‘ensis’) on the left side and a short one-edged broadsword (‘semispata’) on the right. 183.

like he did so usually. Taf. how one of Huns raiding the Roman province of Moesia made use of his lasso with the object of capturing Theotimus.23 There are several references to corselets of the Huns. points out that it was ‘a martial corselet (èþñáî ðïëåìéêüò) strewn with treasures (so long as the barbarian weaponry is boastful and pretentious)’ (Aster. VII. 83). In order to cast it he ‘leaned upon the shield. 125–126. 92–95. II. 26.D.21 However. it is difficult to imagine that the Huns were raiding – and the cited passage of Sozomen should be considered solely in such a context – as pedestrians: really. as if allows to come to a conclusion that such helmets were provided with nose-pieces. 8). 20/4. 400 A. Dixon 1996. Hun ordinary soldiers had curved fur-caps (‘galeri incurvi’: Amm. 17) who contrasts them with the Roman helmets called by him ‘galeae’. 60. some scholars have believed him to have been on foot at the moment of casting. Lindner 1981. the bishop Asterius. Warriors from the Hun aristocratic milieu could wear costly metal armour. Coulston 1993. 6) that served as protectors to their heads. 249–250.protector Hun rank-and-file men bore the shield (Póðßò) referred to by the church historian Sozomen who tells. 2. Bishop. 8. pl.. 269 . one may conclude that the protective arm in question must have been a comparatively small and light shield manufactured from wood and covered with leather or skin. doing so rather under Roman inspiration. 23 Matzulewitsch 1929. ªóðåñ åkþèåé ôïsò ðïëåìßïéò äéáëåãüìåíïò: Sozom. and so quite suitable to be employed in cavalry. The same caps seem to be meant under the word ‘tiarae’ by St Jerome (Hier. Pan. bishop of Tomis. XXXI. Some body armour was worn by a certain ruler. Zasetskaia 1994. 24 See Maenchen-Helfen 1973.24 Our source. c. this conclusion is rather incorrect. On the other hand. 169–172. In addition. probably a Hun by birth. who. See on it James 1986. 49. 254. Southern. A context of the second report. in particular. above all. under the term ‘cassis’ (Merob. 175. 167. Since our author speaks nothing of whether the Hun was mounted or dismounted. So. 21 22 Maenchen-Helfen 1973. Carm. The fact is that the lasso. In one case they figure as being guilt.22 especially as a similar headpiece made from iron and covered with sheet silver was discovered in 1812 in a grave of a ‘Hun prince’ at Conçesti in Moldavia. Ep. in the other they are named ‘galea’ (Sidon. 255). concerning the Hun practice of intentional disfiguration of men’s faces with the object of fitting them to needs of war. we are told twice about Hun metal helmets. as the technique of mastering it includes the use of horse traction to draw the caught victim away. was an arm just of horsemen. they may have rather belonged to the well known Late Roman ‘ridge helmet’ type. it would be a nonsense! Taking into account these considerations. and so his schield was too large to be used on horseback. If so. II. when dealing with the adversaries’ (Póðßäé dðåéñåéäüìåíïò. Marc. had been controlling a region within the Northern Pontic area.

Paul. The Latin writers. 15. Iord. in his opinion. they have to do nothing with Hun armour proper. after having defeated the Romans collected and then used their arms (Oros. who accompanied everywhere in campaigns his lord. XII. XXXI. took counsel with each other. 8 D = 2. a Moorish jester. 2. 4. II. 68 D). being encased in a full armour set (ðáíïðëßá) specially manufactured for him in order to amuse more the people around (Prisc. 329–330. 11 D = 13. especially as two finds of such armour – by the way.29 Sidon. However. 2 B. compared them with the centaurs (Claud. v. VII. 19 M = XI. fr. VII. 28 Khazanov 1971. etc. scale-armour (‘lorica squamata’) or (what is less probable) even muscle-cuirass (‘thorax’). the only actual testimonies of the Huns’ application of corselets at all – have come from burials of the Hun epoch in the south of Russia. the future Western Roman emperor. ÆÝñêùí]). covering both the chest and back. cf. might have been a corselet of the chain-mail type (‘lorica hamata’). ate and drank. 97. to Hun corselets (1973. 90. 147–173. not only in warfare but also as a draught force and in religious beliefs as well. IV. II. Marc. and a Hun from the army of the Roman general Litorius in the course of the campaign of 436 in Gaul. they played a considerable role in everyday life of this nation. in his third charge the Roman transfixed the foe so that the latter’s corselet (‘thorax’) proved to be pierced through from the front and back (Sidon. Indeed. True. s. it equally might have been of other constructions also spread in Europe in Later Roman times. 188). 9). The last reliable evidence concerning Hun corselets25 is present at Sidonius’ description of an equestrian single combat between Avitus.26 Nevertheless. In the final of this duel. Amm. 26 Zasetskaia 1994. 2. Prisc. This body armour. Get.82: ‘incendant gemmae chalybem’). 262–266. Maenchen-Helfen adduces three passages more – those of Pacatus. Some words should be spoken of Hun horses. 128. like the Alans and the Goths. 2 B [= Suid. 1. Diac. 25 270 . viz. 6–7. 39. the Hun king Bleda. fr. 27 See on all the types in question Robinson 1975.27 Proceeding from the scarce literary evidence of Hun armour and from the fact that articles of defensive armament are very rare finds in Hun-period sites. cf. and even slept (Amm. XI. 29 See Levy 1971. Carm. Merobaudes and Procopius of Caesarea – referring. It should be necessarily taken into consideration that the Huns. one cannot be in agreement with a point of view28 assuming the presence in the European Huns’ troops of heavy-armed cavalry units. 34. Carm. 2. Marc. contemporaries of the Huns’ invasions. O. 20. contracted. 11. Mauric. 248–251). perhaps with the exception of the second one (Merob. 5. One of the preserved fragments from Priscus’ historical work informs us about Zercon. Our literary sources assert that the Huns did everything being on horseback: fought. Sag. Pan.Hom. Land. Zosim. HR XI. 289–294). III. Zasetskaia 1994. 39.

6. DAM III. XI. whose hordes periodically and all-overwhelmingly fell upon Europe.32 30 31 Nesterov 1990. Also. 20. swiftness of the former (Ibid. although he notes. Mauric. IV.XXXI. In another place of his work Vegetius describes in detail the Hun horses’ outward appearance: they have ‘the big and hook-like head. Hyland 1996. this notion was exceptionally grounded on some awkwardness of their step. narrow nostrils. 5). 4. 68–70 D). hollow abdominal cavity and the entirely bony body. 3. 6). They have the reasonable and wound-patient nature’ (Ibid. cf. 1. large ribs. quite peculiar to all the other nomadic peoples. 2). 2. Zosim. 2. All this made them a formidable factor of the military mighty of ancient and medieval nomads. There was so widespread an opinion that the Huns hardly went on foot at all (Amm. Marc. However. and in their deformity itself their beauty comes to light. but of great endurance (Amm. Marc. s. St Jerome (Hier. Isid. dense and broad hooves. 2. v. 127 cm. 137. curved spinal column. As a result of ‘infusions of new blood’ from different breeds. 77. Our sources underline the Hun horses’ longevity to have exceeded 50 years (Veget. whose withers height does not exceed. nevertheless. In particular. brought up from the infancy. XXXI. II pr. Etym. 36. thick tail. 60. 60. 1981. manes hanging down below the knees. 15.31 Their distinctive features. which were born and brought up in the very severe climatic conditions on the basis of pasturable herd keeping. 17. always were exceptional endurance. and stableness to frost and snow (Ibid. Hier. Ep. 6. scraggy belly. horses of the Huns had to increase their size. 1–2). 32 Sinor 1972. 44). solid bones. 17) opposes Hun jades (‘caballi’) to Roman horses (‘equi’). III. Their thinness is attractive. for whom the horse was the main means of conveyance (Maenchen-Helfen 1973. DAM III. 7. stature more inclined to length than to height. especially mentioned is their exceptional suitability to winter pastures. Ep. 2. XII. very firm tibial bones. 1. like those of other horse breeds of the Central Asian steppe origin. unpretentiousness and sufficiently high speed. But the fullest information concerning them is given by the Roman military theorist Vegetius (late 4th – former half of the 5th century) in his treatise on veterinary science. 271 . 6). EÁêñïóöáëåsò. Ammianus Marcellinus names Hun horses outwardly deformed.30 The former seriously underwent a modification in the course of the long Hun migration from the eastern part of Central Asia towards Europe. 2. mighty and hard neck. 19 M = XI. Suid. 6. short legs. no any prominences in their muscles. no any fat in their buttocks. he points out that the horses of the Huns are more suitable for war than others because of their high endurance. as a rule. 8). prominent eyes. broad jaws. 207). It is to be thought that the mounts of the European Huns were not so small as their relatives of the Mongolian stock. efficiency and staunchness to cold and hunger (Veget. XXXI.

But cf. VH VI. ERM III.37 Some authors mention Hun saddles (Iord. Kazanski et al. 8 D = 13. already long after the Huns had moved westSee Herrmann 1989. all of those bits that have been uncovered in burials of the European Hun culture belong to the simpler type. could be employed not only as means of controlling the horse. according to P. being trimmed frequently with metal details. 7: ‘equitatoriae sellae’). 50–53. 2. 2). cf. 36 See Borodovskiī 1987. 53.or pivot-like psalia were attached. HR XIV.38 It is particularly important to emphasize that regardless of the assertions in modern scholarship that the Huns were acquainted with the stirrups39 they did not have them for sure. It was intended for taking.36 One more function of whips was to give the prearranged tactical signals (Callin. 38 Werner 1956. 20.D. normally consisting of two parts – a cheeked bit and a drop noseband/muzzle.33. 177. 137–139. i. in the midst of the horse-riding and horse-breeding nations the whip was also esteemed as a symbol of high social status and power. 21. 81). fr. 115. II. 45–50. Werner 1956.35 It is important to note that this obligatory article of every nomadic warrior’s accoutrement. Get. e.D. 5). 53. Harper’s convincing conclusion grounded on analyzing appropriate pictorial and actual data. n. in comparison with the simple two-part bit. 54. was in use in Iran and Roman Europe as far back as the first centuries A. 137. 213: ‘equinae sellae’.. Kazanski 1991. Paul. 258). True. 1 B) and a hook-like bit (‘crispata lupata’) covered with sheet gold (‘aurea lamna’: Merob. to the ends of which ring. 1993. Harper 1982. 200–201. but also as a weapon of close combat. construction provided with the high front and rear arches. 39 See Clark 1941. Kazanski 1991. Besides.34 Of riding equipment of the Huns we hear of whips (öñáãÝëëéá: Callin. Diac. a bridle (ôï™ lððïõ ¿ ÷áëéíüò: Prisc. wooden. pieces of which have been discovered in funeral complexes of the epoch under review. Pan.Among Hun horse-harness our sources refer to breast phalerae adorned with precious stones (‘falerae vario gemmarum fulgore praetiosae’: Iord. O. Thanks to archaeological data. the more severe control of a horse. 758–763. Lebedynsky 2001. 57–62. 1990. Under the last article it appears to have been meant the curb. Get. 53. Werner’s interpretation of fragments of the gold cylinders from Hun-epoch burials as just whip details. Littauer 1981. 35 Werner 1956. made up of two straight pivots. 34 33 272 . The fact is that this important cavalry device was invented in the Far East no earlier than in the end of the former half of the 1st millennium A. 104. Zasetskaia 1994. Howarth 1994. Zasetskaia 1994. 37 Harper 1982. Bóna 1991. 186. VH VI. Such a complex bridle. where some doubts are expressed concerning the correctness of J. cheek-pieces of which did have the shape of curved bars. 40–42. Bruhn Hoffmeyer 1966. Veget. 68. 179. it is well known that such saddles certainly were of rigid.

1 B). e. This is confirmed as well by numerous finds of articles of everyday consumption. Huni et Alani]. 210. II. Adv. Ps. 8). 2. Owing to the high speed of their horses they made robbery raids so impetuously that even left behind any rumour of their approaching. VII.wards from their homeland. 2 D = 6. even thinking out the hour when to start the concrete action so that to have a possibility of saving in case of a failure (Ibid. their raids were well planned with the obligatory employment of intelligence information (Amm. II. by dispersed detachments’) from Maurice’s ‘Strategicon’ as a designation of battle formations which were drawn up by the ‘Hun’ (in the very broad sense of this See Nikonorov 2002b. Jovin. 204–205). 126: [Hunni] quasi quaedam turbo gentium). rapinis delebant (here Sidonius speaks of the Hun horsemen in the army of Litorius). 12. 3: omni pernicie atrociores [sc.44 To all appearances. XXXI.40 Written records testify to the use by the Huns of gold and precious stones to beautify their weapons and horse-harness (Prisc. 9. XXI. Iord. 6).43 In the course of their invasions the Huns aimed at penetrating into the hostile territory as deep as possible. In return. the nothing suspecting Romans during a fair which took place somewhere within the Danube valley in the reign of Attila (Prisc. Hier. 110: vaga Chunorum feritas. 8 D = 13. Carm. which seems to have had nothing with the real wedgeshaped order. they did not go ahead at breakneck speed: their generals prepared military operations with great care. Aster. for instance. Iord. 30. i. Marc. adorned with gold and silver and ornamented in the so-called ‘polychromy’ style. flammis. 1994. 79–83. see also Lebedynsky 2001. the aforementioned arched saddles allowed the Hun riders to have a firm seat on horseback when riding at full speed and shooting arrows both forward and backwards without any problem. 3. XLVII.41 Of special importance in the Hun strategy there was the factor of surprise attacks. 44 Ferrill 1991. XXXI. feritate. 8: Chunique truces. 1 B. The Hun cavalry always charged first and did that with swift movement. Marc. which have come to light from sites of the Hun epoch in South-Eastern Europe. Get. including arms and horse-harness. Sidon. Hom. Get. fr. 196). 43 Bachrach 1992. 41 40 273 . 42 Amm. Merob. 50–97. literally ‘by wedge’ (‘cuneatim’: Amm. this term conforms to an expression ôásò êáôN êïýíáò ôÜîåóé ôïõôÝóôé ôásò äéåóðáñìÝíáéò (‘[to charge] by wedges. 26. Marc. 248-250: qui proxima quaeque discursu.42 As a rule. Vict. Claud. 258). fr. XXVI. Auson. XXXI. However. 2. 81–84. Huns led a charge against the enemies ‘like a certain tornado of peoples’ (Iord. being about to decide the outcome of the battle as soon as possible (cf. by attacking. The Huns attacked in loose formation. Pan. In their tactics the Huns gave preference to fighting at a long distance with keeping permanent high mobility and manoeuvrability. Get. 7: et Hunnorum nova feritas. cf. Zasetskaia 1975. ferro. Huns did not shun treachery as well.-Aur.

which was then followed by a sudden counterattack (Claud. 4.ethnic name) peoples (Mauric. 77. Ep. it was the Hsiung-nu and the Huns following them who developed horsearchery into the best form. III. All these tactical tricks were very typical for the Eurasian nomadic military. 20. Claud. 106. when the outcome of battle was decided not in hand-to-hand-combat. they shot the bows backwards with so high accuracy (the so-called ‘Parthian shot’) that their persecutors. threw the lassoes on their foes and. 19. 52. 15 M = XI. 10). as one can see this in case of the famous battle on the Catalaunian Fields in 451. 47 See Khudiakov 1986. cf. Agath. 54 D). The word êï™íá in it (= ‘cuneus’ in Latin) must be understood as a detached unit composed on the basis of tribal or clan consanguinity of its members. with the least losses for themselves. when the Huns. 2. upon infantry that was 45 46 Todd 1988. Golden 2002. 652. While retreating. it should be noted that Hun tactical methods had become quite different under Attila. not expecting that. 50–52. Get. I. 1).45 From the report of Ammianus Marcellinus (XXXI. their strategy and tactics went back again to military practices of the Hsiung-nu. The most important of these was a feigned retreat intended to deceive and fatigue their foes. p. 2 D = 6. 1 B. for the early stage of their conquests: 1. initial charge by the deep loose formation under the accompaniment of a terrible war cry and with intensive shooting bows at the enemies from a distance. Gall. XI. cf. 270. Very usual for the European Huns was the employment of various stratagems. It was caused by those changes which occurred by that time in the army of the Huns themselves. e. 188. V. IV. Beyond any doubt. 274 . middle-range and hand-to-hand combat.47 Although many Oriental peoples had been fighting since olden times with the bow on horseback. 135–136. moving fast throughout the battle field. Prisc. Zosim. 2. fighting mainly at a long distance. like the detachments-cunei of the ancient Germans. 18. 8) and laying ambushes (Iord. fr. Agath. Two other favourite stratagems of the Huns were surrounding the enemy order (Zosim. Agath. Even earlier already (in 370s – 380s). although on a very small scale. 18. cf. 4. viz. 8–9) one can mark out the two main phases of the Huns’ tactics that were characteristic of them. IV. not in close combat. 8. 22. 2. 2. Hier. Chron. 331. III. 4–9. V. i. at least. their rulers began to rely. approaching them face to face. However. had serious losses in killed and wounded. fought with the swords.46 It is to be underlined once again that the Huns preferred to fight from a distance. 20. but in methodical and very efficient shooting at the enemy from afar. V.

quos dicioni suae subdiderat. 6. Since the early 5th century. be mounted warriors. Huns by birth) stood in its centre (‘in medio Attila cum suis fortissimis locaretur’). whereas levies recruited from the midst of many peoples subject to him were placed on the flanks (‘cornua vero eius multiplices populi et diversae nationes. Lindner suggested an original theory about the cardinal transformation of the Hun army. Lindner 1981. In his opinion. having firmly established themselves on the banks of the Middle and Lower Danube. As such the sources refer to the Scyri (Sozom. In an open battle like that on the Catalaunian Fields. Get. cavalry was hardly able to make the whole volume of their favourite stratagems (ambushes. Hun raids into the Lower Danubian valley (Amm. indeed. this transition to the wide employment of warriors on foot marked a decline of the Hun military might initially rested on cavalry warfare. 5.48 Almost thirty years ago R. 3. It seems undoubted that their bulk fought dismounted. the majority of the Huns who came to Europe in the latter half of the 4th century could. as well as to the Ostrogoths and the Gepids. XLVII. 4. some time after. 198). Get. 275 . P. such had to be the optimal battle order composed of ethnically very different contingents. And so.49 Many scholars have agreed with his conclusions. as a matter of fact. the Huns passed on to a practice of the more active recruitment of infantry forces from the midst of subdued Eastern Germanic tribes. Nevertheless. Owing to Jordanes’ description (Iord. unlike what had taken place in previous times. 5. Marc. CTh V. It was then that some Goths. e. ambiebant’). because the plain is not so large enough. 6). 8. Scyri and Carpo-Dacians are mentioned to have supported. especially for siege operations and fighting in forests and mountains. the Huns lost their advantage before the foes. 3). To support his theory R. viz. Zosim. IV.16. by the mid-fifth century the Hun mounted troops had to turn into those on foot similar to the Roman armies of that time. IX. 133–134. XLVIII. on the other hand.very needful. P. Lindner adduced literary and archaeological data and as well mathematical calculations on the pasturable resources of the Alföld. the last two having formed the flower of the national host allied to Attila (Iord. picked) warriors (undoubtedly. etc. simulated retreats.). However. Vict. as a result of the Huns’ occupation of the Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld). Ps. 1982. 701–706. compared to the vast steppe spaces of Central Asia. etc. 3. we are aware of the battle order of the Hun army (‘Hunnorum acies’). 199. 48 49 Golden 2002. Evidently. they had to fail there in getting a necessary amount of horses for war. 209. the one taking place on the Catalaunian Fields (451): the supreme ruler ‘together with the bravest’ (i. XXXI. 217). 5. 200.-Aur. that to graze very numerous herds of horses. as soldiers on foot for sure. when large masses of infantry played a significant role and. 34.

HR XIV. as we have seen. Most likely. in particular. it seems difficult to accept R. the mounted nature of Hun warfare was so evident to our authors that they even decided not to lay emphasis on this circumstance once more. one should bear in mind the information that having failed at the battle on the Catalaunian Fields. where Attila’s headquarters were plausibly situated. Therefore. Paul.51 And in this case the pasturable resources in the east of the Hun empire were quite sufficient to graze a very big number of war horses. However. one should note that these sources do not state at all that the Huns were exactly pedestrians! For instance. required a lot of saddles and. the Northern Pontic area. The realm of Attila did embrace regions to the east of the Carpathian mountains. as regards the claimed impossibility to keep a sufficient number of horses for the numerous Hun cavalry in the conditions of the Great Hungarian Plain. Get. Take notice as well of the fact that Lindner considers. where the elder son of Attila ruled (Prisc. in spite of its outer logicality and attraction. fr. were not the only ones of his domains. It is to be supposed that such a fire. for sure very numerous. a big number of riders had to part with them. 51 50 276 . 8) as an additional argument in favour of his theory. To say nothing of what any argument ‘ex silentio’ is more than doubtful. 2 B).Nevertheless. 8. P. i. 203). such an interpretation of this passage is in fact defenceless and so cannot be accepted. See also an opinion that the bulk of Huns even in the age of Attila dwelt to the east of the Hungarian plain (Sinor 1990. Firstly. which would have been monumental in accordance with the highest rank of the Hun king. Get. therefore. VII. from a methodological point of view it is hardly correct to ground the transformation of the Hun mounted troops into dismounted on the basis of the absence in sources of any direct references to their horses. Lindner concludes that they fought on foot. 7). the aforecited episode from Sozomen’s story of the Hun trying to lasso the bishop Theotimus (Sozom. Secondly. his analysis of the available written evidence concerning the Huns acting in a military context looks very straightforward. Since there the Huns in many cases are not mentioned as warriors on horseback. e. 213. Here it is obligatory to bear in mind the fact that the lands between the Danube and the Tisza rivers. including at least Scythia near the Pontus (= the Black Sea). Let us speak as well of ‘the picked cavalrymen from the entire Hun people’ who partook in the funeral ceremony of Attila (Iord.50 But. 256) and seem to have been the best against a background of other. Lindner’s opinion entirely and unconditionally. Attila blocked up himself in his camp and ordered a fire of saddles (!) to be built inside so that to fall into it if he sees a real danger to be captured by the enemy (Iord. 26. 8 D = 11. Diac. Hun horsemen. Attila when intending to undertake a serious campaign was Lindner 1981.

Lindner’s appraisal of the pasturable resources of the Hungarian plain. 187–188).000 men. J. these campaigns were lasting much longer than Attila planned himself. were lost in to recruit in his eastern possessions a quite considerable reinforcement for his cavalry. though the country abounded in good grazing and has a benign climate. and that the retreat to the grasslands finished off many of the survivors’ (Keegan 1993. Thanks to that the Alföld Huns were able to breed a considerable quantity of horses and.54 However. For comparison this scholar adduced the pasturable means of Mongolia. some doubts are as concerning the correctness of R. as J.000 that took part. had no means of moving his horses by waggon or ship. Keegan has written on this occasion. P. ‘though the horses would have been larger than Attila’s and partly grain-fed. therefore. no more than two per cent. therefore. 53 52 277 . 72–73. there simultaneously 150. The likelihood is. as D. During the Boer War of 1899–1902. such differences are not sufficient to explain a tenfold diminution of requirements. as the British transported theirs to and within South Africa. that any remounts he received along the overland route from Hungary arrived in little better shape than those his men were already riding. Cavalry campaigns kill horses in huge numbers if they cannot be regularly rested and grazed. and there was the problem of supplying his army strongly aggravated with the military failures (as it did occur in Gaul) that forced him to go back where he came from. In his opinion. for instance. Sinor has rightly pointed out.000 horses could graze and at a rate of 10 mounts per one rider at average the Hun troops numbered only 15.55 it is needful to take into consideration the fact that the climate and natural conditions of the Great Hungarian Plain are much more mild and favourable for pasturable horse-breeding than those of the steppes. Keegan thinks that a considerable portion of the horses in Attila’s army ‘were ridden to death and that they could not be replaced down his line of communications. Thirdly. The rest died of overwork. the British army lost 347. moreover. 187. Sinor 1993. 55 Keegan 1993. So.52 This is another matter that. is possibly even overstated. 14–15. Only a tiny fraction.000 out of the 518. for example. calculated by R. disease or malnutrition. provide a large mounted force. Hun horses must have thrived in the seventy years they were there and it is most unlikely that Attila was short of them when he set out See also Lebedynsky 2001.53 Perhaps. Lindner at will as understated. 56 On the other hand. it is well known that in 1914 in Hungary a cavalry force was recruited that numbered 29. 54 Lindner 1981. P. where in the Middle Ages a nomadic warrior had until 18 horses at his disposal.56 The figure of 10 horses per one Hun cavalryman. Attila.000 men at a rate of one horse per rider and. 10–11. the invasions of Gaul and Italy by the army of Attila in 451 and 452 respectively could not be successful because their territories lacked sufficient natural resources to maintain for a long time huge hordes of the Hun riders and their horses. at a rate of 336 for each day of the campaign.

Sag. To sum up this discussion. at what is told in literary sources of another equestrian people inhabiting the Northern Pontic steppes in Antiquity – the Sarmatians – we get to know that each of them while undertaking military campaigns and raids had only two (or even one) reserve horses at his disposal (Polyaen. Paul. caused by the inclusion of large numbers of the Germanic warriors into Attila’s host. 3. 50 and Val. HR XI. 188). urb.for the west in 450’. Flacc. 34. VI. At last. Lindner. P. Amm. this had to be favourable to a state of their horse resources. contrary to the widely accepted theory of R. XII.58 It is needful as well to take into account such plausibility that under the Romans’ influence those Huns who took up their residence on the Alföld could transfer at least some portion of their herds to the indoor maintenance with an additional fodder in winter. V. VII.59 it should be said that the army of Attila did differ in its organizational structure from the Huns’ one-and-all mounted troops of a period of their earlier conquests in Europe. 267–270) may be found in Sidebottom 2004.57 Of course. which is some later than my own thoughts on this point originally expressed in 2002 (Nikonorov 2002a. VIII. 56. It is possible even to speak of a certain degradation of the European Hun warfare as a whole. it remains only to guess what was such a ratio in reality at the days of Attila. 161– 162 respectively). 187. Diac. cf. the Huns could have had serious problems when keeping a horse population in the west of their domains. made also use of the horses captured as booty from the Romans (Oros. in addition to breeding their own horse population. references to the Alans and the Moesians – see Ambros. to assert that Attila’s properly Hun soldiers were transformed in a considerable degree from cavalrymen into combatants on foot: Keegan 1993. 5. Hieros. 58 57 278 . In turn. By the way. All these factors had to exert negative influence upon the efficiency of the Hun war machine. it was an objective corollary of the completion under him of the transformation of the Hun tribal confederation into a barbarian despotic state of imperial type. through looking. XVII. De excid. At the same time. as well as when supplying their cavalry with forage in the course of military operations within the hostile territory. for instance. not the least of the factors is that the Huns. However. Besides that. Marc. It was then that the primary mono-ethnicity of armed forces as the most important principle of preserving traditions in the sphere of art of war could not be already intact. 79–81. 59 Additional criticism of Lindner’s theory. Land. 12. 15. it seems that there are no sufficient proofs. but with all differences in horse-breeding practices of both the epochs it does not seem so evident that in the mid-fifth century a Hun warrior from the Great Hungarian Plain needed the amount of horses which was in 10 times more than that required by a Hungarian cavalryman in the early 20th century.

Such were. DR 15). 2. its weakness.63 Sidon. 7. 187. The Huns made active use of psychological warfare. 206. 1999. V. III. Schol.61 By the way. 8). Another instance is the defeat of the Huns by a host of the Burgundians c. 60. 94). Tur. 2–3. 34. Get. although. VII. 3 B). at the same 60 61 See Maenchen-Helfen 1973. See also Thompson 1948. Ep. 85. when the latter. 4). It was such an event that occurred in the early 440s. Paul. 279 . 30. 1). in Is. The Hun horde of mounted archers. fr. Land. the Huns’ insufficient watchfulness adversely affected as well their organization of sentry service.000–man Hun troops (Socr. 2 B). 62 See Levy 1971. but also deprived them of the loot. one of the same Stilicho’s military leaders (Zosim. Synes. 17.60 sometimes forcing them to stop even successfully advancing offensives (Amm. 270. III. Carm. in consequence of a surprise attack won a victory over 10. they experienced much difficulty to fight enemies who were. XII. Ancient authors paid considerable attention to the fact that the Huns had a custom of scratching all over the faces of new-born male children. And what is more. II. Hier. only 3. 5 D = 9. XXXI. Comm. So. XII. Get. 7) and. Among its means a particular place was occupied by their loathsome outward appearance which terrified very much their Roman and other opponents.quite apart from other considerations. HR XIV. cf. who were serving in the guards of the Western Roman General-in-Chief Stilicho. Besides. however. 325–327. the Huns strove for impressing the foes on battle-field by blowing the trumpets (‘tubae’: Iord.62 V. in their opinion. The same case always limited to their mobility (Max. 6. had. 3. it is known that the Hun soldiers. 8 D = 11. Hom. so entire a transformation would obviously have contradicted the Huns’ martial mentality. 245–257. in particular. Claud. 93. Iord. Marc. 96. 127–128. 138–139. Hier. mobile and well-trained in shooting from afar. Of no small importance was the fact that the Huns were then heavily burdened with the captured booty.000 in number. 212. the Persians who had proved to be able in the late 4th century to overwhelm invading Hun troops by firing a huge number of arrows (Prisc. which would seem to have been invincible. 63 See Syme 1968. like the Huns themselves. Marc. 17. a strong Roman fortress on the Danube frontier. fr. its defenders brought themselves to pursue the retreating foes who were both burdened with the booty and absolutely careless (Prisc. while coming back from a campaign the Huns could lose vigilance to such a degree that their not so numerous adversaries in the course of a surprise attack not only inflicted heavy losses on them. were treacherously annihilated in their sleep by Sarus the Goth. Cassiod. when after an unfortunate siege by the Huns of Asemus. these aliens were ugly even without this brutal operation (Amm. Sag. 430. XXXI. Hist. Diac. Above all.

cf.64 A distinguishing feature of Hun psychological preparations for military actions were consultations with soothsayers on the outcome of the forthcoming battle and the performance of pagan rites before fighting (Prosp. 3 B) were always attached to the Hun army. Beyond any doubt. undoubtedly after the Hsiung-nu model. Isid. 66 Wolfram 1993. Iord. EÁôôÞëá] êár ôNò êáôN ðüëåìïí _äïíôåò PñåôÜò). HR XIII. Comm. This is directly pointed out by Jordanes in his story about the heroic death of Ellac. 8 D = 13. by uttering the terrible war-cry (‘variae voces sonantes torvum’: Amm. HR XIII. Get. the European Huns had the code of military valour and honour. ut tam gloriosum superstis pater optasset interitum’). Chron. Diac.… quarum… sermo terribilis est’. So. Get. the ‘Asiatic decimal system’ that was characterized by a division of troops into tactic units numbering 64 Cf. commemorated his exploits by singing a dirge (‘lectissimi equites… facta eius cantu funereio… referebant’). Priscus informs us as a witness (Prisc. fr. Get. 195–196. Get. 13. this bloody custom perhaps took place only at the initial stage of their conquests in Europe. 256–257) the most picked Hun horsemen. Marc. Paul. ‘aruspices’: Iord.time. 267–268. they continued to follow. 209). 65 See Maenchen-Helfen 1973. 195. Paul. During the funeral ceremony of Attila (Iord. if he would have been alive.65 There is evidence that the Huns sacrificed their captives to the victory (‘litavere victoriae’: Iord. Petric. 8). 8 D = 13. HG 24. 13. Diac. HR XIV. 1335. having killed a multitude of the enemies. Paul. the son of Attila. It is to be supposed that the shamanssoothsayers (‘haruspices’: Prosp. at the battle of Nedao (Iord. It is reported in the so-called ‘Story about the Battle of the Goths with the Huns’ preserved in the Old Scandinavian ‘Hervararsaga’ that mounted forces of the European Huns were organized in hundreds and thousands. Diac. There was a custom in their milieu to sing of victories and brave deeds of their rulers. Get. and their duties included as well a witchcraft with the object of directing damage at the enemies. Chron. Hier. 7: ‘clamore perstrepere’. 7: ‘sed per feras gentes. ìÜíôåéò: Prisc.66 In other words. which they were ready to follow in fighting at the price of their own lives. 93–94: ‘Chunorum soni… atque minantum murmura et… fera’. fr. however. would have wished [himself] so glorious an end’ (‘nam post multas hostium cedes sic viriliter eum constat peremptum. HG 24. 1 B) that in a banquet at Attila’s court two Huns stood before their overlord and performed songs composed in his honour (_óìáôá ðåðïéçìÝíá hëåãïí íßêáò ášôï™ [sc. that [his] father. in Is. III. Isid. when riding around a silk marquee in which his body was lying. VM VI. 13. 209. 280 . XXXI. 125). 1335. Paulin. 262): ‘he is known to have perished with such fortitude. 2.

In fact. such was some clan elder (‘primas’) chosen occasionally from among other ‘primates’ (Amm. 262). 241) and. 4). representatives of the people descending in some part from the former Hun population of the Northern Pontic steppe area (see Artamonov 2002. сf. he defines a strength of their contingent as ‘ten hundreds’: eêáôïíôÜóé äÝêá ÂïõëãÜñïéò (Theophyl. 430 (Socr. developing since their invasion of Eastern Europe . Tñ÷ùí: Prisc.70 It is known that at the battle of Nedao in 454 the Huns and their allies lost about the 30. e. 248. In turn. According to Philostorgius. Hom. cf. Sag. 69 Thompson 1948. 1999.10. VI. XIII. 70 Cf.onwards. 6.67 In this respect worthy of note is the fact that Sozomen’s story about the invasion of Thrace by the Hun ruler Uldin in 408/409 refers to ëï÷áãïß in his troops (Sozom. 49–50. Some figures are cited by Zosimus and Philostorgius who both must have derived these from the lost history of Olympiodorus. XII. 6). 12. Further. and by the start of the action they might have had in 1. 12.000 men. Sim. 8 D = 11. who were serving the Avars in the very late 6th century. Hist.000 and 10. VII. 45. 67 281 . in particular. V. Paul. 225. Ant. Aster. fr. Klyashtorny. 63–67. ¼Þî: Olymp. 100–122. i. of the Khudiakov 1986. XII. HR XII. 300–man. 49. 2.000 fighters. VII.68 Now as to numbers of Hun troops. this number is certainly grossly exaggerated and needs to be diminished approximately in 10 times. ‘dux’: Oros. fr. 55. Carm.5–2 times more warriors in their ranks. who fought the Burgundians in c. II. Theophylact Simocatta. On the contrary. Get.000 killed (Iord. Schol. 258. but it was hardly the total annihilation. At first. 50.000 soldiers (Iord. Sidon. 1). 4– 5. XXXI. 130. Land. Marc. Savinov 2005. Speaking of the Bulghars. 60–64). this clearly points at the Bulghar troops to have been organized in accordance with the same ‘decimal system’. one should consider as very exaggerated the strength of Attila’s army in the course of his campaign in Gaul in 451 – 500. The former. afterwards. 249. 291. 193. elite contingent composed of Huns in service of the Western Roman emperor Honorius in 408 (Zosim. 4).000 (!) Hun mercenaries (Philostorg. 100. 1. êñáô§í: Sozom. 187. 7) as a provisional general (‘rex’: Iord. 14). 2 B. Golden 1990. speaks of a small. 182). each of whom is supposed to have been in command of a hundred soldiers. V. Next. They were rather junior officers.000 Hun warriors to withstand the Visigoths in Italy (Ibid. in 425 Aetius brought to Italy 60.69 As more deserving confidence looks a report of the church historians about 10. 18 D = 19 B. An additional evidence is adduced by the Byzantine historian of the first half of the 7th century. 4. 30. 9) acting to be in charge of a raid or campaign. 37. It must be stated that the nature of power of the leader as a commander-inchief among the Huns had been changing radically. IX. we hear of the chief of a single tribe (öýëáñ÷ïò: Joan. he lets us know that in 409 Honorius hired 10. Get. Get. 5. it seems to have numbered roughly 100. fr. 68 Harmatta 1952. however.000 men in the army of the Hun king Uptar. Bachrach 1994. 37. 1). Cassiod. Diac. VII.

359. fr. and of Attila himself too (see also Iord. 3 D = 9. fr. who most likely were just those proclaimed as the ‘generals having the greatest fame’ in the Scythians’ (i. 256. 13. Some words should be said about technical services in the Hun forces. For capturing fortresses and fortified towns. In addition to the ëïãÜäåò. 7). fr. 1. 2 B). 2 B) playing the main role in his military actions. ‘rex’: see LSNEE I: 66–77). who was in all likelihood a guard of his lord). They both were very loyal to their sovereign and – the only from all other foreign princes – enjoyed his love and confidence (Iord. Tur. 1b D = 6. 199–200). special units to attend to missile engines (ìç÷áíáß. 7. By the way. under the shelter of willow-woven screens additionally covered over with rawhide and leather shrouds. 221. 430). 9. and Valamer. 1. 2. 2 B) would hint at the presence of personal bodyguards at the disposal of Onegesius and Edeco. ‘arietes’).000 fighters. 14 B) and ‘royal companions’ (‘ministri regii’: Iord. 282 . 5 D = 9. 8 D = 11. Hist. 7. fr.000 soldiers. Diac. Two of them stood out against a background of the others – Onegesius and Edeco. according to literary evidence (Prisc. cf. HF II. ‘machinae’. having suddenly found themselves without their commander-in-chief (PóôñáôÞãçôïé: Socr. Huns’) midst (óôñáôçãïr ìÝãéóôïí ðáñN Óêýèáéò h÷ïíôåò êëÝïò: Ibid. the nature of Hun high leadership in war is well seen in the following instance. 6 = sine duce: Cassiod. Paul. 1b D = 6. Evagr. 2 B. Get. fr.71 and so their real influence upon his military policy had to be ponderable enough. ‘omnia genera tormentorum’) and battering rams (êñéïß. the king’s ‘nearest companions’ (dðéôÞäåéïé: Prisc. Their own forces constituted a considerable part of Attila’s army. 8 D = 11. 63–65. Some indirect data from Priscus (Ibid. Schol. e. the Huns had in their army. at the defenders fighting from the walls (Prisc. Get. fr. In Attila’s reign. 4). XII. Finally. the Huns were led in war by the absolute monarch like the noted Attila (âáóéëåýò: Prisc. Get. 5: a reference to a certain óðáèÜñéïò of Attila. Get. 254). 18 D = 19 B). I. 30. When the king Uptar (Octar) died in the course of his campaign against the Burgundians in the Rhine area (c. Iord. 17. Attila’s closest retainers were as well two rulers of the subject Eastern Germanic peoples – Ardaric. 3 B). the chief of the Gepids. 1 B. Except for archers placed on the ìç÷áíáß timbered platforms and shooting bows. fr. Malal. VII. the chief of the Ostrogoths. were so demoralized that were routed by the enemies numbering only 3. some important military functions were performed by the most powerful representatives of the supreme Hun aristocracy called in our sources ‘picked’ (ëïãÜäåò: Prisc. HR XIV. his 10. 8 D = 11. crews of such siege devices appear to have been 71 Bachrach 1994. Greg. at least under Attila. fr. p.supreme (often just nominal) chief of a tribal confederacy (¿ ô§í ñçã§í ðñ§ôïò: Olymp. 1. 198.

none of stone fortifications could stand up against Attila (Iord. Chernenko 1984. Apparently.72 According to the ancients’ opinion. Get. With their assistance there could be constructed a bridge (äéÜâáóéò) over a river to move the siege engines up to the fortifications to be assaulted (Ibid. 10. in addition to the pontoons. Without any doubt. ‘plaustrorum munimenta’: Paul. ‘plaustra’: Max. Bell. 73 72 283 . viz. Proc. Hom. on the one hand. Dixon 1996. To cross water streams there were used. 210). 2. 15. 2–6). fr. Golden 2002. As a whole one may conclude that in Attila’s days the special technical equipment of the Hun army was in keeping line with that of the Romans (cf. Diac. 4. 8–13. 2 В). boats made of single tree trunks (óêÜöç ìïíüîõëá. but against cavalry. 8 D = 11. German Wagenburg. See also Southern. XXXI. served by special boatmen (ðïñèìåsò: Ibid. 21. the original idea of the military use of fortified camps belonged to nomadic peoples. 137–138. fr. fr. HR XIV. individual light carts–kibitkas (‘carpenta’: Amm. on the other hand. XXIII.74 See Tausend 1985/1986. 8 D = 11. cf. Żygulski 1994. 64–66. Get. IV. The available testimonies of how the European Huns stormed enemy fortifications allow to assert that they had at their disposal practically all the means of the contemporary high-developed siegecraft and were able so to take even well-fortified strongholds. and.recruited from foreign prisoners and deserters. 2 B). the surrounding wagons (generally called ‘plaustra’ and ‘carpenta’) were. De aed. Amm. 7). not from the Huns themselves. Tur. 1b D = 6. Pletneva 1964. 7. speaking nothing of those not intended for opposing serious siege operations (Proc.73 Deserving attention is also such a method of Hun warfare as the employment of wagons to make a fortified camp by placing them as its fences (‘septa castrorum. V. Tausend 1985/1986. and it was intended not against infantry well trained to storm fortified objectives. 160–167. 210. 6–13). in everyday life of which wagons played a very significant role. the aforecited carriers of the pontoons. The history of the camp surrounded from every quarter by wagons and carts (English wagon laager. Its erection was intended for finding shelter at night time and in case of the defeat in battle. Marc. These machines must have been built by Roman engineers in Hun service. IV. 268–269. 74 See in detail Golubovskii 1902. Veget. Czech vozov hradba) in Eastern and Central Europe goes back to the Scythian epoch and is traced up to the Late Medieval Ages. 94) serving normally as means of transportation to contain both the Hun warriors’ families while wandering and various supplies and booty. ìïíüîõëá ðëïsá). ERM III. Such a kind of field fortification was able to protect from the enemies on open terrain. 2 B). The Hun forces included another auxiliary unit. quam plaustris vallatum’: Iord. Marc. 5. a stock of the heavy wagons (Rìáîáé) carrying pontoons (ó÷åäßáé) to get over any water and marshy obstacles (Prisc.

112. 2. 218–223. Paulin. ‘auxiliari’ (Iord. VII. 658. Marc. g. 272). 6. V. 39: ‘nos [sc. VI. e. 15. 659. 8. 1. The main reason of that were so characteristic features of the Huns’ behaviour as inconstancy and inclination to break the arrangements already signed. idem. ‘auxiliantes’ (Prosp. 67. Petric. 5. Gall. 1). Prosp. V. V. Prosp. 1). 176. 4). 1326. in the province of the Western empire allied with them. Prisc. VM VI. 1232. 50. 52. Carm. Diac. 248–250. e. appropriate testimonials in Amm. Zosim. 3. 3. HG 24. 4 B). See Salv. taking the part of allies hired for money. 3. fr. ¿ìáé÷ìßá (Prisc. VII. and in Latin authors – ‘auxilium’ (Oros. 358). 257–258. 177). cf. Ep. 652. VII. 77 See. the Huns concluded with it just the peace treaties which did not contain any points concerning military co-operation (Zosim. 26. Get. Chron. 5. p. VII. Isid.76 As regards Byzantium. Hun warriors very willingly served the foreigners for pay. sometimes even both hostile sides at one and the same time (Amm. But especially far-famed they were in service of the Romans. Petric. Worthy of note is that until the fall of the power of the Huns in South-Eastern Europe their rulers kept up active allied relations only with the Western Roman empire. 6. ‘socii’ and ‘foedus’ (Paulin. 13. XXXI. Get. 2. XXXI. âïÞèåéá (Socr. the Hun mercenaries conducted themselves in Gaul. This fact must be explained by the fear of the Eastern Roman authorities. 12. Salv. 37. indeed. GD VII. V. 45. 1. V. Gall. óõììá÷ßá (Zosim. 587). 3. like in a conquered country. Attila’s son (Iord. Cassiod. 248–250. 23.It seems quite plausible that Huns surrounded the besieged towns with the complete ring of wagons and carts for the purpose of their total blockade: such a method of Hun poliorcetics appears to be implied by Jordanes’ use of the participle ‘circumvallans’ in his report concerning the siege of the Pannonian city Basiana by the king Dintzic. 76 75 284 . híóðïíäïé (Proc. 12. 11 and Sidon. 2. 10. as well as their indefatigable passion for plunder. 78. most probably as ‘comitatenses’ – soldiers of the imperial field army. 78 See also Maenchen-Helfen 1973. 37. HR XIII. VIII. 13). VII. XII. 93–94. GD IV. 16) и ìéóèùôïß (Philostorg. Chron. 9. Synes.75 It is to be thought that exactly so was the status of the Hun soldiers participating in campaigns on the Roman side. Chron. Chron. Get. ‘auxiliaris manus’ (Hyd. as it follows from the testimonies of contemporaries (Sidon. committing every possible excesses there. 219–221). 43. p. Romani] in Chunis spem ponere’. Chron. 1335. ‘auxiliatores’. 2 B). 116). Iord. 11. Socr.78 Elton 1997. ‘auxiliares’ (Сhron. VM VI. Paul. 22. to accept these barbarians for military service on the northern frontier.77 Such apprehensions were quite just. which is hidden in Greek sources under the terms óõììá÷éêüí (Zosim. because. V. Rom. the generals of which set their big hopes on Hun contingents acting in Gaul. whose Danubian provinces were constantly under the threat of Hun invasions. 68). 3. i. Bell. 14). Marc. 89–97. 1. Schol. 8 D = 11. fr. 14 D = 6. cf. Ibid. 8). 1310. 50. Carm. Schol. Chron.

39 D = 49 B).79 Worthy of note is the fact that the Ïšííßãáñäáé occupied an independent place in the composition of the provincial forces. 92–95. 78. Synesius who saw them as a witness (Synes. dèíéêüí). 80 Darkó 1935. Get. 2). 244. despite their small number (just 40 men!). overseas possessions of the Byzantine empire. and were praised as the best warriors of all the provincial forces. 79 See Roques 1987. 2). Maenchen-Helfen 1973. Zonar. I. 282. 270. 8 D = 11. like they had done so ‘before’ (ðñüôåñïí) (Proc. an initiative in hiring Hun mercenaries was taken up by the Byzantine authorities (Iord. The matter is that a small elite troop composed of óôñáôéþôáé Ïšííßãáñäáé was disposed in the early 5th century in Lybia Pentapolis. 255. being not mixed up with other units in one battle array (Synes. II. these warriors were Huns by origin (Suid. 285 . Catast.However.81 This situation changed only after the battle at Nedao in 454. They fought in accordance with the warfare peculiarities characteristic of them – as mounted archers. According to our only source. planning to be on the wide offensive against both the Roman empires. 107. s. 270. prohibited his subjects to fight against himself at all (Prisc. 2 B). 264. Catast. v. 262. i. 68.82 and very soon in their service there appeared even Hun-birth officers like a certain Chelchal (Prisc. 256. s. having become a sole ruler of the Huns. martial outfit and pay by the emperor himself. 2. In other words. Often acting without assistance. 165. those recruited from the midst of various alien nomadic peoples of Central Asian origins. Balkan. 245.80 Seemingly. including the remainder of the former Hun population of South-Eastern Europe) who served in the army of Belisarius fighting against the Vandals in the same Northern Africa assumed their own formation separately from the rest of the Byzantine troops. 265— 266). fr. ÏšíéãÜñäáé. Judging by its denomination. IV. Attila. Lex. the Ïšííßãáñäáé were in service of the Roman military commander of the province and were provided with remounts. 487–488. e. after the break-down of the state created by Attila. Catast. 81 Täckholm 1969. much more numerous enemies. 237. 240. 77. Since then. Bell. Ep. 82 Sinor 1982. Elton 1997. these Huns were able to vanquish. Otherwise it was in the far. 7). 3. 236. 247–250. 289–292. v. It is interesting that approximately 120 years later the ‘Huns’ (= ’Massagetae’. where those would have been an additional factor of instability. 468. it was necessary most likely from the point of view of the use by them of their specific tactical methods. it appears that the Eastern Romans did not wish to employ the Huns as allies only in the northern. And what is more. provinces of their empire. the Hun sovereigns tried to control the process of recruiting mercenaries from their own soldiery. EÏúíãÜñäáé: –íïìá hèíïõò. II. fr.

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