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CHAPTER (BLM) 4

TURKIC STATES IN HISTORY-2 (TARHTEK BYK TRK DEVLETLER)


EUROPEAN HUN EMPIRE
STRUCTURE OF EUROPE DURING THIS PERIOD
European Hun Empire established by Huns who were living in the Caspian
Region.
In a very short time, they have left indelible marks in the World history and
formed the basis of the other great Turkish Empires.
Moreover, emergence of this state has great significance in the European history.
The demographic structure of Europe was much more vague than the current
structure before European Huns were proceeding to Europe from the Caspian
Sea.
European continent was consisting of the Roman Empire and the other tribes
called Barbarian Tribes such as Goths, Vandals, Bulgars, Alans, Suebi, Frisians,
and Franks, among other Germanic and Slavic tribes.
These tribes did not reach the level of an empire.
However, they did not leave their territory that they were locating to the Roman
administration.
Due to the very weak residential patterns and cultural values of these
communities, they were referred to as tribes.
These tribes are the ancestors of the countries of the todays European continent.

Roman Empire was divided into two parts as Western Roman Empire and Eastern
Roman Empire as a result of pressures and attacks of these tribes to the Roman
Empire.

Demographic structure of the region was affected significantly as a result of


Hunnic progress in Europe.
History has recorded this period as the Migration of Tribes.

EMERGENCE OF EUROPEAN HUNS


After the collapsing of Great Hun Empire, Turkish tribes started to settle firstly
around the Aral Sea.
Then, they moved the region between the Ural and Volga rivers.
And, they settled there.

Recent research showed that Kama Tarkan was the first leader of the European
Hun Empire.
He unified the Turkish tribes and communities in that region and founded the
state in 352.
Kama Tarkan ruled the state until 370 and became the major force around the
Caspian Sea.
During his period, these tribes and communities became more organized,
structured and ordered as a new state.

BECOMING EMPIRE
Balamir became the leader of the Empire after the death of Kama Tarkan.
At the middle of the 4th century, they started to migrate to the west again.
In this period, they first overran the Alani, who occupied the plains between the
Volga and the Don rivers.

Then quickly overthrew the empire of the Ostrogoths between the Don and the
Dniester.

About 376 they defeated the Visigoths living in what is now approximately
Romania and thus arrived at the Danubian frontier of the Roman Empire.

ATTILA - THE HUN


The European Hun Empire had its most glamorous period when Attila was leading
the Empire.
He was the 19th generation grandson of Great Hun Emperor Mete Han.

The mass migration of the Huns into Europe, led by Attila, brought with it great
ethnic and political upheaval.
During his rule, he was one of the most fearsome of the Roman Empire's
enemies.
His empire stretched from the Netherlands to the Ural River and from the Danube
River to the Baltic Sea.

Some histories lionize Attila as a great and noble king, and he plays major roles in
three Norse sagas.
He reigned over what was then Europe's largest empire, from 434 until his death.

Attila had further increased pressure on the Eastern Roman during this period.
Eastern Roman Emperor who could not resist to this pressure, was forced to leave
the Middle Danube to Huns.

As a result of East Rome's unwillingness to pay the annual tax to the Huns, Attila
organized a campaign to the Eastern Roman Empire.
Thereupon the Emperor Theodosius II, was forced to sue for peace (447).
In accordance with the Treaty Anatolios; Eastern Roman (Byzantine), agreed to
keep their soldiers in the south of the Danube;
they had to pay war reparations ,and annual tax became tripled.

After proving his authority on the Eastern Roman as a result of this treaty, Attila
decided to organize another campaign to the Western Roman.
He marched through France as far as Orleans before being turned back at
Chalons (451).
A year later, he crossed the Alps with a large army and came to the Po plain.

He conquered the northern Italian cities (Aquileia, Verona, Vincentia, Milano), so


the road to Rome was open.
Although Ravenna was Emporer Valentinian III's usual residence, he and the court
eventually moved back to Rome, where he was as Attila approached.
Valentinian sent Pope Leo I and two leading senators to negotiate with Attila.
The Pope asked Attila for not destroying to the city and not killing the people on
behalf of the Emperor and whole Christian world.

Attila did not want to give any damage to Roma that was an ancient center of
civilization and Christian World and he increased the taxes and returned back
after his meeting with the Pope.
As a result of this campaign, Attila showed his authority on Western Roman
Empire.

DEATH AND LEGACY OF ATTILA


Attila left Italy and returned to his palace across the Danube.
From there, he planned to strike at Constantinople again and reclaim the tribute
which Marcian had cut off.
(Marcian was the successor of Theodosius and had ceased paying tribute in late
450 while Attila was occupied in the west).
Before this planned attack, he wanted to get married to a German girl named
ldiko.
On the night after a feast celebrating, he suffered a severe nosebleed and choked
to death in a stupor.

An alternative theory is that he succumbed to internal bleeding after heavy


drinking.
Another story of his death, first recorded eighty years after the fact by the Roman
chronicler Count Marcellinus, reports that
Attila, King of the Huns and ravager of the provinces of Europe, was
pierced by the hand and blade of his wife
The Volsunga saga and the Poetic Edda also claim that Attila died at the hands of
his wife, Gudrun.
Another theory suggests that Byzantine Emperor Marcian hired assassins to kill
Attila.
Legend says that he was laid to rest in a triple coffin made of gold, silver, and
iron, along with various goods of his conquests.
His men diverted a section of the Tisza Riva, buried the coffin under the riverbed,
and then were killed to keep the exact location a secret.

The Huns contributed to the collapse of the Roman Empire yet Rome's internal
squabbles and disunity was also a major factor in their success, enabling them to
invade as far as the gates of Rome.
The Roman Empire referred Attila as God's scourge suggesting that he was an
instrument of divine punishment for the iniquities of the Roman Empire, which at
the time was disunited and self-indulgent.
In the West, Attila's name has become a byword for cruelty and barbarism.
Some of this may have arisen from confusion between him and later steppe
warlords, such as Genghis Khan and Tamerlane.
The reality of his character is probably more complex.
The historical context of Attila's life played a large part in determining his later
public image: in the waning years of the western Empire, his conflicts with Aetius
(often called the "last of the Romans") and the strangeness of his culture both

helped dress him in the mask of the ferocious barbarian and enemy of
civilization, as he has been portrayed in any number of films and other works of
art.
The Germanic epics in which he appears offer more nuanced depictions: he is
both a noble and generous ally, as Etzel in the Nibelungenlied,

and a cruel miser, as Atli in the Volsunga Saga and the Poetic Edda.

Attilas reputation in the East differs from the traditional Western image of
barbarism.
After the empire's demise, Huns settled in Eastern Europe where Attila is
regarded as a brave and courageous hero.
He was offered a sympathetic portrait of Attila as a wise and beloved leader.

The European Hun Empire did not outlive Attila by much more than a decade.

The quick collapse of the Hunnic empire was mainly due to the difficulty of
perpetuating a polity designed for constant warfare that was ill suited for
administering an extensive territory.
For their part, the Romans knew how to administer a vast territory but were
neglecting this due to their "internal decay.".

Thank you for your attention


my dear students.