EUROPE AND THE HUNS IN THE IV-VI CEN. A.D. - Ukraine Middle Ages <!--if(General History of Ukraine)-->- General History of Ukraine<!--endif--> - Каталог статей - Yalta Sevastopol Private Tour Guide Sergey Tsarapora
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The Huns were a savage and numerous horde, descended from the Ural-Altai Mongols and were called "God's scourge" of Europe. They came from Mongolia and settled near the Volga River. Around 370 they attacked the Alans near the Sea of Azov and on the left bank of the Don River. Moving further onto Ukrainian territory, they attacked the Ostrogoths, devastated the countryside and brutally murdered all who defied them. They were of such frightening appearance that people fled when they saw them.
The Ostrogoth king Vinitar died in battle with the Huns and the rest of the Goths fled to the area along the shores of the Black Sea. Later, the Huns moved towards the Danube River area where they organized a state ruled by Attila which extended to the Rhine River.
With the death of Attila in 453, the Hun state fell apart. With the collapse of their empire the Hun hordes scattered to the steppes along the Sea of Azov. Their allies, the Alans, moved to the foothills of the Caucasus. The Slavs occupied most of the territories of Eastern and Central Europe (present day Ukraine, Belorus, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and parts of Russia). The Antes, ancestors of the Ukrainian nation, occupied the territory of present day Ukraine. The Gepides occupied the Pannonian plain and a group of Goths settled in the Crimean Peninsula. The Western Roman Empire had collapsed; only the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) with the remnants of the Black Sea colonies still existed. Northern Europe from the Baltic Sea to the Ural Mountains was inhabited by Finnish tribes. Between the Finns and the Slavs, on the Baltic Sea, were the Baits — ancestors of Lithuania and Latvia. Germanic states occupied a large part of Central and Western Europe; the largest of them were: the Ostrogoth State of Odoacer in Italy, the Visigoth State in Spain, the Vandal State in North Africa, the Burgundian State and the Suevi State. The settlements of the Lombards, Franks, Alamani and Thuringians lay to the west. The Normans occupied the western Scandinavian Peninsula. To the east were the Swedes, known as Varangians or Vikings. The Danes occupied the southern areas of the Scandinavian Peninsula and the Danish islands. The Irish, an ancient Celtic group, inhabited Ireland. A succession of Britons, Angles, Saxons, Picts and Normans ruled over Britain.
In the mid 6th century, battling their way through the hordes in the steppes along the Caspian Sea, the Turkish-Mongol tribes, related to the Huns and Bulgars, the Avars, or Obrys, made their way onto Ukrainian territory. They were a fierce and cruel people. Defeating the Antes, threatening Byzantium and devastating the Gepides, they settled on their lands located in the mid Danube (Dunai) basin in 568, where they'organized their state. They threatened neighboring tribes until the 8th century when the Frankish king 36 Karl the Great (Charlemagne) smashed the Avar Khanate in 796. The Avars did not stay on Ukrainian territory for long but, during their stay, they ravaged the countryside. Even their name "Obry" found its way into Ukrainian folk songs and sayings.