The Hunnic War Machine: The Push Westward – Part I | Ancient Origins Members Site


The Hunnic War Machine: The Push Westward – Part I

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Reenactors of Hunnic Warriors of the Steppe

The Hunnic War Machine: The Push Westward – Part I

The steppe has produced many notable horse archers who brought terror and devastation to the known world during ancient times. But of the many steppe peoples who penetrated the civilized world, none brought more destruction then the Huns.

Sometime during the mid-to-late fourth century, the Huns pushed westward. While on the move, they encountered the Alans. The Huns quickly engaged and slaughtered them.  Afterwards, the Huns made an alliance with the survivors. With the Alans riding alongside the Huns, they headed towards the lucrative lands of Goths, particularly that of Greuthungs, led by King Ermanaric, sometime in the 370’s. The attack was so swift and relentless that the Goths could not halt their progress. Ermanaric could do little to thwart the Hun advance, and in despair, he committed suicide. With Ermanaric dead, another took his place by the name of Vithimiris. Vithimiris continued the fight, even hiring Hun mercenaries. However, it was all in vain. Vithimiris could not defeat the Huns and eventually lost his life in 376.

Huns in battle with the Alans. An 1870s engraving after a drawing by Johann Nepomuk Geiger.

Huns in battle with the Alans. An 1870s engraving after a drawing by Johann Nepomuk Geiger. (Public Domain)


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