The Huns were a confederation of nomadic pastoralist people who, appearing from beyond the Volga, invaded Europe c.AD 370 and built up an enormous empire in Eurasia. The origin of the Huns has been the subject of debate for centuries. It can be said with general agreement that they may have been a confederation of Turkic and Ugric tribes, many of them nomadic horsemen.
The Huns may have stimulated the Great Migration
, a contributing factor in the collapse of the Roman Empire
. The Huns inspired fear throughout Europe. They were amazingly accurate mounted archers, and their complete command of horsemanship, their ferocious charges and unpredictable retreats, and the speed of their strategic movements brought them overwhelming victories.
They were possibly the descendants of the Xiongnu
who had been northern neighbours
and may be the first expansion of Turkic
people across Eurasia
. They moved into Europe
in the 4th and 5th centuries. They formed a unified empire under Attila the Hun
, which collapsed after his death in the 5th century AD. Their descendants, or successors with similar names, are recorded by neighbouring populations to the south, east, and west as having occupied parts of Eastern Europe
and Central Asia
roughly from the 4th century to the 6th century. Variants of the Hun name are recorded in the Caucasus
until the early 8th century.