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In Hungary, a legend developed based on medieval chronicles that the Hungarians, and the Székely ethnic group in particular, are descended from the Huns.

However, mainstream scholarship dismisses a close connection between the Hungarians and Huns.

There have been a number of proposed Turkic etymologies, deriving the name variously from Turkic ön, öna (to grow), qun (glutton), kün, gün, a plural suffix "supposedly meaning 'people'", Maenchen-Helfen himself proposes an Iranian etymology, from a word akin to Avestan hūnarā (skill), hūnaravant- (skillful), and suggests that it may originally have designated a rank rather than an ethnicity.

Robert Werner has suggested an etymology from Tocharian ku (dog), suggesting based on the fact that the Chinese called the Xiongnu dogs that the dog was the totem animal of the Hunnic tribe.

The most prominent of these were Chionites, the Kidarites, and the Hephthalites (or White Huns)of the great confederations of steppe warriors was ethnically homogenous, and the same name was used by different groups for reasons of prestige, or by outsiders to describe their lifestyle or geographic origin.

[...] It is therefore futile to speculate about identity or blood relationships between H(s)iung-nu, Hephthalites, and Attila's Huns, for instance.

The Huns ruled over a variety of peoples who spoke various languages and some of whom maintained their own rulers. The Huns may have stimulated the Great Migration, a contributing factor in the collapse of the Western Roman Empire.

It is also known that the Huns had a language of their own, however only three words and personal names attest to it.After Attila's death in 453, the Huns ceased to be a major threat to Rome and lost much of their empire following the Battle of Nedao (454? Descendants of the Huns, 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 from about the 4th to 6th centuries.Variants of the Hun name are recorded in the Caucasus until the early 8th century.Very little is known about Hunnic culture and very few archaeological remains have been conclusively associated with the Huns.They are believed to have used bronze cauldrons and to have performed artificial cranial deformation.

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