collection of hauma hamiddha's scattered posts

Posts tagged ‘huns’

Alans, hUnas:I-Irs and Altaic peoples on the steppe

The issue of how the Central Asian Steppe passed on from the
Indo-Iranians to Altaic is quite complex. More detailed investigation
are much required in this regard. However there are few points that
suggest that Altaics gradually ate away into the Iranian domain over a
long period of time and many of these tribes showed considerable
admixture of the Altaic and I-Ir streams. By 300 BC the Iranians had
practically become the main force on the Central Asian and
European steppes with Indics restricted to certain areas and rapdily
facing assimilation. However, there may be faint echoes of Indic
persistance within the Iranian cloak for a while. Between 250 to 210
the Khan Tuman started organizing the first great horde in Mongolia
that played out the first round of the familiar Altaic expansion under
his son Motuen Tegin, the aggressive Altaic expansionist.
The Alan horde is traditionally a Sarmatian tribe- probably Iranian
speaking. They appear earliest as the Alan group around 285AD; their
rulers were called by the title Kundajiq- it is not clear if this was
Iranian or Altaic in derivation, though superficially it sounds
Altaic. Their first ruler is termed a certain Akshadar (Apparently
Iranian). Then we see two more rulers after the Alan horde liberated
itself from the Hunas around 450AD called Saros and Kandak (At least
the later may be of Iranian derivation). Interestingly the name Saros
also appears as the first Khan of the expansionist Altaic horde of the
Avars about 80-100 years later.

Later when the Turkic Khazar Khans overran the Alani, they appear to
have taken the horde under their control: we see a Kundajiq with an
Altaic name Itaz. The before the conquest of the Alani by the
Chingizid horde we see two Kundajiq’s with peculiar names: Suarna
ruling around 1150 and a successor named Pancalo Bagratuni. Atleast
the first name seems to be an Indic (rather than Ir?) hangover while
the second has Ir elements. So it appears that the Alans subject to
much Altaization over time and in large part were absorbed (A part by
Cuman tribes, the tribe from which Qutub ud Din Aibak(may Allah
perfume his pit) comes). Similarly on the West the Alani appear to
have been Germanized via interactions with assorted German tribes.

The Hephalites or the hUnas who invaded India were of
originally Iranian origin. Even they show signs of admixture with
Altaics. Their first recorded ruler Akhshunwar (Ir name) appears to
have had marriage relationships with Iranian royals. However, one of
his successors is named Yelue Dua- while sinicized it resembles the
Khitan names. The rulers in India, successor of Lakhana are called
Khingila and Vahi Tegina suggesting persisting Altaic elements.

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