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The Huns themselves were a people of mystery and terror Arriving on the fringes of the Roman Empire in the late fourth century riding their war horses out of the great steppes of Asia they struck fear into Germanic Barbarians and Romans alike Some scholars believe that they had earlier moved against the Chinese Empire but were turned away and swept towards Rome instead As they approached the Black Sea and conquered the Ostrogoths they also drove the Visigoths across the Danube into the Roman Empire and caused the crisis that led to the astounding defeat of the Roman army under the Emperor Valens at Adrianople in 378 AD Those early Huns using the traditional tactics of mounted archers seemed like monsters from the darkness to their more civilized contemporaries When attacked they will sometimes engage in regular battle Then going into the fight in order of columns they fill the air with varied and discordant cries More often however they fight in no regular order of battle but by being extremely swift and sudden in their movements they disperse and then rapidly come together again in loose array spread havoc over vast plains and flying over the rampart they pillage the camp of their enemy almost before he has become aware of their approach It must be owned that they are the most terrible of warriors because they fight at a distance with missile weapons having sharpened bones admirably fastened to the shaft When in close combat with swords they fight without regard to their own safety and while their enemy is intent upon parrying the thrust of the swords they throw a net over him and so entangle his limbs that he loses all power of walking or riding Obviously when the Huns first appeared on the edges of the Roman Empire they made a strong impression but after their initial threats they settled down along the Danube particularly in the Great Hungarian
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