Avar-Xiongnu War (c. 380)
PRINCIPAL COMBATANTS: Avars vs. Xiongnu (Hsiung-nu)
PRINCIPAL THEATER(S): Northern China
MAJOR ISSUES AND OBJECTIVES: Expansion of the Avar
OUTCOME: The Xiongnu peoples were defeated.
APPROXIMATE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF MEN UNDER ARMS:
The Avars, a Mongol people from the steppe regions of
inner Asia, began a clanlike existence around the middle
of the fourth century. Within their ranks arose a powerful
leader named Toulon (fl. fourth century), who pushed his
people to move south. Around 380 the Avars, led by
Toulon, defeated the Hun band known as the Xiongnu.
The Avars pushed the Xiongnu to the south and west and
apparently exacted tribute from them. Following his triumph
Toulon took the title of khan. With the defeat of the
Xiongnu, the Avars continued their migration. During the
6th and 7th centuries they would wage war on the Northern
Wei Empire, amassing a powerful empire themselves
(see AVAR WARS FOR EMPIRE).
Further reading: J. J. Saunders, The History of the
Mongol Conquests (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania
Press, 2001); E. A. Thompson, The Huns (London: