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As early as 380, a group of Huns was given Foederati status and allowed to settle in Pannonia.Hunnish mercenaries were also seen on several occasions in the succession struggles of the Eastern and Western Roman Empire during the late 4th century.According to European tradition, they were first reported living east of the Volga River, in an area that was part of Scythia at the time; the Huns' arrival is associated with the migration westward of a Scythian people, the Alans.By 370 AD, the Huns had arrived on the Volga, and by 430 the Huns had established a vast, if short-lived, dominion in Europe.Whether put to flight by Eutropius, or leaving on their own, the Huns had left the Eastern Roman Empire by 398. This invasion was initially successful, coming close to the capital of the empire at Ctesiphon; however, they were defeated badly during the Persian counterattack and retreated toward the Caucasus Mountains via the Derbend Pass.During their brief diversion from the Eastern Roman Empire, the Huns appear to have threatened tribes further west, as evidenced by Radagaisus' entering Italy at the end of 405 and the crossing of the Rhine into Gaul by Vandals, Sueves, and Alans in 406.However, Atwood agrees with the overall idenfitication between the two, showing instead that Xwn comes via Chinese transcription of Wēnnàshāh into Bactrian Onnashāh and from there into Sogdian while Sanskrit Huna came via Chinese Huní and Greek Khōnai.
The Huns were a nomadic people who lived in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia between the 4th century AD and the 6th century AD.
However, there is no scholarly consensus on a direct connection between the dominant element of the Xiongnu and that of the Huns.
Priscus, a 5th-century Roman diplomat and Greek historian, mentions that the Huns had a language of their own; little of it has survived and its relationships have mainly been considered the Turkic or Mongolic languages.
In the 18th century, the French scholar Joseph de Guignes became the first to propose a link between the Huns and the Xiongnu people, who were northern neighbours of China in the 3rd century BC.
Since Guignes' time, considerable scholarly effort has been devoted to investigating such a connection.