The Huns were a group of nomadic people who first appeared from east of the Volga River, region of the earlier Scythians, with a migration intertwined with the Alans. They were first mentioned as Hunnoi by Tacitus. Initially being near the Caspian Sea in 91 AD, the Huns migrated to the southeastern area of the Caucasus by about 150 AD and into Europe by 370 AD, where they established a vast Hunnic Empire. Since de Guignes linked them with the Xiongnu, who had been northern neighbours of China 300 years prior to the emergence of the Huns, considerable scholarly effort has been devoted to investigating such a connection. However, there is no scholarly consensus on a direct connection between the dominant element of the Xiongnu and that of the Huns. Priscus mentions that the Huns had a language of their own; little of it has survived and its relationships have been the subject of debate for centuries. Numerous other languages were spoken within the Hun pax including Gothic (East Germanic), which was widely used as a lingua franca in the Hunnic territories. Their main military technique was mounted archery.
The Huns may have stimulated the Great Migration, a contributing factor in the collapse of the western Roman Empire. They formed a unified empire under Attila the Hun, who died in 453; their empire broke up the next year. Their descendants, 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 approximately from the 4th century to the 6th century. Variants of the Hun name are recorded in the Caucasus until the early 8th century.