The Huns were a Mongolian tribe originating from central Asia who invaded southeastern Europe from the third through fifth centuries and managed to establish a remarkable empire. In their nomadic ventures, the Huns crossed paths with the Visigoths and Ostrogoths and managed to achieve dominance over the Roman Empire.
According to (Maenchen-Helfen 46), Attila, Huns’ leader followed no religion, although he never cared about the religion of his subjects as long as they did what he wanted. The Huns however believed in spirits and magic, the so called “Sword of Mars” was a brilliant idea devised by Attila to frighten Romans that he was the favorite of the god of war. The Huns had a religious tradition that blended with shamanism and worshiped Heaven (Turk. Tengri) as the supreme God and revered some mountains as seats of power. The Huns followed Tengerism, a religion that most nomadic tribes from Asia followed. They believed in one god, commonly referred to as Tengri. The Huns had a close relationship with nature.
Like most central Asian nomads, the Hunnic arts were portable. Most of the pieces were jewelry used to adorn their horses or the owner. Bridles, saddles and other horse trappings were often decorate with gold plaques. The most common art among the Huns is the Hunnic cauldron, which were cast in bronze and had unique mushroom handles. They used cauldrons to boil meat and were highly valued. The Huns made crowns out of bronze plaques and then plated with gold. They used colored glass and stones to decorate these crowns. The Hunnic art was similar to Sarmatian and Scythian art, which used animal-style motifs. Eagles were a very popular theme with the Hunnic paintings, which later influenced the arts produced by their subjects.
Like other nomadic people, the Huns exclusively fought as cavalry, and their warriors relied on the penetrating power of their bows and the mobility of their horses. The Huns were natural warriors who fought with their arrows on a horse back for their entire life. Their arrows were the best in the world at that time, and they were able to fire them with precision at a great range from a horseback. They also used swords when necessary. Besides their powerful arrows, the Huns also carried lances, swords, and other irregular weapons such as lassos which they could use to snare and drag enemy soldiers to death. The Huns soldiers were organized in units of 10,100, 1,000, and 10,100 horsemen. When the Huns had weakened their enemy with arrows, they would move closer to engage them in hand to hand fight. They could use swords and axe to kill the remaining enemies. Like the Sarmatians and Scythians before them, the Huns used lassos to entangle an enemy or drag him until he strangled to death. The Huns wore armor in order to protect themselves in military undertakings.
Unfortunately, since there are few records left by the Huns, it is difficult to ascertain the language they spoke, which customs they practiced, how they looked like, what their origins were, and which customs they practiced (Fields 114). There is no recorded literature of the Huns that has been found to present.
Fields, Nic. The Hun: Scourge of God AD 375-565: Volume 111 of Warrior Series. Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 2006. Print.
Maenchen-Helfen, Otto. The World of the Huns: Studies in Their History and Culture. California: University of California Press, 1973. Print.