The Huns and the Parthians

Nov 2018
Russian Federation
the reason romans had to turn from glorified legion to nomadic cavalry:
The Battle of Carrhae [ˈkar.rae̯] was fought in 53 BC between the Roman Republic and the Parthian Empire near the town of Carrhae. The Parthian general Surenadecisively defeated a numerically superior Roman invasion force under the command of Marcus Licinius Crassus. It is commonly seen as one of the earliest and most important battles between the Roman and Parthian empires and one of the most crushing defeats in Roman history.
He assembled a force of seven legions (about 35,000 heavy infantry). In addition he had about 4,000 light infantry, and 4,000 cavalry, including the 1,000 Gallic cavalry Publius had brought with him.[16] With the aid of Hellenic settlements in Syria and support of about 6,000 cavalry from Artavasdes, the Armenian king, Crassus marched on Parthia.
In response, the Parthian king Orodes II divided his army and he took most of the soldiers, mainly foot archers with a small amount of cavalry, to punish the Armenians and sent the rest of his forces, 9,000 horse archers and 1,000 cataphracts under the command of Spahbod Surena, to scout out and harass Crassus' army. Orodes did not anticipate that Surena's force, outnumbered by almost four to one, would be able to defeat Crassus
The Parthians went to great lengths to intimidate the Romans. First they beat a great number of hollow drums and the Roman troops were unsettled by the loud and cacophonous noise. Surena then ordered his cataphracts to cover their armor in cloths and advance. When they were within sight of the Romans, they simultaneously dropped the cloths, revealing their shining armor. The sight was designed to intimidate the Romans.[22] Though he had originally planned to shatter the Roman lines with a charge by his cataphracts, he judged that this would not be enough to break them at this point. Thus, he sent his horse archers to surround the Roman square. Crassus sent his skirmishers to drive the horse archers off, but they were driven back by the latter's arrows. The horse archers then engaged the legionaries. The legionaries were protected by their large shields (scuta) and armor (reenactment with composite bows do not answer the question whether arrows can penetrate mail), but these could not cover the entire body. Some historians describe the arrows partially penetrating the Roman shields, and nailing the shields to the limbs of the Roman infantry as well as nailing their feet to the ground. However, Plutarch wrote in his accounts that the Romans were met with a shower of arrows that passed through every kind of cover, hard and soft alike.
The Romans repeatedly advanced towards the Parthians to attempt to engage in close-quarters fighting, but the horse archers were always able to retreat safely, loosing Parthian shots as they withdrew. The legionaries then formed the testudo formation, in which they locked their shields together to present a nearly impenetrable front to missiles.[24] However, this formation severely restricted their ability in melee combat. The Parthian cataphracts exploited this weakness and repeatedly charged the Roman line, causing panic and inflicting heavy casualties.[25] When the Romans tried to loosen up their formation in order to repel the cataphracts, the latter rapidly retreated and the horse archers resumed shooting at the now more exposed legionaries.[24]

Crassus now hoped that his legionaries could hold out until the Parthians ran out of arrows.[26] However, Surena used thousands of camels to resupply his horse archers. Upon realizing this, Crassus dispatched his son Publius with 1,300 Gallic cavalry, 500 archers and eight cohorts of legionaries to drive off the horse archers. The horse archers feigned retreat, drawing off Publius' force who suffered heavy casualties from arrow fire. Once Publius and his men were sufficiently separated from the rest of the army, the Parthian cataphracts confronted them while the horse archers cut off their retreat. In the ensuing combat the Gauls fought bravely, however their inferiority in weapons and armor was evident and they eventually retreated to a hill, where Publius committed suicide while the rest of his men were slaughtered, with only 500 taken alive.[27] Crassus, unaware of his son's fate but realizing Publius was in danger, ordered a general advance. He was confronted with the sight of his son's head on a spear. The Parthian horse archers began to surround the Roman infantry, shooting at them from all directions, while the cataphracts mounted a series of charges that disorganized the Romans. The Parthian onslaught did not cease until nightfall. Crassus, deeply shaken by his son's death, ordered a retreat to the nearby town of Carrhae, leaving behind 4,000 wounded, who were killed by the Parthians the next morning.[28] Four Roman cohorts got lost in the dark and were surrounded on a hill by the Parthians, all save 20 Romans being killed.[29]

The next day, Surena sent a message to the Romans, offering to negotiate with Crassus. Surena proposed a truce, allowing the Roman army to return to Syria safely in exchange for Rome giving up all territory east of the Euphrates. Surena either sent an embassy to the Romans by the hills or went himself stating he wanted a peace conference to evacuate.[30][31] Crassus was reluctant to meet with the Parthians, but his troops threatened to mutiny if he did not.[32] At the meeting, a Parthian pulled at Crassus' reins, sparking violence. Crassus and his generals were killed. After his death, the Parthians allegedly poured molten gold down his throat, in a symbolic gesture mocking Crassus' renowned greed.[33] The remaining Romans at Carrhae attempted to flee, but most were captured or killed. Roman casualties amounted to about 20,000 killed and 10,000 captured[34] making the battle one of the costliest defeats in Roman history. Parthian casualties were minimal.
Battle of Carrhae - Wikipedia
Feb 2017
Rock Hill, South Carolina
pls proofs. i have a lot evidence of indo-iranian and scythian roots of the huns: language, cavalry mastery, religion, burial ceremonies, etc.
Xiongnu/Huns exhibit Q-M242 or Yeniseian/Ket/Native American DNA: Y chromosomes of ancient Hunnu people and its implication on the phylogeny of East Asian linguistic families.

They also spoke Yeniseian as proven by a 5th century AD Jin transcription of a 2nd century BC Jie folk poem:

they were part of gothic kingdom
Ermenaric's "Gothic Kingdom/Empire" never existed, or at least nowhere near close to the scale Jordanes implies it did. See Christiensen, Cassiodorus, Jordanes, and the History of the Goths for a more in-depth look.

later hunnic vassals, like ostrogoths
The Ostrogoths didn't exist prior to about 474-479 AD. The Amali goths, who first appear in the 440's with the rise of Valamir as a vassal of Attila, do. But they were not the sole component of the Ostrogoths, which also included at least two other Gothic groups, one of which was the Goths of Triarius who had been settled by the Romans as foederati since the 420's in Thrace.

Wikipedia gives sources for decimal cavalry organisation for Rome from 600BC. What's your source for the Scythians?
Decimal organization is ancient. Off the top of my head I think it goes back as far as ancient Assyria in written sources. For reference the Cimmerian/Scythian culture emerges in the 900's BC. Cavalry was invented by the Assyrians as well, possibly based off of either Arabian camel domestication and riding, or it may have been an Indo-European invention of the steppes. We aren't sure.

By the 4th century, Romans relied heavily on irregular allies from the migrating Germanic tribes and the Huns.
This is an inherently false statement, heavy reliance on symmakhoi in the west wasn't a thing until the reign of Majorian. The foederati were essentially professional field armies almost and the Roman practice of employing Alans was to recruit them into and train them as professional Roman soldiers serving in professional Roman regiments making them no different from Roman recruits (which still composed approximately 3/4ths of the army).

not a big deal divide men according to number of fingers on hands. if consider Scythians descendants of Sumerians, they had it along with other science up to 3000-6000 bce
Ah that's the problem. You're subscriber to Ataturk's "Sun Language Theory" and a Pan-Turanist. No, the Sumerian Language has absolutely ZERO relationship with Indo-European. Last I checked it had some sort of relationship to ancient languages that were used in the modern regions of Armenia and Azerbaijan, maybe. I know the possible connection with Dravidian was disproven.
Mar 2018
I typed half a post, but there's no point. I learnt long ago that nationalists cannot be argued with, because they don't consider the possibility they could be wrong. I'm only surprised that long dead nations still have their nationalists.
Nov 2018
Russian Federation
Xiongnu/Huns exhibit Q-M242 or Yeniseian/Ket/Native American DNA: Y chromosomes of ancient Hunnu people and its implication on the phylogeny of East Asian linguistic families.

They also spoke Yeniseian as proven by a 5th century AD Jin transcription of a 2nd century BC Jie folk poem:
by your link: " The ethno-linguistic affiliation of the Hunnu is controversial among Yeniseian, Altaic, Uralic, and Indo-European. Ancient DNA analyses on the remains of the Hunnu people had shown some clues to this problem. Y chromosome haplogroups of Hunnu remains included Q-M242, N-Tat, C-M130, and R1a1. "
it is clear in the mixed group, Scythian/Iranian culture prevailed. religion, burial ceremony, language, military tradition. i suggest iranian warchief with squad came and organised eniseians into invincible horde

the rest of your post similarly weak: telling fortunes who invented horseriding, or making statements with no proof.
Last edited:
Nov 2018
Russian Federation
The Ostrogoths didn't exist prior to about 474-479 AD.
The Ostrogoths (Latin: Ostrogothi, Austrogothi) were the eastern branch of the older Goths (the other major branch being the Visigoths). The Ostrogoths traced their origins to the Greutungi – a branch of the Goths who had migrated southward from the Baltic Sea and established a kingdom north of the Black Sea, during the 3rd and 4th centuries. They built an empire stretching from the Black Sea to the Baltic. The Ostrogoths were probably literate in the 3rd century, and their trade with the Romanswas highly developed. Their Danubian kingdom reached its zenith under King Ermanaric, who is said to have committed suicide at an old age when the Huns attacked his people and subjugated them in about 370.

After their annexation by the Huns, little is heard of the Ostrogoths for about 80 years
Ostrogoths - Wikipedia
Nov 2010
Jordanes I think is the only source who says the Goths originated way up on the Baltic. Any reliance on a single ancient or medieval writer is highly problematic. Applying a little logic you have to ask where these people got their information and who their audience was in such times. Even 1000 years later there are events with 5 or 6 sources, each of which tells a different tale, some of which are clearly just plain wrong or fabrication.

Anyway - What was the question again? :D

Similar History Discussions