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Balamber (Balamir) is only mentioned by Jordanes in his Getica,[1] abbreviated c. 550CE from memory of Cassiodorus's History of the Goths.[2] Jordanes simply called him "king of the Huns" (rex Hunnorum) and tells us the story of Balamber crushing the kingdom of Ostrogoths in around 375.[3]

Balamber's story seems historically improbable.[4][5] He may well be a version of the better-attested Valamir, displaced in time and confused with stories of the Hunnic assault on the Goths.[6] Valamir/Valamer/Βαλαμερ/Balamber was an important Gothic vassal of Attila the Hun in the 400s,[7] who after Attila's death resisted the Huns and consolidated his hold over a large group of Goths.[6]


  1. ^ Jordanes, Getica 130, 248 and 249.
  2. ^ Mitchell, Stephen (2007), A history of the later Roman Empire, AD 284-641., Oxford: Blackwell, ISBN 978-1-4051-0856-0 
  3. ^ JORDANES. THE ORIGIN AND DEEDS OF THE GOTHS. translated by Charles C. Mierow. Scanned and corrected by J. Vanderspoel, Department of Greek, Latin and Ancient History, University of Calgary accessed 22 April 2012.
  4. ^ According to Ammianus Marcellinus, the Huns had no kings at that time. Ammianus Marcellinus, Res gestae 31,2,7.
  5. ^ Thompson, E.A. (1996), The Huns, The Peoples of Europe (Revised ed.), Oxford: Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-21443-7 
  6. ^ a b Heather, Peter (2005). The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-333-98914-2. pp. 356-357.
  7. ^ Martindale, J.R. (1980), The prosopography of the later Roman Empire, vol. 2, A.D 395-527. (Fourth printing 2006 ed.), Cambridge University Press, pp. 1135–1136, ISBN 978-0-521-20159-9 
Preceded by
Hunnic rule
360 — 378 (?)
Succeeded by