Battle of Nedao

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Battle of Nedao
Part of Germanic-Hunnic Wars
Date 454
Location Pannonia
Result Decisive Germanic victory[2]
End of the Hunnic Empire
Commanders and leaders
Ardaric King Ellac of the Huns [3]
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

The Battle of Nedao, was a battle fought in Pannonia in 454, between Huns and their former vassals. Nedao is believed to be a tributary of Sava river.[4]

After the death of Attila the Hun, allied forces of the subject peoples under the leadership of Ardaric, king of the Gepids, defeated the Hunnic forces of Ellac, the son of Attila, who had struggled with his brothers Ernak and Dengizich for supremacy after Attila's death. Ellac himself was killed in the battle.[5]

According to the 6th-century historian Jordanes:

And so the bravest nations tore themselves to pieces. For then, I think, must have occurred a most remarkable spectacle, where one might see the Goths fighting with pikes, the Gepidae raging with the sword, the Rugi breaking off the spears in their own wounds, the Suavi fighting on foot, the Huns with bows, the Alani drawing up a battle-line of heavy-armed and the Heruli of light-armed warriors.[6]

Jordanes claims that, in the battle of Nedao, Ostrogoths fought against the Huns but this is rejected by some modern historians like Herwig Wolfram[7] or Hyun Jin Kim. The latter believes that this is a forged story and that Valamir himself fought alongside the Huns.[8] On the contrary, J.R. Martindale and Franz Altheim accept that the Ostrogoths were among the victors of Nedao, while many others, including Otto J. Maenchen-Helfen, believe that they did not participate at all.[1]


Hunnic dominance in Central and Eastern Europe was broken as a result of the battle. It is hard to reconstruct the exact course of events, but by early 460's the Hunnic Empire was finally dissolved with Gepids, Rugi, Heruli, Suebi and Ostrogoths achieving independence[9] and eventually becoming federates of the Eastern Roman Empire.[10] The Huns, reorganized under Dengizish, moved to the east where they attacked the Eastern Roman Empire and were decisively defeated in 469. After that point, Huns cease to exist in the European history.[5]


  1. ^ a b Wolfram 1990, p.448, note 87 reflects the scholarly debate on the matter.
  2. ^ Nic Fields, The Hun: Scourge of God AD 375-565, (Osprey, 2006), 16.
  3. ^ Attila, N.Th.J. Voorwinden, A Dictionary of Medieval Heroes, transl. Tanis Guest, ed. Willem Pieter Gerritsen, Anthony G. Van Melle, (Boydell & Brewer, 2000), 46.
  4. ^ Wolfram 1990, p.258.
  5. ^ a b History of Humanity: From the seventh century B.C. to the seventh century A.D., UNESCO, 1996, ISBN 9-231-02812-X, p.243.
  6. ^ Jordanes, Origins and History of the Goths, l.261.
  7. ^ Wolfram 1990, p.259.
  8. ^ Kim, Hyun Jin (2013). The Huns, Rome and the Birth of Europe. Cambridge University Press. p. 113. ISBN 9781107009066. 
  9. ^ The Cambridge Ancient History, vol 14, p. 18. ISBN 0-521-32591-9.
  10. ^ Wolfram 1990, p.260.