North Caucasian Huns
The Khuni, Huni or Chuni were a people of the North Caucasus during late antiquity. They have sometimes been referred to as the North Caucasian Huns and are often assumed to be related to the Huns who later entered Eastern Europe. However, the ethnolinguistic and geographical origins of the Khuni are unclear.
In 535 or 537, an Armenian missionary team headed by the bishop Kardost baptized many of the North Caucasian Huns. The Syriac source reporting this event also indicates that a writing system for Hunnic was developed.
In 682 Bishop Israel of Caucasian Albania led an unsuccessful delegation to convert Alp Iluetuer, the ruler of the Caucasian Huns, to Christianity. It has been suggested that Iluetuer is a corruption of the Khazar title elteber ("client-ruler) and that this people was subordinate to Khazar rulers from the mid to late 7th century. They are frequently described as being allied with the Khazars in their various wars of the period, particularly against the Caliphate.
Little is known about their fate after the early 8th century. It is likely that they became incorporated into the Khazar Khaganate. However, it is likely that they survived in some form or another for several centuries, possibly even until the 11th century.
- Peter Benjamin Golden, An introduction to the history of Turkic peoples, pp. 107
- Sirijskie istocniki, pp. 166–167; Artamonov, 1st. xazar, pp. 92–94
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