The Nomads between the Empires: The Huns and Alans during the Lazic War (6th century)
The nomads of the Eurasian steppes had played an important role in shaping the Late Antiquity and early Middle Ages. The Huns and Alans were active participants of the Migration Period (4th-6th centuries CE), invading the Roman Empire and penetrating as far as Roman provinces in Gaul, the Iberian peninsula, and North Africa. Some of the Hunnic tribes and the Alans led a nomad life in north Caucasia, from where they reached the Caucasian kingdoms of Lazica, Iberia, and Albania. The Huns and Alans served as mercenaries under the Byzantine and Persian banners and fought in their wars in Caucasia. This article examines the involvement of the Hunnic and Alan warriors in the Lazic War (541-562 CE), their military usefulness, numbers as well as role and importance in key engagement.