During the Migration Period (ca. 375-538 AD), several tribes and peoples attacked the Roman limes (border defenses). The borders of the empire withstood this pressure for a considerable while, but Rome ended up having to change its strategy. Nevertheless, the greatest challenge was not the Germanic peoples, but the Huns coming from Asia. The nomadic tribal federation grew to be the deadliest enemy of the Roman Empire in its final century, and created a rival empire beyond its borders. However, the new great power only occupied the stage of history for a few decades. Even so, it proved to be enough to bury the Eternal City and Empire.
Conflicting theories have been put forward by historians regarding the early history of the Huns. Attempts have been made to connect their language, of which very little evidence remains, with the Yeniseian, Turkic, Indo-European, Mongolic and Finno-Ugric families of languages. It had already been suggested in the 18th century that the Huns were in fact the Xiongnu people mentioned in Chinese sources. Although there are some assumptions that can be discovered even in some of the early ancient sources, we only know for sure that they crossed the River Volga in 370, thereby profoundly changing the history of Europe.
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