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Origin of the Alans
#1
Salve to all,

In our discourse on the thread "Roxolani and Iazages," it became clear we were talking about two distinct tribes with little relation to one-another. A general consensus considers the Roxolani (Rhoxalani) as the initial Alanic spearhead to enter Roman space. Unlike the Sauromatian Iazyges, the Roxolani were true "Sarmatians" as defined by modern archaeologists. As such, they fit the Alan genesis. The anthropological features of the Eastern Sarmatians and subsequent Alans was explained in Post #87 on the "Roxolani and Iazages" thread, which essentially describes a significant Asiatic (Mongoloid) admixture not found on the Iazygess or earlier Western Scythians. We might add that Scythians were full-bearded, while Alans sported either mustaches or pointed goatees.

As such, the Alans had an entirely different background and "look" than the Western tribes. They were Eastern-- they had Eastern customs, Eastern swords, Eastern armor-- and they even looked partially Eastern. To quote Ammianus Marcellinus, "Moreover, almost all of the Alans are tall and handsome with rather fair hair, frightening because of their somewhat slanting eyes." (Alemany translation, Sources on the Alans, p. 36) This may fly in the face of some who believe the Alans were some sort of Aryan super-cavalry.

The Rhoxalani and Alans burst upon the scene during the early to mid decades of the 1st century CE. Like all steppe "barbarians," they simply came out of "nowhere," although attached to geography relative to the Romans. Here's a map showing the Alan migration short of the Caspian to their final destination in Africa.
   
The map was created from Roman sources. But it doesn't answer the Big Question. "Where did the Alans really come from." In other words, "What were the origins of the Alans. Why did they look like they did? Who were their cultural neighbors? Who did they intermarry with? And why were their cavalry weapons and tactics unlike Rome's previous steppe opponents." Hopefully, this thread might answer some of those questions. For now, I welcome any comments.
Alan J. Campbell

member of Legio III Cyrenaica and the Uncouth Barbarians

Author of:
The Demon's Door Bolt (2011)
Forging the Blade (2012)

"It's good to be king. Even when you're dead!"
             Old Yuezhi/Pazyrk proverb
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Messages In This Thread
Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-04-2016, 03:27 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 01-04-2016, 04:50 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-04-2016, 08:58 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Urselius - 01-05-2016, 08:43 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by childeric - 01-05-2016, 09:24 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-05-2016, 02:50 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-05-2016, 03:55 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 01-05-2016, 05:06 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-05-2016, 05:23 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 01-06-2016, 12:28 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Urselius - 01-06-2016, 08:20 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 01-06-2016, 08:50 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-06-2016, 07:16 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 01-07-2016, 05:22 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-08-2016, 05:49 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 01-08-2016, 06:44 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-08-2016, 07:15 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 01-08-2016, 07:56 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Renatus - 01-08-2016, 03:17 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 01-08-2016, 04:27 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-08-2016, 05:39 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Renatus - 01-08-2016, 06:35 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-08-2016, 09:41 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 01-09-2016, 05:00 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-09-2016, 06:58 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 01-10-2016, 05:18 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-11-2016, 12:23 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 01-11-2016, 12:53 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-11-2016, 03:53 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-22-2016, 02:06 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Urselius - 01-22-2016, 09:02 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by childeric - 01-22-2016, 09:47 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Athena Areias - 01-22-2016, 12:27 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 01-22-2016, 04:59 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-22-2016, 06:17 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-23-2016, 11:37 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 01-24-2016, 05:06 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-24-2016, 09:13 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 01-25-2016, 05:45 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-25-2016, 09:19 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-27-2016, 08:40 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Urselius - 01-28-2016, 09:08 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-28-2016, 05:18 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Urselius - 01-29-2016, 09:02 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-29-2016, 03:19 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Robert Vermaat - 02-01-2016, 12:28 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Urselius - 02-01-2016, 01:12 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-01-2016, 06:22 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-08-2016, 08:42 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 02-09-2016, 03:14 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Robert Vermaat - 02-10-2016, 08:41 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-10-2016, 08:45 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-10-2016, 09:47 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-10-2016, 11:49 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 02-11-2016, 11:58 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-11-2016, 07:12 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 02-12-2016, 05:49 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-13-2016, 08:24 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-14-2016, 07:26 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-16-2016, 06:08 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-24-2016, 08:58 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Robert Vermaat - 02-25-2016, 10:27 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Athena Areias - 02-24-2016, 12:23 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by childeric - 02-24-2016, 12:28 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-25-2016, 06:18 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Flavivs Aetivs - 02-25-2016, 07:21 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-25-2016, 07:51 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-27-2016, 10:28 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Flavivs Aetivs - 02-29-2016, 03:09 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 02-29-2016, 03:51 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-29-2016, 05:18 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 03-02-2016, 01:59 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-02-2016, 07:38 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-06-2016, 08:31 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-06-2016, 11:47 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-07-2016, 05:10 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-10-2016, 09:28 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Robert Vermaat - 03-11-2016, 09:30 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-11-2016, 03:29 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 03-11-2016, 04:51 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-13-2016, 08:16 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-14-2016, 05:24 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Athena Areias - 03-14-2016, 06:24 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-14-2016, 06:55 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Rennie De Giorgio - 03-17-2016, 12:08 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-17-2016, 02:31 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 03-18-2016, 02:49 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-19-2016, 11:08 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-24-2016, 03:55 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-27-2016, 06:53 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by sea78 - 03-29-2016, 03:15 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-29-2016, 05:52 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 04-03-2016, 06:03 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-04-2016, 04:23 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 04-04-2016, 05:08 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-04-2016, 06:30 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-09-2016, 04:40 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by sea78 - 04-10-2016, 08:48 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-11-2016, 05:02 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-11-2016, 06:15 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 04-13-2016, 04:19 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-13-2016, 07:20 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 04-14-2016, 01:05 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-14-2016, 05:16 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Robert Vermaat - 04-19-2016, 08:18 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-15-2016, 04:16 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 04-15-2016, 05:54 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-15-2016, 07:18 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 04-16-2016, 01:26 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-16-2016, 09:43 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 04-18-2016, 05:57 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-19-2016, 12:12 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 04-19-2016, 05:06 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-19-2016, 04:09 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 04-21-2016, 05:46 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-22-2016, 11:29 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-29-2016, 02:03 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Steven James - 04-29-2016, 05:09 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 05-02-2016, 07:04 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Robert Vermaat - 05-09-2016, 11:15 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 05-10-2016, 02:27 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 05-11-2016, 05:04 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 05-15-2016, 07:20 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 05-16-2016, 05:00 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 05-24-2016, 01:27 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 06-11-2016, 09:23 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 06-23-2016, 03:32 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 06-24-2016, 04:04 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by childeric - 06-27-2016, 03:33 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 06-28-2016, 01:47 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 06-28-2016, 04:53 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 07-14-2016, 04:20 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 07-17-2016, 06:15 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 07-19-2016, 06:51 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 07-19-2016, 07:22 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 07-19-2016, 09:38 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 07-20-2016, 04:45 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 07-20-2016, 06:52 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 07-20-2016, 02:31 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by ValentinianVictrix - 07-20-2016, 03:54 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 07-20-2016, 08:59 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 07-21-2016, 05:38 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 07-26-2016, 03:19 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 07-26-2016, 07:12 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 07-26-2016, 07:45 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 08-14-2016, 09:18 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 08-15-2016, 09:08 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 08-23-2016, 08:46 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 08-23-2016, 10:05 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 08-24-2016, 01:35 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 08-24-2016, 06:59 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 08-24-2016, 08:10 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 08-24-2016, 09:38 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 08-30-2016, 01:17 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 08-30-2016, 03:02 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 08-30-2016, 09:19 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 09-02-2016, 12:08 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 09-02-2016, 01:36 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 09-02-2016, 10:34 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 09-14-2016, 04:58 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 09-14-2016, 06:03 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 09-14-2016, 06:27 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 09-21-2016, 04:04 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Robert Vermaat - 09-24-2016, 04:03 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 10-01-2016, 10:52 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 10-01-2016, 12:50 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 10-30-2016, 03:17 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 11-01-2016, 06:00 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 11-01-2016, 07:04 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 11-03-2016, 02:23 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 11-13-2016, 03:15 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 11-17-2016, 07:36 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 11-17-2016, 10:24 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-05-2016, 12:09 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Dan D'Silva - 12-06-2016, 07:57 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Robert Vermaat - 12-05-2016, 01:48 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-06-2016, 09:04 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 12-06-2016, 09:19 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-06-2016, 09:54 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 12-06-2016, 10:25 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-06-2016, 10:38 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-07-2016, 12:08 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 12-07-2016, 12:31 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-07-2016, 12:46 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Robert Vermaat - 12-08-2016, 08:06 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-08-2016, 09:13 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-12-2016, 03:02 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-16-2016, 05:52 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-18-2016, 07:28 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-23-2016, 03:51 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-01-2017, 05:42 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-22-2017, 10:29 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 02-02-2017, 01:51 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-03-2017, 12:30 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 02-19-2017, 07:00 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-02-2017, 06:06 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 04-02-2017, 07:34 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-02-2017, 08:44 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 04-03-2017, 10:34 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-07-2017, 11:04 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 04-08-2017, 03:55 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-08-2017, 05:24 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 04-23-2017, 07:49 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 05-02-2017, 08:01 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 09-14-2017, 01:38 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Robert Vermaat - 09-14-2017, 09:43 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by childeric - 09-14-2017, 10:02 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 09-14-2017, 01:25 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Robert Vermaat - 09-19-2017, 12:09 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 09-20-2017, 12:46 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 09-26-2017, 08:37 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 09-28-2017, 01:30 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Merlkir - 11-03-2017, 03:09 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 11-04-2017, 11:08 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 11-06-2017, 04:41 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 11-26-2017, 03:13 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-03-2017, 01:53 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 12-03-2017, 02:37 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-04-2017, 06:17 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-10-2017, 10:38 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-14-2017, 12:38 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 12-15-2017, 02:56 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 12-17-2017, 09:45 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 01-11-2018, 08:09 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-17-2018, 09:40 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 03-18-2018, 12:10 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 03-20-2018, 01:24 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-20-2018, 01:47 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Robert Vermaat - 03-20-2018, 10:09 AM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Alanus - 03-20-2018, 01:14 PM
RE: Origin of the Alans - by Michael Kerr - 03-22-2018, 04:25 PM

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