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The Alans or Alani were an ancient race of people, first met with north of the Caspian Sea, and later (c. first century) spreading into the steppes of Russia. The Alans made incursions into both the Danubian and the Caucasian provinces of the Roman empire.

They were divided in two parts by the Huns, of which the western joined the Germanic nations in their invasion of Gaul. Gregory of Tours mentions that their king Respendial[?] saved the day for the Vandals in an encounter with the Franks at the crossing of the Rhine (c. 407). Following the fortunes of the Vandals into Spain they disappeared in North Africa. In 426, the western Alan king, Attaces[?], was killed in battle against the Visigoths, and this branch of the Alans subsequently appealed to the Vandal king Gunderic who accepted their crown. Later Vandal kings styled themselves as Rex Wandalorum et Alanorum (King of the Vandals and Alans).

Those of the eastern division, though dispersed about the steppes until late medieval times, were forced by fresh invading hordes into the Caucasus, where they remain as the Ossetes[?]. Their most famous leader was Aspar, the magister militum of the Byzantine Empire during the 460s.

They were at one time at least partially Christianized by Byzantine missionaries of the Arian church.

(Greek Αλανοι, Αλαννοι; Chinese O-lan-na; since the 9th century A.D. they have been called As, Russ. Jasy, Georgian Ossi),


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