(624 words)

(in Arabic usually taken as al-lān ), an Iranian people (Alān < Aryan) of Northern Caucasus, formerly attested also east of the Caspian sea (see al-Bīrūnī, Taḥdīd al-Amākin , ed. A. Z. Validi, in Bīrūnī’s Picture of the world, 57), as supported by local toponymy. The Alān are mentioned in history from the 1st century A.D. In 371 they were defeated by the Huns. Together with the Vandals, a part of the Alāns migrated to the West across France and Spain, and finally took part in the creation of the Vandal kingdom in North Africa (418-5…

Cite this page
Barthold, W. and Minorsky, V., “Alān”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 20 November 2018 <>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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