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Their original seats are thought to have been

in the country between the Caspian and the

Don. In the time of Justinian they were in

alliance with the Greek Empire, and afterwards with the Lombards, whom they assisted

in a war against the Gepidae. At one time

they possessed the larger part of Pannonia,

and here they established a kingdom. The

greatest of their sovereigns was Khan Baian,

who flourished from A. D. 570 to 630. His

dominions are said to have extended from the

river Elbe to the Euxine. Such was his authority that even the Emperor of the East

was obliged to pay him tribute. The Avars

conquered Dalmatia and harassed both Italy

and Germany. In the year 640, the Slavic

subjects of the Khan revolted, and ail of his

kingdom, except Pannonia, fell away. In

the struggle of the Bavarians against Charlemagne, the Avari aided the former; but both

parties were overcome by the Franks and

were compelled to accept a tributary relation.

The Bulgarians in the latter part of the

fifth century passed westward to the Danube. After establishing themselves in the

region which now bears their name, they began a series of aggressions against the Eastern Empire. The many incursions of this