The Heruli.

The Heruli were an ancient Germanic people who originated from Scandinavia and migrated to various regions of Europe. They were known for their raids and invasions of the Roman Empire, especially in the Balkans and the Aegean Sea. 

They also fought as mercenaries for different rulers and factions. Here is a brief overview of their language, warfare and relation with Rome: 

- Language: The Heruli spoke a Germanic language, but it is not clear which branch of the Germanic family it belonged to. Some of their personal names are similar to Gothic names, suggesting an East Germanic affiliation. ¹ 
The Heruli homeland was probably in
Southern Sweden and the Danish isles.
However, some scholars have proposed that they spoke a North Germanic language, based on their possible Scandinavian origin and some linguistic evidence. 

Unfortunately, there are no surviving texts or inscriptions in the Heruli language, so it is difficult to reconstruct it with certainty.

- Warfare: The Heruli were skilled warriors who excelled in both land and sea combat. They used swords, spears, axes, bows and arrows, and shields. 

They also wore helmets, chain mail, and leather armor. They were known for their speed, agility, and ferocity in battle. They often attacked by surprise, plundering towns and villages, taking captives and slaves, and demanding tribute. 

They also served as mercenaries for various rulers, such as the Huns, the Goths, the Byzantines, and the Lombards. They participated in many wars and conflicts in Europe and Asia Minor, such as the Gothic War (376-382), the Hunnic invasions (441-453), the Fall of Rome (476), the Gothic War (535-554), and the Lombard invasion of Italy (568-569).

- Relation with Rome: The Heruli had a complex and changing relation with Rome. At times they were enemies who raided and invaded Roman provinces, causing devastation and destruction. 

At other times they were allies or subjects who fought for or with Rome against other enemies. They also settled in some Roman territories, such as the Danube region, where they established their own kingdom in the 5th century.

They also converted to Christianity, adopting either the Arian or the Orthodox faith. However, their kingdom was destroyed by the Lombards in the early 6th century, and some of them fled to the Byzantine Empire, where they continued to serve as soldiers or colonists. 

The last mention of the Heruli in history is in the 7th century, when they were assimilated into other peoples or disappeared from the historical record.

The Heruli in Italy.

The Heruli were a Germanic people who originated from Scandinavia and participated in various raids and migrations in the Roman Empire. 

They were involved in several conquests of Italy by different barbarian leaders, such as Odoacer, Theoderic the Great, and Narses. They also had their own kingdom on the Middle Danube for a short time, but it was destroyed by the Lombards. Here is a brief overview of their history in Italy:

- In 476 AD, the Heruli leader Odoacer deposed the last Western Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus, and became the ruler of Italy. He is considered to be the first barbarian king of Italy and his reign marks the end of the Western Roman Empire. 

He ruled as a client of the Eastern Roman Empire, but also invaded some of its provinces. He was eventually defeated and killed by Theodoric the Great, the king of the Ostrogoths, in 493 AD. 

Odoacer-king of the Sciri and the Heruli.
- In 489 AD, Theodoric the Great invaded Italy with his Ostrogothic army, which included some Heruli as allies. 

He fought against Odoacer for five years until he captured Ravenna, the capital of Italy, and killed Odoacer. He then established the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy, which lasted until 553 AD. He was regarded as a wise and tolerant ruler who preserved Roman culture and law. 

- In 535 AD, the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I launched a campaign to reconquer Italy from the Ostrogoths. He sent his general Belisarius, who was accompanied by some Heruli mercenaries, to invade Italy. 

Belisarius captured several cities, including Rome and Ravenna, but faced resistance from the Ostrogoths and their allies. The war lasted for 18 years and devastated Italy. 

It ended with the victory of another Eastern Roman general, Narses, who defeated the last Ostrogothic king, Teia, in 552 AD. Narses then became the governor of Italy and ruled until 568 AD. He also faced invasions from other Germanic tribes, such as the Franks and the Lombards. 

The Heruli disappeared from history around this time, as they were either assimilated into other groups or migrated to other regions. Some scholars have suggested that they may have left some traces in place names or folklore in northern Italy or Scandinavia. 

(1) Heruli - Wikiwand.
(3) Heruli - Wikipedia.
(4) Heruli | Gothic Tribe, Migration & Invasion | Britannica.
(5) Battle of Ravenna (476) - Wikipedia.
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