Also found in: Dictionary.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(native name, Ironi; in Byzantine sources, Alans; in Georgian, Osy; and in Russian, Iasy), numerous Iranian-language tribes which separated in the first century B.C. from the seminomadic Sarmatians inhabiting the Northern Caspian, the Don, and Ciscaucasia areas and settled in the first century A.D., according to Roman and Byzantine writers, in the Azov and Ciscaucasia regions. From there they made devastating raids on the Crimea, Transcaucasia, Asia Minor, and Midian. At that time, the Alani economy was based on stock raising. In 372 the Alani were conquered by the Huns. With the Huns one group of Alani took part in the great people’s migration and through Gaul and Spain reached North Africa. Another group migrated to the foothills of the Caucasus. In central Ciscaucasia a union headed by the Alani, and called Alania in written sources, was formed between the Alani and local Caucasian tribes.

The nomadic Alani gradually became a settled people and transferred to an agricultural stock-raising economy. During the eighth and ninth centuries feudal relations arose among the Alani, who temporarily became part of the Khazar Kaganate. At the turn of the tenth century, an early-feudal Alani state arose, and in the tenth century it played a significant role in the Khazar foreign relations with Byzantium. Christianity penetrated into Alania from Byzantium. The development of productive forces and trade led to the formation of feudal cities, the remains of which are the sites Nizhne-Arkhyzskoe on the Bol’shoi Zelenchuk River, Verkhne- and Nizhne-Dzhulatskie on the Terek River, Akhalkalinskoe on the Sunzha River, and others. Famous catacombs and settlement sites on the Northern Donets River (Saltovo-Maiatskaia culture) and in the northern Caucasus bear witness to the wealth of Alani culture. Many above-ground tombs, dolmen-like crypts (along the upper reaches of the Kuban’), above-ground stone crypts with false arches, and catacombs, usually consisting of a dromos and an elliptical chamber, have been found. Some Alani settlements were surrounded by walls which were built dry from thin stone slabs and marked with carved geometric patterns and sometimes schematic depictions of animals and people.

The Alani applied arts of the fourth and fifth centuries are represented chiefly by gold and silver jewelry with semiprecious, primarily red, stones or glass (the so-called polychromatic style); pendants and other ornaments decorated with birds’ heads appear later. During the seventh through ninth centuries cast anthropomorphic images, figurines of horsemen, stamped bronze plaques with plant and geometric designs, and decorated clothing and horse gear were popularized. From the Zmeiskii tomb in Northern Ossetia such objects as decorated gilded plaques, amulets, toilet articles, clothing, scabbards, a unique gilded horse bit in the form of a feminine half-figure, fragments of a leather horsecloth with embroidered peacocks, and braiding bear witness to the highest flowering of Alani arts in the tenth through 12th centuries. At this time, the Alani developed a written language and created the heroic Narty Epic.

The Alani were dealt a heavy blow by the Mongolian Tatars, who completely overran the plains of Ciscaucasia in 1238–39. The survivors migrated to the hills of Central Caucasus and to Transcaucasia (South Ossetia), where they were assimilated by the local Caucasian population. Islam began to spread among them in the 14th century. The contemporary Iranian-language Ossetians are the direct descendants of the Alani, who also played a definite role in the ethnogeny and culture of other peoples of the Northern Caucasus.


Vaneev, Z. N. Srednevekovaia Alaniia. Staliniri, 1959.
Kuznetsov, V. A.. Alanskie plemena Severnogo Kavkaza. Moscow, 1962.
Pletneva, S. A. Ot kochevii k gorodam. Moscow, 1967.
Proiskhozhdenie osetinskogo naroda. Material from the scholarly session devoted to the problem of the ethnogenesis of the Ossetians. Ordzhonikidze, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Dr Mustafa Alani took up the position of senior advisor and director of the Security and Terrorism Studies program at the Gulf Research Center (GRC) on August 20, 2004.
Delivering a speech during activities of the first session of the UN-Habitat Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya, under the theme, "Innovation for Better Quality of Life in Cities and Communities" on Thursday, Alani said that the unilateral coercive economic measures imposed by some countries and regional entities on Syria since 2011, which is continuing up to now illegally and in contradiction to the UN Charter, and the UN resolutions impede achieving the goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Plan as they caused massive losses to the Syrian economy , the country's capacities, the civil community , and the private sector aimed at achieving development goals.
Katilimcilarin kisisel ozellikler alani alt boyutundan aldiklari puan ortalamalari ile yas (t=2.678, p=0.008), egitim durumu (F=4.146, p=0.017) ve meslekleri (t=2.807, p=0.006) arasinda istatistiksel olarak anlamli bir farkliligin oldugu saptanmistir (p<0.05).
"Alani (Joie) passed away suddenly yesterday afternoon from the flu that turned into pneumonia.
These goals were reiterated by the head of the Gulf Research Center (GRC) Abdulaziz Sager, who warned about letting Yemen "turn into another Lebanon with (a) violent non-state actor (Houthis) dominating the country's security forces." Sager said that the "coalition is trying to end the war but Iran is preventing it by financing violent non-state actors." In that context, Mustafa Alani, a defense analyst at GRC drew a red line for Saudi Arabia in Yemen, contending that the Kingdom cannot accept Houthi control over Yemen.
Amac: Bu calismanin amaci hafif ve orta duzeyde karpal tunel sendromu (KTS) olan hastalarin tanisinda ultrasonografik olarak olcumu yapilabilen median sinir kesit alani (MSKA, m[m.sup.2]) parametresinin tanisal degerini elektrofizyolojik parametreler ile karsilastirarak ortaya koymakti.
Mustafa Alani, a security analyst at the Gulf Research Center, said the move was unusual and intended to send a clear message that they have little faith in him.
In an interview at the funeral home, Jennylyn Alani, wife of Cpl.
The Little Vanilla Book: S&M Wisdom to Improve Your Everyday Life By Lux Alani
Using a system involving polymeric micelles to improve bioavailability, Adam Alani of Oregon State University's College of Pharmacy and associates first tested the compounds in human ovarian cancer cells and rat heart muscle cells.
A leadership that won't hesitate from any confrontation", said Mustafa Alani, an Iraqi security analyst with close ties to the kingdom's Interior Ministry.