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Caspian nomadic tribes of Hunnish or Turkic origin, relating to the Khazars. The Sabirs were mentioned by Ptolemy in the second century A.D., and they were well known to such Byzantine and Armenian writers of the fifth to ninth centuries as Egishe and Theophanes.
A potent military force in the Northern Caucasus, the Sabirs were often used by Byzantium and the Sassanid Persians in their struggle for control of the Caucasus. In A.D. 516, the Sabirs crossed the gap at Derbent and entered Asia Minor. At the end of the sixth century, their military power was broken by the Avars. In the seventh and eighth centuries, the remnants of the Sabir population lived in northern Dagestan and along the lower course of the Kuma River. The Sabirs were among the predecessors of the Kumyks and several other peoples of Dagestan.