Zabergan (Medieval Greek: Ζαβεργάν) was the chieftain of the Kutrigur Bulgar Huns, a nomadic people of the Pontic–Caspian steppe, after Sinnion. His name is Iranian, meaning full moon.[1] Either under pressure from incoming Avars,[2] or in revolt against the Byzantine Empire, in the winter of 558, he led a large Kutrigur army that crossed the frozen Danube. The army was divided into three sections: one raided south far as Thermopylae, while two others the Thracian Chersonesus and the periphery of Constantinople.[3] In March 559 Zabergan attacked Constantinople, and one part of his forces consisted of 7,000 horsemen,[4] but Belisarius defeated him at the Battle of Melantias and he was forced to withdraw.[5]

The transit of such big distances in a short period of time shows that the Kutrigurs were mounted warriors,[3] and Zabergan's raiders were already encamped near the banks of the Danube.[3] However, once again Emperor Justinian I (r. 527–565) managed to persuade the Utigur chieftain Sandilch to attack the Kutrigurs, which resulted in the decimation of both.[2] Nevertheless, according to the 12th-century chronicle of Michael the Syrian the remnant of those Bulgars were granted Dacia in the time of Maurice (r. 582-602).[6] It is unknown if he is related to the Byzantine general Zabergan, who in 586 defended the fortress Chlomaron against the Romans.[1]


Zabergan Peak in Antarctica is named after Zabergan.


  1. ^ a b Maenchen-Helfen 1973.
  2. ^ a b Golden 2011, p. 140; Golden 1992, p. 100
  3. ^ a b c Curta 2015, p. 77.
  4. ^ Golden 2011, p. 107.
  5. ^ James C. Bradford, International Encyclopedia of Military History
  6. ^ "The Three Scythian Brothers: an Extract from the Chronicle of Michael the Great | Mark Dickens". 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2015-02-27.


Preceded by Leader of the Kutrigurs
fl. 558–586
Succeeded by