The Ono?urs or O?urs (, ?; Onurs, urs; "ten tribes", "tribes"), were Turkic nomadic equestrians who flourished in the Pontic-Caspian steppe and the Volga region between 5th and 7th century, and spoke O?huric language.
The name Ono?ur is most often derived as On-O?ur "ten O?urs (tribes)". Modern scholars consider Turkic tribal terms o?uz and o?ur to be derived from Turkic *og/uq, meaning "kinship or being akin to". The terms initially were not the same, as oq/ogsiz meant "arrow", while o?ul meant "offspring, child, son", o?u?/u?u? was "tribe, clan", and the verb oa-/oq?a meant "to be like, resemble".
The Onogurs were one of the first Oghuric Turkic tribes that entered the Ponto-Caspian steppes as the result of migrations set off in Inner Asia. The 10th century Movses Kaghankatvatsi recorded, considered late 4th century, certain Honagur, "a Hun[nb 1] from the Honk" who raided Persia, which were related to the Onoghurs, and located near Transcaucasia and the Sassanian Empire. Scholars also relate the Hy?n to this account.
According to Priscus, in 463 the representatives of Ernak's Saraghurs (Oghur. sara, "White Oghurs"), Oghurs and Onoghurs came to the Emperor in Constantinople, and explained they had been driven out of their homeland by the Sabirs, who had been attacked by the Avars in Inner Asia. This tangle of events indicates that the Oghuric tribes are related to the Ting-ling and Tiele people. It is considered they belonged to the westernmost Tiele tribes, which also included the Uyghurs-Toquz Oghuz and the Oghuz Turks, and were initially located in Western Siberia and Kazakhstan.Leo I the Thracian granted Ernak the lands of the treacherous Karadach's Akatziroi roughly corresponding to 20th century Ukraine. Later kings of the Onogur Huns included Grod, Mugel and Sandilch whose Utigurs were engaged in a civil war against the Kutrigurs of Khinialon.
The origin of the Kutrigurs and Utigurs, who lived in the vicinity of the Onoghurs and Bulgars, and their mutual relationship is considered obscure. Scholars consider unclear how the union between Onoghurs and Bulgars formed, viewing it as a long process in which a number of different groups merged. During that time, the Bulgars may have represented a large confederation of which the Onoghurs formed one of the core tribes, together with the remnants of the Utigurs and Kutrigurs, among others.
Jordanes in Getica (551) mentioned that the Hunuguri (believed to be the Onoghurs) were notable for the marten skin trade. In the Middle Ages, marten skin was used as a substitute for minted money. This also indicates they lived near forests and were in contact with Finno-Ugrian peoples.
The Syriac translation of the Pseudo-Zacharias Rhetor's Ecclesiastical History (c. 555) in Western Eurasia records the Avnagur (Aunagur; considered Onoghurs), wngwr (Ono?ur), wgr (Oghur), described in typical phrases reserved for nomads in the ethnographic literature of the period, as people who "live in tents, earn their living on the meat of livestock and fish, of wild animals and by their weapons (plunder)".
The Onoghurs (Oghurs), in the 6th and 7th century sources, were mentioned mostly in connection with the Avar and Göktürk conquest of Western Eurasia. According to the 6th century Menander Protector, the "leader of the " had the authority of the Turk Yabgu Khagan in the region of Kuban River to the lower Don.
In early 7th century Theophylaktos Simokattes recorded that certain Onoghur city was destroyed by an earthquake before his lifetime. The Sogdian name indicates it was situated in the vicinity of Iranian Central Asia.
"...the Qaghan set off on another undertaking and subjugated all the ?. This people is (one) of the most powerful because of their numbers and their training for war in full battle-gear. They have made their abodes towards the East, whence flows the river , which the Turks have the custom of calling the "Black". The oldest chieftains of this people are called ? and ."
According to the Qaghan, part of those Ouar (Uar) and Khounni (Huns) who arrived to Eastern Europe were mistook by the Onoghurs, Barsils, Sabirs and other tribes for the original Avars, and as such the Uar and Huns took advantage of the situation and began call themselves Avars. Simokattes also recounts "when the Ogor, then, were brought completely to heel, the Qa?an gave over the chief of the ? (Kolx) to the bite of the sword", shows Oghurs resistance toward Turkic authority. Scholars consider if the Til is Qara Itil (Black Itil) i.e. Volga (Atil/Itil), then the mentioned ? would be the Oghurs, while if it is in Inner Asia, then it could be the Uyghurs.
Kubrat organised the Onogurs under his Empire of Old Great Bulgaria in the Mid 7th century. From the 8th century, the Byzantine sources often mention the Onoghurs in close connection with the Bulgars. Agathon (early 8th century) wrote about the nation of Onoghur Bulgars. Nikephoros I (early 9th century) noted that Kubrat was the lord of the Onoghundurs; his contemporary Theophanes referred to them as Onoghundur-Bulgars. Kubrat successfully revolted against the Avars and founded the Old Great Bulgaria (Magna Bulgaria), also known as Onoghundur-Bulgars state, or Patria Onoguria in the Ravenna Cosmography.Constantine VII (mid-10th century) remarked that the Bulgars formerly called themselves Onogundurs.
This association was previously mirrored in Armenian sources, such as the Ashkharatsuyts, which refers to the Olxontor B?kar, and the 5th century History by Movses Khorenatsi, which includes an additional comment from a 9th-century writer about the colony of the Vndur Bu?kar. Marquart and Golden connected these forms with the I?ndr (*Ulu?undur) of Ibn al-Kalbi (c. 820), the Vnndur (*Wunundur) of Hudud al-'Alam (982), the Wlndr (*Wulundur) of Al-Masudi (10th century) and Hungarian name for Belgrad Nándorfehérvár, the nndr (*Nandur) of Gard?z? (11th century) and *Wununtur in the letter by the Khazar King Joseph. All the forms show the phonetic changes typical of late Oghuric (prothetic w-; o- > wo-, u-, *wu-).
Like the name Scythian up to the early medieval period, the name Hun became a generic (usually pejorative) term in subsequent history for any steppe-warrior people, or even any enemy people, regardless of their actual identity.
Syriac chroniclers (along with their Arab, Byzantine, Latin, Armenian, and Georgian counterparts) did not use ethnonyms as specifically as modern scholars do. As K. Czeglédy notes, "some sources... use the ethnonyms of the various steppe peoples, in particular those of the Scythians, Huns and Turkic tribes, in the generic sense of 'nomads'".