When we think of Alans and Normans nowadays, our thoughts turn to lawn bowls, cardigans and comb-overs. But in centuries past, these were the names of powerful tribes, who played lawn bowls with the skulls of their enemies*, and wove cardigans from their hair**.
"The written sources suggest that from the second half of the 1st to 4th century the Alans had supremacy over the tribal union and created a powerful confederation of Sarmatian tribes."
"The legendary religious zeal of the Normans was exercised in religious wars long before the First Crusade carved out a Norman principality in Antioch. They were major foreign participants in the Reconquista in Spain. In 1018, Roger de Tony travelled to Spain to carve out a state for himself from Moorish lands, but failed."
* I made this up.
** Not substantiated. (I made this up).