The Avars were notable for wearing heavy armor in battle and for being probably the first people in Europe to use iron stirrups for riding horses. Their leaders also had armor for their horses.
The Avars continued to terrorize central and southern Europe for some time. They raided into Austria and Italy. Their power was diminished by a revolt of their Slavic underlings in 623 AD. In 626 AD, in conjunction with the Sassanid Persians, and led by Bayan’s son and successor, they attacked the Byzantine capital city of Constantinople but were decisively repulsed. Charlemagne (the Frankish king who was the first emperor of the so-called “Holy Roman Empire”) conquered the Avars in 791-799 AD. Charlemagne’s conquest was helped by Avar disunity and civil war. One of several competing Avar chieftains, a man who had just been Christianized, gave part of his lands to Charlemagne. An Avar revolt in 802 AD was suppressed by Charlemagne. The surviving Avars became Christian and gradually disappeared as a distinct people.