Atilla The Hun Attila (406-453) was the leader of the huns, who were a vicious group

formed in central Asia. Attila and his brother Bleda ruled the Huns first, however Attila killed him in order to take control of the army. Due to his brutal nature when in combat, he was named ‘The Scourge Of God’ The Hunnic Empire were a group of Eurasian nomads who spoke of a Turkic language, the huns especially those whom migrated towards the west were a combination of an Asian, Turkic, Mongolian background. During his reign he was one of the most feared enemies of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. He crossed the Danube twice and plundered the Balkans, but was unable to take Constantinople. His unsuccessful campaign in Persia was followed in 441 by an invasion of the Eastern Roman Empire, the success of which emboldened Attila to invade the West. He also attempted to conquer Roman Gaul (modern France), crossing the Rhine in 451 and marching as far as Aurelianum (Orléans) before being defeated at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains. Attila grew up in a rapidly changing world. His people were nomads who had only recently arrived in Europe. After crossing the Volga river during the 370s and annexing the territory of the Alans, they attacked the Gothic kingdom between the Carpathian mountains and the Danube. They were a very mobile people, whose mounted archers had acquired a reputation of invincibility, and the Germanic tribes seemed unable to withstand them. Vast populations fleeing the Huns moved from Germania into the Roman Empire in the west and south, and along the banks of the Rhine and Danube. In 376, the Goths crossed the Danube, initially submitting to the Romans but soon rebelling against the emperor Valens, whom they killed in the Battle of Adrianople in 378. On 31 December 406, to escape the Huns, large numbers of Vandals, Alans, Suebi and Burgundians crossed the Rhine and invaded Roman Gaul. The Roman Empire had been split into half since 395 and was ruled by two distinct governments, one based in Ravenna in the West, and the other in Constantinople in the East. In Attila's lifetime, despite several power struggles, the Roman Emperors both East and West were generally from the same family, the Theodosians. Attila retreated from Gaul after defeat at the Catalaunian Plains and from Italy when his army was ravaged by disease. He died on the latest of many wedding nights in 453 AD, apparently from a haemorrhage. On his death, his sons quarrelled over succession and the Germanic subject peoples took the opportunity to reassert their independence. This destroyed Hunnic power and in 469 AD Attila's only surviving son, Hernac, himself sought asylum in the eastern empire.


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful