ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Attila

Updated on April 10, 2010

Attila the Hun (406-453) was known to Roman Christendom as the "scourge of God" because of the devastation he wrought throughout the Roman empire. He is remembered for his savagery and his unattractive, even brutal, appearance.

The Huns, whose language belonged to the Ural-Altaic family, had swept out of Asia across central Europe in the 4th century, pushing the Ostrogoths westward toward Gaul and the Visigoths southward into the Roman empire. Subsequently, the Huns controlled a large area north of the Danube and, on several occasions, invaded Roman territory. Only by annual payments in gold was Rome able to stall further depredations.

In 433, Attila and his brother Bleda inherited the kingship of the Huns from their uncle. Attila arranged a treaty with the Romans under which the annual payment was set at 700 pounds of gold. Among other things, the Romans agreed to ransom their nationals held captive by the Huns and to return to Attila deserters from his own realm. Occupied with extending his empire north and east of the Danube, Attila did not molest the Romans until 441, when he took advantage of the absence of Roman troops engaged in Sicilian and Persian campaigns to invade the eastern part of the empire. He advanced toward Constantinople along the great Roman highway that ran through Viminacium, Margus, and Naissus (in the Balkans), but the return of the Roman troops induced him to sign a new treaty with Rome. It was more advantageous to the Huns in that it raised the tribute to more than 2,000 pounds of gold a year.

After Attila had his brother Bleda killed, he made another incursion in 447 all the way to Constantinople, which, however, he was unable to capture. Nevertheless, this time even better terms were secured from the Romans- so much better that Attila did not bear a permanent grudge when a Roman plot to assassinate him failed a year or so later.

About 450, Attila turned his attention to the West. With an army of Huns, Ostrogoths, Gepids, Heruli, and Alans, along with some Burgundians and Franks, he invaded Gaul in 451. His' most formidable opponent was the Roman general Aetius, who also persuaded the Visigoth king Theodoric to take the field. After some maneuvering, the battle sometimes referred to as the Battle of Chalons took place, although the actual site has never been identified. Theodoric was killed, yet his side was victorious and might have inflicted further damage on Attila if Aetius had not wished to spare the Huns for some long-range scheme of his own. Attila then invaded Italy in 452, announcing his intention to claim the emperor's sister Honoria as his bride.

Attila never reached Rome. According to tradition, he was visited in his camp by an embassy headed by Pope Leo I and was persuaded to withdraw. It was said that the apostles Peter and Paul also appeared to second the pope's recommendation. It is known that plague and famine raged in the camp of the Huns at the time. Moreover, when Roman reinforcements arrived from the East, Attila was compelled to retreat northward and leave Italy.

By 453, Attila, the "scourge of God," was dead. Perhaps he was the victim of assassination, but the most popular and romantic version of his passing was that he burst a blood vessel on the night of his marriage to Hilda, a beautiful Gothic maiden.

The great kingdom of the Huns did not survive its great king. The subject peoples revolted, and the Huns themselves weakened and dispersed. One group under the sons of Attila is reputed to have been known as the Bulgarians and to have become the founders of Bulgaria.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      6 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Well researched and excellent!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)