All rights reserved. Attila the Hun and his horde attack while on horseback in a painting by French artist Eugene Delacroix. Around , swarms of Huns took over much of Western Europe, conquering Germanic tribes and scaring others out of their growing territory. But does this nomadic people deserve its outsized reputation? That question is hard to answer.
Nice Things to Say About Attila the Hun
Rome Halts the Huns
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Attila the Hun: Biography of the 'Scourge of God'
At its height, the Hunnic Empire stretched across Central Europe. His date of birth is unknown but he died in A. Whether his death was natural, or whether he was murdered by his new wife, Ildico, is still a subject of debate. While his name has become synonymous with conquest and destruction, a careful look at historical records reveals a more complex picture. The Roman Empire had split in two by his lifetime, with the western half controlling little more than Italy and part of France.
He called himself flagellum Dei , the scourge of God, and even today, 1, years after his blood-drenched death, his name remains a byword for brutality. Then as now, he seemed the epitome of an Asian steppe nomad: ugly, squat and fearsome, lethal with a bow, interested chiefly in looting and in rape. His real name was Attila, King of the Huns, and even today the mention of it jangles some atavistic panic bell deep within civilized hearts. Yet there are those who think we have much to learn from a people who came apparently from nowhere to force the mighty Roman Empire almost to its knees.