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People List




406 - 453

The Huns were nomadic people from Central Asia with a fearsome reputation. These skilled horsemen, terrorized the ancient Chinese using spears and bows.

For hundreds of years, they invaded villages in China, slaughtering most of the inhabitants so they could steel their possessions. After China became a strong military empire, and the Great Wall of China began being effective at keeping the Huns at bay, the Huns were forced to look to the west for new conquests.

In the third century AD, the Huns started migrating west with their herds of horses and domesticated animals. They annihilated everything in their path, only avoiding the heavily fortified Constantinople and the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire. They finally settled in the vast Hungarian plain at the city of Szeged on the Tisza River.

After the Huns had settled in there new lands, a fragile peace was attained with the Romans. Attila’s mother died when he was born and his father was killed when he was young.

Attila and his brother, Bleda, were raised by their uncle King Roas. By 432, the Hun Empire had stretched east into parts of Russia. The Hun king was receiving large annual payments from Rome to help keep the peace between the two empires. When King Roas died in 433, Attila and Bleda shared the throne.

Attila the Hun image


By that time, the Huns were no longer nomadic horsemen. They had a much smaller cavalry, but a huge army. In 442, they led a campaign south into the Balkans to plunder the Roman Eastern Empire. In 445, Bleda died, it is thought he was murdered by Attila.

By 447, Attila had devastated the whole region between the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea, only the city of Constantinople was saved by its strong defenses. When they reached Thermopylae in the east of Greece, the Eastern Roman Emperor, Theodosius II, offered Attila terms of an annual payment of gold, along with territory south of the Danube, if he left Roman lands.

The death of Theodosius saw his successor, Marcian, refuse to pay the Huns the agreed amount. As the Western Roman Empire was week and in decline by then, Attila decided to invade the west rather than attempt another attack on the stronger eastern empire.

Attila crossed the Rhine into Gaul in 451 meeting the Roman Army at Chalons. The battle ended with the Huns retreating back over the Rhine, leaving the battlefield littered with many thousands of dead.

The following year, Attila lead his army into Italy while the Roman Army was still in Gaul. He decimated every city in his path, leaving them littered with dead. Fortunately, the intervention of Pope Leo I was enough to save Rome, as he persuaded Attila to return home.

Pope Leo I image

Pope Leo I

When Attila was preparing to invade Italy in 453, he took a new young wife. The wedding day was spent drinking and partying. The following morning, Attila was discovered dead, he had died by chocking in his own blood after a nosebleed.

As his sons squabbled over how to maintain their Empire, they were defeated by Germanic tribes. The Huns scattered at that time, never to be heard of again.

Attila the Hun is thought to have been responsible for more deaths than anyone else in history.

It is said, many of the Hun children were born with a diamond shaped birthmark on their lower back. Today, there are children born throughout the world with the same mark, it is thought they could be descendants of the Huns.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attila_the_Hun People List