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Who Was Attila the Hun?

Attila the Hun was the King and Commander of the Huns from 434 – 453 AD taking over from his uncle King Rua. When he began his rule, he co-reigned with his brother Bleda until his death in 445. The Huns are believed to have been of Mongolian descent; they were nomadic and fiercely ready in war. They are the first well documented tribe, as the Romans detailed their horseback migration and the Hun Empire’s growth. The Hun Empire was the largest in Europe at the time, but it perished with Attila’s death in 453 AD.

It is assumed that Attila was involved in his brother’s death. When Bleda died, Attila aggressively began a military campaign to conquer the lands from the Rhine to the Black and Caspian Seas. After he succeeded, he turned to the Roman Empire, threatening Constantinople and Ravenna. In 451, he invaded Western Europe gaining many cities. The Christian Romans called him the ‘Scourge of God’. Though he significantly weakened the Roman Empire he did not achieve total conquest, but his armies often pillaged and laid to waste any city they conquered.

Attila the Hun died in 453 on his wedding night to the last of his numerous wives. He was found in a pool of blood as his teenage bride cowered in a corner. It is believed he drowned in blood from a nosebleed, caused by his excessive drinking. His three sons divided the kingdom amongst themselves, but the Hun Empire’s glory had died with Attila.

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