Attila the Hun: Arch-Enemy of Rome
The History Store
Most know the name Attila the Hun—but few are familiar with the full history behind this historical figure. Rising to the Hunnic kingship around 434, he dominated European history for the next two decades. Attila bullied and manipulated both halves of the Roman Empire, forcing successive emperors to make tribute payments or face invasion.
Here, Ian Hughes recounts Attila’s rise to power, attempting to untangle his character and motivations so far as the imperfect sources allow. A major theme is how the two halves of the empire finally united against Attila, prompting his fateful decision to invade Gaul and his subsequent defeat at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plain in 451. Integral to the narrative is analysis of the history of the rise of the Hunnic Empire; the reasons for the Huns’ military success; relations between the Huns and the two halves of the Roman Empire; Attila’s rise to sole power; and Attila’s doomed attempt to bring both halves of the Roman Empire under his dominion.