Attila The Hun might ring a bell if you saw Night at The Museum. He’s the guy on the extreme right in the picture below. Let’s dive right into who he was and what he accomplished.

Atilla The Hun in Night at The Museum
A scene from Night at The Museum

Attila The Hun is also known as Flagellum Dei or The Scourage of God.

17th-century depiction of Attila the Hun
17th Century depiction of Attila the Hun

The year is 413AD. The Roman empire is still recovering from the horror of the sack of Rome. But these barbarians coming in from the east are nothing but the foreshadowing of one of the most powerful and fearsome tribes. It is time for the Huns to make their appearance.

The Huns

Huns in battle with the Alans. A drawing by Johann Nepomuk Geiger

These Eurasian nomads arrive in the scene around 370AD. Their legs are thin and weak from almost a lifetime on horseback. (NEVER miss leg day guys!). Their military strength lies in their mounted archery and javelin throwing. Their primary source of nourishment is meat and milk. Soon these mounted archers will establish a reputation of invincibility, with no army being able to successfully withstand their assault.

Attila The Hun: Half A King

Before our hero Attila ascends the throne, the Hunnic Empire has already established a menacing reputation. This is done so under the joint reign of rulers Octar(Ouptaros) and Ruga(Rugila). Attila is born in the year 406AD. His father Mundzuk is the brother of rulers Octar and Ruga.

Attila is born in a rapidly changing world. The tales of the Goths, their famous siege, and how Rome was sacked is what he grows up admiring. To know more about the Gothic siege you can click here.

The Empire of the Huns at the time of Attila The Hun's rule
The Empire of the Huns at the time of Attila’s rule

In the year 434AD Ruga dies leaving the two sons of his brother Mundzuk- Attila, and Bleda in charge. The Hunnic empire has a new king. A new king that the world will remember forever.

The Beginning

The year is 435AD. Attila and Bleda riding on horseback meet the Romans. The Romans are willing to negotiate rather than fight having already suffered at the hands of the Goths.

The Romans agree to raise the tribute to 115 kg of Gold, open Roman markets for Hunnic traders, and pay 8 solidi for each Roman prisoner. Satisfied the Huns disappear from the Roman scene for a while, returning to their home territory in the Great Hungarian Plains.

Attila The Hun Arrives

The year is 440AD. The Roman empire is in panic. Vandals have attacked Africa, with Africa being the major source of Crops, trouble is brewing. The emperor strips the Balkans of its army sending them all to Sicily to prepare for a fight in Africa. This leaves a clear path for Attila and Bleda.

The year is 442 AD. Attila had already taken over Marcus, Singidunum (present-day Belgrade), and destroyed the military encampments in Ratiara and Naissus. The emperor launches a counterattack after calling back his army from Africa. The Huns easily walk over the Roman forces and reach as far as the gates of Constantinople.

The terms of peace are harsher now. The emperor hands over 2000kg of Gold for disobeying the terms of the treaty and the price for each Roman prisoner is now raised to 12 solidi. The yearly tribute is also tripled to 700kg Gold per year.

 Attila riding a pale horse by artist Eugène Delacroix 

The Huns withdraw from the Roman territory. during this time Bleda dies leaving Attila the only one. In the year 445 AD Attila The Hun has taken over the Huns as the sole ruler.


1 thought on “Atilla The Hun: The Scourge of God

Comments are closed.