Through-out the ages the history of man has always been written in blood. Famous or infamous their has always been those whose thirst for power control and wealth has only been quenched by the blood spilled amidst the onslaught of terror and mayhem inflicted. No other name is more synonymous to terror and mayhem than Attila the Hun. The predecessor, sort of speaking, to such warlords as Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, they all conjure up images of great devastation and terror.
A man born around 406 AD he became the undisputed leader of the Huns in 433. But, to order to understand what motivated Attila to commit so much barbarianism that is very often mentioned in history books today we have to trace the nomadic lifestyle of the Huns and their origins. Many historians have concluded that the Huns were a number of nomadic tribes that originated from Mongolia. By the time Attila was born the Huns reputation as the most feared warrior tribes had spread far and wide.
But, who really was Attila? He was after all a man on a mission for power, control and wealth. He also was a husband and a father whose first wife died in childbirth. A leader of men who united the Huns in a time of great adversity and treachery. What Attila accomplished during his life was coordinating all the Hun tribes into one nation. His reputation as the Scourge Of God whom the Romans so often referred him was truly justified. The wrath of Attila was underscored by the atrocities he inflicted on all those who stood in his way. An aggressive and ruthless leader he nevertheless was said to be a just ruler of his people. He expanded the rule of the Huns to include the Germanic tribes inspiring fear all throughout the late Roman Empire.
Throughout his life Attila was an astute negotiator in securing riches and land especially from the Roman Empire. In 434 then Roman Emperor Theodosius II paid protection money just so that Attila would not attack. When latter the treaty was broken Attila laid siege and destroyed many Roman cities and much of Rome's Eastern Forces. It wasn't until the Battle of Chalon that Attila was defeated. This was the only battle he was forced to retreat from. In 451 Attila was near the gates of Rome itself when Pope Leo I successfully persuaded Attila not to destroy what was left of the Roman Empire. Ironically though it was Rome's alliance with another barbaric tribe the Visgoths whom defeated Attila at Chalon that years after Attila's death it was the Visigoths who eventually sacked and destroyed the last remnants of the Roman Empire.
Attila the Hun is generally remembered in the West as a terrible, bloodthirsty killing machine and one of the most ruthless leaders to ever have lived. He literally marched right through the most powerful Empires. His legacy is such that he practically eradicated anything that stood in his way. In the East, he is known as a wise and powerful ruler who commanded the respect of his subjects for over twenty years. He launched many successful military campaigns, and united what were disorganized nomads into the world's most ferocious army. He is also commended by contemporary sources for his humility and self-discipline. It is said that one of the men on the Roman Embassy that went to plead for mercy right when Attila was at the gates of Rome noted that while Attila's guests were offered lavish, exotic foods served on solid-gold serving plates, Attila himself just ate a huge slab of meat off of a wooden plate, drank from a wood goblet, and carried a beat-up, nondescript sword on his belt. Humility at it's finest hour. Attila the Hun didn't need to prove how forceful he truly was the world already knew it.
Many speculate that had Attila lived longer his reign of terror would have ended Rome's influence much sooner and history would have changed drastically. The untimely death of Attila due to causes that many have ruled death by murder has now been falsely documented. He died not in battle or at the hands of an assassin but by his own failings to fall into a stupor upon his wedding night where he suffocated due to a sever nose bleed. He was buried in a massive sarcophagus along with a vast treasure where like in Ancient Egypt when the Pharaoh is entombed the tomb builders were killed leaving the secret to the whereabouts of the grave, sarcophagus, and tomb would never be discovered. A secret burial place like Alexander the Great's tomb has been lost in history never to be found. The wrath of Attila will be forever remembered as the one who dominated much of Europe during the twilight years of the great Roman Empire.