Attila the Hun, Painting by Eugene Delacroix, online courtesy Wikipaintings.org
A man born to shake
the races of the world.
The proud man's power
was to be seen
in the very movements
of his body.
Historian who met Attila the Hun
In all recorded history, rarely has a man been feared as much as Attila, king of the fifth-century Huns. The length of his rule - a mere eight years - pales when compared with the vast spread of his carnage. His legend, already significant in his own lifetime, obscures some of the lesser-known facts about his character.
A fearsome king of a fearsome people, Attila drank from a wooden cup while offering guests refreshments in goblets of gold. Relying on dedicated foreign advisors, Attila decimated town after town. A man of apparent contradictions, according to the only surviving record
written by an historian who knew him, he died in his prime after a night of heavy drinking.
Who was Attila? Who were the Huns? How was it possible to expand an empire
from the Urals
(in today’s Russia) to the Rhine
(in today’s Germany) when the fastest means of transportation, at the time, was riding a horse?