Hunnic Campaigns

Hunnic Campaigns Ancient Places and/or Civilizations Famous Historical Events Famous People Geography World History Legends and Legendary People

When the Huns’ King Ruga died (circa 434), leaders of the Eastern Roman Empire rejoiced. At the time of his death, Ruga was at war with the East. With his death, the Romans were hoping for peace.  However ... the Empire now had to contend with Attila and Bleda (brothers who co-ruled the Huns).

Attila demanded that the Eastern Roman Empire would pay tribute of 700 pounds of gold each year.  That was twice the amount which had been paid to King Ruga. He also demanded a ransom for each Roman prisoner in the Huns’ custody. 

Beyond tribute, current leaders of the Eastern Empire signed a treaty - in 435 - promising not to interfere with the Huns’ ability to trade along the Danube.

Theodosius II, emperor of the Eastern Empire, knew that a costly and humiliating peace was still preferable to a war he could not win.  With each pound of gold Attila obtained from the Romans, and each cart of plunder he took during his unexpected attacks, Attila’s fame and influence grew.  As he became more powerful and intimidating, the Romans became more humiliated.

The negotiated peace between the Huns and the Eastern Roman Empire lasted until 440.  When the Huns caught a Roman bishop on the wrong side of the Danube - with stolen objects from the tombs of their dead - an angry Attila summoned his army and crossed the river to attack a Roman trading town.

The Huns sacked city after city, and the Romans suffered defeat after defeat. By the fall of 442, Attila had conquered most of the Balkans, including the current Bulgaria, Greece and the states which had formed the former Yugoslavia.

Theodosius pleaded for peace. This time the price would be even higher than before.  Attila insisted on immediate payment of 6,000 pounds of gold and an annual tribute of more gold.  Theodosius had no choice but to pay the required amounts.

This map depicts the impact of Attila’s conquests and his growing empire.

Click on the image for a better view.

Media Credits

Image online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.



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"Hunnic Campaigns" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Feb 27, 2020.
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