The Atila sword caused great bloodshed.
Atila descends from a governing family of Huns, a nomadic people of Asian origin that invaded South eastern Europe towards year 370 creating an enormous empire over the following eighty years.
Before Atila was born, the Huns reached the Danube River and allied with Rome against the Central European Germanic people.
In year 432, they had a main overlord, their uncle Rua or Rugila, upon whose death in year 434 Atila and his brother Bleda succeeded to the throne, reigning together, and agreed with the Eastern Empire for the subsidies paid to Rugila to be doubled.
Sword carried in battle by Atila.
Over the first eight years, Atila shared the power with his brother Bleda but in year 442 Atila himself, with his sword, killed his brother in order to rule alone.
The figure of Atila is one of the most famous among the invading people of the fifth century. The violence with which he acted gave rise to the famous phrases "Grass never grows under the hooves of his horse" and "Nowhere is there more spilled blood, than by the sword of king Atila...…". One of his first initiatives was to unify the different tribes of Huns under his control, upon which he decided to advance towards Europe.
Atila on his horse.
Then all the northern regions were occupied with the exception of the Scandinavian peninsula. The success of these campaigns caused Atila to proceed toward the West to invade Gaul territory. The arrival of the Huns in the northern regions of the Roman Empire caused the reaction of emperor Valentiniano III who bestowed upon general Aecio the direction of the resistance. Aecio organized the Roman, frank, and visigode troops, to defeat Atila in the battle of the Cataláunic Fields (451)
Atila was overcome for the first and only time, and had to retreat. Aecio allowed the Huns to retreat as afr as the Rhine. The following year, partially recovered from his defeat, Atila directed his troops towards Italy, attacking most of the cities before settling in the outskirts of Rome without Aecio being able to prevent it, although hunger and the plague removed them from Italy.
Atila together with his troops en route to Italy.
The new emperor of the East, Marciano, interrupted the payment of subsidies agreed by Teodosio II and died during the journey when Atila was going to attack him in year 453
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