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Attila the Hun: the most feared man in history who died of a nosebleed

Goran Blazeski

Attila the Hun was born around 406 in Pannonia, a province of the Roman Empire (present-day Transdanubia, Hungary).

He was one of the most successful barbarian rulers of the Hunnic Empire, attacking the Eastern and Western Roman empires. “There, where I have passed, the grass will never grow again.” Attila the Hun

"Attila the Hun" portrait by sculptor George S. Stuart
“Attila the Hun” portrait by sculptor George S. Stuart

There is no other man in all recorded history that has been feared as much as Attila. Attila was known by the nickname “The Scourge of God”, referring to his reputation for creating a trail of devastation wherever he went.

Attila the Hun and his brother, Bleda, were named co-rulers of the Huns in 434 and the two brothers focused on consolidating the Hun Empire. The brothers tried to extend their empire into Persia but they were defeated by the Sassanids.

They made a peace treaty with the eastern half of the Roman Empire that provided Attila and Bleda to be personally paid 700 pounds of gold a year. However, Attila and his brother broke the peace treaty and launched series of attacks across the Danube River into the Eastern Roman Empire.

After 445, Attila murdered Bleda and became the sole commander of a force that extended from the Rhine to the Caspian and the western edges of China.

Huns in battle with the Alans.
Huns in battle with the Alans.

Attila destroyed the Eastern Roman Empire and Theodosius II was forced to agree to a peace treaty in which he gave Attila 2,100 pounds of gold a year.

He turned his attention west, towards France and he amassed an army of half a million men and invaded Gaul (now France). However, he was defeated at Chalons in 451 by Aetius, who had banded together with the Visigoths.

In 452 he marched into northern Italy, forcing Valentinian III to flee to Rome. After the “Scourge of God” destroyed many cities in Northern Italy, he met Pope Leo I as an emissary and somehow decided to spare Rome due to the diplomacy of Pope Leo I.

Attila was the greatest enemy of the western and eastern Roman Empires. He didn’t die in a battle, but of a nosebleed.

The Empire of the Huns and subject tribes at the time of Attila. Photo Credit
The Empire of the Huns and subject tribes at the time of Attila. Photo Credit

The stories say that he was at a great feast, celebrating his wedding to the young, beautiful Ildico, one of the several wives Attila had. Attila was found dead on his wedding night in the year of 453. He supposedly died naturally, choking on his own blood after a heavy feast.

Another great article from us: 1,000-year-old Viking sword found lying on the ground in Iceland

No one knows where he was buried since the people who prepared his tomb were killed so that its location would remain unknown. After his death, his empire fell apart.

Goran Blazeski

Goran Blazeski is one of the authors writing for The Vintage News