The Huns were nomads who migrated from east of the Volga River in Russia to Europe during 370. Attila was to become their most notorious and feared leader and enemy of the Roman Empires. He became known as the Scourge of God, and the Huns were known as barbarians.
Attila’s date of birth is disputed, but is believed to be around 395 – 406. His father Mundzuk was a Hunnic chief and his uncles were Hunnic kings; he was therefore raised alongside his brother Bleda in a privileged household.
Following his uncle Rua’s death in 434, Attila became equal ruler with his brother.
Attila and Bleda led many campaigns against both the Eastern and Western Roman Empires and the Eastern Roman Empire were forced to sign a peace treaty with the Huns and pay 700 pounds of gold a year to keep the peace.
Attila broke this treaty and crossed the Danube River to invade the Balkan provinces.
The brothers invaded France and fought against the Burgundians. They invaded Italy but were unable to take Rome. They attacked the Balkan region twice and fought against the Goths. They invaded the Sassanid Empire (Persian Imperial Dynasty), but were defeated by the Sassanid’s in Armenia.
The brothers ruled together for many years, but this changed in 445, when Attila murdered his brother Bleda and became the sole ruler and king of the Huns.
In 447 Attila attacked the Eastern Roman Empire again and was victorious at the Battle of the Utus (The Vit River in modern day Bulgaria).
The Huns rampaged their way through The Balkans, but did not invade Constantinople.
Attila attempted to conquer Roman Gaul (France) but was defeated at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains in 451.
Attila followed this with attacks in Italy ravaging and plundering as he went.
Attila died in 453 though how he died is debated. Many believe he died of choking from a burst blood vessel.
The Hunnic Empire was huge under the leadership of Attila but following his death, his sons were to fight amongst themselves for control. The Huns were beaten in 454 at the Battle of Nedao and this became the catalyst for the destruction of the Hunnic Empire.