All on Attila

“The End of Empire: Attila the Hun and the Fall of Rome” is the new title by Christopher Kelly, who “paints a new picture of Attila the Hun over the enduring popular image of him as a barbarian hellbent on slaughter,” according to the AP.

Attilla was no doubt a sick nut. The product description notes: “A bold new account of Attila the Hun as empire builder and political threat to Rome. Conjuring up images of savagery and ferocity, Attila the Hun has become a byword for barbarianism. But, as the Romans of the fifth century knew, Attila did more than just terrorize villages on the edge of an empire.

Drawing on original texts, this riveting narrative follows Attila and the Huns from the steppes of Kazakhstan to the opulent city of Constantinople and the Great Hungarian Plain, uncovering an unlikely marriage proposal, a long-standing relationship with a treacherously ambitious Roman general, and a thwarted Roman assassination plot. Attila the Hun and the Fall of Rome reframes the warrior king as a political strategist, capturing the story of how a small, but dedicated, opponent dealt a seemingly invincible empire defeats from which it would never recover.”

The AP also notes: “A big problem for historians writing about Attila is that the Huns did not leave written records. Scholars have been forced to rely on Roman accounts, with predictable results. Kelly leans heavily on an admirably open-minded Roman scholar named Priscus, who dined with Attila at his headquarters during a doomed diplomatic mission.”

Published by Norton, the AP can be read here.

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