Thursday, February 26, 2004

Attila and the legacy of the Huns

"Perhaps no other people have struck greater fear in the west than the Huns. In the end of the fourth century the Huns seemed to have materialized out of nowhere and crushed they way into the Hungarian plains. From there they extended their domains south of the Danube River, into Gaul and then northern Italy, leaving a trail of destruction and terror wherever they went.

However, in Western Europe, the Huns failed to achieve any long-term effect other than a rearrangement of barbarian power, the relocation of the Goths westward, and the founding of Venice by those who fled the Huns in Northern Italy. Thus, in western history the Huns are best remembered as one of the barbarian groups that contributed to the collapse of Rome. Because of this, they are generally seen as being cruel and barbaric.

In Eastern Europe, however, the Huns had a different effect. In countries such as Hungary, Attila is regarded as a hero and a symbol of power, bravery and courage. The Hungarian dynasty of Arpad even claimed direct descent from Attila and the procession of Attila’s sword. Whether Attila was a ruthless barbarian or a man of bravery and courage, the Huns will always be remembered for the fierocity of their warriors. "
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