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War with Attila and Huns [450-453]

The Huns had maintained good relations with the Western Empire. However, Honoria, sister of the Western Roman Emperor Valentinian III, sent Attila a ring and requested his help to escape her betrothal to a senator. Attila claimed her as his bride and half the Western Roman Empire as dowry. Additionally, a dispute arose about the rightful heir to a king of the Salian Franks. In 451, Attila's forces entered Gaul. A combined army of Roman and Visigoths then defeated the Huns at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains. The following year, Attila renewed his claims to Honoria and territory in the Western Roman Empire. Leading his army across the Alps and into Northern Italy, he sacked and razed a number of cities. Hoping to avoid the sack of Rome, Emperor Valentinian III sent two envoys and Pope Leo I, who met Attila and obtained from him the promise that he would withdraw from Italy and negotiate peace with the emperor. The new Eastern Roman Emperor Marcian then halted tribute payments to Huns, resulting in Attila planning to attack Constantinople. However, in 453 he died of a haemorrhage on his wedding night.

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The Huns' attack on the Roman Empire

Centuries have passed since 753 BC, the mythical date of the founding of the city of Rome. Originally a small Roman city-state struggling for bare existence, over time it developed into a confident republic that expanded its territory at the expense of its neighbors. Memories of the conquest of Rome and the famous statement of Vae victis ( woe to the defeated ) of the victorious Celtic king Brenn have long since faded. Now it was the Romans who attacked ...

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