The following are books about Attila the Hun
that I have reviewed. They range from books about Attila himself to a general history of the fall of Rome, and a work of historical fiction.
In 1948, when E.A. Thompson wrote The Huns
, he took two indiosyncratic stances: One, that he would not take sides in the debate over the possible Chinese origins of the nomadic people commonly associated with the Fall of Rome. Two, that Attila was a diplomatic bungler and military leader whose victories only came when there was no real opposition.
In The Night Attila Died - Solving the Murder of Attila the Hun
, Michael A. Babcock explains how philological evidence supports his theory that Attila the Hun did not die on his wedding night of a nosebleed or an alcoholism-induced esophageal rupture. At least, not unaided. How exactly Attila died is no longer available in the historical record, but between clues of a failed attempt and a cover-up, parallel death scenes in other literature, and ancient ideas on what constitutes a disgraceful way to die, Babcock concludes the Byzantine Emperor Marcian hired assassins to kill Attila.
In Chapter 8, author Peter Heather finally gets to Attila. He believes the Huns, under Attila, were able to create so much trouble for the Romans because they had increased the people in their domain to the point that they had become a rival superpower -- like Persia. As a superpower, the Huns were able to command bank-breaking yearly tributes and force many Roman cities to surrender. By 452, Rome had lost to the barbarians Britain, most of Spain (Suevi), the richest parts of North Africa (Vandals and Alans), parts of southern Gaul (Visigoths and Burgundians).
In the fifth century, Huns and Romans vied for power in Europe, making subjects and slaves of all in their paths, including, according to Joan Schweighardt in Gudrun's Tapestry, the Burgundian Thuets, a tribe to which the novel's heroine, a chieftain's daughter, Gudrun, belongs.