Attila the Hun, fabled leader of a band of nomadic warriors who fearlessly took on the might of the Roman Empire, has his life story brought to the screen in this two-part miniseries. Attila (Gerard Butler) raised an army from the people of Caspia, and in time created a fighting force so strong that they received an annual tribute from the leaders of Rome as an inducement not to attack. Not all Romans were happy with this situation, and in time it was decided that General Aetius (Powers Boothe), a brave yet unscrupulous leader who attempted to usurp the rule of Empress Placidia (Alice Krige), was the only man who could confront Attila on his own terms. Aetius recognized Attila's skills as a leader, and decided the best way to prevent him from invading Rome was to lead him into an alliance, as Rome and the Huns joined forces against a third nation. But despite their mutual respect, it soo...
Runtime: 60 minutes
Attila - Huns - Netflix
The Huns were a nomadic people who lived in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Eastern Europe, between the 4th and 6th century AD. According to European tradition, they were first reported living east of the Volga River, in an area that was part of Scythia at the time; the Huns' arrival is associated with the migration westward of a Scythian people, the Alans. By 370 AD, the Huns had arrived on the Volga, and by 430 the Huns had established a vast, if short-lived, dominion in Europe. In the 18th century, the French scholar Joseph de Guignes became the first to propose a link between the Huns and the Xiongnu people, who were northern neighbours of China in the 3rd century BC. Since Guignes' time, considerable scholarly effort has been devoted to investigating such a connection. However, there is no scholarly consensus on a direct connection between the dominant element of the Xiongnu and that of the Huns. Priscus, a 5th-century Roman diplomat and Greek historian, mentions that the Huns had a language of their own; little of it has survived and its relationships have mainly been considered the Turkic or Mongolic languages. Numerous other ethnic groups were included under Attila the Hun's rule, including very many speakers of Gothic, which some modern scholars describe as a lingua franca of the Empire. Their main military technique was mounted archery. The Huns may have stimulated the Great Migration, a contributing factor in the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. They formed a unified empire under Attila the Hun, who died in 453; after a defeat at the Battle of Nedao their empire disintegrated over the next 15 years. Their descendants, or successors with similar names, are recorded by neighbouring populations to the south, east and west as having occupied parts of Eastern Europe and Central Asia from about the 4th to 6th centuries. Variants of the Hun name are recorded in the Caucasus until the early 8th century.
Attila - Before Attila - Netflix
In 395 the Huns began their first large-scale attack on the Eastern Roman Empire. Huns attacked in Thrace, overran Armenia, and pillaged Cappadocia. They entered parts of Syria, threatened Antioch, and swarmed through the province of Euphratesia. The forces of Emperor Theodosius were fully committed in the west so the Huns moved unopposed until the end of 398 when the eunuch Eutropius gathered together a force composed of Romans and Goths and succeeded in restoring peace. It is uncertain though, whether or not Eutropius' forces defeated the Huns or whether the Huns left on their own. There is no record of a notable victory by Eutropius and there is evidence that the Hunnish forces were already leaving the area by the time he gathered his forces. Whether put to flight by Eutropius, or leaving on their own, the Huns had left the Eastern Roman Empire by 398. After this, the Huns invaded the Sassanid Empire. This invasion was initially successful, coming close to the capital of the empire at Ctesiphon; however, they were defeated badly during the Persian counterattack and retreated toward the Caucasus Mountains via the Derbend Pass. During their brief diversion from the Eastern Roman Empire, the Huns appear to have threatened tribes further west, as evidenced by Radagaisus' entering Italy at the end of 405 and the crossing of the Rhine into Gaul by Vandals, Sueves, and Alans in 406. The Huns do not then appear to have been a single force with a single ruler. Many Huns were employed as mercenaries by both East and West Romans and by the Goths. Uldin, the first Hun known by name, headed a group of Huns and Alans fighting against Radagaisus in defense of Italy. Uldin was also known for defeating Gothic rebels giving trouble to the East Romans around the Danube and beheading the Goth Gainas around 400–401. Gainas' head was given to the East Romans for display in Constantinople in an apparent exchange of gifts. The East Romans began to feel the pressure from Uldin's Huns again in 408. Uldin crossed the Danube and captured a fortress in Moesia named Castra Martis, which was betrayed from within. Uldin then proceeded to ransack Thrace. The East Romans tried to buy Uldin off, but his sum was too high so they instead bought off Uldin's subordinates. This resulted in many desertions from Uldin's group of Huns. Alaric's brother-in-law, Athaulf, appears to have had Hun mercenaries in his employ south of the Julian Alps in 409. These were countered by another small band of Huns hired by Honorius' minister Olympius. Later in 409, the West Romans stationed ten thousand Huns in Italy and Dalmatia to fend off Alaric, who then abandoned plans to march on Rome.
Support for the Gothic chieftains diminished as refugees headed into Thrace and towards the safety of the Roman garrisons. After these invasions, the Huns begin to be noted as Foederati and mercenaries. As early as 380, a group of Huns was given Foederati status and allowed to settle in Pannonia. Hunnish mercenaries were also seen on several occasions in the succession struggles of the Eastern and Western Roman Empire during the late 4th century. However, it is most likely that these were individual mercenary bands, not a Hunnish kingdom.
After Vithimiris's death, most Greuthungi submitted themselves to the Huns. Those who decided to resist marched to the Dniester River which was the border between the lands of the Greuthungi and the Thervingi, or western Goths. They were under the command of Alatheus and Saphrax, because Vithimiris's son, Viderichus, was a child. Athanaric, the leader of the Thervingi, met the refugees along the Dniester at the head of his troops. However, a Hun army bypassed the Goths and attacked them from the rear, forcing Athanaric to retreat towards the Carpathian Mountains. Athanaric wanted to fortify the borders, but Hun raids into the land west of the Dniester continued. Most Thervingi realized that they could not resist the Huns. They went to the Lower Danube, requesting asylum in the Roman Empire. The Greuthingi under the leadership of Alatheus and Saphrax also marched to the river. Most Roman troops had been transferred from the Balkan Peninsula to fight against the Sassanid Empire in Armenia. Emperor Valens permitted the Thervingi to cross the Lower Danube and to settle in the Roman Empire in the autumn of 376. The Thervingi were followed by the Greuthingi, and also by the Taifali and “other tribes that formerly dwelt with the Goths and Taifali” to the north of the Lower Danube, according to Zosimus. Food shortage and abuse stirred the Goths to revolt in early 377. The ensuing war between the Goths and the Romans lasted for more than five years.
Attila - References - Netflix