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Attila the Hun
Attila the Hun
Weapons Sword of Mars, Lasso, Hunnic Composite Bow, Scythian Axe
Origin Eastern Europe
Activities Conquering Eastern Europe
Service 434-453 AD
Battle Status Won vs Alexander the Great
Experts Sean Pennington (Ancient Combat Specialist)
Robert Borsos (Mounted Weapon Specialist)

"Attila was a barbarian - but he had charisma. For Hungarians, Attila is a hero and a legend." - Robert Borsos. His tribe was called the Hunnic tribe.

Attila the Hun was a king and chieftain of the huns and one of the barbarian leaders

vs. Alexander the Great, the warrior king, whose brutal tactics carved out one of the largest empires in history.


  • 434 AD - 453 AD
  • Height - 5' 6"
  • Weight - 145 lbs
  • Armor - Leather Lamellar held by silk and leather
  • Symbol- Hunnic Composite Bow


Other weapons the Huns fought with were maces, daggers, lancesjavelins and improvised weapons like nets and pickaxes.

During sieges, the Huns used battering rams, siege towers and mining to breach city walls.

While the Huns used straight bladed, double-edged swords, they had also been known to use single-edged, curved swords similer to the Ild.

Deadliest Warrior: Legends weapons:[]

  • Short Range: Hunnic Short Sword, Scythian Axe
  • Medium Range: Hunnic Heavy Spear, Hunnic Light Spear
  • Long Range: Magyar Composite Longbow, Magyar Composite Shortbow
  • Armor: LamellarScale Mail
  • Joke Weapon: Fishing Rod
  • Final Strike: Attila quickly punches his victim in the chest, then slices the opponent across the chest, causing them to fall to their knees. Attila grabs their head and then rips it off with his bare hands, then tossing it to the side.


There is little historical evidence of the background of the Huns due to their lack of written language, but they are believed to have originated from Northern or Central Asia. While the Huns were considered one of the first empires to inspire the nation of Hungary, the nomadic huns may have began within Mongolia or Kazakhstan and were constantly traveling within the Eurasian Steppe.

The Scythians were possibly the ancestors of the Huns and existed between c. 900 BC to c. 300 AD. Not much is known about the Scythians due to their lack of a written language; but empires from Rome to China occasionally faced violent raids from these barbarians. The Scythians were also known for using female warriors; which possibly inspired the myths of the Amazons. After the Scythians dissolved, the steppe tribes most likely faced a period of war and instability; where the Huns would eventually emerge from. Other steppe tribes and empires like the Xiongnu also began migrating westward, and thus also may have become the ancestors of the Huns. Some Scythian tribes, like the Sarmatians, would be conquered or destroyed by the Huns.

When Attila was a child he was taught archery, how to care for and ride horses, lassoing and military strategy. Attila was also taught how to speak both latin and gothic languages in order to do busnisess with his neighbors. Attila fought for power of the Hunnic tribes and is believed to have assassinated his relatives to do so. It is said that Attila killed his brother Bleda when the two went out hunting; however Attila blamed the Romans for the assassination.

At first Attila agreed to declare a peace treaty with the Roman Empire and was conquering lesser barbarian tribes. At this time the Hunnic Empire was concentrated in modern-day Hungary, though the nomadic people were comfortable traveling across central and eastern Europe. Attila attempted to invade Persia (Sassanid Empire or Eran) but failed and returned to Europe to invade the Eastern Roman Empire instead, after claiming that the romans had violated the treaty and cunducting raids on boardering cities. The Romans were being overwelmed by both Attila's huns and other barbarians attacking at the same time and so could not launch an effective counter attack, especially since the huns could easily flee with their lighter army.

Attila soon traveled all the way to Gaul (France) where he was now fighting the Visigoths, Celts, Salian Franks, Saxons, Burgundians and the Western Roman Empire. However Attila's own army was composed of Huns, Ostrogoths, Franks, Burgundians, Scirii and Gepids. In the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains, Attila suffered heavy casualties when Prince Thorismund led a cavalry charge to outflank the Hunnic left. (Those there is debate over if Attila won the battle or not, the Hunnic army losses were significant).

Attila left Gaul to invade Italy, but quickly stopped the invasion. It is said that Pope Saint Leo I met with Attila in 452 AD and convinced him to stop the invasion of Italy. However many historians claim that Attila used this act of desperation to make a peace treaty because the Huns themselves were desperate. The Hunnic Army was facing a pandemic of diseases and were low on logistics, which better explains Attila's reasoning to stop the conquest.

Although at peace, Attila was secretly rebuilding his army and planning to invade Constantinople, but this would never happen. In 453 AD, while celebrating his wedding with his new future wife Ildico, Attila died from either a severe nosebleed, alcohol poisoning, internal bleeding or being intentionally assassinated by Ildico. His deathbead was covered in blood. Attila's body was buried in an unknown location, most likely in a riverbed. His new wife Ildico was buried alive alongside him. Those who buried Attila were executed to keep the location secret.

After his death, Attila's sons split the Hunnic Empire, which soon collapsed and merged into other barbarian tribes. Despite the downfall of the Huns, the Ancient Roman Empire was too overwelmed by the Huns to survive. 23 years later in 476 AD, the Roman Empire fell to their former allies the Visigoths.

In 567 AD the former Hunnic Empire was replaced by the Avar Khagante. The Avar, like the Huns, most likely originated from Central Asia. Due to the instability of the Dark Ages, there is little recorded history of the Avar. This Empire is estimated to have fallen after 822 AD.

681 AD–1018 AD saw the rise of the First Bulgarian Empire. Krum, Khan of Bulgaria, expanded Bulgaria into former Avar and northern Byzantine territories.

The Magyar tribes replaced the Avar. In the 800s and 900s they would commit raids into European kingdoms to exploit the chaos of the Dark Ages: with some Magyar reaching all the way to the Iberian Peninsula. As expected; the Magyar used light cavalry tactics similar to what the Avar and Huns did in the past.

The Principality of Hungary emerged in 895 AD when clans from the Ural Mountains conquered the Magyar. Magyar tribes were severely weakened by their defeat at The Second Battle of Lechfeld in 955AD, which made the tribesmen abandon their nomadic lifestyle and light cavalry raiding and instead integrate into the stationary kingdom. This Principality would be replaced by the Kingdom of Hungary in 1000AD. This Hungarian monarchy lasted over a millennium. Hungary openly converted to Christianity and assisted their former European enemies in the Crusades (although the People's Crusade caused violence between the Crusaders and Hungary due to logistical issues). Hungary remained landlocked yet relatively independent until 1541 to 1699: where it was conquered by the Ottoman Empire.

The Peace of Prague (1866) that ended the Austro-Prussian War led to the Austro-Hungarian Compromise of 1867: which combined Austria and Hungary into the Austro-Hungarian Empire. However the Empire was too diverse to maintain its population; for there were many minorities demanding independence and thus, the Empire faced frequent protests and revolts. The Empire was dissolved in 1918 after losing WWI.

Hungary assisted the Axis Powers during WWII and became one of the major players for the Holocaust. However the Soviets counter-invaded Hungary in the Budapest Offensive of 29 October 1944 – 13 February 1945. Hungary would remain a Soviet puppet-state until June 19, 1991. It would then join NATO on 12 March 1999.

Hungary has maintained influence in the Slavic and Balkan regions of Europe and is recognized as a 'middle power' within Europe. Due to being landlocked for the majority of its history; Hungary has never been able to expand its empire beyond Eastern Europe. In modern times, it has struggled to develop its technology and economy compared to other European states.


This battle opens with two of Alexander the Great's soldiers pushing a ballista toward a city pillaged by Attila and his men. They slowly turn the crank on the ballista to pull back the band. Inside the city, Attila the Hun is sitting down and having lunch while his men are examining their weapons. They see a flock of birds suddenly take off and realize that something is up ahead. The Macedonian soldier loads the bolt onto the band and, upon Alexander's command, fires it toward Attila's men. One of Attila's men stands up to see what was going on, and is consequently hit with the bolt. Attila gets up and sees Alexander and his men rushing at them, with Alexander on a horse. Attila jumps onto his horse and takes the bow and arrow handed to him by his fellow warrior. The Hun then takes his own bow and arrow and charges at the oncoming soldiers. One of Alexander's men tries to set up his Gastraphetes bow, but is shot by the Hun's arrow. Attila draws his bow and tries to shoot Alexander, but the arrow bounces off his armor. The Hun also tries to shoot Alexander, but Alexander rides in with the Xyston and thrusts it through the Hun, killing him. Attila and his horse run toward Alexander, and Attila attempts to get his lasso around Alexander's neck. This backfires when Alexander grabs the rope and pulls Attila from his horse. Attila yanks on the rope in retaliation and pulls Alexander off his horse as well. Alexander grabs a shield from one of his fallen comrades and draws his Kopis while Attila grabs another shield and pulls out his Scythian Axe. The two begin fighting, and Alexander knocks the shield out of Attila's hands. He attempts to slice Attila, but misses. Attila swings the axe and lodges it into Alexander's shield, pulling on it and removing it from Alexander's hands. Attila then draws his Sword of Mars and the two warriors begin to clash swords. Attila manages to hit Alexander's arm, but as he goes in for the kill, Alexander drops his sword, flips him over, and knocks him into the wall, causing him to lose the Sword of Mars. The two start fighting with their bare hands, until Alexander throws Attila onto the floor. Attila spots his sword on the floor and scrambles to retrieve his sword. Alexander grabs Attila's leg and tries to pull him away from the sword, but Attila kicks Alexander in the face. He tries once again to grab his sword and succeeds. Alexander approaches Attila and is promptly stabbed through the neck. Attila thrusts his sword in the air and yells in victory.

NOTE: One of Alexander's men was not seen to be killed during the simulation, but was shown to have died.

Expert's Opinion[]

The reason why Attila won was because Attila had the advantage at long range due to the skill and speed of his Hunnic bow, and he was also deadly in a fight at close range. His weapons were also capable of being used from horseback to a greater degree than Alexander.


  • Some historians believe that the Huns descended from early Mongolian tribes, which can explain the similar fighting style and devotion to the horse and archery. Like Genghis, Attila was buried in a secret location and those who witnessed his burial were executed to keep it secret. Also like Gengis, Attila had multiple wives.
  • Like Crazy Horse, there is no official first-person account or image of Attila the Hun. Attila has normally been depicted with messy facial hair and a barbaric appearance with Leather Armor. There are debates over if Attila would look European, similar to Celts or Vikings , or Central Asian, similar to Mongolians or if he was of mixed race.
  • Hungary, Czechia, Poland and Russia (along with the Slavic populations of these countries) are believed to have been decedent from horsemen tribes from Asia; including (but not limited to) the Huns.
    • The Medieval Kingdom of Hungary launched several raids throughout Europe between 839 AD – 970 AD: using horse archery tactics that their Hun ancestors used.
    • In 567 AD the former Hunnic Empire was replaced by the Avar Khagante. The Avar, like the Huns, most likely originated from Central Asia. Due to the instability of the Dark Ages, there is little recorded history of the Avar. This Empire is estimated to have fallen after 822 AD.
  • Kaiser Wilhelm II declared in his speech to Germans fighting in the Boxer Rebellion: “Should you encounter the enemy, he will be defeated! No quarter will be given! Prisoners will not be taken! Whoever falls into your hands is forfeited. Just as a thousand years ago the Huns under their King Attila made a name for themselves, one that even today makes them seem mighty in history and legend."
  • While Attila the Hun is remembered in western civilization for being a savage barbarian, some historians have recently began debating his cruelty.
    • While Attila is said to have killed his brother Bleda to become sole ruler of the Huns, Attila was known to have made his brother’s widow a governor.
    • Attila had Roman scribes and subordinates who served him out of loyalty rather than fear, preferring his governance to the crippling taxes and restrictions within the more “civilized” empires.
    • While the Romans had to pay a huge amount of tribute to the Huns in order to avoid being attacked, Attila was true to his word and refused to attack Rome while the tribute was paied and also helped defend the Danube frontier and the provinces of the empire. When Attila claimed that the Romans had violated one of the conditions of the treaty, he launched a military campaign against the Eastern Roman Empire.
    • Despite all the gold he took from Rome, Attila himself lived modestly and humbly, when roman ambassiders visited Attila's home on the Hungarian plain, they had a luxurious meal on silver plates and drank from goblets of gold and silver while Attila himself only ate meat on a wooden trencher and drank from a cup made of wood.
    • On occasions Attila would discover a Roman plot to have him killed. When the plot was uncovered Attila would not kill the would be assassin, instead he would send the assassins back to Constantinople with demand for further tribute.
  • The White Huns (the Hephthalites) were believed to be 'cousins' of the Huns. Their empire in Central Asia, existing between circa 440 AD – 710 AD, had influence over the Persians and Indians.

  • Both Alexander the Great and Attila the Hun are depicted in Dante's Inferno as being in the 7th Circle of Hell--- where bloody conquerors are damned for all eternity.