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Very little is known about Attila’s childhood except that, at the young age of twelve, he was sent to the Roman Court as a child hostage (Matyszak 14). A child of the Romans was sent to the Huns in Attila’s place. When he was twenty-seven years old, Attila’s uncle, Rugila, died and left Attila and Attila’s brother, Breda, the Empire of the Huns. Prior to Rugila’s death, to prevent the Huns from invading, Rugila made it a requirement of the Romans to annually pay the Huns money. When Attila and Breda took over the empire after Rugila’s death, the Romans ceased paying the money, prompting Attila to invade the Eastern Roman Empire. Attila’s fierceness motivated the Romans to never miss a payment again, though they had to start paying double the original amount.
After Attila’s success in making it clear to the Romans that he was the man in charge, he then decided that the same should also apply to his brother. Tired of sharing his rule, Attila and his allies murder Breda. With nobody standing in his way of being the emperor, Attila had no problem taking complete charge of his empire and the surrounding areas. To make his strength known among others, Attila raided the Eastern Roman Empire once again, in 447 AD and conquered the Thermopylae. After his success, Theodosius II, the ruler of the Roman Empire, resigned the peace treaty, though now Attila was expecting him to pay four times the original amount to prevent being invaded again.
Attila had a winning streak, one that was successful more out of evilness and threat than actual luck, but it was not meant to last. Though he instilled his terror throughout the hearts of everyone who knew him, he still met his downfall in 450 AD during a war against the Western Roman Empire. Earlier that year, Attila had received a letter from Princess Honoria of the Western Roman Empire asking for his hand in marriage so that she could escape an unwanted impending marriage. Attila declared war against
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