Attila: The Barbarian King Who Challenged Rome

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9780786171415: Attila: The Barbarian King Who Challenged Rome

The name Attila the Hun is a byword for barbarism, savagery, and violence. In the years 434-454 A.D. the fate of Europe hung upon the actions of one man, Attila, king of the Huns. The decaying Roman empire still stood astride the Western World, but it was threatened by a new force, the much-feared Barbarian hordes.

Today, Attila remains the most enduring bogeyman in history, a one-man wrecking ball that helped put the final boot into Rome’s decaying splendor. Masterful storyteller John Man brings to life this marauding figure of the battlefield and his descriptions of the Huns’ grotesque techniques of impaling enemies and unruly family members will leave you with curled toes and crossed legs. Packed with many new insights, Attila is a riveting work of historical scholarship that reads like an adventure story.

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About the Author:

John Man is a historian and travel writer with a special interest in Mongolia. His writings include such works as Gobi: Tracking the Desert, The Gutenberg Revolution, and Genghis Khan: Life, Death, and Resurrection. He lives in London, England.

From Publishers Weekly:

Attila the Hun was "the Genghis Khan of Europe," says British historian Man in this fast-paced though often prosaic account of the rise and fall of the Huns and their infamous leader. Man traces the origin of the Huns, following these restless nomads from the steppes of Mongolia to present-day Hungary. Attila led his people in terrifying raids into new lands in the fifth century. Relying on scant written sources, Man (Genghis Khan; Gobi: Tracking the Desert) portrays Attila as a man of "extreme contradictions" and moods, skillful at deceiving both his closest advisers and his greatest enemies. In his military campaigns, Attila moved quickly to loot as many villages as he could in order to satisfy his followers. His armies of mounted archers, a throng that could shoot up to 12,000 arrows a minute, wrought destruction and terror wherever they went. He terrified the Romans as he approached their city, but Man says Attila would never have been able to penetrate the fortresses of Rome or Constantinople, and he died of a burst varicose vein in his stomach before he could even try. Full of military adventures and political maneuverings, Man's lively narrative provides a glimpse of a leader whose name has become synonymous with ruthlessness. Illus., maps. (July 18)
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