An Account of the Person of Attila
When Attila's brother Bleda who ruled over a great part of the Huns had been slain by
Attila's treachery, the latter united all the people under his own rule. Gathering also a
host of the other tribes which he then held under his sway he sought to subdue the
foremost nations of the world---the Romans and Visigoths. His army is said to have
numbered 500,000 men. He was a man born into the world to shake the nations, the scourge
of all lands, who in some way terrified all mankind by the dreadful rumors noised abroad
concerning him. He was haughty in his walk, rolling his eyes here and there, so that the
power of his proud spirit appeared in the movement of his body. He was indeed a lover of
war, yet restrained in action, mighty in counsel, gracious to suppliants and lenient to
those who were once received into his protection. He was short of stature, with a broad
chest and a large head: his eyes were small, his beard thin and sprinkled with gray: and
he had a flat nose and a swarthy complexion showing the evidences of his origin..
From: William Stearns Davis, ed., Readings in Ancient History: Illustrative Extracts
from the Sources, 2 Vols., (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1912-1913), p. 322
Scanned by Jerome S. Arkenberg, Cal. State Fullerton. The text may have been modernized
by Prof. Arkenberg.
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© Paul Halsall, August 1998