Attila the Hun: A Barbarian King and the Fall of Rome

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Bantam Books, 2006 - Huns - 397 pages
60 Reviews

The name Attila the Hun has become a byword for barbarism, savagery and violence. His is a truly household name, but what do we really know about the man himself, his position in history and the world in which he lived? This riveting biography reveals the man behind the myth.

In the years 434-454AD 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, from its twin capitals of Rome and Constantinople, but it was threatened by a new force, the much-feared Barbarian hordes. It was Attila who united the Barbarian tribes into a single, amazingly-effective army. He launched two violent attacks against the eastern and western halves of the Roman empire, attacks which earned him his reputation for mindless devastation, and brought an end to Rome's pre-eminence in Europe.

Attila was coarse, capricious, arrogant, ruthless and brilliant. An illiterate and predatory tribal chief, he had no interest in administration, but was a wily politician, who, from his base in the grasslands of Hungary, used secretaries and ambassadors to bring him intelligence on his enemies. He was a leader whose unique qualities made him supreme among tribal leaders, but whose weaknesses ensured the collapse of his empire after his death.

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Man is a totally gifted writer. - Goodreads
Good story telling, learned a lot about this man. - Goodreads
His prose is certainly not dry. - Goodreads

Review: Attila the Hun

User Review  - Patrick Shrier - Goodreads

An excellent account of the rise and fall of the Huns. I found the section on the modern revival of horse archery to be especially interestin. Read full review

Review: Attila the Hun

User Review  - Alan - Goodreads

I can't recommend it. The narrative doesn't hold together well. Most critically, where there are descriptions of "treasure" and Hun archery, wouldn't a drawing or photo have been nice? A few maps are ... Read full review

About the author (2006)

John Man is a historian and travel writer with a special interest in Mongolia. After reading German and French at Oxford he did two postgraduate courses, one in the history of science at Oxford, the other in Mongolian at the School of Oriental and African Studies. His Gobi: Tracking the Desert (Weidenfeld, 1997) was the first book on the subject in English since the 1920s. He is also the author of The Atlas of the Year 1000, (Penguin 1999), Alpha Beta (Headline, 2000) on the roots of the Roman alphabet, The Gutenberg Revolution (Headline 2002) on the origins and impact of printing, and the bestselling Genghis Khan. His latest book, Kublai Khan, is now available from Bantam Press.

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