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Attila the Hun (Hardback)

Arch-enemy of Rome

Ancient History > Rome & the Roman Provinces Military

By Ian Hughes
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 214
Illustrations: 12
ISBN: 9781781590096
Published: 14th January 2019



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Attila the Hun is a household name. Rising to the Hunnic kingship around 434, he dominated European history for the next two decades. Attila bullied and manipulated both halves of the Roman empire, forcing successive emperors to make tribute payments or face invasion. Ian Hughes recounts Attila's rise to power, attempting to untangle his character and motivations so far as the imperfect sources allow. A major theme is how the two halves of the empire finally united against Attila, prompting his fateful decision to invade Gaul and his subsequent defeat at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plain in 451.

Integral to the narrative is analysis of the history of the rise of the Hunnic Empire; the reasons for the Huns' military success; relations between the Huns and the two halves of the Roman Empire; Attila’s rise to sole power; and Attila’s doomed attempt to bring both halves of the Roman Empire under his dominion.

As reviewed on History of War

History of War

As featured in


As featured by

VaeVictis - n° 144 - mars/avril 2019

As featured by

The Armourer, June 2019

Overall this is an exceptional work at the academic, but accessible end of the spectrum, which is based on and presents the evidence in a helpful way which makes the wargamer think about the Huns in a more reflective way.

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Wargames Illustrated, July 2019

I found this a really, really good read and I now have a better understanding of who he was and this period of time. Combined with my recent read of the Battle of Cataluanian Fields – I have a much better understanding and it is quote staggering to think he could have made it all the way to the Atlantic coast.

Personally, I think Ian Hughes has done a great job with this book and one that will stay on my bookcase.

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Medieval Sword School, Jason Hulott

The author has researched impeccably and produced a book which will be a suitable as a text book on the subject of Attila. It is written in an accessible style and is therefore suitable for any reader, including those developing a general interest in either, or both, the Fall of Rome or the domination by the Huns. The author has started with the background to the Huns, advanced through Attila and concluded with a presentation of the period following his time in history. The arguments are well presented and compelling. This is an important book that provides the history behind the myth and legend.

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Ian Hughes paints an impressive and informative picture of the iconic Attila The Hun – one can’t help thinking about that opening sequence in the film Gladiator as Ian describes the Hun as the arch enemy of Imperial Rome… Stirring stuff!

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Books Monthly

As featured 'ON THE BOOK SHELF'

Wargames Illustrated, January 2019
 Ian Hughes

About Ian Hughes

A full-time author, Ian Hughes specializes in the military history of the late Roman Empire. He is the author of Belisarius: The Last Roman General (2009); Stilicho: the Vandal who saved Rome (2010); Aetius: Attila's Nemesis (2012); Imperial Brothers: Valentinian, Valens and the Disaster at Adrianople (2013); Patricians and Emperors (2015); Gaiseric: The Vandal Who Sacked Rome (2017) and Attila the Hun (2018). In his spare time he builds or restores electric guitars, plays football and historical wargames. He lives in South Yorkshire.

Italy invaded by Attila the Hun

8th June 0452

Italy invaded by Attila the Hun

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