Monday, May 11, 2009
Attila the Hun – The Renowned Leader
There is a great leader that we have all known about since we were children and a leader whom many fear and respect, Attila the Hun has a more complex background than most are aware of. The Huns wrote very little but it is known that Attila the Hun was a fierce warrior and king who led the Huns during the fifth century and harassed the Roman Empire.[i] Throughout the years, Attila constantly posed a threat towards the Roman Empire and most of Europe and Asia, conquering and destroying all who stood in his way. The Huns were a nomadic confederation of European and Central Asian tribes who were known for being outstanding horsemen who were nearly impossible to defeat.[ii] The Huns have been called “ugly”, “ferocious”, and “awe-inspiring” that is known to have traveled on horseback using their smaller Mongolian Ponies.[iii] Although he has destroyed many of the ancient world’s large cities, he is admired by modern day Hungary and many historians throughout the world. Attila is known for his readiness for battle and his tactical skills. “He was a man born into the world to shake the nations, the scourge of all lands, which in some way terrified all mankind by the dreadful rumors noised abroad concerning him. He was haughty in his walk, rolling his eyes hither and thither, 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,” writes Jordanes.[iv] The Huns also had unusual mobility for their era because they lived on their horses and always rode to battle on the reliable steeds. Not only did the Huns control Europe and Asia during Attila’s reign, but they also had many inventions that aided them in battle such as the composite bow that current day archers use today. Attila and his brother succeeded their uncle Rua as leaders of the Huns in 434, with Attila in the junior role until his brother's death 12 years later.[v] During the Spring of 451 C.E. Attila’s reign he forged an alliance with the Franks and Vandals, which he used to unleashed his attack into the heart of Western Europe.[vi] The title of being a Great Leader is not one than can be easily gained; one must persevere through hardships, have many victories, make advancements in their culture’s technology and be a beacon of light for his citizens, current and future. Although Julius Caesar converted a Roman Republic into a Roman Empire, Attila the Hun was the worlds greatest leader because he learned leadership secrets at a young age, he doubled the size of his empire, his Hunnic Empire,[vii] as well as formed an empire that had never been brought together and transformed it into a successful and helpful empire that would change the world. Gaius Julius Caesar was born in 100 BC, and he well-known for transforming a Roman Republic into a Roman Empire which occupied and expanded throughout ancient Europe and made many technological advancements and political ones as well. Julius Caesar was a dictator who was loved by thousands and hated by few. He led the Roman military to many victories. By many scholars and the ancient citizens of Rome, Caesar was considered a “God” who led Rome through their darkest ages and provided a safe haven for the people of Rome. Unfortunately for him, the few that did hate him and were envious of his power were willing to risk their lives to bring him down. Before he was the Emperor of Rome, he served in the military where he learned the hardships of life which would later help him with his career as a leader and general. One of his most well known accomplishments as a military general was when he was trying to invade Germania and had to cross the wide river, Rhine. Instead of trying to find the mouth of the river, Julius Caesar decided...