The Huns were the most feared and notorious barbarians of the ancient world. The infamous Attila, king of the Huns, and his subjects were known to their Roman enemies as the 'scourge of god'. They were Turco-Mongol nomads, originating from the steppes of central Asia who migrated westward, shifting whole nations and leaving devastation in their wake.
The Huns were superb horsemen and excellent archers, fighting with a reflex composite-bow, which could penetrate armour at 100 yards, a more potent weapon than the longbow or any bow in use at the time. In battle they would strike fear into the hearts of their opponents and break up their formations, charging at them with surprising speed and apparent chaos whilst showering them with arrows. Thus their very name came to epitomise swift, merciless destruction.
Often the Huns are dismissed as barbarians, and thus historically they became a metaphor for barbarism. However they were well able to enjoy the trappings of civilised society won through their military gains. They also had a tremendous impact on the Roman military system, as 80 years after the Hun defeat at the battle of Chalons, the Roman cavalryman was armed with the composite bow and as skilled as the Hun in hand-to-hand fighting.
Nic Fields expertly surveys the rise of the Huns and the workings of their society and the development of their battle-winning weapons and tactics, from their first attacks on the Goths to the death of the Emperor Justinian, paying particular attention to the great battle of Chalons (June 20, 451) and the mighty rule of Attila.
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