Attila the Hun

The Walls of Constantinople collapse. November 6, 447.

Like Severus before him, Constantine began to punish the city for siding with his defeated rival, but soon he too realized the advantages of Byzantium‘s location. During 324–336 the city was thoroughly rebuilt and inaugurated on 11 May 330 under the name of “Second Rome“. The name that eventually prevailed in common usage however was Constantinople, the “City of Constantine” (Greek Κωνσταντινούπολις, Konstantinoupolis). The city of Constantine was protected by a new wall about 2.8 km (15 stadia) west of the Severan wall. Constantine’s fortification consisted of a single wall, reinforced with towers at regular distances, which began to be constructed in 324 and was completed under his son Constantius II (r. 337–361). Only the approximate course of the wal...

Attila the Hun. June 4, 452 AD.

  Attila, frequently called Attila the Hun, was the ruler of the Huns from 434 until his death in March 453. He was also the leader of a tribal empire consisting of Huns, Ostrogoths, and Alans among others, in Central and Eastern Europe. During his reign, he was one of the most feared enemies of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires. He crossed the Danube twice and plundered the Balkans, but was unable to take Constantinople. His unsuccessful campaign in Persia was followed in 441 by an invasion of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, the success of which emboldened Attila to invade the West. He also attempted to conquer Roman Gaul (modern France), crossing the Rhine in 451 and marching as far as Aurelianum (Orléans) before being defeated at the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains. He s...

Saint Leo – November 10, 461 AD

Leo I was born c.400 AD in Tuscany. By the age of 31, while he was a deacon, he had already established enough influence and credibility that he was able to apply to Cyril of Alexandria that Rome’s patriarchal jurisdiction should take priority in Palestine over that of the claims of the Juvenal of Jerusalem. At the same time, John the Ascetic (who would later become Saint John Cassian), dedicated to him the treatise against Nestorius, the Archbishop of Constantinople, written at his request. Even the emperor of Rome, Theodosius II, respected Leo to the point he was chosen to settle the dispute between the two highest officials in Gaul – Flavius Aetius and Caecina Decius Aginatus Albinus. While Leo was on the mission to Gaul, Pope Sixtus III died and Leo was unanimously elected to succeed h...

The Sacking of Rome – June 16, 455 AD

The Vandals were living in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica during the reign of King Gunderic. After Gunderic’s death in 428 AD, his half-brother, Genseric (or Gaiseric), was elected king. He wanted to greatly expand the power and influence of his people, but was suffering from numerous attacks by their neighbors, the larger Visigoth tribe. After being attacked by another neighboring tribe, the Suebi, Genseric decided to move to North Africa, even though he was victorious in this battle. At the time, the Roman governor of North Africa, Bonifacius, was having disputes with Aetius, an accomplished Roman general and Master of Soldiers stationed there. By 429, Genseric had moved all of his people, between 20-80,000 of them, to the new lands and taking advantage of the Roman divided force...

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