Attila (406 – 453), also known as Attila the Hun, was leader (Khagan) of the Huns from 434 until his death in 453. He was leader of the Hunnic Empire which stretched from Germany to the Ural River and from the River Danube to the Baltic Sea (see map below). During his rule, he was one of the most fearsome of the Western and Eastern Roman Empires' enemies: he invaded the Balkans twice and marched through Gaul (modern France) as far as Orleans before being defeated at the Battle of Chalons. He refrained from attacking either Constantinople or Rome. His story that the Sword of Attila had come to his hand by miraculous means, was reported by the Roman Priscus.
In much of Western Europe, he is remembered as the epitome of cruelty and rapacity. In contrast, some histories and chronicles lionize him as a great and noble king, and he plays major roles in three Norse sagas.