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Timeline: Attila the Hun

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This timeline shows the significant events in the history of the Huns, with emphasis on the reign of Attila the Hun, in a simple one-page format. For a more detail, please see the in-depth timeline of Attila and the Huns.

The Huns Before Attila

• 220-200 B.C. - Hunnic tribes raid China, inspire building of the Great Wall of China

• 209 B.C. - Modun Shanyu unites the Huns (called "Xiongnu" by Chinese-speakers) in Central Asia

• 176 B.C. - Xiongnu attack the Tocharians in western China

• 140 B.C. - Han Dynasty Emperor Wu-ti attacks the Xiongnu

• 121 B.C. - Xiongnu defeated by Chinese; split into Eastern and Western groups

• 50 B.C. - Western Huns move west to the Volga River

• 350 A.D. - Huns appear in Eastern Europe

The Huns under Attila's Uncle Rua

• c. 406 A.D. - Attila born to father Mundzuk and unknown mother

• 425 - Roman general Aetius hires Huns as mercenaries

• late 420s - Rua, Attila's uncle, seizes power and eliminates other kings

• 430 - Rua signs peace treaty with Eastern Roman Empire, gets tribute of 350 pounds of gold

• 433 - Western Roman Empire gives Pannonia (western Hungary) to the Huns as payment for military aid

• 433 - Aetius takes de facto power over Western Roman Empire

• 434 - Rua dies; Attila and older brother Bleda take Hunnic throne

The Huns under Bleda and Attila

• 435 - Aetius hires the Huns to fight against the Vandals and Franks

• 435 - Treaty of Margus; Eastern Roman tribute increased from 350 to 700 pounds of gold

• c. 435-438 - Huns attack Sassanid Persia, but are defeated in Armenia

• 436 - Aetius and the Huns destroy the Burgundians

• 438 - First Eastern Roman embassy to Attila and Bleda

• 439 - Huns join the Western Roman army in a siege of the Goths at Toulouse

• Winter 440/441 - Huns sack a fortified Eastern Roman market town

• 441 - Constantinople sends its military forces to Sicily, en route to Carthage

• 441 - Huns besiege and capture the Eastern Roman cities of Viminacium and Naissus

• 442 - Eastern Roman tribute increased from 700 to 1400 pounds of gold

• September 12, 443 - Constantinople orders military readiness and vigilance against Huns

• 444 - Eastern Roman Empire stops paying tribute to Huns

• 445 - Death of Bleda; Attila becomes sole king

Attila, King of the Huns

• 446 - Huns' demand for tribute and fugitives denied by Constantinople

• 446 - Huns capture Roman forts at Ratiaria and Marcianople

• January 27, 447 - Major earthquake hits Constantinople; frantic repairs as Huns approach

• Spring 447 - Eastern Roman army defeated at Chersonesus, Greece

• 447 - Attila controls all of the Balkans, from the Black Sea to the Dardanelles

• 447 - Eastern Romans give 6,000 pounds of gold in back-tribute, yearly cost increased to 2,100 pounds of gold, and fugitive Huns handed over for impaling

• 449 - Maximinus' and Priscus' embassy to the Huns; attempted assassination of Attila

• 450 - Marcian becomes Emperor of Eastern Romans, ends payments to Huns

• 450 - Roman princess Honoria sends ring to Attila

• 451 - Huns overrun Germany and France; defeated at Battle of Catalaunian Fields

• 451-452 - Famine in Italy

• 452 - Attila leads army of 100,000 into Italy, sacks Padua, Milan, etc.

• 453 - Attila suddenly dies on wedding night

The Huns After Attila

• 453 - Three of Attila's sons divide the empire

• 454 - The Huns are driven from Pannonia by the Goths

• 469 - Hunnic king Dengizik (Attila's second son) dies; Huns disappear from history

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