Attila The Hun's Autobiography--Attila as Told to his Scribes
Attila Has Charm
at least that's how he sees himself, in this first person autobiography! As a young man, he's a lover, but he's also consumed by ambition. His narrative is interspersed with commentary by one of three scribes; they follow each other beginning in 443 CE. Attila kills the first with one angry slash of his sword; the second idolizes him and the last one hates him. Attila's charm continues right up until the end, documented by his third scribe, who conspires--with Attila's last bride. He then buries the manuscript for posterity.
Attila as Told to His Scribes is based on extensive research into Attila's life, the life and history of the Huns, and of the Late Roman Empire. Included in sources are not only historical documents, but also popular stories and legends told in both Turkey and Hungary, nations that claim descent from Attila's Huns.
Attila is no savage; he knows the Roman world: his uncle, King of the Huns, sent him as royal hostage to the Emperor's court at Ravenna. The King exchanged him for Aetius, a Roman general's son, who later became the last great Roman general, largely because of Attila. Ironically, Attila claims to have learned about torture and diplomacy from his forced Roman interlude.
He's a cosmopolitan who hates cities. He is happiest on the open steppe, on his horse, his army behind him. His was the largest army in Europe built through grit, ruthlessness, luck--and charm. To his enemies he is truly the Scourge of God and he wants Romans to think of him that way. To his friends, his loyal followers, and to the people who helped him along the way, he is grandly generous.
Power corrupts; this novel shows how, how a charming, talented youth becomes a monster in his prime.
Yet Turks and Hungarians still name their sons after him and everybody's heard of Attila the Hun. Here he's the Hero-King gone wrong, a classic story, prefiguring King Arthur--there is even a sacred sword; it's mentioned by the Roman chronicler, Priscus, predating Arthur. Rigorously researched, his account also has just a touch of fantasy; he's a man of the fifth century, after all.
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Attila as Told to His Scribes by Douglas C. Smyth is available at the Amazon Kindle Store