Attila was born in 406 and in 434, at the age of 28, Attila succeeded his uncle as leader of the Huns. Attila at first ruled with his brother, Bleda, but murdered Bleda in 445 to take complete control. By the 5th Century, the Roman Empire was almost totally disintegrated and the Huns ruled a large empire. From 435 to 439, Attila conquered, pillaged and attacked his way through eastern and central Europe. The Eastern Emperor of the Byzantine empire was paying Attila an amount to keep the Huns from attacking his empire. But the emperor could not keep up the payments and Attila invaded the Byzantine Empires in 2 attacks in 441 and in 447. In 447, he led his horsemen to take over the Balkan Land, attacking Greece and threatening Constantinople, which was the center of the Roman Empire in the East.
Attila the Hun then moved onto the West Roman Empire and in 450, he demanded that Honoria, sister of the Western Emperor, Valentinian III, marry him and also receive half of the West Roman Empire as her dowry. Valentinian refused. To enforce his demand, Attila then attacked Gaul, France, but the Romans and barbarians stopped his attacks in 451. In 452, Attila and his horsemen crossed the Alps to invade Italy, which caused Pope Leo I to pay money off to Attila to save Rome from total attack. Attila the Hun devastated the western half of the Roman Empire between 451 and 452 and controlled a region from the Danube River to the Baltic Sea and from the Rhine River to the Caspian Sea.
Attila the Hun died unexpectedly in 453 at the age of 47, on his wedding night, allegedly MURDERED by his bride, a Burgundian Princess. His empire began disintegrating after his death, but his impact on Europe was so strong, that Attila the Hun appears as "Etzel" in "Nibelungenlied" (Middle High German epic poem written in the early 13th century) and in "Volsungasaga" as Atli (Icelandic epic poem from 1270.)