Tried to save his people. Scientists have found out why Attila was known as a barbarian greedy for gold

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Tried to save his people. Scientists figured out why Attila was known as a gold-hungry barbarian

It seems that the Huns were not cruel barbarians with a “boundless lust for gold”, as some ancient historians suggest.

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A new study that replicates climate data from tree rings suggests that semi-nomadic peoples raided and broke into the eastern Roman provinces for a reason. Famine is to blame, writes ScienceAlert.

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According to oak growth lines from Bohemia and Bavaria, the beginning of the fifth century in the Great Hungarian Plain was marked by a series of very dry summers. Archaeologists from the University of Cambridge believe that between 420 and 450 AD. people who lived in the Eurasian steppes had to endure a harsh climate.

For their part, such conditions would force the tribes of the Huns to move from farming in a certain place to driving animals to more fertile pastures. Indeed, the teeth of ancient human remains found in the Great Hungarian Steppes show that the Huns experienced several dietary changes during their lifetime.

Archaeologist Suzanne Hakenbeck says: “If resource scarcity became too critical, the settled population needed change their place of residence, diversify customs and move from agriculture to nomadic pastoralism.”

Attila, who came to power in the 430s, is often accused of provoking the worst wars. Roman historians claim that during his reign, the leader of the Huns demanded more and more gold and land, regularly raiding their city-states.

At the same time, he is portrayed as a greedy leader who sought to devastate the Roman Empire to dryness. However, it should be noted that his raids on the eastern border took place just during the period of the greatest drought in the Carpathian basin.

According to researchers from Cambridge, the most devastating invasions of the Huns in 447, 451 and 452 AD. occurred during a very dry summer, if, of course, the dates of these events are correct. This, in turn, raises the question of whether changes in the external environment provoked adaptation to the means of subsistence, economy, and perhaps even social organization.

Concrete archaeological evidence and further research are needed to confirm this hypothesis. If the authors are right, then Attila's invasion of the Roman Empire may have been the last attempt to save the life of his own people.

Scholars suspect that instead of attacking the Roman provinces primarily for gold, Attila raided to get food and livestock during a drought.

Under his reign, the Huns successfully broke into Gaul and northern Italy, at the end finally capturing the city of Milan. However, Attila's sudden death in 453 led to a power struggle between his sons. Already next year the Huns were finally defeated.

As is customary, history was written by the winners. Largely due to Roman descriptions, the Huns became known as an ugly and evil people who were unnecessarily cruel and greedy. This negative image persists to this day.

Hackenbeck adds: “Climate changes what the environment can provide, and this can induce people to make decisions that affect their economy, social and political organization.”< /p>

According to her, this example from history shows that people respond to climate stress in complex and unpredictable ways, short-term decisions can have negative consequences in the long term.

However, archaeologists do not give up and lead new theories of her whereabouts.