Page:15 decisive battles of the world (New York).djvu/163

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BATTLE OF CHALONS. 157


some legends were coined and credited, which attributed their origin to the union of

"Secret, black, and midnight hags,"

with the evil spirits of the wilderness.

Tribe after tribe, and city after city, fell before them. Then came a pause in their career of conquest in southwestern Europe, caused probably by dissensions among their chiefs, and also by their arms being employed in attacks upon the Scandinavian nations. But when Attila (or Atzel, as he is called in the Hungarian language) became their ruler, the torrent of their arms was directed with augmented terrors upon the west and the south, and their myriads marched beneath the guidance of one mastermind to the overthrow both of the new and the old powers of the earth.

Recent events have thrown such a strong interest over every thing connected with the Hungarian name, that even the terrible renown of Attila now impresses us the more vividly through our sympathizing admiration of the exploits of those who claim to be descended from his warriors, and ambitiously insert the name of Attila among their native kings." The authenticity of this martial genealogy is denied by some writers and questioned by more. But it is at least certain that the Magyars of Arpad, who are the immediate ancestors of the bulk of the modern Hungarians, and who conquered the country which bears the name of Hungary in A.D. 889, were of the same stock of mankind as were the Huns of Attila, even if they did not belong to the same subdivision of that stock. Nor is there any improbability in the tradition that after Attila's death many of his warriors remained in Hungary, and that their descendants afterward joined the Huns of Arpad in their career of conquest. It is certain that Attila made Hungary the seat of his empire. It seems also susceptible of clear proof that the territory was then called Hungvar and Attila's soldiers Hungvari. Both the Huns of Attila and those of Arpad came from the family of nomadic nations whose primitive regions were those vast wildernesses of High Asia which are included between the Altaic and the Himalayan mountain chains. The inroads of these tribes upon the lower regions of Asia and into Europe have caused many of the most remarkable revolutions in the history of the world. There is every reason to be-