Bizarre Things That Don't Make Sense About Attila The Hun's Death

Throughout his reign as leader of the Huns, a nomadic people of eastern European origin, Attila was the scourge of Rome (via Britannica). By this time split into the Western and Eastern Roman Empires, both were subject to the wrath of Attila as he waged war against them over a variety of issues. One of the more well known, which is often tied to the fall of the Western Roman Empire, is when he initiated war at the request of Western Roman Princess Honoria. 

She had written him a letter, stating if he rescued her from an arranged marriage that she would become his wife (via Mental Floss). While a union between them never materialized, the chaos of his invasion did a great deal in destabilizing the already fracturing empire. Over the course of his campaigns, The Battle of the Catalaunian Plains was his only military defeat, according to His undoing was ultimately not in battle, but the result of either poor health or treachery. 

Attila the Hun died from a nose bleed. Or did he?

In 453 CE, Attila had found a wife in a young (likely Germanic) woman named Ildico. His wedding night was filled with alcohol-fueled jubilation which, according to the Roman diplomat Priscus, was not uncharacteristic for him. Attila and Ildico retired to their chambers, but the following morning guards entered the room and found the new widow crying over her husband's body. Blood filled his nose and mouth, yet because no wound or bruise could be found, his death is most commonly attributed to a nose bleed. By lying on his back, the blood would have been allowed to pool in his throat and cut off his air supply (via ThoughtCo). 

While considered an accident, it is speculated that Attila's death may have been intentional. Though his wife was apparently not held responsible, it is possible that either she or others assassinated him via poison. As Ildico might have been subject to Hun raids earlier in her life, and aside from her, Attila had no shortage of enemies, it is not impossible that his death may have been an act of retribution. Mystery followed Attila into death as, according to HistoryExtra, those who buried him at the bottom of an unknown river were killed to keep his burial location secret for all time.