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The Western Roman Embassy to the Court of Attila in AD 449

The Western Roman Embassy to the Court of Attila in AD 449

By Hrvoje Gracanin

Byzantinoslavica, Vol. 61 (2003)

Abstract: Based on the analysis of an early Byzantine source, The History of Byzantium and of the Period of Attila, by Priscus of Panium, the author tires to form a plausible conjecture about the true purpose of the western Roman embassy to the court of Attila in 449, associating it with the Iusta Grata Honoria affair and taking into account some new aspects. The paper also deals with the encounters between the western Roman envoys and Priscus, and it gives a summary of Priscus’ account of the journey of the eastern Roman envoys and their stay at the court of Attila.

Introduction: In the summer of 449, yet another eastern Roman embassy set out from Constantinople for the court of the king of the Huns Attila. It was an immediate response to the arrival of Hunnic negotiators Edeco and Orestes to the eastern Roman capital in the spring of the same year. Their mission was to provide an additional emphasis to Attila’s demands. Namely, in 447, there was an outbreak of war between the Huns and the Eastern Roman Empire with such an intensity that had never been sen before.

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