New historical novel of Robert Gyula Cey-Bert

ATILLA THE HUN MESSAGE

just published!

Synopsis:

In light of the most recent historical researches, the question is raised more and more frequently by lovers of history – who really was Atilla, ruler of the Huns in the 5th century. Was he a frightening horseman of the Apocalypse who aimed to annihilate Christian Europe in his savage campaigns? Or was he a ruler of exceptional talent and tolerance, who ruled a vast empire stretching from the Tien Shan to the Atlantic Ocean with justice and equity?

        

 For fifteen centuries, the answer was unequivocal. Treating records by authors hostile to the Huns of the Antiquity as real facts, historians vilified and demonised the Huns and their ruler. Ammianus Marcellius, the most-quoted Roman historian, dead when Atilla was a five-year-old child (AD 400), never saw a living Hun in all his life, yet he depicted them as cohorts of the Devil, a people of utmost savagery and barbarity “whose prime elements are plunder and murder, they do not know how to cook, eat their meals raw, and make their meat tender under their saddles.”

         In recent decades, however, the picture has slowly started to change and become more elaborate. Through critical analyses of ancient records and new historical knowledge, an image of Atilla is emerging that is closer to historical reality. In his best-selling books Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun and Victory Secrets of Attila the Hun, American author Wess Roberts analyses the guidelines of Atilla’s exceptional leadership, upholding them to economic and military leaders of today. French authors Eric Deschodt and Maurice Bouvier-Ajam, and the Hungarian Béla Szász have written biographies of Atilla in an entirely new and true-to-the fact light.

         The new image of Atilla reveals his exceptional greatness as man and ruler. He eminently organised the Hunnic Empire and governed it with foresight. He showed kindness and generosity to the vanquished, spared their rulers, lands, and goods, and made them his allies. According to military historians, alongside Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great he was the greatest military leader of the ancient world. He won all his battles and wars. But, in contrast with them, he was able to exercise restraint. He granted mercy to defenceless Constantinople and Rome, and refrained from annihilating the Roman legions whose Germanic allies abandoned them on the morrow of the Battle of Catalaunum.

 

Making allowance for the controversial historical sources of the Antiquity, the author introduces the most important events and personalities of the first half of the 5th century from Atilla’s angle – Byzantine Emperor Theodosius, Roman emperors Honorius and Valentinius, Empress Galla Placidia, Pope Leo, and the Visigoth King Theodoric. With his erudition, intelligence and integrity, Atilla surpassed them all. He spoke flawless Latin, Greek and Visigoth. Owing to his two-year stay in Rome and Ravenna, he was well versed in Graeco-Roman culture, as well as Taoism and Buddhism, with which he familiarised himself during his trip to the Far East in AD 431-432.

         With their conceit, phony sense of superiority and racist prejudice, the Graeco-Roman world was unable to absorb that a people from the East, of different race and culture, put them to shame and defeated them in battle after battle, and more than that, with their view of life more sincere, ethical, humane, and closer to nature than theirs.

The author unravels the mysteries in Atilla’s life that have so far been thought of as impossible to clarify – his friendship with Aetius, his enigmatic trip to the Far East, his decision after the Battle of Catalaunum, and his secret private talks with Pope Leo, their spiritual duel.

The reader is introduced to Atilla’s way of thinking, his spiritual and mental values, the psychological background of his decisions as ruler and commander, and his deep and sincere belief in God, which points far beyond biased and hypocritical denominational religiousness and accepts the only way as the right one – the way towards God through good intents, compassion and good works.  

In the creatively written, realistic historical novel, an adequate and acceptable balance is created between real historical events, fiction, and belletristic fantasy, which eventually ensures success for the novel.

 

In his preface to the book, Professor László Bárdi, Director of the Asia Research Centre, University of Pécs, writes:

‘It is a fact that few reliable descriptions have come down from Atilla’s age. It is all the more understandable that, based on available data, archaeological finds, unearthed weapons and surviving legends, an image of Atilla be created which approximates his figure as it might have been in reality.

         ‘This can only be done by someone who knows not only the available finds from Europe but also from Asia, and is capable of filling the gaps with an extra sensitivity for the sacral, the symbolic with a natural literary talent. In the course of his several research trips in Asia, the author has acquired not only an imposing body of factual knowledge but also a way of thinking and empathy with which he feels at home in bygone centuries. He knows as much as possible about the everyday life of the Huns, their eating habits, religion, customs, family and tribal traditions, and their system of symbols – everything, in short, to enable him to write a large-format historical novel.

         ‘I have had several opportunities to study relevant finds in the rich museum collections in Hohhot, capital of Inner Mongolia, Dongsheng (Ordos by its old Hunnic name), and Ürümqi, capital of the Uyghur Autonomous Region, and I have never found anything to contradict descriptions in the novel.

‘Based on life-like dialogues and colourful descriptions of scenes and moods, the novel presents, through a series of complementary stories,

Atilla’s environment, his chief wife Arikan, his best Hunnic friend Onoges, commanders of his elite guards, the eagle archers, his allies Ostrogoth King Valamir and Gepid King Aldaric, his adversaries Empress Galla Placidia, Byzantyne Emperor Theodosius, Roman Emperor Valentinius, Pope Leo, and the Visigoth King Theodoric;
the teachings of his tutor, Torda atakam, which prepared the young heir to the throne for his later role;
the exceptional friendship between Atilla and Aetius, reflecting in its dramatic progress and dénouement the purport of the novel;
the scheming, hostile policies of the Roman (Ravenna) imperial court and the Papacy, which eventually led to the Hunnic campaigns in Byzantium, Gaul and Italy;
the motives and the psychological  background of  the Hun ruler’s most important decisions (why he decided against marching upon defenceless Constantinople and Rome or, on the morrow of the Battle of Catalaunum, against annihilating Aetius’s legions abandoned by the Germans);
Atilla’s intellectual and spiritual aims – the unification of the equestrian peoples of Hunnic identity from Eastern Asia to Europe, the role of the Hunnic Empire as a bridge between East and West, linking the Chinese Empire with the European empires, and his firm aspiration to leave, with his deeds and view of life, a “spiritual stamp”, a fortifying message to posterity;
the moral depravation of the Western Roman Empire which led to its inevitable fall.
‘The author has created an extremely well balanced synthesis of plausible historical background and quality literary content. It is an absorbing tour de force about the contentiously coded events and the spirit of the 5th century, the mental dissimilarities of the protagonists, the mysterious world of Hunnic mythology rich in symbols and archetypes, the Hun ruler’s aspirations to build an empire, and his harmony-seeking world view, the aggressive missionary activity, intolerant religious policies and money-grubbing economic aspirations of the early Christian Church.’          

The novel presents social, psychological values and symbols of the Huns in the 5th century in a colourful and appealing way, and allows insight into an age of revolutionary changes, an age of falls and rebirths of empires, events in which the personality of the Hun ruler played a decisive role.

 Atilla

A historical novel by Róbert Gyula Cey-Bert

 

Table of Contents

Preface

1  Atilla’s Childhood

2  The Teachings of Torda Atakam

Instructive Hunnic Myths

Responsibilities of a Ruler

The Roots of Evil

The Art of Peace and War

Aetius in the Hunnic Empire

The Oath of the Scythian Rock

Aetius and the Hunnic Concept of God

Dreams of the Future

3       Atilla in the Roman Empire

Studies in Ravenna

Horserace in the Colosseum

Horserace in the Constantinople Hippodrome

Atilla and Alaric, King of the Goths

4       Atilla in the Caucasus

Wedlock with Arikan

The First Campaign – the Persian Battle of Fire

5       Atilla’s “Friendship Campaign” in Support of Aetius

The Murder of Emperor Joannes

The Dramatic Game of Empress Galla Placidia

The Miracle of St. Innocent

6       Atilla’s Voyage to the Far-East

The Importance of Joining Forces – Avars, Sabirs, Akatzirs

Alliance with the White Huns

The Ta Xia Hunnic-Chinese Empire

Goguriea, Nihon and the Eastern Huns

7       The Second Friendship Campaign in Support of Aetius

The Scheming of Bonifacius and Galla Placidia

Aetius Flees to the Huns

The Hunnic-Roman Alliance

8       Atilla, Eastern Kagan of the Hunnic Empire

9       Atilla, Tengrikut (Emperor) of the Hunnic Empire

10   Coronation

 The Reorganisation of the Hunnic Empire

11   The Third Friendship Campaign in Support of Aetius

12   Byzantine Plots

 The Murder of Buda, Atilla’s Brother

 Plot for the Murder of Atilla

13   Campaigns against Byzantium

14   Offer of Marriage from Honoria, Empress Galla Placidia’s Daughter

15   The Sword of God

 The Hunnic Mission

  Roman-Visigothic Alliance against Atilla

16   Campaign in Gaul against the Roman-Visigothic Alliance Led by            Aetius    

 The Battle of Peoples: Catalaunum

 Atilla Spares the Abandoned Roman Legions

17   Atilla and Arikan

18   The Campaign against Rome

 The Meeting of Atilla and Pope Leo I

  The Reward: The Blue Falcon Shining in the Sun

 His Testament and the “Spiritual Stamp”

19   The Caucasian Campaign

20   Aetius’s Last Battle and Meeting with Atilla

 

Appendix

Major Events and Characters in 5th-century European and Asian History