Attila appeared again in the 452 to claim his marriage to Honoria, invading and pillaging their way to Italy. His army proceeded to pillage numerous cities and razed Aquileia to its foundations. Valentinian fled from Ravenna to Rome . Aetius remained in the field, but not enough military power to fight.
Finally, Attila stopped at the Po , where he attended an embassy formed, among others, by the prefect Trigecio , the consul Avieno and Pope Leo I . After the meeting began to withdraw unclaimed and not his marriage to Honoria and the territories he desired.
Have offered many explanations for this fact. Maybe the disease and famine which coincided with the invasion weakened his army, or sent troops beyond the Danube Marciano forced him to return, or perhaps both. Prisco superstitious fear that the fate of Alaric , who died shortly after the sack of Rome in 410 , he stopped the Huns. Prosper of Aquitaine said that Pope Leo, helped by San Pedro and San Pablo , persuaded him to withdraw from the city. Surely the undoubted personality of St. Leo the Great had more to do with the withdrawal of Attila the delivery to it of a large quantity of gold, as assumed by some authors, as was already at your fingertips in full possession of the power The gold that flowed.
Whatever their reasons, Attila left Italy and returned to his palace across the Danube. From there again planned to attack Constantinople and to demand the tribute which Marcian had not paid. But death overtook him at the beginning of 453 . Prisco's account says that one night, after the festivities to celebrate its last wedding (with a call Gothic Ildico ), suffered a severe nosebleed which led to his death. His soldiers, upon discovering his death, he cried, cutting their hair and cut himself with swords, because-as noted by Jordanes, "greatest of all warriors was not to be crying with cries of women and with tears but with blood men. " He was buried in a sarcophagus triple-gold, silver and iron, together with the spoils of their conquests, and those who attended the funeral were killed to keep secret the place of burial. After his death, continued to live as a legendary figure: the characters of Etzel in the Nibelungenlied and Atli in the Volsung Saga and the Poetic Edda are based loosely on her figure.
Another version of his death is what gives us, eighty years after the event, the Roman chronicler Count Marcellinus : "Attila the Hun and plundering of the provinces of Europe, was pierced by the hand and the dagger from his wife" . Also, the saga of the poetic Edda Volsung and argue that King Atli (Attila) died at the hands of his wife Gudrun , but most scholars reject these stories as pure fantasy romantic and prefer the version given by Prisco, contemporary Attila.
This was the end of the eight-year duration of the invasions of the Huns, barbarians who did go back and die in Rome. The Western Roman Empire, which was hardly more than Rome itself, was completed and destroyed by the Vandals, another barbaric people.
The sons of Attila, Elac (which had been designated heir), Dengizik and Ernakh fought for the estate and divided, were defeated and scattered the following year in the battle of Neda by a coalition of diverse peoples (Goths, Heruli, Gepids, etc.). His empire did not survive Attila.