Following the departure of the Huns, Constantinople suffered major disasters, both natural and manmade, bloody riots between fans of racing cars of the Hippodrome ; epidemics in the 445 and 446 , the second following a famine , and a whole series of earthquakes that lasted four months, destroyed much of the walls and killed thousands of people, causing a new epidemic. This latest coup took place in the 447 , just as Attila, having consolidated his power, he went back to the south, entering the empire through Moesia . The Roman army under the command of the magister militum Goth Arnegisclo, he faced the Vid River and was defeated but not before causing severe losses to the enemy. The Huns were left unopposed and pillaging throughout the Balkans, even to the Thermopylae . Constantinople itself was saved by the intervention of the prefect Flavius Constantine, who organized citizen brigades to rebuild earthquake-damaged walls (and in some places, to build a new defense line in front of the old).
Has come down to us an account of the invasion:
The barbarian nation of the Huns, who lived in Thrace, became so great that more than a hundred cities were conquered and Constantinople came close to being in danger and most men fled from it (...) And there were so many murders and spills of blood could not count the dead. Oh, that even occupied churches and monasteries and slew the monks and maidens in great numbers!
Callinan, San Hypatius Life
Attila demanded as a condition for peace that the Romans continue to pay a tribute in gold and evacuate a strip of land whose width was of three hundred miles east from Sigindunum up to one hundred miles south of the Danube. Negotiations continued between the Romans and Huns for about three years. The historian Priscus was sent as ambassador to the camp of Attila in 448 . The fragments of his reports preserved by Jordanes offer us a vivid description of Attila's numerous wives, his jester Scythian and dwarf moro , impassive and without jewels amid the splendor of his courtiers:
He had prepared a lavish meal, served on silverware for us and our barbarian guests, but Attila did not eat more than meat on a wooden platter. In everything else was too warm, his cup was of wood, while the rest of our guests were offered gold and silver chalices. Her dress, too, was very simple, boasting only cleaning. The sword he carried at his side, ties his shoes Scythians and the bridle of his horse were unadorned, unlike the other Scythians, carrying gold or gems or other precious thing.
During these three years, according to a legend recorded by Jordanes, Attila discovered the "Sword of Mars"
Historian Priscus says it was discovered in the following circumstances: True pastor discovered that a calf of his flock limping and could not find the cause of the wound. Anxiously followed the blood trail and found a sword after the animal had been shot while grazing in the grass. Picked it up and led directly to Attila. He was delighted with the gift and, being ambitious, thought that he was destined to be lord of all the world and through the Sword of Mars was guaranteed supremacy in all wars.
Jordanes, Origins and deeds of the Goths "(XXXV)
Later, the student Juan Carlos Quito N. identify this legend as belonging to a pattern of devotion to the common sword among the nomads of the steppes of Central Asia .