Not too long ago a few hundred years ago, the Huns invaded Europe for glory and riches. While it was an unstoppable force that was led by Attila, something strange happened. When his army reached Rome, the horde decided to turn around and go back.
Call it a sign from the Gods or the persuasive skills of the pope, but Europe was spared from destruction and ruin. The armies of Attila never came back to Rome. While Attila had his eyes set on Eastern Roman Empire, he never was able to actualize his goals as he died shortly after.
Accounts from Fordham’s sources tell us that: ”
The old man of harmless simplicity, venerable in his gray hair and his majestic garb, ready of his own will to give himself entirely for the defense of his flock, went forth to meet the tyrant who was destroying all things.
He met Attila, it is said, in the neighborhood of the river Mincio, and he spoke to the grim monarch, saying “The senate and the people of Rome, once conquerors of the world, now indeed vanquished, come before thee as suppliants. We pray for mercy and deliverance. O Attila, thou king of kings, thou couldst have no greater glory than to see suppliant at thy feet this people before whom once all peoples and kings lay suppliant. Thou hast subdued, O Attila, the whole circle of the lands which it was granted to the Romans, victors over all peoples, to conquer. Now we pray that thou, who hast conquered others, shouldst conquer thyself. The people have felt thy scourge; now as suppliants they would feel thy mercy.”
Almost 1 thousand years pass before a new threat from the East arose. This time it was the Mongols, the predecessors of the Huns, however, the Mongols were more organized and was even considered the scourge of the devil himself. As Genghis Khan himself is believed to have said “I am the punishment of God…If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.”
His grandsons and armies spread terror throughout western Asia as cities fell one by one, and by 1240s the Mongol armies were at the doorstep of Poland and Eastern Europe. Ogedei, the grandson of Genghis, led the armies into Europe and had been very successful. The unorthodox tactics by the Mongols overwhelmed the traditional Christians battle strategies and it seemed Europe was at the mercy of the horde from the east.
Interestingly though, the “barbarians” didn’t force their subjects to adopt the Mongolian culture and learn mongolian, more about their culture at Orgil Productions, if interested, but the Mongols actually adopted the culture of the land.
While they traditionally worshiped Tengri, many Mongolians adopted the religion of Islam and Christianity as they settled in the places they conquered. Despite their feared benevolence, another act of God or random chance saved Europe from the east.
Ogedei, known for his heavy drinking, fell ill and died in 1241. The Mongols returned east to elect their new Khan and emperor and the armies rode back home. Had it not been for Ogedei’s death, who knows what Europe would have looked like. Nonetheless, the conquests of Eastern Europe and the annexation of Russia, AKA the Golden horde, shaped the Slavic nations we know of today.
Before the Mongol invasion, the Balkans and Slav orthodox Christian fought each other regularly, but after almost 2 centuries of Mongol rule, principal states of Russia and Slavs united under one banner successfully succeeded from the Mongol empire. However, that’s a story for another time.