Aetius in Roman Biography

Aetius, a-ee'she-us, sometimes improperly written Įžtius, a Roman general, born near the end of the fourth century. For many years he successfully defended Gaul against the encroachments of the barbarians. In 451, when Attila the Hun had besieged and was on the point of taking Orleans, the approach of the combined armies of Aetius and Theodoric obliged him to raise the siege ; and, these generals having followed the Huns in their retreat to the plains of Chalons, a great but indecisive battle was fought, in which 300,000 men are said to have been slain. Soon after, Attila retreated beyond the Rhine, But the emperor Valentinian, having become jealous of the fame and influence of Aetius, slew him with his own hand in 454. The emperor, it is said, asked a Roman if he had done well in killing Aetius. He replied, " I do not know ; but I think you have cut off your right hand with your left." See Gibbon, "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire;" Jor- KANDes, " De Rebus Geticis."

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