The Huns breached the walls late in the evening and in an unstoppable
tide they swept through the city, killing, looting and raping at will.
From the palace we could see the fires burning in the darkness and hear the
screams of the people as they were butchered. In the confusion
my maid Giulia and I became separated from our guards and
took refuge in a secret room hoping to be able to escape
after the battle was over.
However, in the middle of the night the door was
broken down by a group of soldiers and we were roughly dragged from
our hiding place.
Standing, naked and bound, among the soldiers was Lucia,
one of my hand maidens.
Her body was covered in burns, welts and bruises, signs of the torture she had
been subjected to.
"I am sorry, mistress," she sobbed.
The man who
was obviously the leader of the party inspected us closely and I could see
by the look in his face that he recognized who I was.
Satisfied that he had the right person he casually
sliced open Lucia's stomach with his knife. The men holding her
let go and she fell, mewling weakly as her entrails spilled onto the floor.
I stared frozen in shock at such casual cruelty unable to resist as
my arms were bound behind me and a rope put
around my neck.
While I was being restrained the other soldiers had roughly ripped
Giulia's clothes from her body and thrown her to the floor where they
pinned her spread-eagled by her wrist and ankles.
Her slender young body seemed tiny
in the midst of the four large men who held her down.
Her small firm breasts, topped with rose coloured
nipples, shook as her body twisted against the grip of her captors.
A fifth man knelt between her legs his large penis, erect and throbbing,
already free from his britches. As he plunged into her I was dragged away;
her shrill hopeless screams followed me down the corridor.
I am Adelina Placidia, the niece of Emperor Valentinian and with my husband
I ruled the city of Aquileia. I am in my twenty fourth year
and I believe considered an attractive woman.
My body is quite feminine, with large breasts, a narrow waist and full
When the soldiers found us I was wearing the clothes that I had been in
the night before, a floor
length green gown, close fitting and with short sleeves.
I have long black hair, which as is expected in a lady is normally
carefully tied up and covered,
however the rough treatment from the soldiers when they
had found me had pulled it loose and now it fell down around my shoulders.
Soldiers ran through the palace, looting or destroying everything in their
As we proceeded through the one of the courtyards a half naked
woman burst out of a doorway a little ahead of us
closely pursued by two soldiers. She ran in blind panic
in our direction
before suddenly seeing my captors. She stopped, crying out in
dismay and looking around for another route but the pursuing soldiers were
already upon her. Laughing they ripped the remains of her clothes from her
body and taking her upper body and legs carried her screaming and kicking
back into room that they had come from.
We left the palace and started down the road to the central square of the
city. It was a lovely day, clear and cloudless with just a touch
of a cooling autumn wind in the air.
The barbarity of the conquering Huns, visible everywhere as I was dragged
through the streets, stood in stark contrast to the natural beauty of the
Hun soldiers ransacked buildings,
pulling loot from them before setting them on fire. Corpses littered the
streets, while scenes of rape and torture were everywhere.
As we passed the church
I was shocked to see that the heathens did not even respect the house of
God! A group of people had sought sanctuary there and the Huns had
recently found them. The bodies of the men lay scattered on the ground, the
girls and younger women had been gathered together in front of the church
where they were being stripped and bound to be taken as booty by the soldiers.
Another group of soldiers had tied a naked woman to the oaken door in the
porch and were using her as a target for their bows.
The woman's limbs were already peppered with shafts but she
had not struck anywhere vital and she remained alive.
Further arrows landed as we walked by, driving through her flesh and into
the wood behind. Each shaft elicited a further cry of pain from the
After many more such sights of wanton cruelty we reached the square in the
middle of the city where I was marched over
to a pavilion erected at one end. Seated on chair that I was shocked to see
was my late husband's throne, was the leader of
the Huns. His dress, though a bit grander than that of the other soldiers
was not much different but he had an air of authority that clearly marked
him as a powerful man. His face was the same as most of the Huns, bearded
with brown skin a flat nose and eyes so dark that they appeared black.
I could detect not the slightest sign of humanity in the
expressionless, weather beaten visage. There was no doubt in my mind that
this was Attila himself.
I was pushed to my knees so that I knelt before him. The soldier
holding me grabbed my hair and twisted my head up so that the seated
man could see me. He looked at me for a few seconds
then without taking his eyes from mine questioned the captain in his own
language. Seemingly satisfied with the answers,
Attila beckoned to the side and a collared woman came and knelt at his feet.
to her briefly before the woman turned to me and spoke
in accented Latin.
"My master wants to know if you are Adelina Placidia?"
I thought about how to respond for a brief time but having seen
how the common people were treated I decided admitting who I was would be
"Yes. I am Countess Adelina Placidia, the niece of the emperor, my uncle
pay you well to have me back unharmed. I beg you to treat me well. You will
be well rewarded." I wanted to say more but the guard holding me pushed my
head down roughly to the floor, clearly indicating I should not speak
The slave turned to Attila and said only two words obviously just confirming
my identity. I was lifted to my feet
and my bonds released but only so that my clothes could be pulled from me
naked body could be displayed to Attila.
In humiliation at being exhibited in this way I
tried to cover myself with my arms but the
soldiers roughly pulled them away. If Attila had any feelings either of
pity or even lust for my body it was impossible to tell. With a wave of his
hand he dismissed us.
I was pulled to the front of the pavilion where a wooden frame had been set
up to which I was bound by my wrists and ankles so that I stood
spread-eagled looking out onto the square.
I was still naked and my position left me exposed so that all could see me.
I was mortified with shame.
In the centre of the square a group of men in
black uniforms where preparing what looked like various implements of
torture or execution; poles and frames with
strategically placed rings to tie
people to, braziers full of glowing coals, racks of whips and knives.
On one side a large wooden enclosure had been constructed in which
a number of women had been placed. The captives seemed to be aged from
their early teens to their thirties and had all been stripped
naked and had their arms bound behind their backs.
They stood, moaning and weeping,
helplessly watching the preparation in the square with obvious
trepidation. While the preparations continued soldiers brought more women
who were also pushed
into the enclosure until it was completely full.
At the side of the enclosure a set of posts were set up and three women
were dragged over to them.
The camp dogs, long legged hounds with shaggy fur,
gathered, yelping excitedly as the women were bound on all fours to
the posts. The second the men walked away the dogs leapt forward, fighting
each other for the chance to be first. Soon a dog
had mounted each of the women, their front paws curved under the women's
belly while they stood on their hind legs and frenziedly pumped their
hips back and forth. The cries of the women mixed with
the excited yelps of the dogs. When one of the dogs finished, he was quickly
replaced by another from the growing pack of waiting animals.
Suddenly, and most unexpectedly I heard the sound of the church bell
ringing out. What could
it mean, I thought, hoping that it was some sign of a rescue, a message
from God to protect his people from these heathens. But instead it
seemed to be signal that the preparations were finished, as soldiers began to
pour into the square until they were four or five deep around the
periphery. The leader of the black clad men waved to the guards standing
by the enclosure
indicating that he was ready to begin. The guard opened the enclosure door,
and pulled out the prisoner nearest to him, a slender teenager with long blonde
hair. The girl kicked and struggled against the guard but he
simply put her over his shoulder and carried her over to the waiting man.
The crowd cheered,
delighted that the entertainment was about to begin.
At the instructions of the black clad man the guard dumped the girl on the
ground next to a fire pit filled with hotly
glowing embers. Beside the pit was a square iron grate which stood on short
legs about one foot off the ground.
Towards one end of the grate a foot long wooden rod with a
bulbous tulip shaped
top had been fixed.
Two of the men pulled the girl's legs apart while a third lifted her on to the
grate and placed her directly over the rod so that its tip pressed against
her anus. As the man released her the girl's weight drove her down on to
"No. What are you doing? Please stop. No, please please.
Ahhh! God help me!" she screamed as the rough wood stretched
her anus wide and the bulb drove deep into her rectum.
When she was securely impaled, the torturers
bound each ankle to opposite edges of the grate, stretching her legs wide
They completed her restraints by pulling her wrists in front of her and
tying them to the leading edge of the grate.
This held her immobile, seated with her legs so wide apart that
they almost made a straight line and leaning
steeply forward so that the tips of her young breasts were only a few inches
above the iron grate.
The girl continued to weep and plead with her captors as she was
restrained and her cries became ever more hysterical as two of the torturers
picked up the grate and carried it over to the fire pit. They placed
it so that the girl sat directly over the centre of the fire.
The position in which she had been bound held her completely exposed to
the scorching heat of the embers. As her flesh was roasted she
shrieked in agony,
a high pitched ululation that went on and on without a break.
As soon as the first victim was in place, while her cries still filled
the square, the lead torturer indicated that the next victim should be
brought over. The women in the enclosure having seen what had happened to the
first girl wailed in terror as the guard opened the door to select another.
Those at the front desperately pushed back
against the packed bodies behind them as they tried to avoid the guard's grasp.
However there was nowhere to escape and he quickly
secured one of the women. She was perhaps in her late twenties with
dark hair, a full round body and large, pendulous breasts.
She sobbed and pleaded as she was dragged over to the waiting
The torturers bound her standing to a post, her arms pulled behind it,
and her ankles tied to the base.
A torturer placed a knife point against
her skin just below the centre of her rib cage.
With a single practised motion he slit open her
abdomen from the sternum to the top of the pubic bone. The woman gasped
in agony, her body convulsing and her mouth gaping wide in a soundless
scream. The torturer slowly pulled her intestines out through the slit
so that they piled
up at the woman's feet. When he had finished he cauterized the edges of the
cut with a hot iron to
stop the worst of the bleeding. Leaving her still gasping in gruesome pain
the tortures moved on to the next victim.
This was a young dark haired girl with a slender unripe body who
wept piteously in panicked terror as she was carried into the middle of
There she was held down while
two men pulled her legs wide apart and a sharply pointed stake
was pushed into her vagina. When the stake had penetrated a foot or so
it was lifted up and set vertically in a hole in the
ground, holding her impaled and writhing in agony six feet in the air.
As the next woman was pulled from the enclosure I was stunned to see that
my sweet Giulia! Though I had had little hope for her in the circumstances
that I had last seen her, I wished she could be spared a fate such as
this. I watched in horror after witnessing the tortures of the last three and
fearing what would become of her. Giula was carried over to a frame made up
of two uprights with a cross beam.
The barbarians suspended Giulia
spread-eagled upside down
with her ankles tied apart to the cross beam and her wrists to the
base of each upright. The frame was positioned such that it was directly
facing me and I could see every detail of her body.
Her long red hair fell to the ground and I could see mottled bruises on her
pale, delicate skin from her earlier violation.
Her wide smiling mouth and the elegant features of her face were
distorted with terror. Her small firm breasts were pulled flat by her
stretched position making little circles on her chest.
Giulia is a few years younger than me and I have always treated her as my
little sister. To see her in such a position was truly heart rendering.
Suddenly she saw me and our eyes met.
"My lady. Help me! Please," she begged. "PLEASE. What are they going to do
to me? Please help me."
"Stop!" I screamed. "Leave her alone."
The same torturer who had slit open the woman before approached Giulia
holding a curved skinning knife. In contrast to the excitedly cheering
soldiers he was calm, seemingly indifferent to the suffering he was
He started with an incision around each ankle then made a vertical cut down
the inside of each leg from the ankle to groin.
"Please," sobbed Giulia. "Please, my lady, make them stop."
Starting from the these cuts he began to peel the skin from Giulia's legs.
Her pleadings broke down into mindless shrieks of agony,
each of her harrowing cries
cutting me to the core. I sobbed, tears welling from eyes. Oh my poor
Giulia! How could God let this happen? I screamed and ranted, pulling
frantically at the ropes that bound me.
The skin was stripped from both her legs and left to hang beside her body
from her hips. Next the torturer went behind her and extended the cuts in
her legs to her buttocks and then down her back.
He peeled her skin starting from the cut in the back around to the front so
that it came off from her torso.
After he had treated her arms in a similar fashion he pulled the skin
from these too.
Finally he peeled her scalp from her skull and the skin from her face so
that he could remove her entire skin in a single piece.
When he had finished Giulia was still alive, her lidless eyes staring madly
her hideously mutilated face. She was left
hanging in agony while the next victim was pulled from the enclosure.
And so it went on for the rest of the day. I could not count how many there
were in the enclosure at the start. One hundred? Perhaps more.
There was no mercy
shown for any of them. No matter how young they were or how much they
begged. Girls and women,
burnt, whipped, impaled. All executed in the most gruesome and painful
ways. And all the time the soldiers cheered in gleeful enjoyment at the
unspeakable suffering of those being tortured.
The women in the enclosure, naked and bound, could do nothing but watch in
horror as those before them were tortured, each knowing that their turn
would come. There was no escape and soon they too would be suffer a
hideous death. And with them my own fear grew. When all the other women
had been tortured would it be my turn? What special horrors had they
saved for me? I tried to tell myself that I would be strong, maintain my
dignity and not show weakness in front of these heathen savages. But I knew
I could not. Terror griped my soul. I knew I would beg and plead just as
the common women had done.
As the sun approached the roofs at the
west end of the square, the final victim, a buxom woman in her late twenties
with a shoulder length mane of yellow hair, was pulled sobbing hysterically
from the enclosure. While one man held her head still from behind another used
a red hot iron to burn out her eyes.
Then oil was poured over her body until it was completely coated.
"No! Please. I beg. What are you doing?" she whimpered.
She was pushed into an open area where she stumbled blindly about to the
jeers of the watching soldiers. As she approached the edge of the
circle one of the tortures pressed a burning stick to her stomach.
The oil caught fire and the flames leapt up turning her into
a human torch. The heavy oil stuck to her skin burning her mercilessly.
Screaming, she lurched wildly about in the circle. When by chance she
stumbled towards an edge a soldier would use a stick to push
into the center. Eventually she fell to the ground mewling and writhing
in agony for a few more minutes before mercifully she died.
I was shaking in terror, expecting that they would now come to collect me.
But to my relief
the soldiers started clearing up the square, pilling the dead bodies,
and those who still lived, on to a cart before dragging them off for
When it was clear that the session was over I thanked God.
Was it wrong of
me to feel relief after so many of my people had died so horribly? I didn't
know. I was just happy that at least for the moment I was spared.
As the tension drained from me I slumped, feeling so weak that I
could barely stand. I hung my head, my eyes closed though this could not
keep the images of what I had witnessed filling my mind.
Sometime later fresh cries of terror pulled me from stupor.
I looked up to see that
ten more women had been brought out and were now being
chained to roasting spits next to the fire pit.
The pit had been tended and the flames had died down leaving only
brightly glowing embers.
Each woman was bound with her back to the spit by her neck, arms, hips and
ankles so that she was held completely immobile.
There was no doubt as to what was going to happen to them and the women were
all trembling and sobbing in terror as the preparations proceeded.
Pairs of uprights were placed around the pit and the spits were then
lifted onto these so that the women were suspended over the embers.
In a short while the women's pleading and
cries of terror had become mindless shrieks of agony as they
were slowly roasted.
Two camp boys were given the task of manning the
spits, one turned them regularly so that the women were cooked evenly, the
other basted their flesh with oil to keep the meat succulent and add
The boys would also often pour water onto the women's heads and into their
mouths to keep them cool.
This kept the victims alive and conscious to
prolong their suffering as much as possible.
The screams of the women continued into evening, fading slowly
as they grew weaker.
Further entertainment was also being prepared for
the troops. At intervals in the square short stakes were set and by each of
these a straw mattress was placed. More women were brought out with one
being chained to each of stakes by her neck until there was about thirty of
them in the square. As each woman was being prepared the nearest soldiers
gathered in a group, waiting impatiently for the her to be available.
As soon as she was they fell on her, some holding her while one of them raped
her. When he had finished they changed places so that the next in line
could use her. The women were raped in every conceivable way, in the vagina,
in the anus, in mouth; sometimes by multiple men at once. They had no rest.
As one group was finishing another group gathered around. Even after the
initial surge had died down, there was a constant stream of
soldiers coming up to take their turn. If any woman expired from the rough
treatment her body was dragged away to be quickly replaced with a fresh
In the gathering darkness the city square was like a scene of Hell;
the glowing embers of the fires illuminated the women roasting on the spits
while the pale bodies of those being raped stood out against their
dark, demon like attackers.
And over all of it was the endless screams and cries of anguish.
As the dinner was being served to the troops
one of the guards released my bonds. I had been
standing for many hours and immediately collapsed in exhaustion.
I was brought food and
water. Some part of me knew I should not accept it; it would only make me
stronger and prolong whatever suffering they had planned for me but I was
starving and could not control myself and wolfed it all down.
When I had finished a man brought a
thick carpet over and laid it on the ground. A rope was tied around my neck
and fixed to a post close the carpet and my hands were bound behind my
back. I had regained a little strength from my rest and food but was
helpless against the hardened fighters and was soon firmly restrained.
When they had finished the men went
to join the others at the feast leaving me alone.
In a few minutes Attila himself came to where I
was bound. He looked down at my dispassionately for a few moments
then discarded his top and pulled his britches down. Although his face
showed no emotion my helpless naked body obviously excited him as his penis
stood hard and erect. His body was stocky and thickly muscled, his dark
skin bore many scars from his life of fighting.
He fell to his knees between my legs and pulled me towards him,
muscled body lay heavily on me, pinning me down. My arms, bound behind my
back, were trapped awkwardly underneath me. I felt his penis pressing
against my vagina. I lay unmoving under him, I felt weak and powerless
against his strength, my will to resist broken.
His flat black eyes bore into mine, showing no emotion. My pain was nothing
to him, I was just another vanquished woman being forced to submit to his will.
He would take me with or without my consent.
He found the entry and pushed down with his hips.
I felt a tearing physical pain as he pushed into my dry body and
helpless defeat as even the most personal parts of my body were conquered
and defiled. I surrendered in shame and despair, lying limply under him
as he pounded into my body.
He pushed himself up on his toes driving painfully deep inside me and then
he groaned and I felt him ejaculate. He waited for a short while
as he continued to stare into my eyes affirming his conquest,
not only of the city but my body and soul as well. Then he
stood up and picked up his clothes. As he walked off he, with a flick of
hand he indicated to his officers that he was finished with me and that
they could take their turn.
The first of them came over to me, a large, heavy set man, grinning in
He crossed his arms and grabbed my ankles then lifted me up and uncrossed
them flipping my body over so that I lay face down.
He fell heavily on my back and drove into me from behind.
As he slammed his hips into mine it drove all the air from my
lungs leaving me gasping for breath while my breasts we crushed painfully
against the ground. There was no let up in the fury of his assault as he
pounded into me with all his strength. After he came he lay heavily on me
for a short while, panting loudly in my ear, before climbing to his feet.
But for me there was no rest. Even as I was trying to recover my breath
I was flipped over and another man entered me. While he was inside me he
mauled my breasts with his hands.
When he had finished there was another, and after him
another and then another.
They raped my vagina, they turned me over and
raped my anus, they held my head and raped my mouth. They raped me and
raped me and raped me with out break or respite until I could do nothing
but moan weakly at each new assault.
When eventually it stopped I
fell into and exhausted nightmare filled stupor.
I woke in the morning, shivering and cold, still tied naked on the carpet.
My body hurt all over especially my vagina and anus, which throbbed horribly.
Dried semen coated my thighs and more was stuck on my face,
breasts and in my hair. The taste of it filled my mouth. Dark bruises
marked my skin especially on breasts and thighs.
I groaned weakly as I struggled to sit up.
My guards saw that I had woken and
I was given some food and water but otherwise left alone with my misery.
see that the Huns were preparing to leave as they packed their equipment
and the booty stolen from the city onto horse drawn carts. The booty
of course included the human spoils. Behind each cart was tied strings of
naked women, their arms bound and linked together by ropes around their
necks, destined for the slave markets of the east. Some sobbed or begged
but most sat in silent acceptance of their fate.
The women who had been left to entertain the troops were still chained to
the stakes, their bodies looked much like mine, bruised and covered in
semen. Some lay strewn in whatever position their attackers had last left
them, others curled up into balls. A soldier walked over to the first of
them and casually drove his spear into her stomach. The woman let out a
groan of agony, clutching her abdomen and kicking weakly. The wound was
fatal but would not allow the woman to die quickly, rather it ensured her
a slow lingering death.
Leaving the woman squirming on the ground the soldier walked over to the
next one and repeated the process.
Some soldiers entered the square with a group of women already stripped and
bound, however these were not taken to area by the carts but lead towards
the exit of the square from which a long avenue, lined with magnificent elm
trees, lead to the main gate of the city. When the party reached the first
of the trees one of the women was pulled from the line. She was made to
stand with her back against the tree and a soldier held each
arm over her head against the side of the trunk. When she saw the third
soldier approach with a mallet and nails she began to sob and beg.
The third soldier placed a nail against the
woman's left wrist and with a few good
strikes of the mallet drove the nail through the wrist and into
the trunk of the tree. The woman screamed in agony as the nail went through
her flesh. The man with the mallet calmly moved to the other side
of the tree and repeated the process with her other wrist. With the arms
secured the other soldiers could now let go and catch the woman's kicking
legs instead. These were held to each side of the trunk so that nails could
be driven through the ankles. The woman sobbed and cried in pain as her
weight pulled cruelly on the nails in her wrists.
The group of women, now weeping in terror as
they realised what would happen to them, was pulled on to the next tree.
There another of them was crucified in a similar fashion. The
party moved all the way down the avenue until a sobbing, naked woman hung
from each tree.
Just as they finished two guards came over to me and released me from the
rope around my neck. So, my turn had come, I thought. I was sure that whatever
method they planned to end my life it would not be quick or painless.
Still bound and naked, filthy from his abuse and that of his men, I
was pushed to the floor in front of Attila. Two men held me down, one at me
shoulders and one my ankles. I then saw a third approaching with a heated
iron. On its tip, glowing a bright orange, was the sign they used to mark
"No! Please!" I cried.
He firmly pressed the iron into the side of my right buttock. First I heard
the sizzling of my own flesh then the terrible pain hit me, like nothing I
had ever felt before. I shrieked like a little girl, all thoughts of
dignity driven from me by the searing agony. He must have held the iron
against my flesh for only a few seconds but to me it seemed like forever.
Finally he pulled it away and I lay sobbing on the ground.
The men holding me down pulled me to my knees and forced my head to the floor
at Attila's feet.
I waited trembling as he started speaking, sure that he was issuing
instructions for my execution.
"I have a message for the Emperor. You will give it to him. I will return
next spring to take what is mine. I have laid waste to his cities and taken
his women as my slaves. I have ravished the body of his brother's daughter
and marked her as my property.
If he does not want the rest of his empire to suffer the same fate he will
hand me Honoria and the dowry I am due. Bear witness to the Emperor what
happened here. Tell him of the suffering of those who defy me." he said,
through his translator.
They were not going to kill me. I felt a sense of relief but also of
exhaustion. I would live always with the burden of the last day on my soul.
While the main army left the city with its booty and slaves to the east I
was taken by a small party of soldiers west to the nearest city of Padua.
We approached the
city after nightfall, when the gates had been closed. I was bound hand and
foot and gagged so I could not cry out and dumped naked on the road outside the
It is three months since the fall of Aquileia. My body is healing but my
mind is beset by the images of what I have seen and endured.
I sit alone in a small room in
the house of my father in Rome. There is a guard outside my door as I am
not trusted; I have been used by our enemies and yet I was neither
a enslaved nor killed.
The mark of his ownership is burned on my flesh.
Perhaps I willingly surrendered to Attila's embrace, betraying my husband
and country to save myself, they think.
Shame haunts me always. Perhaps they are right, perhaps I could have
fought harder or taken my own life.
My husband is dead and no man would want me now.
I sought to become a nun and join the church to
devote the rest of my life to God but they would not
accept me. I have been defiled by the godless barbarians and am unworthy.
I am so worthless that even God
My breasts are tender and heavy and this morning I was sick.
I know that I am with child from one of the unknown soldiers that raped me
that night. I would take my own life but I do not have the means and
even though God has rejected me I cannot go against his laws.
I must live with this evil growing inside me.
I am filled with despair.