d.453. King of the Huns. From victories in the East his hordes swept westward, were checked in Gaul (451), but in 452 invaded Italy and were halted only when Pope Leo I somehow convinced Attila of the wisdom of remaining beyond the Danube. There was no persecution of Christianity as such-the invaders were not without religion, and Attila himself is said to have besought the prayers of Lupus, bishop of Troyes-but the invasions erased or eroded the Christian presence in a large area of central Europe. In Latin Christendom, tales of Attila's ferocity grew, prompting the description “the Scourge of God.”