Attila the Hun Wife

Despite the assumption that Attila the Hun had numerous wives, records would show that there was only a handful. The Hun Empire allowed polygamy, and it was not even unusual for a son or male to marry their stepmother or sister-in-law in their culture. 

One of the records that told accounts of the Hunnic leader’s wives is from Priscus, a Roman diplomat, and Greek historian. He accompanied Maximinus, head of the Byzantine embassy, in 448 or 449 AD on a diplomatic mission to the court of the Hun Empire. Upon arriving and settling in the king’s court, the diplomats encountered the king’s wives who surrounded him.

However, existing records accounted for only three wives, such as Eskam’s daughter, Kreka, and Ildico. Among these three, Kreka was considered the queen of the Huns, while Ildico was the last. There were also other women regarded as wives of the Hun leader.

Eskam’s daughter

Most of the wives of Attila were unnamed, especially in the accounts of Priscus, one of the main records about the king and the Hun Empire. The accounts revealed an unnamed wife, and scholars debated whether this woman was a daughter of a Hunnic chieftain or Attila himself.

Regarding the chieftain, his name was Eskam. He had a daughter who is said to have come into an arranged marriage with the Hunnic king. This arrangement had political repercussions in terms of strengthening Hunnic alliances.

The other theory is that this unnamed wife from the Priscus accounts was a daughter of the Hunnic king himself. If true, it is controversial, for there were no records of incestuous relationships between a father and daughter. However, the Huns practiced marriage with widowed in-laws. However, most scholars argue that the unnamed wife was a daughter of a chieftain rather than Attila’s daughter.


Kreka was the wife that Priscus named during their diplomatic mission in 448 or 449 AD. She bore three sons who would become legal successors for Hunnic leadership, namely Ellac, Dengizich, and Ernak. Described as charming and sophisticated, Kreka received gifts from Priscus, from silver bowls to Indian spices and dried fruits that were as valuable as gold for the empire. The diplomat also recorded how servants surrounded Kreka when he met her.

Considered the main wife and queen of the Huns, Kreka also appeared in Germanic heroic legends. Her name in these legends was Herka or Helche, and she served as a significant confidant of the protagonists of the legends.


Attila and Ildico got married in March 453 AD. She was a beautiful and young Germanic woman with probable Gothic origins. On their wedding day, there were festivities, but the next morning, guards discovered the dead body of their Hunnic king with Ildico weeping beside him. 

Some scholars argue it was Ildico that killed Attila. This assassination even has different accounts, from the king being stabbed to being poisoned and the last wife’s alleged alliance with Roman Emperor Marcian. However, records stated that the dead body had no wound except a possible hemorrhage. A conventional consensus on Attila’s cause of death is a nosebleed or overdrinking. Still, the appropriate point is that Ildico served as the last wife of the Hunnic king.