Flavius Gaudentius Aetius (395-454 AD) was a Roman general famous as the arch enemy of Attila the Hun, but he was a lot more than that. He was one of the primary shapers of European politics and history during the early to mid 5th Century AD, and has been called by some as “the last of the Romans”. Although we know very little about his early life, we have a lot more info on him from about 420 AD onwards. As a member of the nobility, he rose through the ranks fairly quickly, and he developed a strong relationship with the Huns. He participated in numerous wars, and many of the generals and junior officers who fought beside him, such as Majorian and Ricimer, would later become high-ranking members of the court and even emperors.
In 453, Attila the Hun died, and his empire began to almost immediately fragment apart. Flavius Aetius would follow him shortly afterwards. On September 21, 454 AD, Aetius was assassinated inside the imperial palace on Emperor Valentinianus III’s orders.
The two illustrations that you see below are portraits that I did of Flavius Aetius, one in pencil and the other colorized with markers, that I made when I was a freshman in college. I admit that the armor, especially the helmets, are not accurate for the time period that I’m trying to represent, but I didn’t know any better at the time. Maybe one day I’ll make a revised, more historically accurate version.
Enjoy and keep your pencils sharp.