Flavius Aetius, (d. AD 454), Roman general, born in Moesia; son of Gaudentius, count of Africa. He spent some years of his early life as a hostage among the Goths and Huns, obtaining a knowledge of their ways which enabled him afterwards to accomplish their defeat.
In 424 Aetius successfully invaded Italy at the head of 60,000 barbarians, and was given supreme command in Gaul. In 432 he killed Count Boniface in single combat, and became thereafter the most conspicuous figure in the moribund Roman Empire.
In 451 he led the imperial forces to victory against the Huns at Chalons-sur-Marne; but was assassinated three years later by Valentinian III, who suspected him of designs upon the crown.