More than 2,400 people claiming to be descendants of the Huns petitioned the Hungarian Parliament this week for official recognition as an ethnic minority. The Huns ruled Central Asia for 500 years and expanded into Europe in the 4th century A.D. Under the infamous emperor Attila, known as the scourge of God, the Huns conquered present-day Hungary and used the region as a base to attack the Roman Empire. But after Attila died in 453, the empire disintegrated and the Huns scattered. As far as I know, Huns have been assimilated for centuries, said Laszlo Donath, a member of the parliamentary commission that will consider the petition. Still, Attila is a popular name in Hungary, and thousands of people from Central Asia to China identify themselves as Huns.