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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
#16
A thick forest on steep possibly rocky uneven ground would totally disrupt a military formation.
Chariots would not get through, and possibly the individuals making their way out would be picked off piecemeal.
Good enough protection, depending on the forest, I surmised from the reading.
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#17
The front runners for the battle site that I have come across all have some valley topography but are all of a very different character to Church Stowe, they are;

Mancetter
Vertical difference from valley floor to ridge top 40 m
The narrow valley width makes it appear more of a trap to be held in, than a rampart to be defended by.

Paulerspury, Smockington and Tripontium
These all have a similar topography all having a vertical difference of 20 -30 m.
However the slopes are very shallow and do not give the impression that it would be any problem to trot up in a chariot.

Church Stowe
This site a wide enclosed valley between 500-1000m in width.
The site has a vertical difference of 60 m and steeper than all but Mancetter.

Does anyone know of any other credible alternative sites?
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#18
Michael Woods epic 1981 case for Mancetter as the site of the battle;

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmLe35rcsFg

probably a good case as most of the interviewees may well have been around for the battle, or it's aftermath.....
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#19
alternative location and marching distance theory;

http://cambridge.academia.edu/documents ... oudica.pdf

also note John Waites "Boudicas Last Stand" has a postscript claiming to the presence of two potential marching camps close to his proposed "High Cross" site.
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#20
Quote:A "defile" backed by woods was what I remember.

I have always considered that tactically, Paulinus may have considered the following:

a. Advance down Watling Street with dispatches to th XIV and XX telling them where he was going and where they could possibly intercept him on their march to join him.

b. En route, recce possible locations to join battle which would be to his force's advantage and disadvantage the Britons and their way of fighting.

c. Having decided that Londinium was not a place he would choose to fight, withdraw to the nearest recce'd location and wait, not wanting to be caught in marching order.
Moi Watson

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
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#21
Quote:
Ron Andrea:pkbjf3ll Wrote:A "defile" backed by woods was what I remember.

I have always considered that tactically, Paulinus may have considered the following:

a. Advance down Watling Street with dispatches to th XIV and XX telling them where he was going and where they could possibly intercept him on their march to join him.

b. En route, recce possible locations to join battle which would be to his force's advantage and disadvantage the Britons and their way of fighting.

c. Having decided that Londinium was not a place he would choose to fight, withdraw to the nearest recce'd location and wait, not wanting to be caught in marching order.

Exactly how I have viewed it!
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
Reply
#22
Quote:Exactly how I have viewed it!


Excellent - that makes me feel better! Big Grin
Moi Watson

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
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#23
This is due for publication in April this year:

Boudicca’s Rebellion AD 60–61

...and may prove interesting. Nic Fields goes for the traditional site at Mancetter, it appears.

I'm a little confused about the dates given in the title though. Kevin Carroll, (The Date of Boudicca's Revolt, Britannia 10, 1979) presents a good case for the rebellion being in AD61, and it seems from all evidence that it was of short duration. So why the dual dating here? Is Fields merely being careful, and giving a general date range, or is he implying that the rebellion itself spanned two years? Have there been any more recent theories on this?

- Nathan
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#24
I'm sure it's down to uncertainty about the year rather than the duration of the campaign, it must have been short and swift.

Would it be right to assume that the likely campaigning season would be late summer early autumn? It seems the attack on Ynys Mon would have been time tabled by the Romans to their advantage.
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#25
Quote:I'm sure it's down to uncertainty about the year rather than the duration of the campaign

Tacitus writes that the revolt happened 'in the consulship of Cæsonius Pætus and Petronius Turpilianus', which is AD61. Turpilianus replaced Paulinus as governor when he 'had just resigned his consulship'. I believe there was a misdated inscription suggesting that he was no longer consul in March 61 - but ordinary consuls usually held their post for the first six months of the year, and the inscription itself is better dated to 79 I think. Turpilianus could have been named as replacement governor in late autumn or winter of 61.

Quote:Would it be right to assume that the likely campaigning season would be late summer early autumn? It seems the attack on Ynys Mon would have been time tabled by the Romans to their advantage.

The Britons had been 'careless about sowing corn, people of every age having gone to the war' (Tacitus), so the revolt probably began in the spring. Paulinus could have been attacking Anglesey at the same time. The rebellion was probably brief, and over by mid summer. By the time reinforcements arrived from Germany, the army were going into winter quarters, which would have been in the autumn.

- Nathan
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#26
With regard to the original subject of this thread...

The identification of Mancetter, High Cross and other sites in the west midlands appears to rest on the belief that Paulinus could not have brought the bulk of his army down Watling Street fast enough to fight a battle anywhere closer to London. However, this means that Boudica's force would have had to cover the 100 miles in the other direction in order to meet him and fight the battle (which reminds me of the 'how far can you march in a day?' scene in Zulu :wink: ).

As I've suggested in this post here, it would be possible for Paulinus' full force to be in or around London and St Albans, rather than stuck in the midlands somewhere. So is a battle site in that vicinity a possibility too?

Here's my suggestion - Dunstable Downs lies only 12 miles north-west of St Albans, at the crossing point of Watling Street and the Iknield Way. Boudica, we know, was at St Albans, and Iknield Way would take her tribal band back up into Iceni territory. By making his stand here, Paulinus could block their route home.

The Downs are, or appear to be, an escarpment overlooking a wide V-shaped plain (now occupied by a golf course!). This looks to me very much like the position described by Tacitus:

Quote:He chose a position approached by a narrow defile, closed in at the rear by a forest... in his front... an open plain extended without any danger from ambuscades. (Annals 14.34)

[Image: brucesmith3.jpg]

Not sure in which direction that picture is taken though. Does anyone know?

- Nathan
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#27
Quote:This is due for publication in April this year: Boudicca’s Rebellion AD 60–61
Sounds as if you should be writing this one, Nathan. :wink: I expect Fields will simply serve up the Dudley & Webster version.
posted by Duncan B Campbell
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#28
Quote:Not sure in which direction that picture is taken though. Does anyone know?

- Nathan

Possibly a stupid question, but was there no Ordnance Survey grid reference on the go4walk site? Where is this in relation to the Ikneild Way? (marked on most maps)
Moi Watson

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
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#29
Quote:Possibly a stupid question, but was there no Ordnance Survey grid reference on the go4walk site? Where is this in relation to the Ikneild Way? (marked on most maps)

It would appear, in fact, that the photo was taken from the Five Knolls (burial mounds). looking south-south-west. So not so useful, unless the enemy is approaching from that direction up Iknield Way! There's a detailed map here:

Dunstable Downs Map

The general area still seems quite reasonable though - but you'd have to find somewhere over on the eastern slope of the hill where it overlooks Watling Street. Plenty of defiles and similar features there...

- Nathan
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#30
Quote:The general area still seems quite reasonable though - but you'd have to find somewhere over on the eastern slope of the hill where it overlooks Watling Street. Plenty of defiles and similar features there...

There was an article in British Archaeology recently (I can't lay my hands on it as my entire house is piles of books at the moment) where somebody had analysed (with a computer, natch) all the possible defiles meeting the (probably intentionally) vague description offered by Tacitus. There were literally hundreds of them, including your and my favoured options (and, of course, the increasingly uninspired-looking Mancetter), as well as some to the west (Virginia Water station was always favoured by Nick Fuentes, I seem to remember; not so daft if a retreat to the west is envisaged, since it is just above the Thames floodplain, although Paullinus would have been well advised to avoid South West Trains for said purpose).

This new forum software really badly (and I mean badly!) needs a preview button for numpties like me :-(

Mike Bishop
You know my method. It is founded upon the observance of trifles

Blogging, tweeting, and mapping Hadrian\'s Wall... because it\'s there
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