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Anonymous

Just a couple of points I would like clearing up regarding the role of Legio II Augusta in the Boudican Rebellion.<br>
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Firstly, I've always understood that the Second failed to turn up for the battle yet from time to time I come across references (including once on this board) to them being present, just turning up in time. So, were they there or not? Tacitus says not.<br>
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Secondly, if they did indeed fail to attend, do we have any idea why not? Tacitus indicates that Poenius Postumius the Camp Prefect took the blame - does anyone know (or is anyone prepared to make an educated guess) as to why he was left in charge? <p>Homo Homini Lupus Every Man is a Wolf to Another Man</p><i></i>
Vale Carus,<br>
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I always assumed that, while failing to come to the aid of IX Hispana or the towns, the did take part in the final battle.<br>
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Maybe the commander was left in place pending an investigation or simply because at the time of crisis no replacement was at hand?<br>
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Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

The relevant quote from Tacitus is:<br>
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Quote:</em></strong><hr>Poenius Postumius, the Prefect in the camp of the second legion, as soon as he heard of the brave exploits of the fourteenth and twentieth legions, felt the disgrace of having, in disobedience to the orders of his general, robbed the soldiers under his command of their share in so complete a victory. Stung with remorse, he fell upon his sword, and expired on the spot. <hr> (<em>Annals</em>, Chap. 37, Book 14)<br>
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This seems to suggest that they weren't at the battle. Also, the implication is that there was no Legate - so what had become of him? With Paulinus, perhaps? Or were the Second undergoing an interregnum? <p>Homo Homini Lupus Every Man is a Wolf to Another Man</p><i></i>
I usually find that Tony Birley is the best source of answers to questions like this.<br>
In fact, in his <em>Officers of the Second Augustan Legion in Britain</em> (Third Annual Caerleon Lecture, Cardiff 1990), he writes (pp.10f.):<br>
Quote:</em></strong><hr>Only Tacitus supplies us with the story of the camp prefect at the time of Boudica's rebellion, Poenius Postumus, who took his own life from shame after failing to respond to Paullinus' call for help (Tacitus, <em>Annals</em> XIV, 37). As has been observed (R. Syme, <em>Tacitus</em>, 1958, 764f.), the fact that the camp prefect was evidently the senior officer at the legion's base allows the inference that not only the legate but also the <em>tribunus laticlavius</em>, his second in command, were absent, presumably already with Paullinus. Since we know that Julius Agricola was attached to the governor's staff, perhaps he was the senatorial tribune of <em>II Augusta</em> at the time of the great revolt. But no certainty is possible.<hr><br>
A long shot, but an interesting possibility. <p></p><i></i>
Hi Carus,<br>
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Tacitus does not actually say that. He only mentions the fate of the camp prefect and hints that the men under his command did not join the battle.<br>
But with the legate and his second-in-command both absent, we could actually assume that large parts of the <em>II Augusta</em> were on campaign already, either with Paulinus or elsewhere.<br>
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Tacitus never tells us that <em>all</em> of the <em>II Augusta</em> missed the battle.<br>
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Valete,<br>
Valerius/Robert <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p200.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=vortigernstudies>Vortigern Studies</A> at: 11/19/04 3:35 pm<br></i>

Anonymous

Quote:</em></strong><hr>Tacitus never tells us that all of the II Augusta missed the battle.<hr><br>
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Good point, Vortigern. Thanks everyone. <p>Homo Homini Lupus Every Man is a Wolf to Another Man</p><i></i>
Quote:</em></strong><hr>Tacitus never tells us that all of the II Augusta missed the battle.<hr><br>
But he plainly implies this.<br>
If part of II Augusta had fought, why does Tacitus only mention the XIV and XX? And why does he say that Postumus had robbed <em>his legion</em> of a share in the glory? (Not "the soldiers under his command", which could be misconstrued as a vexillation.)<br>
No. Tacitus implies that Postumius had been left in command of an entire legion, and had been summoned to the battle by his commander (probably meaning Paullinus himself) but failed to obey. <p></p><i></i>