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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
"What other sites are you proposing?" 
nothing new, just refering to the number that are clustered around that section of Watling Street, Church Stowe, Paulerspury, Tripontium, High Cross. Any others in that area?

"This isn't a site, it's a name"
Well the name has to be belong to a site, maybe it is Towcester, maybe it's somewhere else close by.

"a list of other names widely regarded as corrupt"
the Ravenna or Roman Era Names? I hate corruption. Serves me right for looking at latin, I'll stick to maps as the latin seems to be a bit dodgy.

"The etymology that claims a link with the battle doesn't work."
that's your view, obviously the author of the Roman Era Names site (who is not corrupt) doesn't share it. I'm not qualified to make that judgment, merely draw that published interpretation to a wider audience, some of whom are interested.

"Therefore there's surely no substance at all to this argument."
maybe, but it's a statement that's out there and seems pertinent to the debate and therefore the thread if we're going to consider all aspects of the search. It's there, it's apparently challengeable, but it's still there.

No word from the moderators regarding it's validity as part of the thread so I assume it's still ok to talk about it, although I don't really have anything else to say on this point.
(06-07-2016, 06:23 AM)John1 Wrote: the number that are clustered around that section of Waling Street, Church Stowe, Paulerpury, Tripontium, High Cross.

That's not surprising, I think, as Webster's ideas place the battle around there, so the area's had undue attention. But beyond a few prospective locations, nothing's been found that might suggest that region is more likely than several others.

(06-07-2016, 06:23 AM)John1 Wrote: the Ravenna or Roman Era Names?

I meant the Ravenna; everything I've read about it says the list is corrupt, and it's not hard to see why.

I believe you have links to the romaneranames site, John, so I'm hesitant about criticism, but that particular etymology (and several others on the site) isn't supported anywhere else and seems dubious. Coming up with an idea like that is one thing, but suggesting it's a known hypothesis, rather than a personal theory, while dismissing more accepted definitions without explanation, seems unhelpful.

(06-07-2016, 06:23 AM)John1 Wrote: I assume it's still ok to talk about it

Sure, I don't see why not - but, as I say, I don't think there's much else down that particular route!
In the search for a battlefield location with associated memorial stuff I've moved off Latin as it seemed to be an issue for some, how about we try some Old English, this time from the University of Nottingham. It seems one interpretation of Weedon Bec, immediately North of the Church Stowe site, is in fact a "Heathen Temple Hill" surely you'll let me have this one.....

shall we call that case closed then?

No, OK then some corpses?

A broader Holy site/temple complex then?

Still no? OK then this must be where the 20th hung out for a while;

Oh it's getting a bit boaring now (XX motif gag), but I think the Old English may have given the Latin a bit of a boost.
Nice Riposte, John1 !
(06-12-2016, 11:18 PM)John1 Wrote: Weedon Bec at Church Stowe is in fact a "Heathen Temple Hill"... some corpses?...Holy site/temple complex?

Aha! Well, it may be true that every 'temple' and every mound in southern Britain for a thousand or so years somehow relates to Boudica's revolt... But I suspect there may have been some other historical events going on that could have influenced Anglo-Saxon place names in the intervening period!

However, we will never know for sure, of course... [Image: wink.png]
I did read Weedon had a big hypocaust system with signs of some quality post Roman occupation in the form of an Anglo Saxon Royal Palace, so lots going on thereabouts for sure. 

Tring scores a couple of teasing martial references, Aldbury (Nathan's post 1142) might be worth a look for a camp. I'm still thinking Tring is better for some 43ad action rather than 61ad.....


"Whatever there was or was not at Church Stowe, I don't think there's any evidence of a town or settlement there" Nathan’s post #1261
Well the apparent walls in the aerial photo of Castle Yards hint otherwise and back in 1782 there was apparently a tradition that there was a town there….
"(Castle Dykes)They are placed on the brow of a steep hill, commanding a vast view; but at present so overgrown with thick woods, that I had but a very indistinct sight of them. They appeared to comprehend near thirteen acres of ground, and to consist of strong holds, divided from each other by a ditch of stupendous breadth and depth. A plat, called the Castle-yard, stands to the south-west of these, entrenched on all sides but the south-west, comprehending about seven acres, on which, tradition says, a town was situated." - Thomas Pennant, The Journey from Chester to London (1782)
His description of the Castle Dykes (Dikes) structure is quite tasty too;
"Morton informs us, that a vaulted room, formed of squared stones, was discovered in his time, and beneath that another, which falling in accidentally, a smell, resembling that of putrid carcases, issued from it. Two or three, rude sculptures were also discovered among the rubbish. It is conjectured that this place was burnt by the Danes for vast masses of cinders, mixed with pebbles and clay, have been found in different parts; and many of the stones had on them the marks of fire."
Bonus points all round if we've nailed Iaciodulma. Off to the pub to break the news.
There are traces of old fortifications all along the Chilterns, and most other upland areas of Britain too, dating from the prehistoric era to the 17th century; that alone won't tell us much.

I do think this searching after place-name etymologies is rather fruitless (however fun) - there are far too many unknown influences from thousands of years of history. Webster's idea for Mancetter/Manduessedum - 'fort of the pony chariots' or whatever - is quite neat, but not compelling unless you think the site works.

In terms of our battle location, the only trace we might feasibly look for is a temporary Roman marching camp, large enough to hold ten thousand men, and somewhere in the vicinity of a 'defile'. Aside from the possible ditch patterns at Dunstable (which are probably civilian), I don't think we've identified anything like that.

Before thinking further about monuments or temples or whatever, you might consider how or if Romans and/or Britons might have commemorated such places - what comparative evidence do we have? Then you'd have a better idea what you were looking for.

Absence of other archaeological traces would not be surprising. I was reading some reports on the controversy over the exact site of Hastings the other day - the battle was a thousand years after Boudica, and we know the general location pretty accurately (the Normans stuck a huge abbey in the middle of it!), but there have been no finds from the battle at all, not even an arrowhead or a fragment of bone. The same is true, I think, for the majority of known battle sites worldwide.

(06-13-2016, 01:27 PM)John1 Wrote: we're nailed Laciodulma.

Why would this random unidentified ruin have anything to do with the mythical (and meaningless) 'Laciodulma'? It's some kind of fortified site on top of a hill, probably medieval.

The Roman towns along Watling Street are all built along the road itself - there are even some suggestions that neighbouring settlements were moved to the roadside and took their names with them.
"no finds from the battle at all" 
Don't tell me they've written off the Time Team Axe head from the roundabout....

"probably medieval" - certainly a bit, but also way older too.(see the two refs below)

1-"it is possible that part of the outer ramparts are of Iron Age origin, particularly those of the two semicircular baileys. Roman finds said to be from this site may in fact have come from the prehistoric enclosure to the S. " - RCHME

2-"In addition two sherds, one of Iron Age date and the other Roman, were discovered" (BNFAS, 4 (1970)

"there are even some suggestions that neighbouring settlements were moved to the roadside and took their names with them."
took it to Weedon or Towcester, happy with either. Weedon gives us a heathen temple, Towcester stops us falling out over latin.

Previous name should have read "Iaciodulma", way cooler without the "L",

Must dash, school run o'clock
"you might consider how or if Romans and/or Britons might have commemorated such places" 

this is certainly an area I'd be interested in hearing more about but I have little to offer on the topic and would welcome some more voices on this thread, or in the pub. 

The one I always have in mind is Ribemont sur Ancre, big bone and weapon pits, dismembered corpses etc Maybe there are some corollaries between Iron Age Gauls and Iron Age Brits dealing with battlefield memorials. My recollection (and it is time fogged) was that the site was first noted by a Brit classicist in a support trench during the Battle of the Somme. His observations led to discovery and excavation of a quality Roman settlement, baths, theatre and a cracking temple.

The odd thing about the Temple was the closed/circular side which didn't fit the standard model. When the team  went through the Roman level they found the much earlier bone and weapon deposits. So Romans observing the form and significance of a much earlier battlefield memorial. 

I haven't looked at Ribemont for quite a while so any updates/observations appreciated, even if it's off topic (new thread maybe?)

I can't imagine battlefield memorials have only entered human culture in the last few hundred years.

Cadoux, Jean-Louis, ‘L’ossuaire gaulois de Ribemont-sur-Ancre’, in Gallia, 42, 1984, pp. 53-78 ;
Date shift? this article makes the case for the revolt in 60 AD rather than 61AD (from RAT FB thread);
(06-14-2016, 08:11 AM)John1 Wrote: the case for the revolt in 60 AD rather than 61AD

Thanks! I'd missed that detail in the article.

I'm not sure how they draw their conclusion though.

"...the information implies that London, which had been destroyed by Boudica, was up and running again as a city by October, 62 AD..." - It surely wouldn't take more than a few months to get a major trading settlement like London, mainly constructed of timber-framed buildings, 'up and running' again. This document dates to more than a year after the traditional date of the destruction.

In fact, if provisions were still being brought from St Albans, it would suggest a later date for the revolt, rather than an earlier one!

(06-13-2016, 03:08 PM)John1 Wrote: Ribemont sur Ancre... I can't imagine battlefield memorials have only entered human culture in the last few hundred years.

Surely not, as we see them at Tropaeum Traiani and Actium.

But in this case the site wasn't on Iceni territory, and the Romans had control afterwards - so would the Roman authorities want to commemorate the site? Or the local people? If so, how?

Thanks for the note about Ribemont, which I've never heard of before. Very odd and rather morbid, with all the corpses standing up like that!
"I'm not sure how they draw their conclusion though"
agreed, I didn't see a compelling logic.

"If so, how"
Probably a "Heathen Temple on a Hill"  Wink

"Thanks for the note about Ribemont, which I've never heard of before."
I find it odd that it isn't more widely known, I only know it as I did a few days digging and cleaning bones there as a teenager. I think it may be significant in the context of battlefield memorial. 

"Very odd and rather morbid"
Coincidentally some peoples reaction to this thread
(06-14-2016, 11:09 AM)John1 Wrote: Probably a "Heathen Temple on a Hill"  

Possibly something like Arthur's O'on then, which I think is the nearest plausible thing to a 'Roman victory monument' in Britain, excepting the big arch at Richborough.

Or perhaps the Tropaeum Alpium. Interestingly, all of these (and Adamklissi) are circular buildings.

I still don't think there's any need to look for such a monument for this battle, as we have no evidence for one and the circumstances don't seem to fit the pattern of memorialisation (no territory gained, no emperor involved, etc).

But if such a thing did exist, it would probably be a circular structure, perhaps situated close to a road or settlement.
2016 Franco German production on the topic;

Mike Loades still going for Watling St I think.... @43 mins

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