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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
(03-18-2017, 04:35 PM)David Scothorn Wrote: If, as you suggest, this was Roman assertion and policy, Boudica would have been aware that these violations would become the consequences of her husband's death. In drawing a comparison with Cartimandua, presumably she ruled by right rather than by marriage.

We are not sure how many Client Kings there were and there is no reason to suppose that Cartimandua was not a Client Queen but I think that Claudius received eleven submissions at possibly Chelmsford before he went back to Rome and she may have been one of those.

I am not sure that Boudica would have realised that the will of Prasatugus splitting his estate between his daughters and the Emperor would have been received so badly, after all as far as the Iceni were concerned they were allies of Rome not a state but they were to be sadly and violently disabused of their status.

As far as Rome was concerned they were a subject Nation. 

Also it was normal for the Brythonic tribes to be ruled by Queens but Roman Society did not allow Roman women to hold office or to vote.
Deryk
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Chelmsford?
Am I being an Anglo Saxon pedant?
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(03-19-2017, 08:46 PM)David Scothorn Wrote: Chelmsford?
Am I being an Anglo Saxon pedant?

Chelmsford was originally Caesaromagus and was unusual in being named after a Caesar. It has been postulated that "Caesar's Field" or "The market place of Caesar" was where a final battle with Claudius who brought to terms the Brythons defeating them or where the Client Kings gave their allegiance to him....the latter seeming more plausible...but it could have been Colchester....or somewhere else.  
Deryk
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(03-13-2017, 09:58 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote: We don't know to what extent the implementation of these instructions was in the hands of Decianus and Paulinus - nor whether those instructions were carried out too forcefully. But even the rape of Boudica's daughters might have been policy - to render them unmarriageable, and their portions of their father's inheritance (which would have passed to their future husbands) worthless. A deliberate act of punishment, rather than provocation.

If punishment was in the minds of the Romans I could see the actions at the Iceni court as a means to an end. But punishment for what exactly? Was Boudicca expected to hand it al over, both power and posessions? And if she indeed could expect that, why not rise up before the Romans could act against her and her family? Either the Romans are acting very heinous here, and/or the British are acting very innocent/unsuspecting. Both would fit Tacitus' modus of writing about evil Romans and noble barbarians. Just sayin'. Wink
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Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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(03-20-2017, 12:26 PM)Robert Vermaat Wrote: Was Boudicca expected to hand it al over, both power and posessions?

I think that's probably exactly what she was expected to do!

While I don't know of any direct evidence, I believe that the lands and property of Roman client kings who died without obvious successors was generally held to default to Rome. Cogidubnus's kingdom seems to have been absorbed by the Roman province on his death, while the Brigantes kingdom required more of a hostile takeover: we don't hear anything more about Cartimandua, so perhaps with her death the clientship had been formally wrapped up. But we see from various client states in the east (the Herodian kingdom, Commagene, Nabatea) that the Romans were quite willing to seize client territories whose rulers were no longer playing the game. And they would have wanted to move fast, before a rival claimant had a chance to make a bid for power.

In the case of Prasutagus, he seems to have tried to make a sort of posthumous bargain with Rome, giving Nero half his kingdom whle trying to keep the other half out of Roman hands, as a bequest to his daughters. Clearly the Romans were not having any of that. Maybe it was Boudica herself who tried to argue for the terms of her husband's will, which is why Roman punishment fell so hard upon her.

It is curious that the Roman authorities didn't seem to forsee any problems with this situation, though - until it was too late. Although perhaps Cerialis and his Ninth Legion were intended to stand ready for any disturbances in Iceni country? If so, he would seem rather more tardy than reckless...

Boudica herself doesn't seem to have had any claim to rule over the Iceni. Tacitus describes her as Prasutagus's wife, and one of the royal house, but he doesn't call her a queen. The speech he gives her (albeit probably his own work) seems to say that although Britons have been led in war by women in the past, she is not taking a leadership role; so she's putting herself forward as a sort of figurehead. This might have been a clever way around problems in the chain of command in the disparate rebel army.

In Dio's version of the speech she does call herself Queen. But I suspect Dio's version is even less authentic. In fact, I suspect the whole thing might be a joke about the reign of Elagabalus...
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(03-23-2017, 10:03 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(03-20-2017, 12:26 PM)Robert Vermaat Wrote: Was Boudicca expected to hand it al over, both power and posessions?

I think that's probably exactly what she was expected to do!

If so, she was in fact rebelling when she did not comply? I mean that's not what the sources stress, do they? We get that image of greedy Romans (Nero) and a punishment that sends the British into a rightious rage, almost as if the reader is asked to understand the immense wrongs that were done to them. So where lies reality?

Were the Romans 'within their rights' as de facto conquerors, legally justified to demand the keys to the kingdom, but confronted by a defiant British kingdom which opted for rebellion?
Were the Romans perhaps not even directly involved but is this the tale of a rebelling Iceni tribe, planning to overthrow Roman Britain from the start, whose 'story' was afterwards 'sugercoated' by Roman authors who had an axe to grind with the Principate, looking back to the glorified Republic?
Or do we indeed have to see this as something that happened in reality - an act of greed and needless cruelty as the story asks of us, leading to a rightious but very spontaneous uprising?
_________________________________
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR: Forum rules
FECTIO Late Roman Society
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
[Image: artgroepbutton.jpg]
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(03-24-2017, 07:44 AM)Robert Vermaat Wrote: If so, she was in fact rebelling when she did not comply? I mean that's not what the sources stress, do they? ... So where lies reality?

Yes, it is hard to judge. And in fact the three main literary sources we have for the revolt give slightly different reasons for the outbreak.

Tacitus, in Agricola, suggests that the Britons were generally unhappy with oppressive Roman domination and were just waiting for an opportunity to rebel - an opportunity granted them by the absence of Paulinus on campaign.

"Relieved from apprehension by the legate's absence, the Britons dwelt much among themselves on the miseries of subjection, compared their wrongs, and exaggerated them in the discussion... Rousing each other by this and like language, under the leadership of Boudicea, a woman of kingly descent (for they admit no distinction of sex in their royal successions), they all rose in arms." (Agricola 15-16)

In his later account, in Annals, Tacitus puts a different spin on it, and gives us the full story of Roman brutality, which doesn't seem 'exaggerated' at all:

"Prasutagus, king of the Iceni... had made the emperor his heir along with his two daughters, under the impression that this token of submission would put his kingdom and his house out of the reach of wrong. But the reverse was the result, so much so that his kingdom was plundered by centurions, his house by slaves, as if they were the spoils of war. First, his wife Boudicea was scourged, and his daughters outraged. All the chief men of the Iceni, as if Rome had received the whole country as a gift, were stript of their ancestral possessions, and the king's relatives were made slaves. Roused by these insults and the dread of worse, reduced as they now were into the condition of a province, they flew to arms..." (Annals 14.31)

Here, Tacitus makes Boudica into the focal point of the revolt: "it is not as a woman descended from noble ancestry, but as one of the people that I am avenging lost freedom, my scourged body, the outraged chastity of my daughters. Roman lust has gone so far that not our very persons, nor even age or virginity, are left unpolluted."

This fits with his usual presentation of noble savage barbarians versus 'depraved' Romans (who have forgotten their ancestral virtues etc), but the added details are interesting: is this genuinely new information that T had discovered in the 20 years or so between his first work and his last, or did he invent the story of the atrocities to give added colour to his account? The new material does make the revolt seem entirely justified, whereas before it just seemed opportunistic.

Cassius Dio, meanwhile, has this version:

"An excuse for the war was found in the confiscation of the sums of money that Claudius had given to the foremost Britons... But the person who was chiefly instrumental in rousing the natives and persuading them to fight the Romans, the person who was thought worthy to be their leader and who directed the conduct of the entire war, was Buduica, a Briton woman of the royal family..." (Dio 62.2)

Dio gives Boudica a speech in which she appeals to the usual benefits of freedom over slavery, alludes to Roman crimes without being specific ("we are stripped and despoiled like a murderer's victims") and gives a somewhat unlikely account of Roman effeminacy and degeneracy.

So do we gather from all this that the Britons had just cause for revolt, or not? Was their uprising the result of long-held grievances, which would inevitably burst into war, or of a sudden and singular act of Roman violence, or was it merely opportunistic or instinctive?

I don't think we can tell, as we cannot disentangle literary rhetoric from historical fact. All we know is the revolt (probably!) happened, and that its scale was sufficiently great to imply a real and deeply-felt cause.

I know I've mentioned the Indian 'mutiny' of 1857 several times in this thread, but it might be significant that, even with the comparatively vast amount of evidence on that uprising, historians are still in disagreement on the direct and indirect causes, and whether it was a general reaction to imperial (mis)rule, a spontaneous 'patriotic' uprising or a response to particular stimuli. We could also point to the current ongoing violence in the middle east, I suppose - even with virtually no historical distance involved, it is often extremely difficult to correctly identify the exact causes for popular revolts and uprisings.
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Nathan Ross wrote:

I don't think we can tell, as we cannot disentangle literary rhetoric from historical fact. All we know is the revolt (probably!) happened, and that its scale was sufficiently great to imply a real and deeply-felt cause.

I don't think that there has ever been a satisfactory explanation of why Rome so misjudged the situation, not so much from the point of taking over the Iceni lands but that they were so unaware of a possible revolt on the huge scale that happened.

Obviously the Iceni and Trinovantes were involved but the contemporary reports suggest a number of other tribes who together were well armed enough to defeat part of the Ninth and to totally destroy Colchester and worry SP enough for him to withdraw a force that in theory had just defeated the tribes in Anglesey minus any garrisons left behind, unless you postulate the dash to the capital by SP leaving the main army on the road.

It seems unlikely that it was just a rabble because a well drilled and well armed legion (the Fourteenth) should have made mincemeat of them. In fact it would seem that no legion was in fact beaten by the Brythons in organised battle unless they were in transit or on food gathering missions.

So what is the explanation?
Deryk
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I was pointed at this recently, not in a position to donate and not sure which site is under investigation;

http://www.boudicabattlefield.com/index.html

is it one of you lot?

250047
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(05-15-2017, 03:38 PM)John1 Wrote: is it one of you lot?

It doesn't look like anything we've discussed here. Having the legions head for Cirencester seems a bit unusual, although they suggest a reason - which we can believe or not.

Interesting to see another theory which doesn't actually involve Watling Street all that much though. As far as I can make out, they're vaguely suggesting a site on Akeman, maybe?

Asking for donations for such a tentative approach seems rather wishful (they haven't mentioned what they would do with the money, or how much they need, or what sort of result they're after) - but who knows?
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(05-15-2017, 04:54 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(05-15-2017, 03:38 PM)John1 Wrote: is it one of you lot?

It doesn't look like anything we've discussed here. 

Interesting. The site seems to have gone down.

http://www.boudicabattlefield.com

502 Bad Gateway

nginx/1.9.12
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I guess it was one of you lot then ........ PS just gone through 1/4 million views.

It's now back up and running;
http://www.boudicabattlefield.com/index.html
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No mention of the "B" word but Steve K has put out another useful study to utilise in the thread mission, thanks Steve....

www.academia.edu/33215789/Early_Imperial_Roman_army_campaigning_observations_on_marching_metrics_energy_expenditure_and_the_building_of_marching_camps

257528
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My pleasure and thanks.

The spreadsheet that the essay describes is available on my website at http://bandaarcgeophysics.co.uk/arch_intro.html - hours, even days, of fun marching Romans down roads or across country and then ordering the building of marching camps.
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Back to St Albans and Windridge for one comment. This image of Burnswark has been doing the rounds on the National Geographic sites for a few weeks. The lower right corner is very right angled and the is an oblique corner cut of the lower left corner very similar to Windridge.
   

I thought I'd throw in an aerial view from Castle Dykes too in case anyone is interested. Castle Dykes is the wood in the foreground Weedon Hill above it. Note the "Great Plain" of the Nene Valley in the distance.The position on the Danelaw/Mercia border on Watling Street isn't something we have explored much but that would take me out of RAT and onto ASAT, which I don't think exists. I could buy a refortification of the features in the AS and later medieval periods as well as the RCHM and locals view that the ditches might well have an Iron Age origin.
   

and looking back to Castle Dykes from the ridge East of Weedon Hill, gives a better impression of the topography. Large central wood is Castle Dykes, green horizon to it's left is Castle Yard, and small brick building, mid-right, is the site of the lower camp;
   

263435
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