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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
Nathan Ross wrote:


I don't know about a stalemate - I think we've collectively come up with a good handful of very strong possibilities. Personally I'd still go for Tring 2/New Ground as the best option.

As I understand it there is a putative temple showing from aerial photography at New Ground near Cow Roast - see the summary of the attached PDF - but this might be linked to the River as at Springhead in Kent.

This whole area does seem to have ancient roots linked to the Late Iron Age with coins found from Cunobelinus and Tasciovanus reigns.

There are later Roman coins from Claudius through to Honorius and of course the Tring (Claudian) Helmet found nearby.

Cow Roast is designated a Roman Town and there is apparently much more to excavate....

Is Tring 2 the site of the actual battle? Well it certainly could be......

Deryk


Attached Files
.pdf   cow roast archeology.pdf (Size: 138.46 KB / Downloads: 12)
Deryk
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A little perturbed by the certainty and monolithic view of compounding words being championed here, I switched off the television (a strangely modern latin/greek compound) and went down the pub. I told some bloke at the bar about the nature of the current discussion and he made 5 points, all of which seemed rather good to me:

(1) Latin was related to Greek, rather as English is related to French.  It took in large chunks of Greek vocabulary in particular subject areas (such as seafaring, medicine, and religion) and applied Latin rules of grammar and spelling.

(2) The vast majority of the 570-odd ancient British place names that have survived appear to have been created in a sort of "extended Latin", using elements that Cicero or Ovid might not have used in polite Latin society, but probably came from the multi-ethnic mix of the Roman army.  Imagine comparing the English of a technical manual for exporters of car parts with the English of Jane Eyre.

(3)  Native British (proto-Welsh) peasants seem to have had very little input to the names that have survived.  The vast majority of "Celtic" etymologies that still infest Wikipedia etc do not stand up to critical examination.  However, Celtic nationalists are still doggedly attached to them and do not like hearing that there are better etymologies from the Germanic speech of most of the Roman army or from Greek.

(4) It is completely normal that related words were in common usage (with subtle differences, of course) across many Indo-European languages (including those that have vanished completely), yet we have surviving examples in only a few language families.  Greek supplies a lot of those examples because it was put into writing so early and so extensively.  One of the big questions about early British names is how far the Greek parallels are just proxies for other languages versus names actually created by Greek speakers, who were often the technicians of Roman society.  Remember too that educated Romans used Greek as their second language and to be posh (rather like Russians or Turks used French) and that Greek-speaking Constantiople was booming when Rome had become a shanty town.

(5) The epigraphic record is full of Latin/Greek mixtures.  We still create them today,

this all sounded quite compelling to me and not at all Gadus morhua.
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(05-31-2016, 05:42 PM)John1 Wrote: A little perturbed by the certainty and monolithic view of compounding words being championed here

I said 'I don't think so' and Michael said he 'cannot say one way or the other with certainty' - hardly any monoliths being championed here! [Image: smile.png]

Sure, there are Latin/Greek compound words, but we were talking about place names, and specifically place names in Britain. Very specifically, we were talking about the proposed etymology of a name in the (notoriously garbled and very late) Ravenna Cosmography that tries to take words from Latin and Greek and combine them to produce a particular meaning.

Since the proposed meaning of the name doesn't seem to work, why should we even consider this 'Iaciodulma' place as anywhere other than Lactodurum/Towcester? And what significance does it have to this discussion anyway?
Nathan Ross
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"And what significance does it have to this discussion anyway?"

It was a fairly direct response to a question posed in post 1242;
"would the place soon become "taboo", "cursed"? A pilgrimage site? Forgotten?" 
merely pointing out a new reference by a third party concerning the issue of memorialisation and one of the candidate sites. Seems to have some significance to this discussion to me. It could have stopped there but the critiques demanded a response.

I think Rens Cod piece was a pretty monolithic response to the subtleties of the Roman era names piece, not really a very discursive response from our latinistas.

I had certainly never questioned 'Iaciodulma' being Lactodurum but the discussion has chipped away at that certainty so between the Cod and Chips I think the earlier assumptions  regarding Toaster are starting to look a little mushy.  Tongue
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(05-31-2016, 07:25 PM)John1 Wrote: between the Cod and Chips

Less cod than red herring in this case, I think!
Nathan Ross
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Mia Culpea
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(05-31-2016, 02:13 PM)Theoderic Wrote: there is a putative temple showing from aerial photography at New Ground near Cow Roast - see the summary of the attached PDF - but this might be linked to the River as at Springhead in Kent.

Yes, I mused a bit about that in this post (which includes the attached pdf). The 'spring' explanation seems most likely, although without excavation of the site we'll never know.

Reading back though that paper, I think my previous idea that the general area has been extensively surveyed is wrong - it seems that only the small area around the garage in Cow Roast village has been investigated in any detail. The few military finds (iron pilum shank, bone sword grip, fragment of scale armour) all come from there.

I'm not very up on archaeology, but I'd imagine it might be possible that finds from an earlier period (dumped battle debris?) were mixed up with the remains of rubbish from the later (2nd century?) metalworking settlement, as that was what the excavators believed they'd uncovered. In which case, there may be more such debris nearby... The presumed find-spot of the 'Tring helmet' at the Norcott Hill canal bridge lies about 900 metres south-east of the garage site. The Newground Road 'temple' is probably about the same distance in the opposite direction.
Nathan Ross
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Nathan Ross wrote:

Yes, I mused a bit about that in this post (which includes the attached pdf). The 'spring' explanation seems most likely, although without excavation of the site we'll never know.

Of course you did - my apologies - I knew I'd seen it somewhere before...

There appears to be a large settlement here going back to at least the late Iron Age with quite extensive industrial workings (probably from local bog ore) here and with the settlement expanding into a Roman Town over the centuries. 

If Cow Roast was used at the time of the battle much of the metal from the aftermath may have been melted down and re-used.

The only 2 issues I have with Tring site 2 is that the River Bulbourne runs through the battle site and we have always said that was unlikely and also that the wagons were at the edge of a plain and the valley scenario doesn't seem to fit - unless of course the wagon line was at New Ground and the river was dammed by the Romans at Bulbourne?

Deryk






 
Deryk
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(06-01-2016, 07:08 PM)Theoderic Wrote: There appears to be a large settlement here going back to at least the late Iron Age

Reading through that pdf again, it seems like the evidence for settlement comes from the later 1st and 2nd centuries, after the construction of the Akeman Street - most of the Iron Age material seems to be burials scattered across the valley, plus some coins and brooches. Perhaps the pre-Roman settlements were on the high ground to either side (Wigginton and Northchurch commons) and the valley was used for grazing land, burial plots and small-scale industrial work?


(06-01-2016, 07:08 PM)Theoderic Wrote: the River Bulbourne runs through the battle site

It does, although as we've discussed before it may not have presented an obstruction this high in its course, especially if the battle was in mid summer. The current stream would have been more of a river further down the valley around Berkhamsted, where there seems to have been extensive wetlands, but up near the source there was perhaps no significant volume of water.


(06-01-2016, 07:08 PM)Theoderic Wrote: the wagons were at the edge of a plain and the valley scenario doesn't seem to fit

The position of the wagons needs a bit of additional thinking, perhaps! If we imagine the Britons arriving from the south-east along the valley, following Akeman Street, they could have established their wagon park (and civilian encampment) around the site of Cow Roast village itself, spreading back along the road for some distance and perhaps laterally across the valley - draft animals and horses would need to be taken down to the stream to water them.

In this way, the wagons might be seen to block the retreat of the Britons from a battle area between Cow Roast and Newground:  anyone trying to flee back along the valley would find their way impeded, even if they were not (as I've suggested before) actually fleeing to the wagons to protect their families.

Granted, this site is not a perfect match for Tacitus's description in all regards, but it's about as good as it gets, I think, bearing in mind the overall location. [Image: smile.png]
Nathan Ross
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(05-30-2016, 10:11 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(05-29-2016, 09:23 PM)David Scothorn Wrote: why not abandon some elements the topography and look for a memorial around Towcester?

I still think it's unlikely that the Romans would have erected a memorial or tropaeum to this battle; such things were pretty rare, and usually commemorated either a big imperial victory or a big territorial gain. This was neither, and bearing in mind the supposed political climate in AD62 (Paulinus recalled - apparently under a cloud - and a more placatory governor installed), a monument might have been seen as needlessly antagonising the native population and glorifying what was essentially a counter-insurgency campaign led by a man out of imperial favour.

However, if any evidence of such a thing ever turned up in a suitable location, I'd reconsider! [Image: wink.png]


(05-29-2016, 09:23 PM)David Scothorn Wrote: Have we always placed too much emphasis on the 'narrow defile? But where would that leave us?

Nowhere much, I think. T's description of the location may have been invented, but it's pretty much all we have to select an exact location. If we discount it, we're left with a battle that could have happened just about anywhere in south-east England...

Only by combining the topographical stuff about the site itself with a strategic survey (routes, travel times and distances, reinforcement and supply possibilities) and some idea of a plausible chronology can we narrow down the options.

(05-31-2016, 10:26 AM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(05-30-2016, 11:38 PM)David Scothorn Wrote: Is it unreasonable to propose that a wider-geographical location of Iaciodulma is at Castle Dykes?

I think so, I'm afraid. The Ravenna Cosmography is a list of places compiled in the 8th century: 'Iaciodulma' appears between St Albans and Wall, so is probably a town on Watling Street somewhere. Towcester is the obvious choice, and the similarity with 'Lactodurum' is compelling. Whatever there was or was not at Church Stowe, I don't think there's any evidence of a town or settlement there, certainly not one that would have survived on maps for many centuries afterwards.


(05-30-2016, 11:38 PM)David Scothorn Wrote: "...it is more than likely that the Romans would have marked the site."

This is quoted from John's survey of the Church Stowe site. The location's very interesting, and there may indeed have been some Roman military activity there. It's possible that this is the site of our battle, although I continue to find a couple of other options more likely, as far as our limited means to determine these things goes! [Image: wink.png]

About the memorialisation of the site, though, I'm not convinced. Why would the Romans have 'more than likely' done this? No memorial marked the site of the defeat of Florus and Sacrovir in Gaul, or of the Batavian rebels, or even of Spartacus. Until recent centuries, it was apparently common for the exact sites of battles to be forgotten within a few generations.


(05-30-2016, 11:51 PM)David Scothorn Wrote: Having reached a stalemate trying to identify the 'narrow defile', is it not time to look at other lateral possibilities?

I don't know about a stalemate - I think we've collectively come up with a good handful of very strong possibilities. Personally I'd still go for Tring 2/New Ground as the best option.

Lateral thinking's always good, and we've been doing a fair bit of that too over the years! Further suggestions are certainly welcome.


Thank you all for your patient replies. I was thinking more about the possibility of a memorial site at Castle Dykes rather than a settlement.
When I said 'stalemate', I was suggesting that some other (lateral) possibilities be considered, not those already discussed extensively.
I have never come across a more compelling (archeohistorical) discussion than this one.
BTW. I have been on this site before, just forgotten my log in name and password, or too lazy to look it up, morelike.
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Thank you all! I'm very excited with the "stirring" of the thread- I will try to catch up with your latest posts this evening. Meanwhile - have you seen THIS? It is new to me! http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/...chaeology/ I am in awe! A.D 62!!!! Mentioning provisions from Verulamium!!!!!! :o
together with the AD63 Roman fort recently found in London it points towards the veracity of the chronicles imho http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/...can-revolt

(05-31-2016, 05:42 PM)John1 Wrote: A little perturbed by the certainty and monolithic view of compounding words being championed here, I switched off the television (a strangely modern latin/greek compound) and went down the pub. I told some bloke at the bar about the nature of the current discussion and he made 5 points, all of which seemed rather good to me:

(1) Latin was related to Greek, rather as English is related to French.  It took in large chunks of Greek vocabulary in particular subject areas (such as seafaring, medicine, and religion) and applied Latin rules of grammar and spelling.

(2) The vast majority of the 570-odd ancient British place names that have survived appear to have been created in a sort of "extended Latin", using elements that Cicero or Ovid might not have used in polite Latin society, but probably came from the multi-ethnic mix of the Roman army.  Imagine comparing the English of a technical manual for exporters of car parts with the English of Jane Eyre.

(3)  Native British (proto-Welsh) peasants seem to have had very little input to the names that have survived.  The vast majority of "Celtic" etymologies that still infest Wikipedia etc do not stand up to critical examination.  However, Celtic nationalists are still doggedly attached to them and do not like hearing that there are better etymologies from the Germanic speech of most of the Roman army or from Greek.

(4) It is completely normal that related words were in common usage (with subtle differences, of course) across many Indo-European languages (including those that have vanished completely), yet we have surviving examples in only a few language families.  Greek supplies a lot of those examples because it was put into writing so early and so extensively.  One of the big questions about early British names is how far the Greek parallels are just proxies for other languages versus names actually created by Greek speakers, who were often the technicians of Roman society.  Remember too that educated Romans used Greek as their second language and to be posh (rather like Russians or Turks used French) and that Greek-speaking Constantiople was booming when Rome had become a shanty town.

(5) The epigraphic record is full of Latin/Greek mixtures.  We still create them today,

this all sounded quite compelling to me and not at all Gadus morhua.

Oh WOW! That is one heck of a pub - I'm afraid if I went down to a pub around here I'd only hear soap opera-themed conversations and people STILL fighting over our president's impeachment...  
(off with her head!)
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beware  that pub, I still have a sore head from last night..... I tried to stand up for Nathan's view about the "notoriously garbled and very late Ravenna Cosmology" the other drinkers and the host took exception to that and retorted that such a view was well out of date and traceable to Rivet and Smith (1979) being got at by Celticisits and backsliding from the work of Richmond and Crawford (1949). 

Roman Era Names and a big burly bloke that sits in the corner mentioned that the Cosmography is in fact extremely useful, geographically logical and no more corrupted than any other ancient source. Furthermore, after 5 more pints, it was made quite clear that it manifestly relies on information from quite early in the Roman period, probably maps from around Ptolemy's time, even if it was turned into a list in about AD700. The key reason for paying attention to Iaciodulma is understanding how Lactodoro and Letoceto got their names.....

I tried, I really tried but I was out numbered and some of them are big lads who can handle their beer and Latin.....
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(06-02-2016, 06:34 AM)John1 Wrote: such a view was well out of date

Hopefully all of them had read Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews's Britannia in the Ravenna Cosmography (2013)?

If you can find one source (aside from your romaneranames site) that proposes some other identification than Towcester for 'Iaciodulma', then this may be interesting. Even then, it would be a stretch to link it with this discussion!
Nathan Ross
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Nice link, thanks it was new to me, there was a bloke that looked a bit like Fitzpatrick-Matthews in the boozer a couple of weeks back, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't him.

This still doesn't seem like a stretch to link to this discussion, given the proximity of CS, Marix Evans, and all the others to Towcester, maybe I'm assuming that we are allowed a wider range than is considered appropriate. The broader and deeper the education on Roman stuff and British passive aggression the  better as far as I'm concerned I learn more with every post.

Advice from moderators please; 
is discussing sites close to proposed candidate sites in respect of potential battle associated names too far off the thread?
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(06-02-2016, 02:59 PM)John1 Wrote: is discussing sites close to proposed candidate sites in respect of potential battle associated names too far off the thread?

What other sites are you proposing? This isn't a site, it's a name, in a list of other names widely regarded as corrupt. The etymology that claims a link with the battle doesn't work. Therefore there's surely no substance at all to this argument.
Nathan Ross
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