B is for Boudicca

‘Celtic Queen of the Iceni tribe of modern-day East Anglia, England, who lead a revolt against Rome in 60 or 61 CE. The Iceni King, Prasutagus, an independent ally of Rome, divided his estate between his wife and daughters and King Nero of Rome. When Prasutagus died, however, his lands were taken by Rome and his wife, Boudicca, was flogged, his two daughters raped, for their presumption to Roman citizenry.

Boudicca mounted a revolt against Rome which left the ancient Roman cities of Camulodunum, Londinium and Verulamium in ruins and over 80,000 Roman citizens of England dead. She was defeated at the Battle of Watling Street by the Roman Governor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, chiefly by allowing her army to cut off its own escape route by encircling their rear with their wagons, animals and families. Boudicca is said to have committed suicide by poisoning herself to avoid capture after her defeat.’

Boudicca’s Army Attacks:

Led by Boudicca, about 100,000 British attacked Camulodunum (now Colchester), where the Roans had their main center of rule. With Suetonius and most of the Roman forces away, Camulodunum was not well-defended, and the Romans were drive out. he Procurator Decianus was forced to flee. Boudicca’s army burned Camulodunum to the ground; only the Roman temple was left.

Immediately Boudicca’s army turned to the largest city in the British Isles, Londinium (London). Suetonius strategically abandoned the city, and Boudicca’s army burned Londinium and massacred the 25,000 inhabitants who had not fled. Archaeological evidence of a layer of burned ash shows the extent of the destruction.

Next, Boudicca and her army marched on Verulamium (St. Albans), a city largely populated by Britons who had cooperated with the Romans and who were killed as the city was destroyed.

Changing Fortunes:

Boudicca’s army had counted on seizing Roman food stores when the tribes abandoned their own fields to wage rebellion, but Suetonius had strategically seen to the burning of the Roman stores. Famine thus struck the victorious army, weakening them.

Boudicca fought one more battle, though its precise location is not sure. Boudicca’s army attacked uphill, and, exhausted, hungry, was easy for the Romans to rout. Roman troops of 1,200 defeated Boudicca’s army of 100,000, killing 80,000 to their own loss of 400.

What happened to Boudicca is uncertain. It is said she returned to her home territory and took poison to avoid Roman capture.

A result of the rebellion was that the Romans strengthened their military presence in Britain and also lessened the oppressiveness of their rule.

Boudicca’s story was nearly forgotten until Tacitus’ work, Annals, was rediscovered in 1360. Her story became popular during the reign of another English queen who headed an army against foreign invasion, Queen Elizabeth I.

Bibliography

http://www.ancient.eu.com/Boudicca/

‘’ Written by Joshua J. Mark, published on 02 September 2009 under the following license: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms.

http://womenshistory.about.com/od/boudicca/p/boudicca.htm

Advertisements

Please Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s