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PostSubject: Boudica   Mon Jul 23, 2007 4:20 pm

Boudica is perhaps one of my faveorite figures in history and heroines. As a woman warrior and a leader of men whom was respected and feared she is quite unique.

Overview

Boudica (also spelt Boudicca, formerly better known as Boadicea) (d. 60/61) was a queen of the Brythonic Celtic Iceni people of Norfolk in Eastern Britain who led a major uprising of the tribes against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire.

Her husband, Prasutagus, the Icenian king, who had ruled as a nominally independent ally of Rome, had left his kingdom jointly to his daughters and the Roman Emperor in his will, but when he died his will was ignored, possibly because the Romans, unlike the Britons, did not recognise daughters as heirs. The kingdom was annexed as if conquered, Boudica was flogged and her daughters raped, and Roman financiers called in their loans.

In 60 or 61, while the Roman governor, Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, was leading a campaign on the island of Anglesey in north Wales, Boudica led the Iceni, along with the Trinovantes and others, in revolt. They destroyed Camulodunum (Colchester), formerly the capital of the Trinovantes but now a colonia (a settlement for discharged Roman soldiers) and the site of a temple to the former emperor Claudius, built and maintained at local expense, and routed a Roman legion, the IX Hispana, sent to relieve the settlement.

On hearing the news, Suetonius hurried to Londinium (London), the twenty-year-old commercial settlement which was the rebels' next target, but concluding he did not have the numbers to defend it, evacuated and abandoned it. It was burnt to the ground, as was Verulamium (St Albans). An estimated 70,000-80,000 people were killed in the three cities. Suetonius, meanwhile, regrouped his forces in the West Midlands, and despite being heavily outnumbered, defeated Boudica in the Battle of Watling Street. The crisis had led the emperor Nero to consider withdrawing Roman forces from the island, but Suetonius's victory secured Roman control of the province.

The chronicles of these events, as recorded by the historians Tacitus[1] and Cassius Dio,[2] were rediscovered during the Renaissance and led to a resurgence of Boudica's legendary fame during the Victorian era, when Queen Victoria was portrayed as her "namesake". Boudica has since remained an important cultural symbol in the United

Background

Tacitus and Dio agree that Boudica was of royal descent. Dio says that she was "possessed of greater intelligence than often belongs to women", that she was tall, had long red hair down to her hips, a harsh voice and a piercing glare, and habitually wore a large golden necklace (perhaps a torc), a many-coloured tunic and a thick cloak fastened by a brooch.

Her husband, Prasutagus, was the king of Iceni, who inhabited roughly what is now Norfolk. They were initially not part of the territory under direct Roman control, having voluntarily allied themselves to Rome following Claudius's conquest of 43. They were protective of their independence and had revolted in 47 when the then-governor, Publius Ostorius Scapula, threatened to disarm them.[5] Prasutagus lived a long life of conspicuous wealth, and, hoping to preserve his line, made the Roman emperor co-heir to his kingdom along with his wife and two daughters.

It was normal Roman practice to allow allied kingdoms their independence only for the lifetime of their client king, who would agree to leave his kingdom to Rome in his will: the provinces of Bithynia[6] and Galatia,[7] for example, were incorporated into the Empire in just this way. Roman law also allowed inheritance only through the male line. So when Prasutagus died his attempts to preserve his line were ignored and his kingdom was annexed as if it had been conquered. Lands and property were confiscated and nobles treated like slaves. According to Tacitus, Boudica was flogged and her daughters raped. Dio Cassius says that Roman financiers, including Seneca the Younger, chose this point to call in their loans. Tacitus does not mention this, but does single out the procurator, Catus Decianus, for criticism for his "avarice". Prasutagus, it seems, had lived well on borrowed Roman money, and on his death his subjects had become liable for the debt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boudica

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