Queen Of Iceni BOUDICCA
- Born: Bef 100
- Marriage: King Of Iceni PRASUTAGUS
- Died: 61 Ad
Another name for Boudicca was BOUDICCA.
Boudica was the wife of Prasutagus, king of the Iceni, a British tribe, at a time when Britain was a Roman province. When Prasutagus died he willed half of his kingdom to the Roman empire and half to Boudica and their two daughters, Camorra and Tasca. British law allowed royal inheritance to be passed to
daughters in the absence of male heir, but Roman law did not. The Roman administrator ignored the will and proceded to take over the entire kingdom. Roman historian Tacitus wrote, "Kingdom and household alike were plundered like prizes of war... for a start, his widow Boudica was flogged and their daughters
raped. The chieftains of the Iceni were deprived of their family estates as if the whole country had been handed over to the Romans. The king's own relatives were treated as slaves."
Enraged Boudica joined Iceni forces with another tribe, the Trinobantes, and together they fought back. They attacked and conquered the Roman colony Camulodunum (now Colchester) and burned the temple dedicated to Claudius, the Roman emperor who completed the conquest of Britain. The Romans retaliated against the insurgents by sending a whole division of soldiers, but they were defeated. The insurgents then marched on London, which they sacked, and killed its Roman population, as well as their sympathizers. They did the same at Verulamium (now St. Albans) and other settlements.
Finally, Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, the Roman governor of Britain, gathered all the Roman troops in the south of Britain and attacked the British in a narrow valley so that the superior numbers of rebel force would be of no advantage against the smaller Roman army. Tacitus reported that Boudica was seen riding her chariot and inspiring her troops before the battle.
However, this time the Romans were victorious, and slaughtered the rebel troops. Boudica and her daughters escaped but then poisoned themselves rather than allow capture. Roman retribution for rebellion was swift and cruel but the British kept up the fight for another year, when Suetonius was succeeded by Publius Petronius Turpilianus, who changed the policy toward the native population to
one of appeasement, which remained in use for three hundred more years of Roman occupation of Britain.
Boudicca (Boadicea) d.61 AD
Queen of the Iceni, a people who lived in the present-day counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. She led a rebellion against the Roman authorities as a result of their mistreatment of her family and people after the death of her husband, Prasutagus, who may have been a Roman client-ruler, in 60 AD.
Boudicca, assisted by other disaffected tribes, sacked the cities of Colchester, St. Albans and London and, it is estimated, massacred approximately 70,000 Roman soldiers and civilians in the course of the glorious, but ill-fated rebellion. The rebels were finally defeated in battle by a force led by the Roman governor of Britain, Suetonius Paulinus, after which Boudicca took her own life by ingesting poison. A memorial statue by Thorneycroft of Boudicca, riding in her war chariot, stands alongside the Thames River in London, in the shadow of Big Ben.
Boudicca, known in Roman annals as Boadicea, was born into aristocracy around 30 A.D. Little or nothing is known of where she came from; many believe that her name, Boudicca, was not her name at
all, but that she may have been called Boudiga -- the Celtic goddess of Victory -- by her followers, which would lead to the Latinized name given as 'Boadicea Victoria' given by Roman historians. Boudicca married into the Iceni royalty in southeastern Britain, believed about 48 A.D., and bore two daughters who had reached adolescence before her husband died of illness in 60 or 61 A.D. After his death came a series of surprising and ruthless attacks on her and her daughters by the Romans, and for this the Iceni tribe became outraged and Boudicca ultimately led a force believed to number over one hundred thousand or more, in a massive rebellion that left a permanent thorn in the side of the Roman Empire.
Boadicea was part of a noble and warlike people, the Keltoi or in Latin, Celtae, an amalgamous group of people which populated the British Isles and western Europe from the late 5th century B.C. onwards. The Romans spent centuries in vicious warfare with these people in Gaul, and had long feared and admired their courage. It was an amassed Celtic force that sacked Rome in 410 A.D., causing the final collapse of the 'Empire' proper; afterwards, it was a divided sovereignity, with the greatest wealth and power lying in
the Eastern part until a thousand years ago, when Europe was launched into a conquering, migrating turmoil.
The Romans most disliked the terrifying war spirit of the Celts, especially the fact that women fought alongside the men, indistinguished in honor and strength. The Roman Diodorus Siculus wrote of Celtic women, saying, "Among the Gauls the women are nearly as tall as the men, whom they rival in courage." The historian Plutarch stated this while describing a battle in 102 B.C. between Romans and Celts: "the fight had been no less fierce with the women than with the men themselves... the women charged with swords and axes and fell upon their opponents uttering a hideous outcry." Because Boudicca -- a woman, a Roman subject, and a Britannic royal -- led the rebellion, Rome felt even more disgraced and outraged.
Julius Caesar invaded Britain twice, first in 55 B.C. then again in early 54 B.C., receiving on the second attack the submission of six powerful tribes in the east; the Iceni were among them. When he then departed early that same year, he left these tribes to go on about their existence, faced with other troubles resultant from his recent oppression of Gaul back across the channel. After Caesar left, these
tribes began trade and relations with established Roman Gaul that would have peacefully Latinized them and paved the way for an easy occupation in the future. Caesar never returned, and for nearly a hundred years, life on Britannia continued without him.
Prasutagus, husband of Boudicca, was most likely the Iceni king when Rome returned in 43 A.D. under Claudius, who had been rushed into office after the murder of the dreadful Caligula to prevent the growing Empire from becoming riotous. Claudius sought many ways to bolster his ratings with his people and military. After counseling with officers and advisors, perusing the aspects of Caligula's
failed attempt to attack Britannia, and studying Caesar's journals on his wars in Gaul, Claudius sent a detachment of 60,000 troops to take and colonize the island. In any case, the Iceni again submitted in 43 A.D., and Prasutagus was allowed to keep his crown provided he agreed to be a client-kingdom of Rome -- for this he would serve Rome, but be allowed to continue to rule his people and lands, and guide them to accept the Romans as their new benefactors. Through Rome, he and all the other client-rulers received military protection, state funding, practical loans, education, employment -- as well as slavery,
serfdom, and suzerainty. Said Calgacus, leader of the Caledonians (in the far north) who led a rebellion some twenty years after Boudicca's, "They create a desolation and call it peace."
There were many client-rulers throughout southern and eastern Britain, but in the west, the Welsh submitted only after 30 years of violent war; and the farther north the Romans went, the harder the
people were to control. In the far north some sixty years after Boudicca, the Romans gave up trying to take Caledonia and the Vallum Hadrianus (Hadrian's Wall) was built to keep its unruly inhabitants out of Roman territory. What later became Scotland thus remained free; proof that the Romans ever set foot on Ireland has not been found to this day. The closest they ever got was the Isle of Mona (Anglesey), a great Druid sanctuary which was destroyed by Roman Governor of Britain Suetonius Paulinus at the same time Boudicca raised her forces.
After marrying Prasutagus in about 48 or 49 A.D., Boudicca became Queen of the Iceni; she bore two daughters, names unknown, who are believed to have been in their early teens when their father died in
60 or 61 A.D. Boudicca then became Regent of the Iceni, and the guard of her daughters' inheritance.
Prasutagus left a will when he died. In it, he left lands and personal possessions and monies to the Emperor (now the despicable Nero) as required of him as a client-ruler 'indebted to Rome'; he also left the remaining monies, heirlooms and property to his wife, for their daughters. The things left would not only assure a dowry to their future husbands, but would also assure that their Roman taxes, tributes and salaries were paid until such time. Believing he'd safeguarded their inheritance by making a huge sacrifice to the Emperor, Prasutagus died without worries.
Boudicca, Queen of the Celts
In the days of Roman Britain, in the 1st century AD, there lived a warrior queen by the name of Boudicca. Flame-haired and proud, she ruled the Iceni, in a time when Rome wanted to rule everything. The lands she governed were located in what is now East Anglia; she had inherited them from her late husband, Prasutagus. When he died, he had left half his lands to Boudicca and her daughters, and the other half to the Emperor Nero, as a sort of payoff to encourage the Romans not to try and take any more -- perhaps not the most ideal package for a grieving widow, but Boudicca was willing to live with it if it meant peaceful coexistence for Romans and Iceni.
The rapacious Romans, however, had other ideas. With a style adopted in the next millenia by tyrants such as Hitler and Castro, the Roman governor stole the remaining Iceni lands, flogged Queen Boudicca, and raped her daughters (adding insult to injury). Needless to say, Boudicca was incensed. She took up
weapons and rallied her people. Within a short time they had marched on the Romans -- and defeated them, in battle after battle. The fury of a Celtic people, led by an enraged queen, outmatched even the well-trained, organized Roman military. Boudicca's army was so effective, they burned and pillaged a
swath of Roman lands ranging from Colchester all the way to Londinium (present-day London). With 100,000 pissed-off Celts behind her, Boudicca was a force to be reckoned with.
In 62 AD, Boudicca fought her last battle against the Roman scum. For once, Roman military strategy (with perhaps a good dose of luck thrown in as well) outfoxed the queen's forces, and she was defeated. Rather than suffer the humiliation of being led through Rome in the traditional triumphal procession,
Boudicca and her daughters killed themselves (an act the Romans could respect, as they held that suicide was often preferable to capture). Though her final battle was lost, Boudicca had proven that native tribes could sure give the Romans a run for their money. Indeed, the Romans never really conquered all of the British Isles. Scotland was never subdued (Hadrian's Wall was built to make sure the Scots didn't invade the Romans), and they never even set foot in Ireland (though they knew about it, and called it "Hibernia"). And to this day, Boudicca's name is commemorated by the adjective
we use to describe a lively, spirited woman: bodacious.
Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni
(Also known as Boadicea) Died A.D. 60
Boudicca has been the subject of myth and legend for centuries. Revered as a symbol of British freedom, stories of her heroism have been told to English schoolchildren for the past two hundred years. In fact, she was the wife of King Prasutagus of the Iceni, a British tribe that lived near the modern town of
Colchester during the time of the Roman Emperor Nero. When Prasutagus, an ally of the Romans died, the local Roman government officials decided that they would seize her wealth and lands for themselves. When Boudicca protested, saying that she was a Roman ally who was being treated no better than a slave, the Roman soldiers flogged her and raped her daughters.
This was an atrocity that Boudicca was not about to bear without a fight. She called her tribe to arms and rebellion against the Romans. The first town to suffer her furious vengeance was Colchester, known to the Romans as Camulodunum. She burned the town and slaughtered the inhabitants. Suetonius Paulinus, the Roman governor of Britain, was away in the North destroying the Druids on the island of Anglesey when news of Boudicca's attack reached him. His army proceeded south in an orderly fashion, marching twenty-four miles each day and setting camp. Meanwhile, Boudicca was headed toward Verulamium (St. Albans). She would avoid any fortified place but attack regions where the plunder was great and the defenses were weak The Second Augusta Legion, under Petillius Cerialis, met Boudicca's eighty to one-hundred thousand rebels with two thousand Roman troops. They were almost totally wiped out, with only the cavalry escaping.
After Verulamium was put to the torch, Suetonius entered Londinium (London). He advised the citizens to leave, and offered to take them with him. He didn't have enough troops with him to defend the town, and the garrison there was much too small to deal effectively with Boudicca. The main part of uetonius’army would not arrive for many days. In the words of Tacitus, he sacrificed a town to save a province.
Word of Boudicca's barbaric deeds paralyzed the British countryside with fear. Again, we have Tacitus to tell us what happened. The British did not take or sell prisoners. They could not wait to cut throats, burn, hang, and crucify. Even today, when foundations are being dug for a new building in the three towns destroyed by Boudiccas's rebels, a thick layer of ash gives mute testimony to the completeness of the devastation. There is an unexpected benefit for the historians, though. By digging to discover what parts of the modern city have this buried layer of ash, they can map the extent of the ancient towns as they existed in the time of Boudicca when they had been in existence only fourteen years.
Suetonius' careful planning and patience finally paid off. Instead of rushing into battle against a much larger force, he chose a place to meet Boudicca where his 10,000 legionaries would have the advantage against her rather disorganized 100,000 rebels. With dense woods at his back to protect him from ambush, he waited in a narrow defile for her to attack. The British were so confident of victory that they brought their families out to watch them slaughter the Romans. All day long, the British sent wave after wave of attackers against Suetonius’well-disciplined troops. Towards evening, the Romans got the upper
hand and attacked, trapping the British against their own wagons and pack animals. The Romans slaughtered about 80,000 Britons, including women, children, and old men, repaying atrocities in kind. Boudicca and her two daughters poisoned themselves rather than be captured and made to walk in a triumphal procession in Rome as prisoners of war. Though both of them were responsible for much brutality in this, the Boudiccan Revolt, they are celebrated as heroes in English history and legend today
Boudicca married King Of Iceni PRASUTAGUS. (King Of Iceni PRASUTAGUS was born before 100 and died in 61 Ad.)