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Boudicca: About

Boudicca

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Who was Boudicca?

Boudica (also written as Boadicea) was a Celtic queen who led a revolt against Roman rule in ancient Britain in A.D. 60 or 61. As all of the existing information about her comes from Roman scholars, particularly Tacitus and Cassius Dio, little is known about her early life; it’s believed she was born into an elite family in Camulodunum (now Colchester) around A.D. 30. 

At the age of 18, Boudica married Prasutagas, king of the Iceni tribe of modern-day East Anglia. When the Romans conquered southern England in A.D. 43, most Celtic tribes were forced to submit, but the Romans let Prasutagas continue in power as a forced ally of the Empire. When he died without a male heir in A.D. 60, the Romans annexed his kingdom and confiscated his family’s land and property. As a further humiliation, they publicly flogged Boudica and raped her two daughters. Tacitus recorded Boudicca’s promise of vengeance after this last violation: “Nothing is safe from Roman pride and arrogance. They will deface the sacred and will deflower our virgins. Win the battle or perish, that is what I, a woman, will do.”

Like other ancient Celtic women, Boudica had trained as a warrior, including fighting techniques and the use of weapons. With the Roman provincial governor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus leading a military campaign in Wales, Boudica led a rebellion of the Iceni and members of other tribes resentful of Roman rule. After defeating the Roman Ninth Legion, the queen’s forces destroyed Camulodunum, then the captain of Roman Britain, and massacred its inhabitants. They went on to give similar treatment to London and Verulamium (modern St. Albans). By that time, Suetonius had returned from Wales and marshaled his army to confront the rebels. In the clash that followed–the exact battle site is unknown, but possibilities range from London to Northamptonshire–the Romans managed to defeat the Britons despite inferior numbers, and Boudica and her daughters apparently killed themselves by taking poison in order to avoid capture. Continue reading from History Channel

From our Collection

Link to Boudica: The Life of Britain's Legendary Warrior Queen by Vanessa Collingridge in the Catalog
Link to Women Warriors: An Unexpected History by Pamela D Toler in the Catalog
Link to The Wrath of Boudicca by KM Ashman in Freading
Link to Celts: Season One by Chris Malone in Hoopla
Link to London's Disasters by John Withington in Freading
Link to The Warrior Queens by Antonia Fraser in the Catalog

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