[In AD 60] a terrible disaster occurred
in Britain. Two cities were sacked, eighty
thousand of the Romans and of their allies
perished, and the island was lost to Rome.
Moreover, all this ruin was brought upon
the Romans by a woman, a fact which in itself
caused them the greatest shame ...
person who was chiefly instrumental in rousing
the natives and persuading them to fight
the Romans, the person who was thought worthy
to be their leader and who directed the
conduct of the entire war, was Boadicea,
a Briton woman of the royal family and possessed
of greater intelligence than often belongs
to women ...
PART OF THE SITE IS CURRENTLY BEING UPDATED
of the Iceni
was definitely all three.
husband was Prasutagus, king of the Iceni tribe in Britain,
during the 1st Century, in the area now known as... Norfolk.
they conceived, and She birthed, two daughters.
the name Boudicea might never have made it's way to this
if She had bore a son, as you will discover...
fourth wife of Roman Emperor Claudius, Agrippina,
was very interested in furthering her son, Nero.
Thus it is believed, that she provoked an estrangement between
and Britannicus, a son Claudius had with his third wife,
Agrippina was quite effective and tireless in her efforts.
Nero, than became Emporer after Claudius was assassinated
possibly by Agrippina herself.
long after, Britannicus was assassinated by Nero,
due to the insistence of his mother, that he posed a serious
cruelty and abuse
Agrippina instilled in her son
finally turned on her,(ouch - karma is a _itch!)
and she was killed at his order.
back in Britain . . .
Prasutagus was worried about his apparent mortality
and the effect it would have on his stable kingdom,
so he came up with a plan he believed would prove infallible.
left his private wealth to his two daughters and to Nero
thinking that this would oblige Nero to respect his will.
proved to be quite disasterous!
to Roman historian, Cornelius Tacitus, (55-120 A.D.),
after Prasutagus died in 60 A.D.,
the Roman soldiers dared to punish the Queen
by flogging Her and raping both Her daughters.
this was not done with the approval of Nero himself,
then at least with his silent consent.
Nero had no reason to respect the last wishes of a dead
whom he considered merely another one of his subjects.
atrocities besides ravaging the country!
She decided to take matters into Her own hands
to protect the inheritance left to her daughters.
. . . Sustained by anger and a sense of injustice,
She appealed to the pride of Her tribe.
incited the Iceni in the name of freedom,
and to seek vengeance, (oops!)
and protest against the atrocities of Roman rule.
raised an army of one hundred and twenty thousand strong.
the governor of the province, Suetonius Paulinus,
was abroad, Boudicea seized the day!
rebellion began in the whole of East Anglia.
It was a surprise attack and a massacre.
the Iceni slaughtered seventy thousand Romans
and local sympathizers.
Iceni sacked Camulodunum (Colchester),
Verulamium (St. Albans), and Londinium (London),
as well as many military outposts.
Suetonius return, he organized a counterattack,
so that even though the Ninth Legion was annihilated,
reinforcements were called up.
a fierce battle, Suetonius reconquered the province.
even though Boudicea had failed in Her efforts,
She did not submit to more humiliation and torment
that seemed likely to follow.
She chose the fate of a warrior and Queen . . .
death at Her own hand, probably by poison.
is documented that Her daughters joined Her in this final
it is with admiration for Her righteous indignation
and respect for the fact that the records of Her name and
were recorded by a Roman, that we have chosen to change
the spelling of Her documented name,
from the version written by Mr. Tacitus.
our arc-hive, She is no longer Boadicea, but rather Boudicea!
Queen ~ Mother ~ Warrior ~
Demeter ~ Diana ~ Titania ~ Morgan Le Faye ~ Gwyn-A-Faire
~ Goddesses ~ Candles ~ Magick & Myth ~ Company
Info ~ Wax
Facts ~ Candle Care ~ B-Hive
In the consulship
of Caesonius Paetus and Petronius Turpilianus, a serious
disaster was sustained in Britain, where Aulius Didius,
the emperor's legate, had merely retained our existing
possessions, and his successor Veranius, after having
ravaged the Silures in some trifling raids, was prevented
by death from extending the war. While he lived, he
had a great name for manly independence, though, in
his will's final words, he betrayed a flatterer's
weakness; for, after heaping adulation on Nero, he
added that he should have conquered the province for
him, had he lived for the next two years. Now, however,
Britain was in the hands of Suetonius Paulinus, who
in military knowledge and in popular favour, which
allows no one to be without a rival, vied with Corbulo,
and aspired to equal the glory of the recovery of
Armenia by the subjugation of Rome's enemies. He therefore
prepared to attack the island of Mona which had a
powerful population and was a refuge for fugitives.
He built flat-bottomed vessels to cope with the shallows,
and uncertain depths of the sea. Thus the infantry
crossed, while the cavalry followed by fording, or,
where the water was deep, swam by the side of their
On the shore
stood the opposing army with its dense array of armed
warriors, while between the ranks dashed women, in
black attire like the Furies, with hair dishevelled,
waving brands. All around, the Druids, lifting up
their hands to heaven, and pouring forth dreadful
imprecations, scared our soldiers by the unfamiliar
sight, so that, as if their limbs were paralysed,
they stood motionless, and exposed to wounds. Then
urged by their general's appeals and mutual encouragements
not to quail before a troop of frenzied women, they
bore the standards onwards, smote down all resistance,
and wrapped the foe in the flames of his own brands.
A force was next set over the conquered, and their
groves, devoted to inhuman superstitions, were destroyed.
They deemed it indeed a duty to cover their altars
with the blood of captives and to consult their deities
through human entrails.
thus occupied received tidings of the sudden revolt
of the province. Prasutagus, king of the Iceni, famed
for his long prosperity, had made the emperor his
heir along with his two daughters, under the impression
that this token of submission would put his kingdom
and his house out of the reach of wrong. But the reverse
was the result, so much so that his kingdom was plundered
by centurions, his house by slaves, as if they were
the spoils of war. First, his wife Boudicea was scourged,
and his daughters outraged. All the chief men of the
Iceni, as if Rome had received the whole country as
a gift, were stript of their ancestral possessions,
and the king's relatives were made slaves. Roused
by these insults and the dread of worse, reduced as
they now were into the condition of a province, they
flew to arms and stirred to revolt the Trinobantes
and others who, not yet cowed by slavery, had agreed
in secret conspiracy to reclaim their freedom. It
was against the veterans that their hatred was most
intense. For these new settlers in the colony of Camulodunum
drove people out of their houses, ejected them from
their farms, called them captives and slaves, and
the lawlessness of the veterans was encouraged by
the soldiers, who lived a similar life and hoped for
similar licence. A temple also erected to the Divine
Claudius was ever before their eyes, a citadel, as
it seemed, of perpetual tyranny. Men chosen as priests
had to squander their whole fortunes under the pretence
of a religious ceremonial. It appeared too no difficult
matter to destroy the colony, undefended as it was
by fortifications, a precaution neglected by our generals,
while they thought more of what was agreeable than
of what was expedient.
without any evident cause, the statue of Victory at
Camulodunum fell prostrate and turned its back to
the enemy, as though it fled before them. Women excited
to frenzy prophesied impending destruction; ravings
in a strange tongue, it was said, were heard in their
Senate-house; their theatre resounded with wailings,
and in the estuary of the Tamesa had been seen the
appearance of an overthrown town; even the ocean had
worn the aspect of blood, and, when the tide ebbed,
there had been left the likenesses of human forms,
marvels interpreted by the Britons, as hopeful, by
the veterans, as alarming. But as Suetonius was far
away, they implored aid from the procurator, Catus
Decianus. All he did was to send two hundred men,
and no more, without regular arms, and there was in
the place but a small military force. Trusting to
the protection of the temple, hindered too by secret
accomplices in the revolt, who embarrassed their plans,
they had constructed neither fosse nor rampart; nor
had they removed their old men and women, leaving
their youth alone to face the foe. Surprised, as it
were, in the midst of peace, they were surrounded
by an immense host of the barbarians. All else was
plundered or fired in the onslaught; the temple where
the soldiers had assembled, was stormed after a two
days' siege. The victorious enemy met Petilius Cerialis,
commander of the ninth legion, as he was coming to
the rescue, routed his troops, and destroyed all his
infantry. Cerialis escaped with some cavalry into
the camp, and was saved by its fortifications. Alarmed
by this disaster and by the fury of the province which
he had goaded into war by his rapacity, the procurator
Catus crossed over into Gaul.
however, with wonderful resolution, marched amidst
a hostile population to Londinium, which, though undistinguished
by the name of a colony, was much frequented by a
number of merchants and trading vessels. Uncertain
whether he should choose it as a seat of war, as he
looked round on his scanty force of soldiers, and
remembered with what a serious warning the rashness
of Petilius had been punished, he resolved to save
the province at the cost of a single town. Nor did
the tears and weeping of the people, as they implored
his aid, deter him from giving the signal of departure
and receiving into his army all who would go with
him. Those who were chained to the spot by the weakness
of their sex, or the infirmity of age, or the attractions
of the place, were cut off by the enemy. Like ruin
fell on the town of Verulamium, for the barbarians,
who delighted in plunder and were indifferent to all
else, passed by the fortresses with military garrisons,
and attacked whatever offered most wealth to the spoiler,
and was unsafe for defence. About seventy thousand
citizens and allies, it appeared, fell in the places
which I have mentioned. For it was not on making prisoners
and selling them, or on any of the barter of war,
that the enemy was bent, but on slaughter, on the
gibbet, the fire and the cross, like men soon about
to pay the penalty, and meanwhile snatching at instant
the fourteenth legion with the veterans of the twentieth,
and auxiliaries from the neighbourhood, to the number
of about ten thousand armed men, when he prepared
to break off delay and fight a battle. He chose a
position approached by a narrow defile, closed in
at the rear by a forest, having first ascertained
that there was not a soldier of the enemy except in
his front, where an open plain extended without any
danger from ambuscades. His legions were in close
array; round them, the light-armed troops, and the
cavalry in dense array on the wings. On the other
side, the army of the Britons, with its masses of
infantry and cavalry, was confidently exulting, a
vaster host than ever had assembled, and so fierce
in spirit that they actually brought with them, to
witness the victory, their wives riding in waggons,
which they had placed on the extreme border of the
with her daughters before her in a chariot, went up
to tribe after tribe, protesting that it was indeed
usual for Britons to fight under the leadership of
women. "But now," she said, "it is not as a woman
descended from noble ancestry, but as one of the people
that I am avenging lost freedom, my scourged body,
the outraged chastity of my daughters. Roman lust
has gone so far that not our very persons, nor even
age or virginity, are left unpolluted. But heaven
is on the side of a righteous vengeance; a legion
which dared to fight has perished; the rest are hiding
themselves in their camp, or are thinking anxiously
of flight. They will not sustain even the din and
the shout of so many thousands, much less our charge
and our blows. If you weigh well the strength of the
armies, and the causes of the war, you will see that
in this battle you must conquer or die. This is a
woman's resolve; as for men, they may live and be
Nor was Suetonius
silent at such a crisis. Though he confided in the
valour of his men, he yet mingled encouragements and
entreaties to disdain the clamours and empty threats
of the barbarians. "There," he said, "you see more
women than warriors. Unwarlike, unarmed, they will
give way the moment they have recognised that sword
and that courage of their conquerors, which have so
often routed them. Even among many legions, it is
a few who really decide the battle, and it will enhance
their glory that a small force should earn the renown
of an entire army. Only close up the ranks, and having
discharged your javelins, then with shields and swords
continue the work of bloodshed and destruction, without
a thought of plunder. When once the victory has been
won, everything will be in your power."
Such was the
enthusiasm which followed the general's address, and
so promptly did the veteran soldiery, with their long
experience of battles, prepare for the hurling of
the javelins, that it was with confidence in the result
that Suetonius gave the signal of battle.
At first, the
legion kept its position, clinging to the narrow defile
as a defence; when they had exhausted their missiles,
which they discharged with unerring aim on the closely
approaching foe, they rushed out in a wedge-like column.
Similar was the onset of the auxiliaries, while the
cavalry with extended lances broke through all who
offered a strong resistance. The rest turned their
back in flight, and flight proved difficult, because
the surrounding waggons had blocked retreat. Our soldiers
spared not to slay even the women, while the very
beasts of burden, transfixed by the missiles, swelled
the piles of bodies. Great glory, equal to that of
our old victories, was won on that day. Some indeed
say that there fell little less than eighty thousand
of the Britons, with a loss to our soldiers of about
four hundred, and only as many wounded. Boudicea put
an end to her life by poison. Poenius Postumus too,
camp-prefect of the second legion, when he knew of
the success of the men of the fourteenth and twentieth,
feeling that he had cheated his legion out of like
glory, and had contrary to all military usage disregarded
the general's orders, threw himself on his sword.