Friday, 19 July 2013

Boudica the Celtic Warrior Queen - Sepia Saturday

A statute of Boudica (not Boadicea) may be seen in London,

Boudica statue near Westminster Pier, London - 2007
(by Sergio "srgblog" - CC BY-SA 2.0)

Dio Cassius, the Roman historian, described Boudica the woman who led the largest British revolt against the Romans in these terms. “In appearance terrifying, in the glance of her eye most fierce, and her voice was harsh, a great mass of tawniest hair fell down to her hips.”

Our prompt picture looks a bit feeble in comparison.



Boudica was the wife of Prasutagus, the so-called client king of the Iceni tribe in what is now East Anglia.

 The Roman client kingdoms were formed from native tribes who chose to align themselves with the Roman Empire and who saw it as the best option for self-preservation or for protection from other hostile tribes. Also the Romans created (or enlisted) some client kingdoms where they felt influence without direct rule was desirable. At his death Prasutagus in AD 60 had left half his possessions to the emperor Nero, expecting thus would protect his kingdom and his family. It didn’t.

The Romans sacked his palace, seizing Icenian land and his daughters’ inheritance. Boudica was flogged and her daughters, age 10 and 12, brutally raped.

Enraged, Boudica and the Iceni swept south torching the Roman towns of Camulodunum (Colchester), Londinium (London) and Verulamium (St Albans).

Balkerne Gate, Colchester - 2006
(By David Hapgood - CC BY-SA 2.0)
[The Balkerne Gate is the largest Roman Arch in Britain, Colchester and its wall were rebuilt by the Romans (not the pub!) after Queen Boudica led the rebellion in AD 60. Camulodunum ("Fortress of Camulos"), originally a Celtic settlement became the first Roman town]


Governor Suetonius Paullinus who had been away trying to eliminated the druids in Anglesey returned with his troops and crushed the Iceni in battle. Boudica is said to have poisoned herself.


For more horrid or less horrid histories don't forget to take a look at Sepia-Saturday-186.

24 comments:

Jo said...

I still think of her as Boadicea. Remember that statue in London. Didn't remember her history. Pretty savage wasn't it?

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Bob .. looks more like Puss in Boots at the Pantomime - love the picture of the statue and your history ..

Just about to check out the horrible history video ..

Cheers Hilary

aw said...

We saw quite a bit about this in the Castle Museum at Colchester when we visited last year, Bob. There was also a programme on TV quite recently where they were excavating an Iceni settlement in Norfolk. Quite a story.
Ann

The Silver Fox said...

Now that was depressing... but a great post!

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

Another piece of history I knew nothing about. Life was brutal in those days. Short and terrible.

L.G. Smith said...

She's one of my favorites from history. I did a post on her once several months back and was surprised by how many people hadn't heard of her. She was fierce!

And I'd never seen the Balkerne Gate before. Appreciate the photo.

Jackie van Bergen said...

I agree, depressing but a great brief history lesson!

Kristin said...

Terrible. Learning a bit of history this week.

Hazel Ceej said...

Boudica! Now that's one superwoman. But what a sad end. Nice video - cool way to tell her story.

Hazel

Alex Daw said...

Boudica. Great video. Now I know how to say her name. Thanks !

Boobook said...

I'd never heard of the Gate so thanks for sharing.

Brett Payne said...

So, how is one supposed to pronounce this name?

Little Nell said...

I'm familiar with the story of Boudica and I know about the statue, but for me it always be Sian Phillips who played her in a 1978 TV drama.

diane b said...

A great statue of a brave woman. sad about her ending.

ScotSue said...

Hi, Bob - snap with our similar photographs. I liked the angle of you shot as it conveyed better the power of Boadicea and the horses. For some reason I have always favoured the old name - it just has a better ring abut it that Boadica, so I have stuck with it!

Karen S. said...

Another reason I'm so happy to be living now! Interesting research here, very fascinating and chilling at the same time! Stay cool, and I hope you found some cool water to refresh yourself!

whowerethey said...

LOVED the video. Quite clever though I do wonder if the Celts would have hip hopped - or whatever that was lol.

Alan Burnett said...

I always think that the greatest contribution to culture by the British is the idea of finding an ancient relic and building a pub next to it.

Mike Brubaker said...

A very agreeable history, Bob. So many historic figures are now lost to the ages, which leaves only the imagination. I agree the Sepia Sat. theme girl lacks the heroic qualities for a good Boudica.

Titania said...

The Romans have a lot to answer for; good and bad, anyway they say history is written by the winners. Do they call this the good old times?

barbara and nancy said...

That is one gorgeous statue.
Nancy

TICKLEBEAR said...

Nothing worse than
the fury of a woman...
:)~
HUGZ

Wendy said...

I enjoyed learning this bit of history.

anyjazz said...

What a tale! A bit of history I didn't know!