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Warrior Woman Myth Fact Sheet: Boudica

April 30, 2017

  • Boudica was born c25-30 A.D.

  • The name Boudica means Victoria or Victory

  • There have been many different ways of spelling/pronouncing the name Boudica; Boudicca and Boadicea being the two most common.

  • She is described as being tall with red-brown hair and a harsh voice

  • Boudica was a member of the Iceni tribe who lived in Norfolk. The Iceni were on good terms with the Romans who invaded Britain in 43 A.D.

  • She was married to King Prasutagus in c43-45 A.D. and they had 2 daughters

  • Under Roman law, a woman had no right to inherit her husband’s property. Prasutagus wanted to safeguard Boudica’s position by voluntarily leaving half of his property to the Emperor Nero (who became Emperor in 54 A.D.)

  • In 54 A.D. Prasutagus died. Boudica tried to defy the Romans who came to seize her property. They had her beaten and attacked her daughters.

  • She joined forces with the neighbouring tribe of the Trinorantes to avenge this humiliation.

  • Boudica and her army first attacked Roman Colchester (Camulodunium), destroying the hated Temple of Claudius and killing all the inhabitants

     

  • Gaius Seutonius Paulinus, the Roman Governor (from 59 A.D.) and very experienced Commander of the XIV Legion, was in North Wales fighting the Druids when news of rebellion reached him

  • The Romans sent the XI Legion of 4,000 men to confront the rebels, but they were ambushed and only those on horses escaped

  • The rebels attacked London (Londinium) and St. Albans (Verulamium), burning the Roman cities to the ground and killing their inhabitants

  • The rebels were finally defeated in 61 A.D. by Paulinus. He chose the site of battle well and even though the Romans were hugely outnumbered, their superior weaponry and training enabled them to inflict a crushing defeat on the Britons.

  • The exact location of the final battle between Boudica and the Romans is unknown, but thought to be somewhere in the Midlands, near Watling Street, the great Roman road.

  • It is believed that Boudica and her daughters took poison to kill themselves after the defeat.

     

     

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