“When they had aroused each other by these and similar remarks, with Boudicca, a woman of royal blood, as their leader (for they make no distinction of sex in their positions of command), they all began to war; they went after the soldiers who were scattered in forts, and then, when the garrisons had been stormed, attacked the colony itself as the capital of slavery, and anger and triumph omitted no kind of savagery found among barbarians. And unless Paulinus had quickly brought aid after hearing of the revolt of the province, Britain would have been lost.”—Tacitus, Agricola 16
“Have no fear whatever of the Romans; for they are superior to us neither in numbers nor in bravery...Let us, therefore, go against them trusting boldly to good fortune. Let us show them that they are hares and foxes trying to rule over dogs and wolves.”—Boudica, ruler of the Iceni (from Dio Cassius)
It drives me up the wall when people refer to Boudica as an Irish queen.
No, no, no, no, no. Wrong. She was queen of the Iceni tribe in Britain, who resided in what is modern day Norfolk and Suffolk.
It’s true that the Iceni were a Celtic tribe but “Celtic” does not automatically mean “Irish”. There were Celts in plenty of other European countries besides Ireland, including Britain. Hell, Celtic tribes could be found pretty much anywhere on the European continent at one point. They were not exclusive to Ireland. Not by a long shot.
Ireland is the country most often associated with the Celts because the Romans never conquered the island so Celtic culture was able to exist longer in Ireland than anywhere else. But yeah, there were Celtic tribes pretty much everywhere in Europe before the Romans came along.
So in conclusion, please stop referring to Boudica as Irish. She was a British Celt. Thank you.