Boadicea

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Boadicea of different generations 

“So the Queen Boadicea, standing loftily charioted,/Brandishing in her hand a dart and rolling glances lioness-like-” Will broke off at Tessa’s look of incomprehension and grinned. “Nothing? If you were English you’d know. Remind me to find a book about her for you. Regardless, she was a powerful warrior queen. When she was finally defeated, she took poison rather than let herself be captured by the Romans. She was braver than any man. ” -Clockwork Angel, Chapter 4: We Are Shadows, Page 93.

Source: x

Silver Iceni Coin from the time of Boudicca, Britain, Late 1st Century BC

This is a  “face/horse” type coin. It shows a  Celticized head facing right; a branch behind. On the reverse, a horse prances right; a wheel above and a lozenge below. 

Boudicca was queen of the Iceni tribe, a Celtic tribe of Britain, who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire.

The Iceni began producing coins c. 10 BC. They were a distinctive adaptation of the Gallo-Belgic “face/horse” design, and in some early issues, most numerous near Norwich, the horse was replaced with a boar. Some coins are inscribed ECENI, making them the only coin-producing group to use their tribal name on coins.

 

Historical Badass: Queen Boudicca

Queen Boudicca probably isn’t a name you have heard before. For one thing, she wasn’t a real queen. (At least not by the standard definitions.) We only have two primary sources which mention her at all, and both of these historians date back to the first or second century AD.

The short version: Romans are assholes and Boudicca tries to fight back. She loses. The End.

So why the fuck should you care? Because Boudicca was a bonafide badass that’s why. During the first half of the first century AD, the native Britons/Celts lived in peace. But that all changed when the firenation Romans attacked. Emperor Claudius decided that the British isle looked like a lovely place for his vacation home (who wants a vacation home in England? It’s always raining) and began colonization. Some native tribes submitted to the emperor hoping their people would be spared. 

Boudicca’s husband tells the Romans leave me the fuck alone and I’ll let you have half my land when I die. He left the rest of the land to his wife and daughters, because unlike pretty much every other civilization in existence during this time, the Celts knew what the hell gender equality was. Women could hold positions of authority or political power, own land, choose whom they married, and even initiate divorce.
Boudicca’s husband dies and the land is left jointly to her and the Emperor, right? No fuck that, newly crowned emperor Nero Caesar says woman aren’t people and therefore all the land is his. 

So in the Romans go. They flog Boudicca and force her to watch as her 12 year old daughters are tortured and raped. And of course nobody in Rome expects a women to be powerful, so they let her go. Probably a bad idea, considering at this point she was pissed.Boudicca gathers up 1-2 hundred thousand of her closest buddies and starts going on a rampage. She and her little band of freedom fighters destroy two major cities before getting to London. London (Londinium) was still a new settlement at the time, but it had a population of about 10,000. She sacks that too, beating up every pussy Roman general she found. She rode around in a chariot fighting these guys off with both her daughters fighting alongside. I don’t know about you, but after turmoil like that, if you see one of those woman riding straight for you with a spear you fucking run. The only sources we have describe Boudicca as a half naked mad women with wild red hair and tattoos. (on second thought, maybe i wouldn’t run away.)

Eventually Rome realizes that they’re messing with some serious lady power here. They send in plenty of backup and beat back the Celts. Boudicca, like the badass she is, escapes capture and takes her own life so that Rome can never have the honor of defeating her. Boudicca became a symbol for woman’s rights and empowerment. Queen Victoria took on Boudicca as her namesake. “Ironically, the great anti-imperialist rebel was now identified with the head of the British Empire, and her statue stood guard over the city she razed to the ground.”

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history meme | 1/6 women:  queen boudica

Boudica was queen of the Iceni people of Eastern England and led a major uprising against occupying Roman forces.

[…] The Romans decided to rule the Iceni directly and confiscated the property of the leading tribesmen. They are also said to have stripped and flogged Boudica and raped her daughters. These actions exacerbated widespread resentment at Roman rule.

In 60 or 61 AD, […] the Iceni rebelled. Boudica’s warriors successfully defeated the Roman Ninth Legion and destroyed the capital of Roman Britain, then at Colchester. They went on to destroy London and Verulamium (St Albans). Thousands were killed. Finally, Boudica was defeated by a Roman army led by Paulinus. Many Britons were killed and Boudica is thought to have poisoned herself to avoid capture. The site of the battle, and of Boudicca’s death, are unknown. +more

Royalty Meme ♛ [2/10] Historical Monarchs
Boudica (also spelled Boudicca or Boadicea)

Boudica was the wife of Prasutagus, king of the Iceni, a Celtic people who inhabited modern-day Norfolk. There is little reliable information about her, but she was said to be of royal blood and to have had red or “tawny” hair. Her people initially became independent allies of Rome after the Roman conquest. Prasutagus was a wealthy and successful king. He made Boudica and their two daughters co-heirs of his holdings. However, after his death, the Romans refused to honor his will. Boudica was flogged and her daughters, raped.

Around 60 or 61 C.E., the Iceni and their neighbors began planning a rebellion against Roman rule. Boudica was chosen to lead it. She and her army began moving west, pillaging and burning cities as they went–including Londinium [modern London] and Verulamium [modern St. Albans]. Perhaps 70,000 people were killed in their wake.

Somewhere along the Roman road, Boudica’s army met the Roman forces. Though the Britons vastly outnumbered their enemy, they could not rival the legion’s discipline or fighting tactics. They were therefore defeated and the rebellion was effectively put down.

Though Boudica’s true fate is unclear, Roman historian Dio wrote that she drank poison after the battle and that the grieving Britons gave her an expensive burial.

Another Boudica for Inktober Warrior Queens (in color, but still all ink)!

What we know:

  • Boudica was a chieftain (upon the death of her husband) of the Iceni tribe in Britain.
  • She had two minor daughters (who were also her heirs)at the time of the uprising.
  • Rome did not accept the terms of her husband’s will ( they only recognized inheritance through the male line) and treated the lands as if they had been conquered outright
  • Roman authorities had Boudica publicly “put to the rods” or scourged and her daughters raped by Roman troops.
  • Boudica amassed an army of anywhere between 50k and 230k fellow Iceni and other British tribes to lay waste to Roman Britain.
  • They destroyed the cities of Camulodunum (Colchester), Londinium (London) & Verulamium (St Albans).
  • 70,000–80,000 Romans and British were killed in the three cities.
  • There still exists a “red layer” under London from its fiery Boudician destruction.
  • Due to tactical errors, Boudica’s army was defeated at the “Battle of Watling Street”
  • Boudica and her daughters were not captured by the Romans. It is assumed she and her daughters committed suicide, but a grave has never been located.

What might be:

  • Some theorize she was related to Cartimandua, another Celtic Warrior Queen who had a friendly relationship with roman occupiers.
  • It is recorded that due to the fierceness of the rebellion Nero considered withdrawing forces from Britain altogether. It is possible, had Boudica prevailed, that this would have happened, setting up a different trajectory for the British Isles.
  • Know one knows her exact age, but she would have likely been at least 30 years of age.

*Warrior Queens information is taken from sources on the internet and in my personal library. Though I research each drawing, some artistic liberties are taken with dress and props. History is something I love, but I am not an historian, so I encourage everyone to find out more about these amazing women!