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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
Simply answered: funding
yep understood and referenced in my note above, however none of us engaged in this topic are funded but we are intrigued and prepared to look/speculate.

In my professional life we do pro-bono work in areas that interest us for satisfaction and profile, so either this approach doesn't happen in archaeology or it doesn't happen in this case due to lack of interest. I'm still left pondering why there aren't archaeologists looking to make a reputation scouring the country pro-bono for evidence of this intriguing story, (or not pro-bono if they build it into their paid research programme if they are full time academics).

Maybe there is a whole library of thesis studies on this topic which we're/I'm not aware of? Although I am grateful the field is left open to us, serious academic input might ruin the fun of the armchair approach.

Whilst I'm still hung up on Church Stowe I'm coming to the conclusion that the "random scyth method" is the most likely way to the solution, and I'll gratefully welcome the release it will bring when it does appear. Until then as a non-Romanist, non-historian I'm learning a lot and seeing the topic fleshed out in a way that none of the current books, papers, tv shows has been able to, so thanks all contributors.

@ Mike- this thread is all your fault, you have directly cost me months of my life :-x where do I send the invoice?
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Quote:In my professional life we do pro-bono work in areas that interest us for satisfaction and profile, so either this approach doesn't happen in archaeology or it doesn't happen in this case due to lack of interest. I'm still left pondering why there aren't archaeologists looking to make a reputation scouring the country pro-bono for evidence of this intriguing story, (or not pro-bono if they build it into their paid research programme if they are full time academics).
Because we have to eat. Archaeologists don't do the job for money or 'a reputation' (heaven forfend!) – any fame (or, more likely, infamy) that does accrue is uninvited and usually undeserved. You only need to apply the simplest project management logic to a scheme like this to see that it is a hopeless non-starter, but that does not mean there are not individuals who are wandering around attempting to do just what I am saying professional bodies can't. Quite where these 'paid research programmes' come from is a bit of a mystery. We're talking the humanities here, not banking ;-)


Quote:@ Mike- this thread is all your fault, you have directly cost me months of my life :-x where do I send the invoice?
To the guy who is in charge of my personal fortune (looks a bit like a dragon sitting on top of a pile of dwarf gold... or some such); good luck with that!

Mike Bishop
You know my method. It is founded upon the observance of trifles

Blogging, tweeting, and mapping Hadrian\'s Wall... because it\'s there
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Hi John. Thanks for the explanation of this exercise. Being a retired Navy veteran with a little background in amphibious operations and a working knowledge of military geography, reading terrain and being able to tell what you can or can't move through it, hide in it, deploy in it or use it for. What sparked my comment, besides evidently a deep seeded need to stir things up, was that I was looking through some photos that I took while transiting the Suez Canal, several years ago, and in some of the photos was a lot of destroyed military equipment (mostly Egyptian). I thought to myself, we as humans, can't fight a war anywhere, except on the ocean, without leaving stuff behind. We just don't know how to. Broken equipment, bones from animals or humans, we just are a messy race when it comes to warfare.
I guess I'm going to have to refresh myself with the particulars of the battlefield, and start looking at the maps myself. This could be fun.
Cheers,

Ralph Young
Clinton, UT
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Hi Ralph

There are (at least) two problems with finding Battlefield remains.

Firstly it is the very fact that time has a habit of destroying the very evidence you are looking for and secondly that most of the equipment that was of any worth would have been taken either as souvenirs or indeed as booty.

Bodies of the enemy may well have been burnt and those killed on your own side may well have been repatriated.

Even if we go back 1,000 years to Harold's Battle of Hastings at Senlac there is no evidence left of a battle here. Some say that it therefore must have been at a different place but there is no evidence for that either. Also at the battle of Stamford Bridge (a few weeks earlier) there is no hard evidence of the carnage that occurred there either.

So finding hard evidence for a battle two thousand years ago is very hard.

Of course this is why we speculate using the texts, known troop dispositions (very tenuous and often assumed) and any other information and applied logic that we can muster.

That is what keeps the flame of investigation alive.

The debate however does move on and slow progress is made all the time with new ideas that are forged in the cauldron of debate or destroyed in the heat of critical inspection.

Welcome......

Kind Regards - Deryk
Deryk
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Hi All

I would like to re-visit Seutonius Paulinus taking the London refugees with him.

If London was under immediate threat by the rebels and his prime objective was to escape with as much of his army as he could why would he bother to take the refugees which would have slowed him down as they were not "professional travellers" and would have also eaten into his food and water supplies.

Although I can appreciate that they may have been a few artisans that he would need to rebuild the Province I find this a difficult supposition to follow when he could have imported tradesmen easily from abroad later.

He could have easily escaped with his troops down the Portway and have been in Cirencester via Silchester in three days.

It is almost like he took the Northern route westwards slowly - was this baiting the trap for the Brythons? - to look as if a broken force was retreating when in fact he was regrouping at pre-determined spot that he could fight them on his own terms.

It is certain that the retreat from London was the turning point of SP regaining the initiative.

Any thoughts?

Kind Regards - Deryk
Deryk
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Hello Deryk



Quote:why would he bother to take the refugees which would have slowed him down as they were not "professional travellers" and would have also eaten into his food and water supplies.

Probably because they were Roman citizens. The first job of a governor (or the second, perhaps, after taxation!) was to protect the lives and property of citizens. Paulinus had already lost Colchester through no fault of his own, but if he refused to protect citizen lives against barbarian attack it would have reflected very badly on his future career.

London was a small settlement but a wealthy one, probably with a large number of Roman and Romanised Gallic merchants and artisans with plenty of portable wealth, who may have lacked the means to easily flee to the continent.

Those who stayed in London after Paulinus left were the poor and those fixed on 'the attractions of the place', i.e. probably native non-citizen Britons who were born thereabouts.
Nathan Ross
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Hi Nathan

Only problem I can see with that is the reference to the treatment of the inhabitants of London by the marauding Brythons descibed by Tacitus and Dio.

Also the most direct route away from the Byrthons for the refugees would have been on the Portway.

So if the more risky way would have been northwest why would SP head that way unless he had already had a place in mind to give battle?

Kind Regards - Deryk
Deryk
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Quote:reference to the treatment of the inhabitants of London by the marauding Brythons descibed by Tacitus and Dio.

T and D are keen to stress the savagery of the rebels in order to emphasise the severity of the uprising and the pressures facing Paulinus, I think. Since Dio seems to greatly exaggerate the numbers of the dead (which probably exceed the total Roman population of the province at this time), we might assume that he's also exaggerating the scale and extent of the slaughter.


Quote:So if the more risky way would have been northwest why would SP head that way unless he had already had a place in mind to give battle?

Perhaps he did? :-)

As we've discussed, Paulinus could have gone either way. If his goal was put as much distance between himself and the rebels as possible, then forced marches west would do that. If, as I've argued, his goal was to withdraw to a strong defensive position on ground he knew well, within reconnaissance distance of the rebels, then north-west would be better.

Of course, we could always have set off west, desposited the refugees somewhere (Silchester?) and then made a strategic march north-east, perhaps joining Akeman Street, to try and outflank the rebel horde and draw them away from the settled lands to the west. But again we're into conjecture here!
Nathan Ross
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I had always understood him to have headed NW...seemed the logical direction going on all the accounts I have read!
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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Gaius Julius Caesar wrote:


I had always understood him to have headed NW...seemed the logical direction going on all the accounts I have read!

In many respects it would more logical for the Roman Army to have gone west directly down the Portway to Silchester if they had wanted to regroup and escape the Brythons.

Going Northwest only makes sense if SP was heading for a place that he not only knew that he could defend but that he would stand a chance of beating a large force.

As his experience included mountain warfare and Tacitus refers to the battle site as being in a steep sided valley opening up into a plain with no mention of a river in it or near this would make sense but would also limit the number of sites that are available.

This is just one set of criteria. Others may well be the distance from the Iceni homelands food and water supplies etc.

Of course he would also need the Brythons to attack him rather than besiege him....

So although at first sight there are many sites in fact there are very few that fit all the criteria and is in a place that the Brythons thought that they could beat the Romans in a pitched battle situation - something that they probably had never done before with previous victories being when the Roman army was not drawn up in battle formation

Kind Regards - Deryk
Deryk
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Hi All

As an aside, we know that Catus Decianus was the procurator of Roman Britain in AD 60 but do we have any further information as to his tenure?

Kind Regards - Deryk
Deryk
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Sadly, there's almost no information about the man at all, except for his role in the revolt. Even his name is uncertain: Tacitus's habit of sometimes reversing nomen and cognomen ('Paulinus Suetonius' at one point) means that the rascally procurator could have been Catus Decianus or Decianus Catus. The first would seem more obvious, with the adoptive -ianus ending, but Anthony Birley (in People of Roman Britain) believes that Decianus was actually his nomen, and cites a couple of names from Africa as examples.

It's a shame we don't know more about the man, as he must have had an interesting career before becoming procurator of Britain (quite a prestigious role). Most other known procurators (all later) came from the equestrian military cursus, and one was a former primus pilus and praetorian tribune. It's quite possible, therefore, that Decianus could have served in the army in Britain previously - a spell as cohort prefect c.47, during the first Iceni revolt, would fit chronologically, but perhaps is just too apt an explanation for his apparent hatred of Boudica and her people!

As for tenure - even the tenure of a governor is open to question, and perhaps had no fixed term. Decianus's successor Julius Classicianus, however, took over in 61 and died in London c.65, presumably still in post. So we could assume that a procurator could easily serve four years, and perhaps more.
Nathan Ross
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Thank you Nathan - most infomative....

You raise the point of the animosity between the Roman administration and the Brythons, which appears to be addressed after the rebellion.

Combined with the fact that Rome still had 4 Legions based in Britannia after 17 years would imply that for a small country Rome was having to garrison it very strongly indeed.

At this time it still feels like a militarised zone with pockets of market towns created by the administration.

It does not feel like an integrated society at all.

Kind Regards - Deryk
Deryk
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The article in the recent Britannia is interesting on the post Boudiccan period. It's referenced earlier in the thread.
Moi Watson

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
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Thank you Vindex - what an excellent and well researched article you referred me to.

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/dis...3X12000207

The mixture of Governors seems to make sense in the expansion and then the consolidation / pacification cycles but obviously something failed drastically around AD58 / AD59 to allow the humiliation of the Iceni and the missed intelligence regarding the preparation for the rebellion.

Somehow under the tenure of Governor Veranius and / or Governor Seutonius Paulinus the procurator Catus ravaged the Iceni and possibly managed to upset the Trinovantes to such an extent that they were ripe to rebel when given a lead.

As it appears from later events that both the Governor and the Procurator were not only controlled from Rome but that they reflected each other in their attitudes to the Brythons - so does this mean that they formed a joint Administration as opposed to one keeping an eye on the other?

Kind Regards - Deryk
Deryk
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