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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
Margaret has added a second paper in a vain attempt to breath some life back into the dead and decomposing Mancetter candidacy, it is the attempt that is in vain not Margaret, Margaret is far from vain herself;

www.academia.edu/12813670/Boudicas_Last_Battle_the_Mancetter_candidacy
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"...as held by most of the Boudican battle-site theories, Suetonius had to journey back from his evaluation of the London situation, accompanied by a small supporting contingent, to rejoin this main force coming from Wales."

Amazing that people are still repeating this notion without any supporting evidence or reasoning. And without it, Mancetter makes no sense at all as a site... :neutral:
Nathan Ross
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Ha! Beat me to it!
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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I think most battle-field location theories do make that assumption so the statement is correct, no credible western site was available at the time of the conference (nor is now) and almost all of the conference sites cluster along Watling Street between 36 and 108 miles from London.

So we still have this interesting question of thresholds. 36 miles to Dunstable, or Tring seems to be set as an acceptable distance for a full column to retreat from London, 108 miles at Mancetter is not. So where within this 72 mile bracket is acceptable threshold for a full column retreat/re-advance?

Could it be the 72 miles to Church Stowe? which seems to be the mid point of candidate sites (and the one I happen to have the distance for). If CS is too far then is the threshold 50 miles? To me there is little or no difference in the credibility of a distance argument over just 36 miles.

The other threshold (don’t read this Moi) how many views or replies do we need to get this post pinned at the top of the Roman page so I don’t have to keep scrolling through to find it?

Vote of thanks to Margaret for recording the Warwick presentations and writing up and publishing for us all to use, Thanks Margaret really appreciated.
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I've got it bookmarked. Ive just read the entire saga plus links. It took me 3 days solid sometimes up till 5am. My response will follow when ive had a kip.....
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John states:

So we still have this interesting question of thresholds. 36 miles to Dunstable, or Tring seems to be set as an acceptable distance for a full column to retreat from London, 108 miles at Mancetter is not. So where within this 72 mile bracket is acceptable threshold for a full column retreat/re-advance?

Could it be the 72 miles to Church Stowe?


For a number of reasons Church Stowe seems to fall within the acceptable range of a "full column" scenario.

I am not sure that it is only the 72 miles from London that is key but also the distance from the Iceni and Trinovantes homelands.

As an example both Cunetio and Ogbourne St George are around 70 miles from London but also about 120 to 130miles from Thetford etc.

So although CS is 72 miles from London it is around 70 - 80 miles from Thetford as are Dunstable and Tring.

This extra distance for the Tribes would put a huge strain on their logistics for food or the length of time they would have stayed from their territories and would have been an unacceptable risk.
Deryk
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I recently came across this write up of Barry Horne's Dunstable work and subsequent fieldwork, full article is published in South Midlands Archaeology vol 44 (2014). I have suggested Barry put it on Academia.edu otherwise the article suggests he will email copies on request, he did for me;

http://www.dunstabletoday.co.uk/news/loc...-1-6514015
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Quote: this write up of Barry Horne's Dunstable work

Glad to see this theory is still floating around out there. Who knows - in another fifty years it might be viewed as a serious contender! Confusedmile:
Nathan Ross
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Hi,
I've been reading some of the messages on this subject and was recenly reading an old Lain schoolbook which was about just this subject. At first sight, it does look as Paulinus went North from London, however, there are a couple of events that made me wonder.
The Second 'did not march'. Why? Because Postumous (the Camp Prefect) was in charge, which begs the question - Where was the Legate and the senior Military Tribune? Most likely answer - they were already with Paulinus and Postumous was left to defend Exeter with only the rump of the Second.
Also, the Second would have the Icini between themselves and Paulinus. It would be a good idea to flank the Icini, but with only a minimum of soldiers, it might also be a receipe for disaster.
And finally, I'm wondering if the 'Paulinus headed South' is such a bad theory. Kent is to general perception, flat, but in fact, we have the North Downs running west to east and although by no means 'mountains' they are certainly high enough to make seasoned Legionaries curse and their baggage train struggle. In the past, too, there was much greater tree cover and certainly the description of 'forest' would have fitted the slopes of the Downs pretty well.
If he went south east, he could have headed for Canterbury (excavations have shown that there was at least a lightly fortified post there in the 1st century) and then down to Richborough, with the sea at his back - and the Classis Britannica on-site to either re-inforce his soldiers, or worst case, to evacuate them.
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Quote:If he went south east, he could have headed for Canterbury (excavations have shown that there was at least a lightly fortified post there in the 1st century) and then down to Richborough, with the sea at his back - and the Classis Britannica on-site to either re-inforce his soldiers, or worst case, to evacuate them.
You'll not find me disagreeing ;-)

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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Quote:I'm wondering if the 'Paulinus headed South' is such a bad theory.

I did float an idea for a southern Watling Street site a couple of years back - Gravesham, outlined here. It didn't get any takers though...

There's also Steve Kaye's suggestion of the Dorking Gap, which depends on whether you consider the presence of a river to be a crucial problem or not.
Nathan Ross
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Nathan Ross wrote:

There's also Steve Kaye's suggestion of the Dorking Gap, which depends on whether you consider the presence of a river to be a crucial problem or not.

I have a sneaky suspicion that the River Mole would have been a problem, it both crosses the site twice and runs through the middle of it as well.

Going South destroys the "cavalry dash" theory.

Going South towards Dorking or South East towards Canterbury would have isolated Seutonius and his small army from the rest of and the majority of the army in the West.
Deryk
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Quote:
Dana Adler post=368849 Wrote:If he went south east, he could have headed for Canterbury (excavations have shown that there was at least a lightly fortified post there in the 1st century) and then down to Richborough, with the sea at his back - and the Classis Britannica on-site to either re-inforce his soldiers, or worst case, to evacuate them.
You'll not find me disagreeing ;-)
You will me, though.


Quote:Going South destroys the "cavalry dash" theory.
That's no hardship. However . . .


Quote:Going South towards Dorking or South East towards Canterbury would have isolated Seutonius and his small army from the rest of and the majority of the army in the West.
I agree with you on this 100%. Going south or south-east makes no strategic sense whatsoever.
Michael King Macdona

And do as adversaries do in law, -
Strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.
(The Taming of the Shrew: Act 1, Scene 2)
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The whole Southern thing is OK, but far from the most obvious model, we can't disprove it but sadly there isn't a nominated site to try to prove.

If Paulinus headed into Kent he would probably be heading for embarkation and it doesn't seem he tried this. He'd be abandoning his new garrisons in the North West, the II in the West, the remnants of the IX in the East and I suspect also abandoning his life, his honour and his family to eternal shame.

South of the Thames he would be facing a depleted Iceni horde rather than a swollen one and unable to have any confidence in the II's capacity to reach an RV. So yes Kent may be the answer, but Prof. Occam says you are probably trying too hard.

If you have a strong conviction about Kent can you put a site on the table?
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Just read John1's comment. As I remember, Paulinus lost his job not much later, according to Dio, something to do with loosing 'some ships on the shore', so he was obviously in bad odour in Rome already.
As for heading South, it's a matter of choosing where to fight. He thought London was indefensible, so he had to find somewhere he could fight Boudicca on his terms and not hers. Romans liked commanding the high ground and there's plenty of high ground along the North Downs. I would suspect that he had no idea of abandoning his troops, he just wanted to split Boudicca's force and deal with her piecemeal so that his men had the advantage of numbers.
The Second didn't march, so they were out of the picture anyway, unless, as I suspect, Paulinus had the Legate and a goodly chunk of their forces with him already. The Ninth had been mauled, but it was still in fighting order and may well have become Paulinus' rearguard. Thar leaves the Fourteenth and the Twentieth and one or both may well have been with him, too
Naming a site is a bit of a problem, because I remember reading about the discovery of a battle site in a very (very) old edition of Arch Cantiana, but I can't remember anything more about the details, other than that spears and armour had been found, I think it was a good 150 years ago, if not earlier and I do remember thinking that it was odd that the author had not ascribed the site to 'The Battle of the Medway'.
The problem with heading North from London is that Paulinus was likely to run into Boudicca a lot earleir than he wanted to !
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