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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
Quote: . . . even if Catus used every subterfuge under the sun others would have known (I am talking about the rich and powerful here). You are correct in what you say about some staying but many would have gone. There must have been quite a few who perhaps did not understand the seriousness of the situation or who were waiting for Paulinus to arrive and defend them.
I think that we are in agreement!



Quote:You may be correct BUT and although I have tremendous admiration for Paulinus to be looking at reconstruction before you had actually got the Province back under control would have shown and incredible foresight.

Apart from the humanitarian reasons (which seems unlikely in that age) we still do not really know why he took these people with him.
Not “incredible foresight” but confidence. Paulinus would not have embarked on his withdrawal expecting to be defeated. He was determined to overcome the rebellion and, if (I suspect that he would have said, “when”) he was successful, he knew that there would be a tremendous task of reconstruction before him. Colchester was in ruins, London soon would be, and Verulamium may or may not have been in the same condition by then. He would need all the help he could get in the form of wealth and physical labour to put the pieces back together.




Quote:The sources can be interpreted in a number of ways (as we have previously agreed).

Here is a scenario that might fit your concerns and fit the texts.

Boudica takes back the Iceni lands by capturing the Roman forts and the Trinovantes do the same. Boudica leaves part of her army to guard her borders and takes part of her army down to Colchester and meets up with the Trinovantes and they capture Colchester. The Ninth is ambushed by the Iceni on their borders by the army that Boudica left.

Boudica and the Trinovantes advance on Chelmsford retaking more of the Trinovantes territory leaving her first army to guard their northern flank.

Paulinus abandons London which releases Boudica’s army from the Iceni lands and this army now advances on St Albans (down the Icknield Way) whilst Boudica and the Trinovantes advance on London.

Boudica and the Trinovantes reach London from the East and Boudica’s other army reaches St Albans.

Both are destroyed.
There are difficulties with this scenario. First, according to Tacitus, Cerialis’ legion was routed by the victorious Britons (or, more accurately, ‘the victorious Briton’ (victor Britannus)) as he advanced to the relief of Colchester, immediately after the storming of the Temple of Claudius. The context implies that the same Britons were involved in both events. Secondly, you have previously argued that the most direct route for the Iceni returning to their homelands from London was through Braughing and Bartlow and on to the Icknield Way. Assuming that the army that had been guarding the Icenian border was also making for London, it would presumably take the same route in reverse. This would not take it anywhere near St Albans. Thirdly, there is the time element. If the Iceni and Trinovantes were holding back on their borders until they learned that London had been evacuated, it would take them several days to get to the town, by which time Paulinus would be long gone and well out of reach. Dio states explicitly and it may be inferred from Tacitus that, when Paulinus decided to stand and fight despite his inadequate numbers, the Britons were hard on his heels or, at least, close behind him. This could not have happened if there had been any delay in the rebels reaching London and then proceeding after him.




Quote:I do still prefer the idea that the entire Second were in the west
While this is possible (indeed much of the preceding discussion has assumed this to be the case), there is the problem of the whereabouts of the legate and the tribunus laticlavius. If they were with Paulinus as members of his staff, this would imply that the situation in the south-west was sufficiently peaceful to permit the third-in-command to be left in charge of the legion. This, in turn, would dispose of one of the reasons sometimes put forward to explain Postumus’ inaction, namely, the fear of an uprising of the south-western tribes.




Quote:I do still prefer the idea that the entire Second were in the west, with their move eastwards intended as part of a coordinated three-pronged advance against the rebellion - this provides reason for Cerialis to be advancing with his force of the Ninth independently of Paulinus. He surely would not have done this without orders, and if it was merely an attempt to relieve Colchester Cerialis could not have been blamed for his haste!

Quote:I agree that the Second would have been in the West. I also think that Paulinus would have gone for a three pronged attack the Ninth from the North, the Fourteenth from the West and the Second from the South West (via London). What I find it hard to understand is why the Ninth went so early or was that just a mistake by Cerealis?
In a rapidly changing situation, with troops hundreds of miles apart, co-ordinating such a three-pronged attack would be immensely difficult. Messages can be carried on horseback extraordinarily quickly, if circumstances demand and if there are sufficient remounts and relief riders available, but there is always the danger that they will be out of date by the time that they are delivered. It is quite possible that Cerialis could have left to relieve Colchester before any message from Paulinus informing him of his plans arrived. It is not surprising that Cerialis should take this action without orders from Paulinus. It was probably his responsibility to protect the eastern part of the province anyway but his was the legion closest to Colchester and the situation was desperate, so he acted on his own initiative. Tacitus criticizes him, not for his haste, but for his temeritas which means ‘rashness’, ‘thoughtlessness’ or ‘foolhardiness’. What form this took is not explained but one may infer that it included his charging bull-headed into action without making a proper appreciation of the situation and, probably, taking only half his legion with him; after all, when the crisis was over, it took only 2000 men to bring the Ninth up to strength. Such action is typical of Cerialis. He is one of the more colourful of the Roman commanders and there are several instances in Tacitus’ Histories of his rashness getting him into difficulties. Usually, he managed to extricate himself and his troops by a combination of personal courage, charisma and luck; this seems to be one occasion when his luck deserted him.
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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Messages In This Thread
Re: Calling all armchair generals! - by Ensifer - 03-11-2010, 03:13 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-18-2012, 06:26 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 12:02 AM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 02:50 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 05:40 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 02-19-2012, 11:26 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-24-2012, 05:11 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-24-2012, 09:42 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-24-2012, 10:10 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-25-2012, 03:11 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-25-2012, 03:25 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-25-2012, 08:36 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-26-2012, 02:57 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 04-27-2012, 01:50 PM
Re: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Steve Kaye - 08-05-2012, 02:24 PM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-07-2014, 02:18 PM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-08-2014, 01:50 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-11-2014, 02:03 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-18-2014, 07:54 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-20-2014, 02:37 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by antiochus - 11-25-2014, 08:29 AM
Calling all armchair generals! Boudica\'s Last Stand. - by Renatus - 11-01-2012, 04:51 AM

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