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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
We seem to have a number of conflicting arguments going on here:

Renatus wrote:

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.

It seems that this is again down to interpretation. (Also it might be useful if we were both using the same translation)


Tacitus:

“The temple held out, but, after a siege of two days, was taken by storm. Petilius Cerealis, who commanded the ninth legion, marched to the relief of the place. The Britons, flushed with success, advanced to give him battle. The legion was put to the rout, and the infantry cut to pieces.”

Or Tacitus

“The victorious enemy met Petilius Cerialis, commander of the ninth legion, as he was coming to the rescue, routed his troops, and destroyed all his infantry. Cerialis escaped with some cavalry into the camp, and was saved by its fortifications.”


I think that both of our interpretations could be accommodated by the above translations. The interesting point is the reference to “Cerialis escaped with some cavalry into the camp, and was saved by its fortifications.”

Which camp was this? Was it near Colchester? In my interpretation it would have been Wixoe or perhaps Great Chesterford.

Renatus wrote:

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.

I think that you have taken a concept out of context. You are correct in that I said the quickest route home for the Iceni from London was via Braughing and it is. In this case however I am saying that Boudica’s other army went to St Albans instead of going to London via the Icknield way. This would also have had the effect of cutting off SP if he had gone up Watling Street. (Boudica of course in this scenario is advancing on London with the Trinovantes)

The other point is that if SP left to the West and the Brythons followed him towards Staines who burned St Albans?


Renatus wrote:


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.


This does not seem to fit with your previous arguments. For your previous timescales to work and for SP to arrive in London before the Brythons you have consistently said that the “Horde” travelled at around 5 miles every two days.

If SP left with his refugees they would have travelled at least 10 miles per day. We understand from Tacitus that the Brythons destroyed London and this would have delayed them for at least 2 days. SP would have been far away by the time the Brythons left London and would increase the distance between them as time went on.

I believe that what both historians imply is that instead of stopping at London as SP expected they continued to follow him. This is in fact what you have maintained that London had the riches and food to satisfy the Brythons.

Dio

“But as he grew short of food and the barbarians pressed relentlessly upon him, he was compelled, contrary to his judgment, to engage them.”

Tacitus

“The fourteenth legion, with the veterans of the twentieth, and the auxiliaries from the
adjacent stations, having joined Suetonius, his army amounted to little less than ten
thousand men. Thus reinforced, he resolved, without loss of time, to bring on a decisive action.”

Tacitus particularly relies on the point that the Fourteenth was reinforced by veterans of the Twentieth and the auxiliaries and because he had a bigger army he had the men to fight the Brythons.

Renatus wrote:

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.

I would agree with that but I also agree with Nathan that SP’s plan depended on the Ninth being part of his battle group against the Brythons.

Kind Regards - Deryk
Deryk
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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 Deryk - 11-01-2012, 10:14 PM

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