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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
Marching camp there would be - but for ten thousand it would be a large compound, around 30-40 acres, and probably not on a hilltop but well behind the battle line.

Is there really any certainty all the eggs would go in the same basket? One big camp must assume all the force is known and arriving around the same time, is there really no scope for an alternative camp arrangement under campaign duress and an unfavorable topography?

If SP did want to be attacked wouldn't he also be prepared for the attack to come later rather than sooner for the hope of depletion of enemy forces? assuming the balance of forage and supplies was in his favour.

Speculation and fiction are very different things, and I'm pretty sure we cannot apply certainty to this debate, text, topography and what might be considered strategic norms all have to have some wiggle room.

I don't think you need incorporate these structures into your plan for the battle though.
no I don't but a known Roman military presence, which there isn't at this stage, would help the case, and be a great find in itself. We have Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age/Roman on the ridge, page 87 here;
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/conte...chp6-7.pdf
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Quote:Is there really any certainty all the eggs would go in the same basket?

That would appear to be the pattern in regions where large numbers of camps have been traced (ie Scotland, principally) - multi-camp 'complexes' do exist, but most of these are from different eras rather than contemporary. The main legion force would almost certainly have arrived with Paulinus, probably with a few accompanying auxiliary units. There may have been additional cohorts joining them later, which might have set up smaller camps or annexes, but you'd still be looking for a large central compound.

Then again, since we have few if any marching camps from south-east England anyway, perhaps they had some other way of doing things down there? :-|
Nathan Ross
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Quote:ok so you have 10000 or so roman troops massing, not a single marching camp, really? not a tiny bit of ditch? not the slightest hint of pallisade? "Pure fiction" bit of a strong tone don't you think?

These might be field fortifications, they might not be, but "pure fiction"? no it's an unproven speculation :razz: :razz:
Sorry if I offended you. Temporary irritation got the better of me. I'll settle for "unproven speculation". Actually, after posting, I thought that "pure speculation" would have been better. I should have edited.

To get back to the point, I suppose it depends how you define "field fortifications". Your reference to "a constructed battlefield" implied to me a series of ditches and/or structures that would channel the rebel attack in a direction to suit the Roman formations and, I repeat, there is no evidence for these in the sources. A marching camp does not fall into that category. It is overnight accommodation and, at best, a temporary refuge after defeat in the field.
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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Field Fortification- An emplacement or shelter of a temporary nature which can be constructed with reasonable facility by units requiring no more than minor engineer supervisory and equipment participation.
Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.

so yes, something as temporary as a marching camp would be a "Field Fortification".

However the extant ditches at Castle Dykes and crop marks at Castle Yard would seem to imply something rather more permanent. It could well be that two same sized "playing card" shaped ditched enclosures within 100m of each other are, by some coincidence, an Iron Age Uni-vallate Hill Fort and a medieval Motte and Bailey. But another interpretation, based on the limited data we have, might be that they are some form of Roman field fortifications, but only time and excavation will tell.

[attachment=5747]fortssamescale.jpg[/attachment]

If CS is the site there has to be a camp/camps of some sort somewhere (this applies to all candidate sites and is a more material consideration than distance)the book/standing orders as we know them with an intervening 2000 years and obvious blanks in the information may not have accounted for this situation, nor do we know how the Romans got there or when. Hence I cannot rush to the assumption that the Romans occupied a single massive fortification, flexibility for the Romans and for those of us trying to interpret them is a key to this search. If it were linear and obvious the site would have been located and confirmed by now. A number of smaller forts to hold the Romans suits the topography but is also more flexible in terms of the timing of arrivals, dominating of ground and provides a series of options with shorter perimeters for the defenders to hold should they need shelter after a bad day in the field.

The Larches triple ditch complex may or may not be Roman in origin, but if a commander was looking to deny access to the CS ridge top that would probably be the line that would be most effective and the form of barrier that would be most effective, it may well have been pre-existing. So in that respect I am suggesting there is a possible existence of "ditches and or structures to channel the enemy" so I have no problem with you interpreting my words in that way. Although my words are still only speculation based on tangible remains, no archaeologist, as far as I am aware has a confident assessment of dates for this feature.

http://www.jwaller.co.uk/nas/Stowe9Churches.htm

[attachment=5748]aerial4.jpg[/attachment]

"unproven speculation" is the term I prefer because my speculations are based on observations of features that could be subject to full investigation. "Pure speculation" is a term better applied to;
a) the western theory,
b) the concept that all the Iceni went on the parade,
c) time table of events,
as "there is nothing whatsoever in the sources to justify it (them)" and no features that can be tested to prove or disprove them.

"I repeat, there is no evidence for these in the sources."
yep but there's quite a lot not in the sources isn't there.


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Quote:[[i]"I repeat, there is no evidence for these in the sources."
yep but there's quite a lot not in the sources isn't there.

If it isn't in the sources then it is either supported by something else (excavation or later reference) or,sadly, not at all (sites with rivers as a dominant feature for example).
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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Nathan Ross wrote:

Hard, therefore, to estimate how much ground a tight-packed moving mass of nearly 60,000 would occupy - any clues?

A bit like you really, very difficult to quantify and what was the make up? How many chariots were there? How many on foot (or mounted?) Were they all warriors or some just the farmers? Was the baggage train just that ? In which case the ratios would not have been 4:1 and there would have been far fewer in the baggage train (75,000) and 150,000 in the field.

If it was 60,000 I think that the width fits (just) the valley at a densely 3 foot per man which would give a depth of about 50 rows (obviously not in a “battle order”) but that is packed together and very generous.

Your remark "and therefore occupy less ground man for man.” in this case is possibly not correct as the Romans formed into the cuneis formation which was shoulder to shoulder and 8 to 10 men deep.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:First_...-02127.jpg :twisted:

Anything over this and I think that unless you have woods on both sides of the valley the Brythons would have spread out much farther.

I also think that for the Brythons to have been trapped, the woods would again to have been on both sides of the valley after SP had advanced his army the steepness of the hills can be easily walked or run up and many could have escaped.

To say that the Brythons would have run back to defend the baggage train is hopeful and often baggage trains in conflicts are lost but the army survives.

If to contain the Brythons the valley would have been wooded the cavalry cannot charge from the hills and encircle them.

Deryk wrote:

Regarding Mike Bishop's teaser about the Dorking Gap


Nathan Ross wrote:

(ahum!) - although others have mentioned it before, just not here...

Right – set up for a patsy then!!!!!

Deryk wrote:
Only problem is that it has a river in it


Nathan Ross wrote:

True, but the river's on the flank rather than across the field. It might work, if the Roman line was well south, at the upper end of the Denbies estate. This would give a battlefield of approx 1km square, with the northern end hemmed in by hill slopes and the curve of the river.

I did check and the river crosses the valley not once but twice and goes all the way down the part where the Roman Army would have been drawn up and advancing.

Apart from that a hugely impressive site.

Deryk wrote:
auxilliaries in the forts near Leith Hill


Renatus wrote:

Which are they?

Oops – probably iron age on reflection :oops:


Deryk wrote:

You mention that the distance from the borders of the Iceni homeland is only 40 miles but from Thetford more like 75 miles and from Colchester more like 90 miles.


John 1 wrote:

I based the Iceni territory on this;
en.wikipedia.org/iki/Iceni

If the Brits mustered at Hunsbury that makes the distance to their territory equate to Northampton-Cambridge ie 55 miles on the AA route planner;

www.theaa.com/route-planner/index.jsp

so as the crow flies 40 miles doesn't seem too far off the mark.


Actually to CS from Cambridge, on the Eastern edge of Iceni territory) is 50 miles as the crow flies (using Google Earth) and still 90 miles from Colchester where presumably the Trinovantes would have been, or are you proposing that it was only the Iceni who attacked SP?


John 1 wrote:


The main point is that Colchester, Dunstable and CS are all in a similar scale of distance from where we know the Iceni to have been, the western sites are all clearly much further away, twice as far away. The distance argument Deryk makes depends on the Iceni, with families, being in London and St Albans, we simply don't know this. I would contend that there is a fair chance that the Iceni families never went on the parade.

I agree that the Iceni would not have gone “lock stock and barrel” after SP and that this was a baggage train attached to the army with some camp followers.

I also agree that the distance is a problem for the credibility of the Western sites but as far as Dunstable is concerned it is still only 13 miles shorter to Dunstable from London than from London to Silchester. Obviously if they were going to Church Stowe from London it would have been 65 miles and to Cunetio 70 miles.

I am also not quite sure if you think that the Iceni went to Colchester, then to London back to their homes and then regrouped to attack SP at Church Stowe?

If so that is a longer journey than to Cunetio. Of course is there was a Second Iceni Army that overcomes the problem.

Nathan Ross wrote:

Well, not me either really! Just a bit of Devil's advocacy. But I think it's worthwhile to float alternatives, however unlikely - stops the debate getting bogged down and helps us refine our terms.

Good idea

Nathan Ross wrote:

That would appear to be the pattern in regions where large numbers of camps have been traced (ie Scotland, principally) - multi-camp 'complexes' do exist, but most of these are from different eras rather than contemporary. The main legion force would almost certainly have arrived with Paulinus, probably with a few accompanying auxiliary units.

There may have been additional cohorts joining them later, which might have set up smaller camps or annexes, but you'd still be looking for a large central compound.

Then again, since we have few if any marching camps from south-east England anyway, perhaps they had some other way of doing things down there?


Interesting point.

Surprisngly Cunetio does have room Confusedmile:

John 1 wrote:

yep but there's quite a lot not in the sources isn't there.

Best observation so far!

Vindex wrote:

If it isn't in the sources then it is either supported by something else (excavation or later reference) or,sadly, not at all (sites with rivers as a dominant feature for example).

Looks like Cunetio, Mancetter and Dorking are out of the equation then (and my apologies it isn’t the River Anker that is navigable but the Coventry Canal but the Anker is still in the Battle Site at Mancetter and between the fort and SP)

So that still leaves us with CS and Dunstable.... although perhaps Vindex and Renatus have other preferred sites?

(I'll keep looking for a western alternative) :wink:

Kind Regards - Deryk
Deryk
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Let's call a truce, John. I don't think this bickering advances the discussion, do you?
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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Yesterday, I received my copy of this year's Britannia. This contains an interesting article on Roman policy in the aftermath of the revolt (Gil Gambash, 'To Rule a Ferocious Province: Roman Policy and the Aftermath of the Boudican Revolt', Britannia 43 (2012), 1-15). It challenges the view that Roman provincial governance was largely oppressive in nature and argues that the term of office of an expansionist and aggressive governor would be followed by that of one of a more sympathetic and less ambitious character, sometimes more elderly than the average and with little or even no military experience. The task of these governors was to establish a climate of trust and stability that would ensure the peace of the province and that would enable a subsequent militarily experienced governor to continue the process of expansion without fear of trouble in the recently pacified area. The point is made that, where a revolt occurred, it was as a result of inadvertence or the actions of individuals operating without the approval of their superiors. Taking the case of the Boudican revolt as a model, it demonstrates that Paulinus' harsh methods in the aftermath precluded the establishment of a lasting peace, whereas the more conciliatory policies of his successors, Petronius Turpilianus and Maximus Trebellius, created a climate in which military bases created after the revolt could be vacated after only a short period of occupation and, a mere five years after the end of hostilities, it was possible to withdraw the Fourteenth Legion for Nero's abortive eastern campaign without any disturbance of the peace. Indeed, after the revolt, there was no further trouble within the province. It seems that “hearts and minds” campaigns are nothing new.
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)
Reply
Hi Renatus

Interestingly it shows that the Province even after the defeat of Boudica was still up in arms and that the continuing military action by Seutonius Paulinus was ineffective and in fact as Tacitus indicates the tribes were not settled.

It took a couple of new Governors to use diplomacy to disarm the warriors and get the South of Britain into the Roman way of life.

Only for a decade though. Back into Wales and the North in the '70s.

Tacitus of course is derogatory about these intervening years reflecting the military mind of Agricola.

As you say "hearts and minds" is hugely powrful and perhaps Boudica was indeed the victor in the long run changing the whole Roman attitude to the occupation of Britain.

Kind Regards - Deryk
Deryk
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Quote:It seems that “hearts and minds” campaigns are nothing new.

Hmm, yes. Perhaps a bit of the carrot and stick approach as well! I do wonder what was going on in the autumn of AD61 though - what did Paulinus think he was doing? There seems to have been some sort of naval operation, involving ships getting wrecked. But since southern Britain was entirely peaceful for the next 400 years, he was either very thorough or the rebellion itself was a piecemeal affair... On the Roman side, we can only assume that there was a lot of politics and a lot of recrimination happening, that only vaguely registers in Tacitus...

Interestingly, Turpilianus seems to have been a Neronian yes-man, and only served a brief term as governor before going off to supervise aqueducts in Rome. Galba murdered him for his Neronian affiliations. Quite possibly the actual running of the province was left up to the procurator, Classicianus, nemesis of Paulinus, who died on the job in c.65... Classicianus was apparently Gallic himself, so may have had more 'local sympathies'.

Interesting stuff, and a shame we know so little!
Nathan Ross
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This may provoke an interesting discussion but it is probably beyond the scope of this thread. Would it be worth transferring the last three posts to a new thread?
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)
Reply
Quote:(I'll keep looking for a western alternative)

I may as well add my own western alternative, for completeness' sake...

I've mentioned this place before -

The Battle of Bagshot Heath (or Crowthorne, if you prefer)

   

The whole area is plantation forest now, but in antiquity was (I think) open heath land. I've assumed some woods into the 'defile' itself, on no good authority I admit! I've also removed Rapley Lake, a much later artificial water feature.

Advantages:

- Good distances. 15 miles east of Silchester, 30 miles west of London, 10 miles west of Staines, all on the Portway.

- New England Hill and Surrey Hill provide good elevation on either side of the position.

- Possible Roman camp (later settlement) 1.3 miles west at Wickham Bushes, plus the hillfort of Caesar's Camp (no relation!), if further redoubts are required...

- Just about the only defensible rising ground between London and Silchester (aside from Virginia Water, which is possibly too boggy).

Disadvantages:

- A rather shallow 'defile'.

- Ground slopes away eastward with no clear 'edge' for British carts etc. This also means that the site is quite open to the north and south, perhaps allowing an easy escape for fleeing Britons... Although no more so than (say) Mancetter!

- Very dry. The few small brooks provide no good water supply, and unlike Dunstable there are no springs handy. The possible camp position at Wickham Bushes is better supplied though.

:-)

(and incidentally, this appears to be more or less the position chosen by G---- Sh---- in his 1968 novel.... although of course I'm not officially mentioning that...)
Nathan Ross
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Quote:This also means that the site is quite open to the north and south, perhaps allowing an easy escape for fleeing Britons...
Dio says that quite a few did escape but, nevertheless, the wagons would be a substantial barrier to those trying to run straight back, who would then have to decide whether to filter to the right or left: a recipe for much confusion.
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)
Reply
Bagshot = certainly good enough for a top ten position, possibly top five, best of western options so far for me.

Well wooded but some aerial support from the east according to Google maps :woot:

[attachment=5758]crowethorne.jpg[/attachment]


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Quote:This may provoke an interesting discussion but it is probably beyond the scope of this thread. Would it be worth transferring the last three posts to a new thread?

I got my Britannia too and yes, perhaps there will be other in put to this particularl topic if its not in this thread.

Could a Moderator be so kind as do so, please? Thank you.
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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