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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
Hi Renatus and Nathan

Something to ponder:

1. Why did Seutonius Paulinus take the refugees with him?
2. Why did he retrace his steps up Watling Street and not escape to the West?

For my part I have always looked on this in a military context but I have overlooked perhaps the most obvious, which is that first and foremost Seutonius Paulinus was the Governor of the Province of Britannia.

In this guise he had total responsibility for any Roman citizens or people who were supportive of the Roman Administration.

Although we might not appreciate the value of Roman Citizenship, to the Roman readership it would have been paramount and the protection of Roman Citizens would have been assumed.

(This is no real difference to any empire that would want to protect its citizens militarily, from "gun boat diplomacy" of the British Empire even down to the Falklands in our time).

Not to protect his own citizens against the Brythonic uprising, having already lost so many at Colchester would have been unthinkable for the Governor of the Province and indeed unforgiveable as far as Rome was concerned.

Possibly SP would have received information on his way down Watling Street that the Ninth had been effectively destroyed and were sheltering in a defended position and Colchester had been lost.

By the time that he reached Verulamium, it was still intact and by all accounts so was Londinium.

The administrative centre of the Province was in Londnium (that was where Catus Decianus had been based before he fled) and probably still had Roman citizens residing there.

SP may well have needed to get information that could only be got from the administration in Londonium and also would possibly have had intelligence at this stage relating to the disposition of the Brythonic host and perhaps their advance on Londinium.

Taking the army down to Londinium (and perhaps expecting to meet the Second Legion there) once SP arrived he would have reconnoitered the land and perhaps the reference to his “small army” was a reflection that if the Second had been there he could have advanced against the Brythons.

In any case when he realised that Londinium could not be defended or that the Second Legion could not arrive in time, he took all the citizens with him that were not determined to fight or were infirm and could not journey purely because they were his responsibility.

One of the reasons that I have always thought that SP would travel directly West away from the oncoming host was because of the refugees but of course he would also have had to protect the inhabitants of Verulamium, another undefended Roman town with Roman citizens.

In that case returning up Watling Street to St Albans with the refugees would be the obvious move, collecting the refugees from Verulamium and moving to the West along Akeman Street.

He would have had to empty the granaries of both cities to feed his troops and the refugees.

As we believe that other parts of the country may also have been up in arms (perhaps attacking and burning Silchester) to travel with this amount of civilians (those from Londinium and Verulamium) any distance would have been very risky, so the plateau at Tring would have been the nearest defendable position.

On the other hand it might simply have been that SP received news that the Brythons were travelling towards Verulamium from Londinium as he was heading along Akeman Street and again the Tring plateau beckoned.

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 Deryk - 08-25-2013, 09:47 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

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