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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
(12-01-2015, 11:47 AM)Theoderic Wrote: Dio’s scenario of the three divisions

This is tricky to figure out, and my interpretation would be different to yours.

Dio says "Paulinus could not extend his line the whole length of hers... nor, on the other hand, did he dare join battle in a single compact force, for fear of being surrounded and cut to pieces. He therefore separated his army into three divisions, in order to fight at several points at one and the same time, and he made each of the divisions so strong that it could not easily be broken through."

He's still talking about two opposing battle lines facing each other - I think he's implying that Paulinus bunched his own troops into three sections, along the same frontage that would have been occupied by a bigger force, presumably leaving gaps between them.

I don't think it means that he effectively fought three simultaneous battles in different places, which is what I suspect your plan of using different valleys would turn into.


(12-01-2015, 11:47 AM)Theoderic Wrote: it seems rather “open ended” to me

Which is a plus, I think. I'm increasingly convinced that Tacitus's 'defile' was a gap between hills, a pass or a saddle, ideally a through-route that the Romans could block.

This would seem more likely than the idea of Paulinus wedging his troops into a closed valley with no easy route of retreat.



(12-01-2015, 11:47 AM)Theoderic Wrote: Paulinus would have ended up fighting on two fronts.

Only if the Britons could have been in two places at once! [Image: smile.png]

Obviously, I can see the route that circles around this Aldbury position to the west. But any Roman observer could have seen an outflanking move in that direction very clearly too, and Paulinus could have redeployed some of his troops to oppose it.

However, I doubt the Britons would have divided their force at this point. Their advantage was in overwhelming numbers, and they would have wanted to bring all their available strength against the Roman front line, which was clearly visible right in front of them.

They were not a trained army, but a collection of individuals from a warrior culture, who wanted to display their bravery. They'd even brought their wives along to watch... anyone going off on a sneaky detour to attack the Romans from behind would risk missing the main battle - and what self-respecting Iceni warrior would want that?!



(12-01-2015, 11:47 AM)Theoderic Wrote: the battlefield would have had a stream running through it
 

Although whatever kind of stream the headwaters of the Bulbourne might have been in midsummer would lie behind the battlefield, so the Britons would not have to attack across or through it.


(12-01-2015, 11:47 AM)Theoderic Wrote: This seems to me to be more plausible although I would have thought that Paulinus lost his ships in early AD62 (which is of course the end of winter)

I've been thinking over this problem of crops and planting and so on. It's not as easy as it looks!

As far as I can work out, the usual timing is as follows:

October - plant winter crops

April - plant spring crops

July-August - harvest both winter and spring crops

Tacitus says that the Iceni were threatened with famine as they "for they had been careless about sowing corn, people of every age having gone to the war, while they reckoned on our supplies as their own."

If they left after completing the spring planting, they must have assumed they would be home to harvest it by late summer (otherwise why bother?). In any case, the winter crop would be ready for harvest only a short while afterwards.

But if they were planning on returning to a full harvest of both winter and spring crops, why 'reckon on (taking) our supplies as their own'?

So I think it must have been the spring harvest in April that was neglected, as the Iceni had already decided on war and believed that seizing Roman grain (which was presumably stored in military granaries over the winter) would compensate for missing half the harvest in July/August.

Then either the winter crop was spoiled in the meantime, or Roman punitive expeditions burned the winter crops in the fields before they could be harvested in late summer.
Nathan Ross
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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
RE: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand. - by Nathan Ross - 12-01-2015, 03:16 PM

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