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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
(12-02-2015, 09:00 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote: So - what if the revolt started in the autumn of AD60 instead?

Dio (62.7) and Tacitus (Agricola 2.15) just say that the legate was away at the time - so Paulinus could have been in the process of concluding his years' campaign in Wales with the conquest of Mona. This would be around September.

Winter crops would be sown in October, so the revolt was already underway by then.

Paulinus, having already completed his Mona operation when he hears of the revolt (Dio 62.8), marches from Mona in October, gets to London, and falls back somewhere. Dio says he was 'inclined to postpone battle to a more convenient season', which would make sense if this was the brink of winter. It might also explain why he was growing short of food . . .

The final battle would therefore happen in November of AD60.All this does seem to explain the crop business quite well, although it means disregarding Tacitus's statement that the revolt itself happened in 61.

That's an interesting idea, although I am always a bit wary about 'correcting' our sources. We have to be careful. Tacitus tells us (Agricola, 14) that, following the governorship of Veranius, Paulinus had two successful years subduing the tribes and strengthening the garrisons. Then, building upon this, he attacked Anglesey but, in doing so, left his rear open to attack. Assuming the revolt began in AD60 would seem to put the beginning of his governorship back a year, with knock-on consequences for the governorships of his predecessors. I have not researched this and it may not be a problem but we have to be aware of it.

We also have to be careful about the use of translations. The one that has been quoted speaks of Petronius Turpilianus taking over the governorship having 'just resigned his consulship'. If the revolt began during his consulship, this compresses the revolt and all its consequences, including the eventual replacement of Paulinus, into a seemingly impossibly short timeframe of a little over six months. Tacitus' wording is 'qui iam consulatu abierat '. 'Iam' has various meanings and the Loeb translation renders the passage as 'who by now had laid down his consulate', which says no more than that Turpilianus was no longer consul. This allows much more leeway and could give a year for all the events to occur. It could even mean that Turpilianus' governorship did not begin until sometime in AD62.

I am also wondering if we are right to be speaking of two planting seasons. Do we know that, at this time, crops were planted in spring and winter? If both crops were harvested at the same time, this implies two types of grain, one maturing more slowly than the other. Do we know that there these two types in the 1st century? I found this website (https://www.dovesfarm.co.uk/about/on-the...-timeline/) which speaks of a single crop of emmer being planted in early November for harvesting in late August. As far as I can tell, this was not an attempt to replicate early practice but rather to see if emmer could be a viable crop for the present day. It may be, therefore, that it was planted to allow harvesting to take place in accordance with modern farming methods. Is emmer versatile enough to be planted in early spring for harvesting in, say, October? This would allow for the revolt to break out in AD61, as Tacitus says, and for spring planting to be neglected, without a previous winter planting to back up supplies. Alternatively, if the outrage against the Iceni occurred in the autumn of AD60, they could have started preparing for war immediately and neglected the winter planting but for the revolt proper not to break out until the following year. In either scenario, if I am right in thinking that the whole tribe took to the road, it would not matter that there were no crops to harvest in AD61 because there would have been no-one there harvest them anyway.
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
RE: Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand. - by Renatus - 12-03-2015, 11:17 AM

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