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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
(12-19-2017, 12:04 AM)Renatus Wrote: it is unlikely that the forts that Paulinus passed en route to and from London would have been big enough to accommodate the size of his force... Paulinus would probably have insisted on the construction of a marching camp each night.

Yes, good point. I'd been assuming that the forts along the way might have had annexes, like the one recently discovered at Alchester, to accommodate larger marching groups - although perhaps not that large!

This might actually suggest an answer to the question a while back as to why Paulinus only brought a relatively small force south with him - any more than 10K men (and it could have been 6-8K before he was reinforced) and he would have had trouble accommodating and provisioning them on a steady march.

All the same, I would think that the forts or settlements en route might have been convenient stopping places, with access to remounts, couriers, water and food, etc - although Paulinus might have built his own temporary camps nearby or alongside.


(12-19-2017, 12:04 AM)Renatus Wrote: Thus, a normal peacetime marching day of 14 miles at the slower rate would be approximately 3.5 hours.

Hmm, perhaps. I think it's safe to say that the settlements along Watling Street probably originated as forts or military installations. Looking at the distances given on the Antonine Itinerary, it's interesting how regular the spacings are. Verulamium to Durocobrivis 12 miles; Durocobrivis to Magiovintum 12 miles; Magiovintum to Lactodurum 17 miles; Lactodurum to Bannaventa 12 miles - etc. 12 miles is the most common distance between stations - in modern miles these distances vary between 10.88 miles and 12.14 miles over the same ground.

This might suggest that 12 Roman miles was origininally the distance covered by a marching force in peacetime, between stations. Vegetius's 24 miles at double pace is precisely twice that distance.

While Paulinus was a cautious commander, inclined to delay rather than reckless action, I don't think this means he was sluggardly when he needed to move - he would have known that he needed to get his force down to the south east as soon as possible, and could have pressed on by regular stages 'with wonderful steadfastness', without gaining any undue reputation for celerity.

[EDIT - I notice in Tac. Agr. 16 the comment Quod nisi Paulinus cognito provinciae motu propere subvenisset - which I think translates literally as "When this Paulinus learned, the province with rapid motion he rescued" - 'motu propere' suggests that he moved down to London at a relatively quick pace; so his reputation for caution and delay perhaps relates to the next phase of the campaign, after his evacuation of London.)

He could also have varied the pace. A 24 mile double-station run could have been followed by a 17 mile one, for example, depending on the gradients of the road and the distances between points.

If we follow your idea from way back, he initially directed his march towards a rendezvous with Cerealis in the Godmanchester area, preparatory to a combined advance towards Colchester. He could have delayed for a day or more at Godmanchester, sending out scouts and determining what the Britons were planning to do after the fall of the city, and only marched south to London (three 18-miles stages, entrenching along the way) when he knew which direction they were going.


(12-19-2017, 11:32 AM)kavan Wrote: There is a small bit of evidence pertaining to the meaning of the word faux, fauces or faucibus... perhaps the site should be steep?

Possibly. Although we should perhaps be wary about too literal an interpretation. Tacitus twice uses the same word - faucibus - to describe an actual throat (singular) - Annals 4.70 and 14.51. So in topographic terms (and rather dramatic ones) a confined space is presumably what he means.
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 - 12-19-2017, 01:04 PM

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