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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
No problem. I do question both the model of mass movement and the timeline that is applied to the campaign by others. My technique for unpicking this campaign is to reverse engineer from an assumption the Church Stowe was the location of the "Battle that may or may not have been fought on or near Watling Street but definitely saw the defeat of the Boudiccan Rebellion". I may well be wrong about the location but this method forces me to look for compelling answers to questions such as the one you pose and consequently challenge my own assumptions and those of others.

If the site is Church Stowe then there are two very handy routes into Iceni territory the Nene Valley and the Ouse Valley, or up the Ouse then a quick cut north into the Nene Valley at Irchester. So a large and rapid advance of a mass of Iceni civvies could happen without the need to trapece around in a parade over the course of weeks.

If the Iceni were massing lots of fighters and their families they would need a focal base in this instance I am looking at Hunsbury Hill and it's fort as a nucleus. This is about 6 miles from the CS Battlefield and in view of a couple of the ridgetop features we have at Church Stowe. In addition there is a suggestion that the "Great Way" seemingly a pre-Roman route (Dave Hayward CLASP) runs in part from Castle Dykes to Hunsbury Hill. The route is easy and flat over the plain of the Nene valley where the river bifurcates. I don't see how the campaign would happen without distinct mustering points for both sides, give them some credit and each candidate battlefield advocate should surely have this on the required "to define" list.

My model involves a hiatus of days in the campaign manoeuvering where the Romans are digging in on the CS ridge west of Watling Street and the initial forces of the Iceni set up at a safe distance to the East at Hunsbury where word goes out to mass as large a force as possible to deal with and witness the battle. Hunsbury was a pre-battle party venue, Glastonbury with human sacrifices. The Romans may have held CS as a strategic base prior to the campaign, a foreshadowing of the neighbouring Weedon Bec depot of the Napoleonic Wars.

The area around CS is remarkably peppered with Hill Forts, it is at the point/area where a number of presumed tribal territories meet. It is smack bang in the centre of the country and at the point where the Nene, Ouse, Thames (Cherwell) and Avon rise on Arbury Hill 2km to the west of CS, in addition it is very close to the Watford Gap, the traditional North/South division where the Nene catchment meets the Trent catchment. I wouldn't be surprised if that landscape wasn't a known meeting point for many in the country, and navigation from the Iceni territory is easy, it is simple to describe a route that says "follow the Nene west until you meet us, the Romans are boxed in further upstream".

Post rout, the Iceni escape route is down the Nene into the Fens, which might explain the finds at Stonea Camp and what is starting to appear as a massive roman camp at Wadenhoe bottling up the Nene route.

My hostility, and scorn, and sarcasm about the parade is only a fun (for me) way to jolt or test the assumption that the timeline and logistics of the campaign are governed by a single mass moving in unison. Appleby, Marix-Evans and others under pin their campaign models on this mode of operation, a mode which I personally consider impractical at best but really strategic and logistical madness. Give me fast moving war bands out looting, self sustaining and highly motivated - it's how asymmetrical warfare has worked forever.

CS is providing a battle site that is as good a match as any match, a reasoned base for the Romans, a reasoned base for the Iceni, a reasoned route for the combatants pre and post battle, I have yet to see this from other candidates. But far more interestingly this process has thrown up a number of new sites at Church Stowe, the potential fort at Wadenhoe and the Fort & Villa at Windridge (St Alban). That's a good a set of practical results from my point of view, even if Boudicca was busy having a Mardi Gras somewhere down in the Home Counties and never anywhere near Church Stowe..... I'm with Steve, I enjoy speculating and writing this stuff if you don't want to read it or engage with it that's entirely your choice........

But if you like a parade, enjoy this,

www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO4CXzrRRVA

This map of Iron Age hoards point out the significance of the Upper Nene Valley. Iceni territory is presumed to include all the Fens/undrained Wash, to about Longthorpe. In fact the Nene is seen as a significant territorial boundary and even almost gets to the Dobbuni just west of CS.

   
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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 John1 - 12-01-2018, 01:28 PM

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