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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
(05-22-2020, 09:07 PM)John1 Wrote: Was taking a ferry over the full 220m of the Menai Straight really worthy of commentary in Dio?... Was the Roman Navy really so poor?...Would the Mona action have taken place without Naval support?... Would the occupiers of Britain not have recce'd the island enough to run through the Irish sea basin (crewed by locals)?

Dio is unlikely to have had much idea of the width of the strait - he just knew Mona was an island, and so assumed that P would need to sail back to 'Britain' (as he says). In fact, as P believed at that point that the rebellion was threatening Colchester, there would have been even less reason for him to sail to London...

The Roman Navy was indeed very poor at long distance navigation in relatively unknown waters. We remember Paulinus lost several ships the following year, in what were presumably more regular circumstances. Seriously, nobody travelled by ship if they could travel by land - and the straightest route between Anglesey and London/Colchester is overland. And for a governor and general to be separated from his troops for an unforeseeable period at a time of war would be unthinkable.

As for whether Paulinus had a fleet of some kind with him, interestingly enough Tacitus's account of Agricola's operation might obliquely suggest he did: "[Agricola] formed the design of subjugating the island of Mona, from the occupation of which Paullinus had been recalled, as I have already related, by the rebellion of the entire province. But, as his plans were not matured, he had no fleet." This might imply that Paulinus, who had presumably 'matured' his plans longer, being a plans kind of guy, did have ships.

And in fact Agricola "delivered so unexpected an attack that the astonished enemy who were looking for a fleet, a naval armament, and an assault by sea, thought that to such assailants nothing could be formidable or invincible." - this too implies that those same enemies had previously seen the Romans (under Paulinus) attacking with ships.

However, one would not need a great navy to cross 220m of water, and a 'fleet' of landing barges or even rafts would be more useful for transporting troops. My guess would be that Paulinus brought such craft overland or along the north coast of Wales in preparation for his attack, rather than chancing sending a fleet all the way around Cornwall and up the Irish Sea.


(05-22-2020, 09:07 PM)John1 Wrote: Getting on a boat then marching through enemy country could well be seen as the wonderful resolution couldn't it?

Um, no.


(05-22-2020, 09:07 PM)John1 Wrote: Are you reverting to Literalist Paradista?

Not unless you consider Roman troops marching down a road to be a 'parade' now!

The only people suggesting parades are those who want Boudica and her army to go marching off up Watling Street for days on end, just to fight a battle with a prepared Roman army.

Frankly, this nonsense about boating trips is just underlining how untenable the whole 'recon expedition' idea (and the associated notion of a Midlands battle site) is looking now! [Image: wink.png]


(05-22-2020, 10:41 PM)Renatus Wrote: We did consider Dio's reference to Paulinus taking ship back in October 2012.

Thanks - I knew we'd mentioned it before but couldn't face combing back through the thread!
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 - 05-22-2020, 11:33 PM

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