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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
(01-12-2021, 05:50 PM)Renatus Wrote: My memory must be failing me!

Or perhaps mine is!... I certainly remember some discussion of the civilians issue, although finding anything in this monstrous thread gets quite difficult... The thing about Paulinus being warned in advance I factored into some proposed chronology or other many years ago, and I think we discussed it then.

(01-12-2021, 05:50 PM)Renatus Wrote: I see what you mean, although I had not read it quite that way.

It's been some time since I revisited Tacitus. But this seems a good opportunity for a recap...

So, Annals Book 14, 30-31: Suetonius Paulinus completes his conquest of Anglesey. "A force was next set over the conquered, and their groves... were destroyed. Suetonius while thus occupied received tidings of the sudden revolt of the province." (haec agenti Suetonio repentina defectio provinciae nuntiatur)

So the Anglesey campaign is already over (as Dio also points out). But what are these 'tidings'?

The next section (14.31) skips back in time to describe events from the death of Prasutagus to the Iceni 'flying to arms' and planning their attack on Colchester.

Next (14.32) we have the omens at Colchester. The veteran settlers "as Suetonius was far away... implored aid from the procurator, Catus Decianus", who sends 200 men.

As I'm sure we've mentioned, Catus Decianus would have been a very stupid subordinate not to have passed this message on to his boss. This, then, would have been the 'tidings' that Paulinus received only a few days later at Anglesey.

Only then do we have the attack on Colchester and the fall of the Temple of Claudius after three days. "The victorious enemy [then] met Petilius Cerialis, commander of the ninth legion, as he was coming to the rescue, routed his troops, and destroyed all his infantry. Cerialis escaped with some cavalry into the camp, and was saved by its fortifications."

Only in the following section (14.33) do we return to Paulinus: "Suetonius, however, with wonderful resolution, marched [or just 'went'] amidst a hostile population to Londinium" (At Suetonius mira constantia medios inter hostes Londinium perrexit).

At first reading this might suggest that Suetonius Pauilinus did not act until after the fall of Colchester, or even the defeat of Cerialis, which would leave him insufficent time to get to London ahead of the rebels. But I think instead that Tacitus is just writing dramatically - Suetonius was marching on London (or indeed on Colchester) while the preceding action was taking place, but there was no need for T to stress that. Paulinus reached London after Cerialis's defeat, but must have left Anglesey some considerable time beforehand.

Reading it like this, we are freed of the need to explain his miraculously speedy march, and to invent galloping recce missions. We are also, of course, freed of the assumption that Cerialis must have been operating completely independently of Suetonius.


(01-12-2021, 05:50 PM)Renatus Wrote: At risk of introducing another factoid into this discussion, I see the Ninth being divided, with the greater part with the legionary commander at Lincoln and a smaller contingent being outposted at Longthorpe.

Maybe, yes. Do we know that Lincoln was occupied at this time? I would think it just as likely that the governor would use detachments of all the legions at his disposal, but we don't know enough about troop dispositions or numbers to be sure.
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 - 01-12-2021, 09:44 PM

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