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Calling all armchair generals! Boudica's Last Stand.
(01-13-2021, 08:33 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote: Tacitus only mentions the colonists informing Catus Decianus. Presumably he would then have informed Paulinus, and perhaps Cerialis too if he was elsewhere. There might have been a chain of command problem with the colonists writing to Cerialis directly? Would Cerialis even have been able to act without orders from Paulinus?

I really don't see Cerialis being with Suetonius.  As we have repeatedly said, Suetonius was a cautious general and he would probably have wanted to attack Anglesey with overwhelming force but to do so with virtually the whole legionary garrison of the province seems a bit much, even for him.  In fact, his caution could militate against this for two reasons.  First, he might wish to keep a legion in the east to keep an eye on the unconquered northern tribes who might be tempted to cause trouble while he was far away in the west.  Secondly, we do not know when Prasutagus died or how long it took for his territories to be annexed or for Boudica to foment her revolt but these things did not happen overnight and Suetonius may have known that the annexation had taken place or was pending before setting out on his campaign.  In either case, while not expecting a full-blown revolt, he might have anticipated the possibility of some resistance, in which case he would probably have wanted to leave Cerialis and his legion on hand to deal with it.

I see no problem with the colonists or the commander of the small military force that Tacitus speaks of on their behalf contacting Cerialis direct.  When your colony is threatened by a horde of vengeful barbarians intent on destroying it, chain of command is probably the last thing on your mind.  If you prefer that Catus be contacted first and that he relayed the message to Suetonius and Cerialis, I see no particular difficulty with that.  Provided that he acted promptly, it would only take a few hours longer for Suetonius to receive the message than if he were contacted direct.

There is certainly no problem with Cerialis acting without orders.  If he had sat back and allowed the colony to be destroyed simply because he was waiting for orders from Suetonius, he could expect little sympathy in  Rome.  In any event, from what we know of Cerialis, it would be entirely in character for him to act on his own initiative.
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 - 01-14-2021, 01:08 PM

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