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Here Wordus

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  1. Was Chelmsford burnt by Boudica's warriors? I recently read that Guy de la Bedoyere and John Waite have suggested so , as did Michael Wood? I haven't read Tacitus or Dio Cassius mentioning this town before? Apparently an ancient Roman road was found heading out of London towards the now village of Chipping Ongar, a few miles west of Chelmsford. Are there any other towns that are thought to have been attacked in the revolt of 61ad?
  2. I know that aspects of this have been covered before here, and the approx timeline from the flogging of Boudica etc onwards. But I'm still hazy about the period from Prasutagus' death in late 59ad and the Roman attack on Anglesey to the Iceni attack on Londinium? Was Paulinus already campaigning in Wales before Catus' brutality of the Iceni?
  3. We know from Tacitus that Suetonius Paulinus set out to destroy the Druid stronghold of Mona (Anglesey) in 60ad, and many histories mention that the druids were 'wiped out'. But, if the devastation and massacre was so complete, why did Agricola have to re-visit the island twenty years later and [presumably] finish the job?
  4. Thanks, fellas, I was thinking that, because it took a year or so to amass arms covertly and organise warriors and targets, there had to be at least some discipline and organisation, if not 'tactical' command? I still find it odd that no warriors were sent behind the Roman lines, no matter how awkward? But maybe ambush tactics had subsided in this campaign by then?
  5. Hi guys, I am beginning to get into the fascinating Roman Brittania era of history, in addition to my long admired eras of 1066 and the build up, etc, plus the medieval era of England. I look forward to surfing the topics here.
  6. My first post! Hi guys. Following on from a great and informative BBC thread about Paulinus & Boudica's campaigns of ad61, I have been reading a few sources and thinking about Boudica's tactics which largely employed ambush (and siege?) as a winning strategy until the end, in which she seems to have ditched her winning strength and opted for a disastrous pitched battle? This has been excused over time as over-enthusiasm due to being flushed with victory or the geographical terrain at that last battle which necessitated a head-on assault only? But in order to take on Paulinus in that last doomed pitched battle, why didn't Boudica send a large force of local foot warriors to ambush, or harass, the Roman rear? Ambush was a tactic which had served the Britons well against Roman armies under Caesar and Scapula, and latterly the IXth Legion under Cerialis? It didn't have to be a full-blooded and serious attempt to cut through the Romans in a true pincer attack, but with overwhelming numbers it would serve to distract Paulinus's comparatively tiny army, or perhaps spread fear as a psychological factor? Boudica had the vast numbers to do this and, no matter where the battle was actually fought, some of her inter-tribal army would have known the terrain very well- hunting, etc? Examples where ambush or psychological panic routed armies were; Pharsalus - the sudden revealing of Caesar's charging infantrymen behind his cavalry routed Pompey's cavalry under Labienus? Similarly, Hannibal used ambush twice in his battles of 218-7bc? Hastings - the effect upon the indomitable Normans when the word spread that 'William had fallen'? Then later in the same day, Harold! Agincourt- the effect of near-panic upon the English when word of their baggage train in the rear was being raided by the French? It actually wasn't in huge numbers, but the effect galvanised the desperate English, fearful of losing a desperate battle on two fronts? If the woods and shrub were as dense as Tacitus and some scholars suggest, making the use of throwing weapons awkward (hindered by woods and trees), then why not at least do it for fear value? It's not so much the actual firepower (or lack of) from the woods behind the Roman lines, but the sheer psychological effect upon the opposing force's ability to function/focus when suddenly presented with the enemy to the rear, even if tactically it is not threatening? Surely not ALL tactical command had totally broken down by the time Boudica and her chieftains had sacked Colchester, London, St.Albans (and Staines and Silchester?)? Or, as some scholars and net amateurs like me have suggested, was Paulinus's deliberate ravaging of British sacred groves/sites (to lure Boudica to him?) so successful that it made the furious British 'hoarde' lose their military sense?