Facts About Boudicca

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Boudicca was a Celtic queen who fought for the Iceni tribe and is believed to have led the revolt of the British, against the Romans. There are several legends and stories that revolve around this brave woman. While some portray her as a courageous wife and mother, who fought for the liberty of her tribe and the British, in common; there are also other stories that portray her as an uncivilized and brutal warrior! Since recorded history was scarce, during this period, the legends and myths continue…

Fact 1:
Boudicca was married to the Iceni king, Prasutagus, and lived happily with their two daughters until the Romans started colonizing various British kingdoms. Although the exact dates are unclear; it is believed that the Roman colonization of England started sometime around 43 to 45 AD.

Fact 2:
During his lifetime, Prasutagus managed to make a deal to continue being the King by allowing the Romans control of his tribe. However, his death spelt the doom of not only the tribe of Iceni but also for Boudicca and her children. Her daughters were publicly tortured and molested, she was whipped, and her tribe taken by force!

Fact 3:
This is what turned Boudicca a simple wife and mother into a courageous and rebellious warrior. However, there is nothing to prove that Boudicca was originally a member of the Iceni tribe. It is probable that she became a member of the tribe through her marriage with Prasutagus.

Fact 4:
Around 60 AD, the Roman governor at that time, Gaius Paullinus, became distracted with the task of conquering North Wales. It was during this time that Boudicca whipped up a rebellion by bringing together even other tribes that had suffered under the hands of the Romans.

Fact 5:
Although the Romans have painted Boudicca as an uncivilized brute who killed and tortured even their woman, the British consider her as a great leader and warrior who led the insurgence and offered at least a few victories against the Romans.

Fact 6:
Boudicca led the British to quite a few victories during her insurrection. These include the capture of the then Roman capital of Britain, Colchester; the defeat of the Ninth Legion; and the destruction and defeat of two other important Roman strongholds – London and Verulamium. They are believed to have defeated and killed at least 70, 000 people.

Fact 7:
It is believed that this insurgence came to an end with the defeat of the British rebels in the Battle of the Watling Street. However, it is not clear whether Boudicca was captured or killed during this battle. While some believe that she poisoned herself to escape capture, there are others who claim that she became ill and died.

Fact 8:
There are very few descriptions of this warrior woman; and from what we have, Boudicca has been described as a lady with a huge frame, harsh voice, and terrifying demeanor! It is believed that she always wore a huge necklace made of gold and had long red locks that fell down to her knees.

Fact 9:
Although the British insurgence against the Romans bore Boudicca’s name, it was all forgotten until the Victorian times. Her name was again brought into prominence by Queen Victoria, who admired this brave and stubborn warrior! If the name Boudicca does not ring a bell, try Bunduca, Boudica, Boadicea, or even Boudiga. These are just a few names by which she has been referred to over the years!

Fact 10:
There is a statue of Boudicca near the Westminster Bridge and the Houses of Parliament. This sculpture was done by Thomas Thornycroft, who completed this piece of work in 1905. It was commissioned by Prince Albert and depicts Boudicca riding a chariot with her two daughters. There is also a poem written in her honor by the famous Victorian poet Alfred Lord Tennyson.

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