Roman Britain – KQ2 part 2 – Making sure you are teaching Boudica in the right way.

Let’s start with the name. Boudica is the correct spelling, not Boudicea. Boudica means ‘victory’.

Her chariots were light, springy, wicker vehicles not the armoured cars with scythes of Victorian legend!

What do we know of Boudica herself and why she rebelled?

She was Prasutagus wife. He was king of the Iceni tribe from modern day Norfolk. He did a deal with the Romans in AD60 shortly before he died, hoping to preserve his independence by showing his support for Nero. He made the emperor his co-heir along with his two daughters. But after he died Roman agents moved into the Iceni lands and took what wealth they could. Iceni chiefs were deprived of their hereditary lands and Boudica was flogged and her daughters assaulted.

This was too much for Boudica and other Iceni and with them the Trinovantes.

How do we know any of this stuff?

We have only Tacitus’ account to go on. He was only a boy at the time of Boudica’s rebellion, but his later father-in-law was Agricola and he fought in the campaign. Its highly likely that Tacitus got his detail from him.

But isn’t Tacitus a biased Roman writer?

Pupils might reject Tacitus’ views

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