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Queen Boudicca's Revolt

Updated on March 20, 2011
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Soon after King Prasutagus died in AD 61 the Britons finally plucked up their courage to lead a revolt against the Romans. The revolt was led by Queen Boudicca, the first ever woman to lead an army!

There were a number of factors why the Britons revolted, but the main reason was, after King Prasutagus died, he left half of his money to the Romans (because he thought of them as good friends!) and the other half to the Iceni tribe (which he was king of). But an avaricious tax collector thought he could get more and flogged Queen Boudicca and raped and assaulted the young Princesses! When the Iceni tribe heard about this it kicked up a riot. The Trinovates, the first tribe in Britain to be mentioned by a Roman author when Caesar invaded in 54 AD, also felt outraged by being treated as “second class citizens”, so they joined forces with the Iceni tribe! Meanwhile, the Roman legions (fourteenth and twentieth) withdrew to Anglesey, leaving fewer soldiers in the South- east! Finally the Britons were now brave enough to take on the Romans!



Boudicca (Boadicea) marched her army to Colchester (Capital of Roman Britain) and destroyed everything that stood in her way! The Roman veterans hid in the Temple and prayed. But Boudicca had no mercy and set the Temple on fire! She stole all of the goods and riches!

Suetonis Paulinus heard all about this and got his nearest legion to come down and defend Colchester. Boudicca outwitted the ninth legion and ambushed them and destroyed them too!

Boudicca achieved victory after victory, London, Colchester and St. Albans. Nothing could stand in the way of this amazing woman....or so she thought!



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Suetonius Paulinus wanted this all to end. He wanted to teach Boudicca a lesson and put her in her place. He, being very clever, chose the site to fight on. The site was surrounded by trees and woodland, so the Britons couldn't go around them. This is where it all went wrong for Boudicca, she should have waited for the Roman's to come to her, because the site for the battle had put her at a disadvantage. Boudicca's men were overconfident believing that they were now invincible a fter winning every battle so far. They believed that it would be an easy victory and rushed into battle. The Britons were so confident that they would win that they even brought their women and children to watch!


The Romans had another advantage, in that they worked as a team and used battle formations such as the 'Flying Wedge Formation' or the 'The Tortoise' or the 'Skirmishing Formation'. The Britons, however, chose to fight individually, i.e. basically every man for himself!



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The Romans funnelled the Britons into the trap they had set and worked together as a team. They kept on pushing forwards killing everyone in their path. This wasn't just a battle, it was a massacre! The Britons were squashed and trampled, they couldn't get out because their women and children who had come to watch were at the back of the Briton army standing in their chariots!

The Romans didn't just want to kill a few Britons they wanted to teach the Britons a lesson they would never forget and that meant killing every single one of them so they would never again rise up against Rome.


The very few Britons that escaped were found and punished for being a part of the rebellion.


Though Boudicca's positive energy kept her going she lost the battle and she was severely punished by an unforgiving Roman Army hell bent on crushing her. I believe the reason why Boudicca lost the battle was because at the very start she had already lost the battle in her mind. In my opinion all battles including our own daily life battles and struggles are won or lost in our minds.



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I myself have experienced this situation in my own life. When I was about 9 years of age I ran for an athletics club in the Isle of Man called Manx Harriers. I was the best runner in my year group. I won every race until one day fear over took me and I lost the race. I had lost it before it had even started because of the fear. That girl who beat me became huge in my mind for some time before the race and I had given her so much energy that I defeated myself.


I did, however, get another chance to do battle with her and I defeated her in a cross country race the following year. My Mum and Dad said to me that they would pay me five pounds if I came third and ten pounds if I came second. I came second and got my ten pounds! She came third.


I never should have doubted myself and neither should have Boudicca.

Some people say that Boudicca left her men and poisoned herself. But I know that Boudicca was an honourable woman and would never leave her men in the battlefield. I think the Romans killed her and made up the story to make her look bad. Boudicca was a great woman in my eyes and shows me that a woman can be just as great a leader as any man.


This is the story of the brave Queen Boudicca, my role model!


Recommended reading

I highly recommend this book from Amazon if you are interested in reading more about great women leaders in history: 

The Warrior Queens: The Legends and the Lives of the Women Who Have Led Their Nations in War

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    • profile image

      SpleeSpree 

      4 years ago

      You chose a person who slaughtered 80,000 civilians and was foolish enough to attack disciplined Roman legions head on without any strategy as your role model? They are better rebellious women to chose from, if that's what you're after.

    • profile image

      Amber 

      6 years ago

      I think boudiccas cool!

    • Writer of Man profile imageAUTHOR

      Writer of Man 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      I am very happy you found it interesting especially as you are the expert and you are very kind to let me use your amazing picture.

    • profile image

      Danielle Fiore 

      7 years ago

      Good work, thanks for adding my pic :) (PS: I'm graduated in Roman History and I've found your text quite interesting :P)

    • Writer of Man profile imageAUTHOR

      Writer of Man 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Haha..I am from Ireland in Dubin!

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Fish n chips anytime. Recently found out I'm Scot-Irish, so there we go!

    • Writer of Man profile imageAUTHOR

      Writer of Man 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you chspublish for reading my hub and your kind comments. I love history and will definitely be writing more. I see you are also Irish and I will be reading more of your hubs.

      Alastar thanks for commenting and yes I wonder what would have happened. Maybe we would all be having meatballs and spaghetti instead of fish 'n' chips!

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      writer of man I love U.K. history and your overview here on this subject is very good. Can you imagine English history if the Celts had not taken on the Romans final strategy of 'funneling'B's forces in the decisive battle.

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 

      7 years ago from Ireland

      You have picked a great warrior as your role model. Well done. Good piece. I like these kind of stories from ancient history.

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