Queen Boudicca, the Warrior Queen, Part I —- Violations
In 43 AD legions of the Roman Empire conducted the first successful invasion of Britain, with the intent of occupying and pacifying the island into a Roman Province. There had been previous Roman expeditions into Britain, such as those led by Julius Caesar and Augustus, but this invasion would establish the first permanent Roman presence in Britain. Over the next few decades the various Celtic tribes of Britain would fall to the might of the Roman Army.
In order to survive, many British kingdoms and tribes became client kingdoms of the Roman Empire. Client kings declared themselves subordinate allies of the Roman Empire and in return were permitted to maintain their sovereignty. One Roman client kingdom was the Kingdom of the Iceni, centered in what is now Norfolk County and ruled by a man named Prasutagus. Prasutagus’ wife and queen was a woman named Boudicca, who according to Roman history Cassius Dio was an tall, strong, and attractive woman with flaming red hair and an intense gaze. Together the two ruled the Iceni Kingdom in peace while raising two daughters,
In the year 60 AD King Prasutagus unexpectedly died. According to the terms of his will, Boudicca inherited his Kingdom and became ruler of the Iceni. However, the Romans were a patriarchal society and did not legally recognize female inheritance. The Roman Promagistrate of Britain, Catus Decianus, declared Prasutagus’ will null and void, and declared Iceni lands annexed by the Roman Empire. Worse yet he declared several gifts of money to the Iceni from the Emperor to be loans, rather than gifts, and declared the Iceni default on their supposed debts.
A force of Roman soldiers, debt collectors, and tax collectors were sent by Decianus to Iceni lands to take possession of the kingdom, with orders to collect all money and valuables, and disarm the Iceni people. They went from door to door, person to person, taking weapons, gold, silver, and jewels. When Boudicca tried to intervene as Queen of the Iceni, she was brutally flogged by the Roman soldiers as the Iceni people watched. Then to further humiliate Boudicca and the Iceni, they raped her two daughters.
The Romans believed their cruel and brutal treatment of Boudicca would quell the Iceni into become subservient subjects of the Empire. Instead it only motivated Boudicca into exacting even bloodier revenge. As soon as Boudicca recovered from her wounds, she began to plot what would become the Iceni Rebellion.
To be continued…