The recently discovered treasure of Queen Boudicca sheds light on the most romantic page in Celtic history
The recently discovered treasure of Queen Boudicca sheds light on the most romantic page in Celtic history

An amazing woman, a beautiful warrior, a proud queen of the Celts - Boudicca, who decided to fight against the most powerful empire of her time, against Rome. The uprising against the Romans led by Boadicea (as the Roman historian Tacitus called her) is one of the most interesting periods in early British history. Recently, a hoard of Roman coins was accidentally discovered in a field near Kukli in Suffolk. Researchers believe that this is the treasure of Queen Boudicca and this find can shed light on many interesting details of her life.

During the time of the total domination of the Great Roman Empire, few people dared to confront it. This could mean certain death. Those rare daredevils who dared to do this, no doubt, left a significant mark in history. Among these few heroes, Boudicca's name stands out. This woman fought in an unequal struggle against the innumerable hordes, infinitely superior in strength and martial art, the enemy.

Coins from the hoard of the Boudicca uprising

Boudicca at the age of 16 became the wife of the leader of the Celtic tribe of the Itseni, Prosutaga. She was from a noble and noble family. The queen's character was distinguished by pride and independence. She was also a very beautiful woman - tall and stately, incredibly graceful. Especially in her, her straight fiery red hair, fluttering like a banner, was striking.

The Icenean lands were under Roman protectorate. To ensure that his two daughters inherit the throne, Prosutag cheated. In his will, he wrote them down as co-heirs together with the Roman emperor. Thus, he hoped not only to secure the future of his family, but also to preserve the independence of his tribe. Everything would be fine, but Rome did not tolerate competitors. According to the laws of the empire, inheritance was carried out exclusively through the male line, and Prosutag had no sons. The Romans quietly settled the Icene lands, while treating the locals as serfs. The discontent of the aborigines was accumulating and the society was close to explosion.

Queen Boudicca in a documentary on British history

Prosutag dies and Boudicca finds himself at a crossroads. On the one hand, it is convenient to continue cooperation with Rome, as my husband did. On the other hand, what the Romans did on its lands, considering the Icenes as their slaves, was unacceptable. The last straw for Boudicca was not even that all her property was confiscated, but the treasury of Prosutag, the Roman legionnaires banally plundered. All this seemed not enough to Rome. To demonstrate their strength, the Romans publicly flogged the queen with whips. As if this was not enough to humiliate her, the soldiers raped her daughters.

After that, the queen of the Celts was beside herself with hatred of the invaders. Boudicca gathered the leaders of the different tribes of the Britons and called them to rebellion against Rome. She managed to collect a very impressive army. In 61, Boudicca's army won an impressive streak of victories. The Britons acted mercilessly and cruelly. The Romans fled in fear. The army swept away everything in its path, destroyed everyone, took no prisoners, burned the cities to the ground.

The rebellious queen called all neighboring tribes to revolt against the Romans

Guy Suetonius Paulinus, a brave, ambitious, renowned and experienced Roman general, decided to fight the Boudicca army.He gathered everyone capable of war, everyone who could be put into operation. Their forces were significantly inferior in number, but the Romans had only one way out - victory.

The outcome of the battle seemed to be only one - the Britons had to defeat the Romans. But they were ruined by the fact that they underestimated their enemies. Suetonius, as an experienced strategist, used all means to achieve the goal to the fullest. From the choice of the battlefield to the skillful speeches that inspired the soldiers to fight.

Boudicca came to the final battle in a chariot with her daughters

According to various estimates of researchers and historians, the Romans opposed from eighty to two hundred thousand soldiers. Victory, it would seem, is in the hands of the Britons. But the Romans' skillful military tactics and martial prowess helped them defeat the overconfident clumsy Britons.

The Romans did not remain in debt and mercilessly took revenge on the rebels. They did not spare anyone. Boudicca, seeing the outcome of the battle and the collapse of all her hopes, in despair, took poison.

Monument to Boudicca, the Celtic queen of the Iceians

The image of the rebellious Celtic queen is fanned by romanticism and a number of myths. Until the end of the 20th century, her name was pronounced as "Boadicea". This is the Roman pronunciation, which was used in all historical documents and chronicles, in particular, by Cornelius Tacitus. Translated from the Celtic name Boudicca means "victorious".

The hoard of Roman coins found in Suffolk contains over 60 denarii. They date back to the period from 153 BC to 61 AD. There are many coins minted under Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula and Nero. Historian Anna Booth says: “This treasure is interesting because its newest coin dates back to the reign of Emperor Nero. It is this detail that indicates the age of the treasure. It coincides in time and place of discovery with the rebellion of Queen Boudicca."

Experts cannot say with certainty only one thing, whether these coins belonged directly to the queen. But the time was then hectic, even stormy, and therefore the concealment of treasures is understandable.

Even her enemies Boudicca enchanted her with her fearlessness and beauty

In addition to the Boudicca revolt, the Icenes were particularly famous for their gold and silver. This branch is one of the archaeological evidence of their existence. This is especially evident in their minting of coins, which began around 50 BC and ended with the suppression of the uprising. All of these fisheries were concentrated around Norfolk, northern Suffolk and the Cambridgeshire Marshes. It was there that the Itzen tribe lived, and after the Boudicca revolt, minting of coins was banned by Rome. Other restrictive draconian laws were introduced. Alas and ah. This fearless woman was able to inspire hundreds of thousands of people to resist, but it was not possible to create a full-fledged powerful army out of them. The great uprising of the great woman ended ingloriously, and after all, only a step remained until victory and freedom.

(Alexander Gorodnitsky)

If you are interested in British history, read our article. 10 incredible mysteries of ancient Ireland

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