|An old map from Britain|
Watling Street marked in red
Flying with our imagination, we can see quite a scene. A decisive battle was going to happen: at the dawn, in the proximity of an old country road, the romans were waiting for Boudica. On a slightly sloped field, with a ravine by the side and a dense forest behind. Gaius Suetonius, the roman governor, chose those positions, to protect his flank and rearguard. Thus he arranged his ten thousand men with all the skill of a great strategist.
|To the Battle. By H. Lemon|
On the opposite field, there was a motley crowd: fifty thousand raging celtics (according to some, were two hundred thousand). But Boudica´s army had people of any age, from children to elders, with bad weapons. Entire families were at the last rows, beholding the battle. In front of all them probably she was, rallying and encouraging everyone.
|Roman soldiers in a wedge formation.|
|Boudica´s sculptural group. Thomas Thornycroft, 1903.|
Westminster Pier, London, UK
|Cornelius Tacitus. Grolier Society.|
The name of Boudica fell into oblivion for many centuries. By the time of Renaissance, when the scholars turned their look towards the Greek and Roman antiquity, found her in the works of some historians. At that moment, Boudica, or Boadicea, "resurrected for History". From the year 1534, she appeared in historic chronicles, in poetry and even in theatre plays.
|Boudica and the Big Ben.|
|Boudica on a stained glass window. London Tower.|
To the present, Boudica´s story has been permanently reviewed, and there is an extensive bibliography about her. But it is unavoidable that her life fuses with legend. There is something that attracts attention about the time when her figure became a synonym of freedom. It is that the people from the same lands she fought for, had become the masters of a modern and harsh empire, bigger than the Roman´s. There is no doubt about how capricious is the wheel of history turning: the world we have today is the result of our imperfection. But the search still continues...
Again we will return to visit these beautiful lands, on those unstable and changing times. Still we have to see what happened with the Roman presence in Britain. When did they go away? And why their influence was almost erased from History, at least culturally speaking...