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Boudica

Thu, 11 Mar 10

Duration:43 mins

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the life and mythologisation of Boudica. Guests include Miranda Aldhouse-Green, Richard Hingley and Juliette Wood.

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Boudica's Lost Tribe: A Time Team Special



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Venta Icenorum
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A recently discovered mysterious "winged" structure in England, which in the Roman period may have been used as a temple, presents a puzzle for archaeologists, who say the building has no known parallels.
Built around 1,800 years ago, the structure was discovered in Norfolk, in eastern England, just to the south of the ancient town of Venta Icenorum. The structure has two wings radiating out from a rectangular room that in turn leads to a central room.

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Iceni tribe
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Iron Age road link to Iceni tribe

A suspected Iron Age road, made of timber and preserved in peat for 2,000 years, has been uncovered by archaeologists in East Anglia.
The site, excavated in June, may have been part of a route across the River Waveney and surrounding wetland at Geldeston in Norfolk, say experts.

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Battlefield Britain - Boudicca's Revolt



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Venta Icenorum, probably meaning "Market Town of the Iceni", located at modern-day Caistor St Edmund in the English county of Norfolk, was the civitas or capital of the Iceni tribe, who inhabited the flatlands and marshes of that county and earned immortality for their revolt against Roman rule under their queen Boudica (or Boadicea) in the winter of 61 CE.
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Latitude: 5234'59.50"N, Longitude: 117'27.29"E



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Norfolk Boudicca site 'of national importance'
One of the county's most important Iron Age and early Roman sites has been recognised as being of national importance.
The Boudicca Temple site in Fison Way on the outskirts of Thetford has been designated as a Scheduled Ancient Monument by the Department for Culture Media and Sport, recognising it as a site of national importance and protecting it from the threat of future development.

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The Massacre of the Ninth Legion was an event during the revolt against Roman rule in Britain launched by Boudica, queen of the Iceni of Norfolk. Attempting to relieve the besieged colonia of Camulodunum (Colchester, Essex), the Legio IX Hispana, led by Quintus Petillius Cerialis, was battled and destroyed by the Iceni and other British tribes. 80% of the legion was destroyed in the battle, and was perhaps the worst defeat suffered by Rome in the British Isles.

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The first legion to face up to Boudica was the Ninth. And despite their formidable reputation, in this first conflict they were routed.
Massively outnumbered, they lost as many as a third of their number.
But their heroism won valuable time for the Governor of Britain, Suetonius Paulinus, to march south from Anglesey, down the Roman road later known as Watling Street - and even later, more prosaically, as the A5 - and meet Boudica's furious onslaught head-on, somewhere in the flat lands of the East Midlands.

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We know very little about Boudicca. We don't even know whether her name really was Boudicca, or where she lived.
But we do know that she came as close as anyone to driving the Romans out of Britain, fired by vengeance, injustice and the cruellest sense of grievance induced in any mother from any period in history.

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"In build she was very tall, in her demeanour most terrifying, in the glint of her eye most fierce, and her voice was harsh; a great mound of the tawniest hair fell to her hips; around her neck was a large golden torc; and she wore a tunic of may colours upon which a thick cloak was fastened with a brooch. This was her general attire" - Cassius Dio, Roman historian.

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Was Stanmore the site of a historical battle in which Boudica's revolting tribes were routed by the Roman army?
The suggestion - however outlandish - is just one of a number of old wives' tales about Harrow and Brent featured in a new book documenting London's most persistent and unusual urban legends and practices.

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