In his 60s, he remembers his decades-long reign as Great King of the Britons. The story spans the Roman Conquest to soon after the death of Emperor Vespasian. We learn of his lifelong friendship with Vespasian, who is introduced into the novel in a most unorthodox and clever way.
By his will he left the whole to his two daughters and the emperor in equal shares, conceiving, by that stroke of policy, that he should provide at once for the tranquility of his kingdom and his family.
His dominions were ravaged by the centurions; the slaves pillaged his house, and his effects were seized as lawful plunder. His wife, Boudicca, was disgraced with cruel stripes; her daughters were ravished, and the most illustrious of the Icenians were, by force, deprived of the positions which had been transmitted to them by their ancestors.
The whole country was considered as a legacy bequeathed to the plunderers. The relations of the deceased king were reduced to slavery. The Trinobantians joined in the revolt.
The neighboring states, not as yet taught to crouch in bondage, pledged themselves, in secret councils, to stand forth in the cause of liberty. What chiefly fired their indignation was the conduct of the veterans, lately planted as a colony at Camulodunum. These men treated the Britons with cruelty and oppression; they drove the natives from their habitations, and calling them by the [shameful] names of slaves and captives, added insult to their tyranny.
In these acts of oppression, the veterans were supported by the common soldiers; a set of men, by their habits of life, trained to licentiousness, and, in their turn, expecting to reap the same advantages. The temple built in honour of Claudius was another cause of discontent.
In the eye of the Britons it seemed the citadel of eternal slavery. The priests, appointed to officiate at the altars, with a pretended zeal for religion, devoured the whole substance of the country. To over-run a colony, which lay quite naked and exposed, without a single fortification to defend it, did not appear to the incensed and angry Britons an enterprise that threatened either danger or difficulty.
The fact was, the Roman generals attended to improvements to taste and elegance, but neglected the useful.
They embellished the province, and took no care to defend it.Victoria Embankment at Westminster Bridge, SW1 Westminster An bronze sculpture by Thomas Thornycroft commerating Boudicca (also known as Boadicea), queen of the British tribe known as the Iceni, who led an ultimately unsuccessful revolt against the Romans in AD Boudicca was the Celtic Queen of the Iceni tribe of modern-day East Anglia, Britain, who led a revolt against Rome in 60/61 CE.
The Iceni King, Prasutagus, an independent ally of Rome, divided his estate between his daughters and King Nero of Rome. In 60 or 61 AD, while the Roman governor Gaius Suetonius Paullinus was leading a campaign in North Wales, the Iceni rebelled.
Members of other tribes joined them. Boudicca's warriors successfully defeated the Roman Ninth Legion and destroyed the capital of Roman Britain, then at Colchester.
Boudicca was the Celtic Queen of the Iceni tribe of modern-day East Anglia, Britain, who led a revolt against Rome in 60/61 CE. The Iceni King, Prasutagus, an independent ally of Rome, divided his estate between his daughters and King Nero of Rome.
The revolt of Boudicca of the Iceni in 60/61 A.D. resulted in the massacre of many Roman citizens and the destruction of major cities (among them, Londinium, modern London) and, according to the historian Tacitus ( A.D.), fully demonstrated the barbaric ways of the Britons to the Roman mind.
Tacitus’ Annals, 6 and Cassius Dio’s Roman History.7 The earliest account, the Agricola, which Tacitus probably completed around AD 98, was written more than thirty-five years after the rebellion and is the shortest account of the three.