Died: c. 60 AD
Cause of death: Suicide
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Executive summary: Celtic queen revolted against the Romans
A British queen who lived in the time of the emperor Nero. Her husband Prasutagus ruled the Iceni in what is now Norfolk as an autonomous prince under Roman suzerainty. Upon his death, his dominions were brutally annexed by Rome. In his will, Prasutagus had divided his private wealth between his two daughters and Nero, trusting thereby to win imperial favor for his family. Instead his wife was beaten (doubtless for resisting the annexation), his daughters raped, and his chief tribesmen plundered. The proud, fierce queen and her people rose, and not alone. With them rose half Britain, enraged, for other causes, at Roman rule. Roman taxation and conscription lay heavy on the province; in addition, the Roman government had just revoked financial concessions made a few years earlier, and L. Annaeus Seneca, who combined the parts of a moralist and a money-lender, had abruptly recalled large loans made from his private wealth to British chiefs. A favorable chance for revolt was provided by the absence of the governor-general, Suetonius Paulinus, with most of his troops being stationed in North Wales and Anglesey. All southeast Britain joined the movement. Paulinus rushed back without waiting for his troops, but he could do nothing alone. The Britons burnt the Roman municipalities of Verulam and Colchester, the mart of London, and several military posts. They massacred over 70,000 Romans and Britons friendly to Rome, and almost annihilated the Ninth Legion marching from Lincoln to the rescue. At last Paulinus, who seems to have rejoined his army, met the Britons in the field. The site of the battle is unknown. One writer has put it at Chester; others at London, where Kings Cross had once a narrow escape of being christened Boadicea's Cross, and for many years bore the name of Battle Bridge. Probably, it was on Watling Street, between London and Chester. In a desperate battle Rome regained the province. Boadicea took poison; thousands of Britons fell in the fight or were hunted down in the ensuing guerrilla. Finally, Rome adopted a kindlier policy, and Britain became quiet. But the scantiness of Romano-British remains in Norfolk may be due to the severity with which the Iceni were crushed.
Husband: Prasutagus (m. circa 47 AD, 2 daughters)
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