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Eight Days That Made Rome: Boudica's Revenge
E5 of 8
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Bettany Hughes’s review of flashpoints in Roman history hits Britain, as she focuses on warrior queen Boudica who, for a while at least, showed the empire that its rule wasn’t welcomed everywhere. In AD 60, the Roman procurator in Britain decided to throw his weight around and had the widowed Iceni queen flogged and her daughters raped. But instead of subduing the locals and proving the implacable might of Rome, this triggered a furious response, evidence of which can still be seen in the charred remains of food and molten glass discovered in Colchester, which was totally destroyed by Boudica’s forces.
Her revolt might not have lasted long, but Boudica’s rebellion stuck with the Romans, who turned her, as Hughes puts it, into a sort of “anti-superhero”. Some grisly reconstructions reinforce the savagery of both sides.
Bettany Hughes focuses on the day when Roman troops earned the undying hatred of a fierce and fearless queen who led a revolt that came perilously close to ending the Roman occupation of Britannia. Around 60AD troops invaded Boudica's settlement, flogged her and raped her daughters. The outrage provoked the Iceni queen to lead a revolt that came perilously close to ending the Roman occupation of Britannia. Dramatisations featuring Aislinn Sands, Ross O'Hennessy and Nicholas Lopez bring the key moments to life.
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