BOUDICA

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Boudica was a British queen known for leading a rebellion against Roman oppressors. 

Boudica’s husband, Prasutagus was reigning king of the Celtic Iceni tribe in South East England under Roman rule, which imposed slavery and high taxes. When Prasutagus died, his land and possessions were seized by the Romans, who also took the liberty of seizing the land and possessions of other high ranking members of the Iceni tribe. When Boudica could not pay off his debts, they stripped and beat her publicly and raped her daughters. 

Boudica united the various warring tribes of Briton to revolt against the oppressive Romans. The began with Colchester, a city that defined Roman rule and home to the temple for Roman ruler Claudius. They destroyed the city and went on to conquer London and St. Albans.  

In his writings, Cassius Dio described Boudica as:

very tall. Her eyes seemed to stab you. Her voice was harsh and loud. Her thick, reddish-brown hair flung down below her waist. She always wore a great golden torc around her neck and a flowing tartan cloak fastened with a brooch.

The Briton army was eventually defeated by the Romans, who possessed superior weaponry and were more experienced in battle. Boudica perished in this battle, though it is unknown if she died from her wounds or poisoned herself. 

During the Victorian Era, Boudica gained notoriety and because a symbol for the British Empire. Queen Victoria’s husband commissioned a statue of her, which still stands outside London’s Houses of Parliament. Though she was unable to fully defeat the Roman empire, her rebellion almost caused the Romans to leave England and caused Emperor Nero to instate a more neutral leader. 

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