Sunday, May 7, 2017

Battle of Watling Street (AD 60)

Watling Street was originally a track used by the Britons for hundreds of years before the Romans returned to the island in AD 43. As the army made its way inland, they set up new Roman towns, Britons tribes that got in its way including the Iceni were told to cooperate or surrender.

The Iceni lands were in east-central England. In around AD 60 the Iceni king died. He left his lands to his daughters and to the Roman emperor. But Emperor Nero wouldn’t share. He took over. The king’s wife, Boudicca objected. As punishment, Nero’s deputy had Boudicca beaten and her daughter’s raped.

Boudicca reached out to other abused Briton tribes. Their hugh army marched to the new Roman towns.
The Battle of Watling Street was between an alliance of indigenous British people led by Boudicca and a Roman army led by Gaius Suetonius Paulinus. The Romans were very heavily outnumbered but won a decisive victory that ended resistance to Roman in the southern half of Britain.

The main part of Watling Street connected Canterbury in Kent with St Albans in Herefordshire, just a few miles north of Radlett. The Roman took it over, straightened it, paved it and used it to link Dover and Richborough in Kent with London.

During the Viking period, Watling Street appears to have functioned as a boundary between the area of Scandinavia settlement and the area that remained under English control. The archeologist who excavated the settlement of Tripontium, on Watling Street near Rugby suggested in 1997 that the battle took place on the nearby Dunsmore plain.
Battle of Watling Street (AD 60)
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