[livejournal.com profile] realmofthemuse Prompt 1.83.1.A The Roman Road

Oct. 27th, 2009 08:51 pm
foreverwarrior: (Miranda (fearless))
[personal profile] foreverwarrior
A rewrite of this.

{For Immortal Knowledge Only}

The white ribbon the Romans called “Wæcelinga Stræt” coursed through the landscape. I scowled. It was yet more proof of Roman intrusion into lands that were not theirs. They defiled the land just as they had deflowered my husband’s daughters. Nothing was sacred to them. They made their Emperors into gods and made my people pay for their temples.

The Iceni they had claimed as “savages” had systematically ruined three of their precious settlements. And the one and only Legion that had dared stand against us was slaughtered. Still, I wouldn’t rest until every last Roman left Britain without a backward glance. I would be free of them, or I would die trying.

At last the dawn came. I took to my chariot, my husband’s daughters beside me. With a flick of the reins, I urged the two horses to ride to the front of my forces. 230,000 strong; it was a sight to behold. I raised my voice to the clear morning air and spoke to them not as a Queen but as a mother avenging her daughters and a woman fighting for her freedom. Although Immortals couldn’t scar, my back still twinged at the memories of being flogged for trying to keep my husband’s daughters intact. That fury added power to my voice.

“On this spot we must either conquer, or die with glory. There is no alternative. Though a woman, my resolution is fixed: the men, if they please, may survive with infamy, and live in bondage.” I raised my voice to the dawn, praying the Gods would hear my cry. “Nothing is safe from Roman pride and arrogance. They will deface the sacred and will deflower our virgins. Win the battle or perish, that is what I, a woman, will do!”

To their credit, each raised their arms and roared with battle lust. Men, women, Iceni and Trinovante alike had answered my call. Rome must know that their deeds would not go unpunished, and we would not be conquered easily.

“Fight the foe!” I cried.

“Fight the foe!” Over two hundred thousand voices echoed in the dawn.



Excerpt from The Battle of Watling Street wiki.

Heavily outnumbered, Suetonius chose his battleground carefully. He selected a narrow gorge with a forest behind him, opening out into a wide plain. The gorge protected the Roman flanks from attack, whilst the forest would impede approach from the rear. This removed Boudica's advantage of numbers by preventing her from bringing large numbers into close combat, and the open plain in front made ambushes impossible. Suetonius placed his legionaries in close order, with lightly-armed auxiliaries on the flanks and cavalry on the wings.

Boudica led her army forward across the plain and into the narrowing field in a massive frontal attack. As they advanced, they were channeled into a tightly packed mass. At approximately forty yards, their advance was staggered by a volley of Roman pila, the Roman javelin. The pilum was designed to bend when it hit a shield, making it impossible to pull out; the enemy would either be encumbered with a heavy iron spear weighing down his shield, or have to discard it and fight unprotected; very few if any of the Britons would have had any armour. A second volley followed, as each Roman legionary carried two pila. This tactic destroyed any organised advance by the Britons.

With the Britons in disarray, Suetonius ordered his legionaries and auxiliaries to push forward in the standard Roman wedge formation, creating a front line that took the appearance of the teeth of a handsaw. With their superior discipline, the Romans were able to continue fighting as fiercely as ever. With a clear advantage in armour, weapons, and discipline, this gave them a decisive edge in the close quarters fighting against the tightly packed Britons. The cavalry, lances extended, then entered the fray. As Brition losses quickly mounted, the Britons tried to retreat, but their flight was blocked by the ring of wagons; they were massacred. The cavalry attacked from the flanks as the infantry advanced. The Romans killed not only the warriors but also the women, children, and even pack animals. Tacitus says that according to one estimate, 80,000 Britons fell compared to only 400 Romans.

Boudica is said by Tacitus to have poisoned herself; Cassius Dio says Boudica fell ill and died and was given a lavish burial. Poenius Postumus, prefect of the 2nd legion, which had failed to join the battle, having robbed his men of a share of the glory, committed suicide by falling on his sword.

Boudica's quotes are taken from here & here respectively.



Quinnleigh Kincaid
Highlander OC
351 words (not including wiki info)

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