Women of Royalty
     Boadicea (also Boudicea or Boadicea) was born in 30 A.D. She came from a tribe in modern-day England or Scotland, though which one and who her parents were is unknown. Many historians believe that her name was actually Boadiga, the Celtic goddess of victory. Boadicea is the Latin version of Boadiga, which is where her modern name is from. Boadicea was said to be a wild and fiery woman, her hair as bright as fire and her skin very pale. Her wild appearance and haggard clothes would strike fear into the hearts of the Romans, which would come into play later in her life. The writer Cassius Dio:
     "She was very tall. Her eyes seemed to stab you. Her voice was harsh and loud. Her thick, reddish-brown hair hung down below her waist. She always wore a great golden torc around her neck and a flowing tartan cloak fastened with a brooch."
     Around 48 A.D., Boadicea married into the royal family of the Iceni, a southeastern British tribe. Her husband, Prasutagus, died in 60 A.D., after fathering two daughters by Boadicea, both who were young women by the time of his death.
     Since Julius Caesar had invaded Gaul and Britain in his campaigns in 55 and 54 B.C., the Romans traditionally invaded the savage lands and colonized the isles. Caesar never returned after his campaigns, and the Iceni and other British tribes traded with the Roman settlers and learned their ways of life and language. The Romans ceased battle with the savage tribes, but in 43 A.D. when Prasutagus was king of the Iceni, Claudius, the new Roman emperor who was quickly appointed after Caligula's murder, led Rome back into the British Isles to control the empire thats large borders were becoming riotous. Caligula consulted with his advisors, lieutenants, and Caesar's war journals and decided that he should send more Romans to colonize the Isles. 60,000 to be exact.
     When the Romans arrived in the isles, Prasutagus submitted to them. He declared that he would become a client-king of Rome, but he was allowed to rule his people and lands as long as he guided the Iceni to follow Roman laws and accept the Romans as their benefactors. Rome promised its client-kings military protection and funding but slavery also surmounted from the alliances. Most British tribes submitted to the Romans but the Welsh refused to become vassals, only agreeing after 30 years of war. The farther north the Romans went into Britain, the harder it was for them to beat back the attacking tribes. One tribal leader, Calgacus of Caledonia, never submitted and saved his people, for in the early 1st century A.D. the Romans gave up trying to win Caledonia and built Hadrian's Wall to keep the tribes out of the Roman territories. 
      Prasutagus died in 60 A.D., leaving his daughters the inheritance of the Iceni, and Boadicea as their regent. In his will he left his lands and possessions to the Roman emperor (now Nero) and monies and heirlooms to his daughters. The amounts were not enough for dowries, but would help pay the Romans who the Iceni were still vassals of.  However, the Romans took advantage of Prasutagus' death. They pillaged the Iceni tribes, flogged Boadicea, and raped her two daughters. Enraged, Boadicea and the Iceni rose up and went into battle against the Romans. Surprisingly, the Icenis captured the towns of Camulodunum, Londinium, and Verulamium and chased out the mightiest army in the world. However, the Romans were still very organized and powerful despite their losses, with 10,000 soldiers, the same amount of soldiers in Boadicea's Iceni armies. Before going into battle, Boadicea made a speech:
"We British are used to women commanders in war. I am the daughter of mighty men. But I am not fighting for my royal power now... I am fighting as an ordinary person who has lost her freedom. I am fighting for my bruised body. The Gods will grant us the revenge we deserve. Think of how many of us are fighting, and why. Then you will win this battle or die. That is what I, a woman, plan to do. Let the men live as slaves, if they want. I won't."

     Unfortunately, though this speech was stirring, the Romans brutally destroyed the Iceni army. Boadicea was captured during battle, and like Cleopatra, she committed suicide in 61 A.D. rather than be paraded and humiliated as a prisoner of Rome. Some lesser known versions say she died of a disease while in a cell.
     Boadicea's legacy continues today as a powerful female figure and a character of legend and folklore. Although Boadicea only lived for 31 years, she accomplished what no other man or woman had ever done: defy and beat the Roman army.