Boudica    

Boudica, a legendary figure in British history, played a large part in resisting the power of the Roman Empire.  In 60 AD soon after the arrival of Roman armies, Boudica then thirty-five years old, was the widow of Prasutagus and ruler of the kingdom of Iceni (Green, p.95).  Her husband had entered into a contract with the emperor, Nero that stated that her could preserve his kingdom if he kept his kingdom peaceful to act as a "buffer state" (Green, p.95).  Boudica’s assumption of power after his death angered Roman officials for it was "illegal in their eyes" for a woman to rule a kingdom. As a result her kingdom was "ravaged and looted," and her condemnation of these acts resulted in an unclad public wiping and the subsequent rapping of her daughters which she was witness (Ellis, Celtic Women, p.87).

At this point Boudica emerges as an absolute ruler of the Iceni and gathers the loyalty of the surrounding kingdoms.  According to Tacitus "this is not the first time that Britons have been led to Battle by a woman" (Ellis, Celtic Women, p.87).  "Boudica shoed her prowess as a military strategist" (Ellis, Celtic Women, p.87) and annihilated a large Roman legion.  They went on to destroy Londinium (London), Camulodunum (Chester) and Verulamium (St Albans) and outrage and humiliate sexist Roman officials.  However, her campaign did not succeed in freeing the whole of Briton from Roman forces for she was defeated at a trading post called Londo.  Some scholars speculate that she committed suicide soon afterwards for texts do not mention her after this time. 

According to Dio Cassius, Boudica was a priestess of the goddess Andrasta who is describes as the goddess of victory (Ellis, The Druids, p.92).  As a result Ellis states that "an argument could, therefore, be made that Boudica was a Druidess as well as a Queen" (Ellis, The Druids, p.92).  Ellis further argues that "as Druids were merely the intellegensia of ancient Celtic society, equivalent to the Brahmins of Indian society, . . . a Druid could become a king or Queen but a king or queen [could] not necessarily become a Druid" (Ellis, Celtic Women, p.93).  This argument validates the suspicions of many scholars who speculate the position of such women as the 'Vix princess,' the 'Reinham princess,' and other women Celtic rulers
 

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