|The statue of Boudicca at Westminster|
Talking about religion, war and women
"On the shore stood the opposing army with its dense array of armed warriors, while between the ranks dashed women, in black attire like the Furies, with hair dishevelled, waving brands. All around, the Druids, lifting up their hands to heaven, and pouring forth dreadful imprecations, scared our soldiers by the unfamiliar sight, so that, as if their limbs were paralysed, they stood motionless, and exposed to wounds. Then urged by their general's appeals and mutual encouragements not to quail before a troop of frenzied women, they bore the standards onwards, smote down all resistance, and wrapped the foe in the flames of his own brands. A force was next set over the conquered, and their groves, devoted to inhuman superstitions, were destroyed. They deemed it indeed a duty to cover their altars with the blood of captives and to consult their deities through human entrails."
Tacitus on the Roman Raid of Anglesey
You could almost say Tacitus writes like anything found in the rag papers, such as the Sun and the Mirror...... and the Telegraph!
I always conflate Boudicca with the raging Druidic furies on Anglesey as the Romans defeated them, sadly, just one of the many defeats this island has taken. But Druidism if it did exist, though not so much in this country, but in Ireland and that part of the European continent that adjoins the sea we share, was seen as an evil force that stood behind the restless Iron Age natives of many tribes that occupied Britain.
Turning to Boudicca, stripped and whipped whilst her daughters were raped by the Roman soldiers the anguish was too much for her and she raised an army against the invaders, again sadly she was defeated with her poorly led army against the more methodical tactics of the Roman.
Summed up neatly, no lessons in the names of the tribes that dominated England, nor am I going to lacerate the Romans with verbal cruelty - it just was.
I would bring parallels with the discussion of women's role in society today and yes we are still talking about rape 2000 years later! But I think women are slowly but surely getting there now, and I really do not admire Boudicca for her warlike action.
No what sparked these thoughts, is religion, YP put his foot in where others would not, and we all expressed our feelings. Well I threw out two books on the 'old gods' the pagan Celtic gods so beloved by Boudicca and the Romans, Christianity did not come to Britain till later on. Both books written funnily enough by women Miranda Aldhouse-Green and Anne Ross.
I always enjoyed wandering through these gods of the woods, hunting, water and war. They lay in the earth till discovered by archaeologists they represent superstitious belief systems. You can find them all over the world but for some reason two religions have dominated, Christianity and Islam, I belong to neither but am quite happy in the bounds of nature's chaos.
Paul was an admirer of Boudica, he also joked that as an Anglo-Saxon his heritage came from Saxon royalty. He was not nationalistic though.
As an aside; Minerva Roman goddess of many skills including crafts was also sold by the Romans to the native population of Bath or Aqua Sulis, with the local goddess Sulis, sometimes it is good to hedge ones bets when it comes to the gods!
See old blogs.