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The Romans Incite Hatred in the Iceni

The Romans seize Iceni property and people

BoudiccaThe unrest that led to the Boudiccan rebellion began with the Iceni. Their king, Prasutages, had died . Tacitus wrote that the late king had left the Emperor co-heir with his two daughters. By doing this he planned to keep safe his kingdom and family. British Kings learned to appease their masters. In doing so, part of the Iceni territory would have passed to the Roman administration and the Emperor would receive a part of the royal wealth. The local officers of the governor and the provincial procurator, Decianus Catus interpreted this in a different manner.

In 60AD., within days of the death of Prasutagus, Emperor Nero ordered Procurator Catus Decianus, the overall financial administrator of Britain to meet the Iceni leaders to claim the land and goods of the whole Iceni tribe as Roman property.

According to Roman law, the Emperor had the final decision in the distribution of wealth in a province when a Client King died.

Prasutagus, king of the Iceni, famed for his long prosperity, had made the emperor his heir along with his two daughters, under the impression that this token of submission would put his kingdom and his house out of the reach of wrong.

The Romans took the view than the whole Iceni territory now belonged to the Romans. They had reduced the tribe's people not nothing more than mere possessions. The Iceni upper class were evicted from their homes. Members of the Royal House were captured and put to slavery. The Romans took over the Iceni, raping the late King's daughters and taking great delight in publicly flogging his widow, Boudicca. This was to be too much for the Iceni. The result was the worst rebellion the Romans have ever encountered. Boudicca was not the sort of queen to take this lightly. The Romans had made a bad enemy of her and the Iceni.

Rome demanded immediate repayment of funds granted to the Iceni to enable the to becopme more Romanised. The money to repay these grants was not available. So all land and property was seized and declared the personal property of Nero.

As Boudicca was now the ruler of the Iceni through the line of ascention to the throne, she was made personally responsible for the debts owed to the Romans. Even though all Iceni propety had been seized, it would not be enough to recover the total amount claimed.

Of course she could not pay, so the Romans took the opportunity to make an example of her. She was taken hostage, stripped and flogged in public, while her daughters were despoled by Roman soldiers. This was legal under Roman law, since the Iceni had been declared non-Romans. After these vile acts, Boudicca took her daughters to a place of safety and began to plan the rebellion

The Boudiccan rebellion | The causes | Romans incite the Iceni | The Iceni reach Colchester
London falls | Verulamium is taken | The final battle
Events after the rebellion
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