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The Boudiccan Rebellion -
Verulamium is taken

The Boudiccan rebellion | The causes | Romans incite the Iceni
The Advance To and Fall of Colchester | London falls
Verulamium is taken | The final battle
Events after the rebellion

The rebels take Verulamium

Suetonius gathered Legio II Augusta from the south-west to meet with his legions from the Midlands, but then it all went very wrong. Having been held back by its commander Poenius Postumus, the legions did not arrive to support Suetonius. Poenius cited his reason as:

"wanting to hold ground in case the Britons turned west."

More likely, Postumus' real reason was that he was scared to face Boudicca and her army.

The route from London to St. AlbansWithout Postumus, Suetonius quickly gathered about 10,000 men made up of detachments of Legios XX, Leg. XIV, and the auxilliaries available in the area. Dio estimated that rebel forces now consisted of 200,000 people.

The citizens of Verulamian received news of Boudicca's intended next target before she left Londinium. The occupants had mostly evacuated and taken everything they owned with them. On arrival the rebels burned Verulamium as they had done to Camulodunum (Colchester) and Londinium (London), killing all those who stood in their way. At the completion of this attack, Boudicca had a chance to launch an assault on Suetonius while his troops were still massing, yet didn't take this important opportunity to inflict further damage on the Roman military. Still, it is nothing more than "Monday morning quarterbacking" to suggest that we know better then those on the ground at that time and place.

Tacitus:

About seventy thousand citizens and allies, it appeared, fell in the places which I have mentioned. For it was not on making prisoners and selling them, or on any of the barter of war, that the enemy was bent, but on slaughter, on the gibbet, the fire and the cross, like men soon about to pay the penalty, and meanwhile snatching an instant vengeance.

Layout of Verulamium
Layout of Verulamium

The Boudiccan rebellion | The causes | Romans incite the Iceni
The Advance To and Fall of Colchester | London falls
Verulamium is taken | The final battle
Events after the rebellion
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