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Assess the factors that lead to the defeat of Boudica and the Iceni in the Battle of Watling Street

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Introduction

Ancient History The Battle of Watling Street "Assess the factors that lead to the defeat of Boudica and the Iceni in the Battle of Watling Street" "Assess the factors that lead to the defeat of Boudica and the Iceni in the Battle of Watling Street" Boudica and the Iceni were comprehensively defeated in the Battle of Watling Street for a variety of reasons. The overconfidence of the Celtic forces, in the wake of previous comprehensive victories, led them to severely underestimate the strength of the Roman forces and rely heavily on the power of numbers to achieve a victory. Roman General Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, although heavily outnumbered, made the correct tactical g decisions all but eliminated the Celtic numerical advantage. The highly disciplined and well trained Roman soldiers were able to withstand wave after wave of Celtic attacks due to a combination of their superior skills and equipment. The Battle of Watling Street marked the end of a successful rebellion by the Celtic tribes in Southern Britain. It was a victory of superior tactics versus overwhelming numbers. It was perhaps the success of the earlier stages of the rebellion that lead to the Celts being complacent. The success of the earlier stages of the Celtic rebellion led to the development of a sentiment of arrogance amongst Boudica's forces. The Iceni had enjoyed a number of successes, having sacked three major Roman cities in a short period of time. ...read more.

Middle

It is known that all Roman armies of the time period were incredibly well trained and skilled in the art of war. From the beginning a Roman soldier was put through rigorous training exercises and physically demanding maneuvers as well as sword and spear training.10 They were naturally very tough and had a brilliant mindset for battle due to the fact that Suetonius had minimised the effect of the Celtic numbers the Romans were now able to fight the battle on their own terms. They had a decisive edge when it came to hand to hand and close quarter fighting because of their superior training and weapons. The lack of Celtic discipline ultimately lead to a rout as defeat pressed in. This hefty advantage possessed by the Romans was enhanced greatly by the fact that they owned far greater weaponry and equipment. This was a distinct advantage and proved to be a lethal combination alongside their training and discipline. A Roman Legionnaire was equipped with a large shield, a sword and two spears called Pila. They also wore armour as an extra protective measure for the body.11 At the Battle of Watling Street this gave the Romans an immense advantage as their Celtic opponents were severely under equipped. Boudica's army were not issued with standard equipment and soldiers were largely unprotected. While most had a shield the majority lacked any form of armour . ...read more.

Conclusion

The book explains various facts about the Roman army including weaponry, training and military tactics. As shown in the essay it is necessary to understand such things in order to determine the factors that lead to the defeat of Boudica and the Iceni in the Battle of Watling Street. The source was not useful when examining the battle as a whole, but rather for taking it apart and examining things up close. 1 Tacitus, Publis Cornelius (1989), The Annals of Imperial Rome, Penguin, Aylesbury, Bucks, England 2 Tacitus, Publis Cornelius, The Annals of Imperial Rome 3 Dio, Cassius (1970), Roman History, Heinemann, Portsmouth, United Kingdom 4 Tacitus, Publis Cornelius, The Annals of Imperial Rome 5 Tacitus, Publis Cornelius, The Annals of Imperial Rome 6 Dio, Cassius, Roman History 7 Tacitus, Publis Cornelius, The Annals of Imperial Rome 8 Frere, Sheppard (1987), A History of Roman Britain, Britannia, London, United Kingdom 9 Dio, Cassius, Roman History 10 Davies, Roy W (1989), Service in the Roman Army, Columbia University Press, New York, USA 11 Heaton, Chris (2009), Organisation of the Roman Imperial Legion (online), UNRV. Available from < http://www.unrv.com/military/legion.php> (Accessed: 25 July 2009) 12 Tacitus, Publis Cornelius, The Annals of Imperial Rome 13 Heaton, Chris (2009), Legionary Weapons and Equipment (online), UNRV. Available from <http://www.unrv.com/military/legionary-weapons-equipment.php> (Accessed: 25 July 2009) 14 Dio, Cassius, Roman History 15 Tacitus, Publis Cornelius, The Annals of Imperial Rome 16 Frere, Sheppard , A History of Roman Britain ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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