Book Excerpt from Chapter 5, The Rebellion









That spring Boudicca’s rebellion was swiftly put down by Roman’s superior military tactics. The Celtic horde was indeed large, almost one hundred thousand Celts and war chariots. Boudicca herself gave a rousing speech from her war chariot[1] with her daughters claiming to be not a Queen of the Iceni but an ordinary person, avenging her lost freedom and lands, her battered body, and the abused chastity of her daughters done to her family at the order of the Roman army. She said their cause was just, and the deities were on their side; the one legion in Londinium that had dared to face them had been destroyed. She, a woman, and a Celt were resolved to win or die.

However, the lack of on the field generalship from the Celts became glaringly apparent when General Gaius Suetonius Paulinus held his Roman legions in check at first and waited for the Celts to come. He performed a classic wedge and saw maneuver[2] to combat the large mass of Celts. Positioning the Roman army in a defile with woods behind them and allowing the formation to take care of the oncoming swarm of Celts who in such close quarters quickly lost the ability to swing their long swords they took on Boudicca’s army. At the right, he positioned his cavalry to wait for the appropriate signal to charge. The Romans, using their shields to push inexorably forward and their spears, or pila to take out more Celts as they moved forward, decimating their foes. The Romans continued to move forward slowly and as the Celts rushed the Roman troops those caught at the front were quickly killed. The Celts that realized what was happening tried to turn back but the oncoming mass of Celts moving forward from behind made it impossible to stop the forward momentum. On the right the Roman cavalry received the signal to attack. The Celts in the middle saw what was happening they began to turn as well and retreat and were met by the charging Roman cavalry.

The Celts had nowhere to turn, in front was Roman army coming forward like a bristling, implacable death-dealing giant and behind them were their own Celts coming forward still wanting to be part of the fray. The very back of the fields there were the Celtic families who had pulled up to see the glorious win with their carriages ringing the battlefield. These laden wagons prevented further retreat by the Celts who found themselves trapped. The ensuing slaughter was inevitable and massive. Despite being outnumbered ten to one the Romans defeated the Celts in one decisive blow. The ensuing confusion made it easy for the Romans to move in and finish, mopping up the small pockets of resistance.

In one of the pockets of resistance, Quintus with the remaining members of his contubernium Fullo, Bundarus, Faber, Coriaro, Grex, Titus and Rufus fought together. The fighting was fierce but with Roman discipline it was turning the tide inexorably in their favor. The Celts continued to come in with increasingly tired and wild swings of their swords, each yelling bloodcurdling howls but not landing effective blows. The Romans stayed in a tight formation with their interlocked shields up combating the onslaught, letting the Celts tire themselves out first before moving forward as one to take care of the stragglers. Their gladius and pila flashing from between their shields in lightning strikes taking out the boldest of the Celts.

“Let’s finish this, I’m done with this gods-forsaken battle,” Fullo growled from behind his shield, fatigue beginning to tell on his face.

Next to him Faber agreed, “They are at the end of their rebellion and flagging, we should take this last group and make examples of them!”

“They are failing but best to keep with Roman military tactics so we can all survive this day. Let us continue with the iron turtle and win without getting wounded.” Bundarus cautioned restraint. Titus and Rufus agreed with him. The iron turtle or testudo was devastating in close quarters, a small squad or Contubernium of eight soldiers would hold in tight formation, interlocking their shields and move forward as one, just using their short swords and spears to jab at their opponents without giving opening, hence the term iron turtle.

Listening to their grumbling Quintus was feeling also tired of the interminable rebellion, he wanted to destroy these barbarians but realized Bundarus had the correct assessment of the situation. They were all exhausted and at the end of their surge of battle energy, at this time unwise decisions could cost lives. “We stay in formation until this last group is taken care of, no time for short cuts that makes us sloppy.” He continued with the forward press and thrusts of his sword and spear. The others groaned but followed.

Soon the skirmish was dwindling now with only four exhausted and bloody Celts left to fight the battle. They still yelled out curses, but their swords were not swung with as much vigor. After two were dispatched, thanks to Bundarus and Grex’s spears the last two threw their swords done in surrender. The pocket of resistance was over.

In the end the Romans had dealt a massive blow to the Celts, further thoughts of rebellion were no longer entertained. The confederation of Celtic tribes Queen Boudicca had managed to fuse melted way, their lands, goods, and peoples enslaved. The end of the Celtic resistance as well as the end of their Druid priests ensured their resulting compliance to Roman rule. Now all that remained was the slow but methodical Roman nation building. The Romans had to reestablish trading lines and entice more traders to come fill the void left in Londinium and Camulodunum and more was needed to fill out other centers of Roman civilization.

In the ensuing months more traders and land magnates made their way to Britannia to exploit the war-ravaged land. Rich businessmen called knights made their way from Rome to Britannia with their coffers open to ease away the large Celtic farms. Londinium was infused with needed capital again as traders and their agents once again offered Roman luxury items. Wine and olives, damascene silks, glass faience bottles, jewelry and of course all the confiscated Celtic torques once again were found at the market.

In winter, the decision was made by Gaius Suetonius Paulinus to gift the most deserving legionaries with their own farms from the lands confiscated from the rebellious tribes to replace the large colonia at Camulodunum and to establish additional smaller ones in further in Britannia. The best way to subdue Britannia was through colonization with integration into local society made up of retiring military members intermarrying with the local peoples. One of the many deserving military men was Quintus Agricolanus, he along with the with the rest of his contubernium Fullo, Bundarus, Faber, Coriaro, Grex, Titus and Rufus received notice that they would all get land from the Trinovantes tribe, who joined the rebellion with Boudicca and the Iceni. Putting this small fighting group together to colonize and Romanize the area was considered a good move by the Governor to shore up the unsettled area and pay off his troops after their years of service. Gaius Suetonius Paulinus called them up to receive the announcement of their official retirement parcels.

“I am granting you farms confiscated from the Trinovantes in the village of Gosbecks, about one day’s march from Camulodunum. There are several farms you and your men will be granted. It is a very prosperous area with lush farmland, and you should do well settling there.” Gaius Suetonius Paulinus smiled as he told Quintus and his soldiers. “The area had a lot of members who fought in the rebellion but are no longer returning to their farms. The land is now yours. My Legate Marcus Flaccus Antoninus,” the governor turned to the haughty patrician standing next to him, “Will oversee assigning the farms to you. There will be resistance, but I am confident you will be able to overcome it and settle into this new life. Just make sure the flow of taxation goods flows without disruption. You have the authority to implement any means necessary to do so.”

The Legate Marcus Flaccus Antoninus stepped forward to speak next, his arrogant patrician face looking at the soldiers, “We will divide the farms according to rank. Quintus Agricolanus as a retiring Centurion and Princeps Pila, you will get the largest land holding but the others will be doled out based on quality and years of service. Titus and Rufus will get the smallest land plots as they only have the minimum of fifteen years. The other members of the contubernium Fullo, Bundarus, Faber, Coriaro and Grex have all served seventeen plus years with distinction and will receive bigger farms. I will personally help in portioning out the land plots since this is my job,” he added with a bored smile. The men looked at each other knowing the legate was more interested in determining how much the Trinovantes land would bring the empire in taxation, trade deals and new land sales.

The Governor continued: “You will be released from the military in the spring to take over your lands in time for the seasonal planting and the management needed for your new farms. Get together with your officers to make the transition seamless, I expect more soldiers will be retiring at the same time so the turnover will be easy. The Roman military is a well-oiled machine after all, so I expect this turnover to go smoothly. I will be by the new colonia when you have moved down to it, I expect to see a successful new Romanized village. I foresee a very prosperous enclave of Roman civilization,” with that he abruptly finished the meeting. Turning with the legate the two departed the meeting for the command tent.

“Well now that the formalities are over, we can get the actual celebrations going forward,” Fullo beamed and rubbed his hands. “I’ve got several ladies waiting for me and whoever wants to join me!”

“I’ll take you up on the offer,” Rufus said. “Now that I’ve earned my retirement, I’ve got the wealth to back up my fun.” Rufus and Titus were the newest members of the contubernium, they joined them in fighting the Nervii in Gaul to shore up the six to the more traditional number of eight as required by military regulations. Whilst they had not fought as long together as the original six, they proved themselves on the battlefield time and again, Titus and Rufus were like Bundarus in their ability with the sword and spear. Their understanding of military formation drills made them solid Roman legionaries They had proven themselves to the Governor at the battle on Mona with their quick work of the battling barbarian Celts without letting the unnerving atmosphere of the island spook them; they laid waste to the grounds without questioning their orders.

“Good, we’ll go enjoy the wonders of rounded Celtic women, any other takers?” Fullo looked to the others. The Bundarus, Faber and Coriaro looked at each other than agreed to come. “A party it is, what about you Quintus and Grex? Any way we can entice you two?”

“I already have a raven-haired Celtic woman waiting for me outside of camp, I’ve already made the arrangements,” Grex grinned.

“I have paperwork to finish with the legate; all the plots need to be laid out contiguously so we may have a defensible colonia. I’ll catch up later and join the party.” The grim-faced Quintus turned and moved to follow the governor and legate.

“Sad that, he does all the work and doesn’t have the chance to enjoy himself,” muttered Fullo and turned to join the others already leaving for their night of merriment.



[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/boudicca.shtml [2] http://www.roman-empire.net/army/tactics.htmlThat spring Boudicca’s rebellion was swiftly put down by Roman’s superior military tactics. The Celtic horde was indeed large, almost one hundred thousand Celts and war chariots. Boudicca herself gave a rousing speech from her war chariot[1] with her daughters claiming to be not a Queen of the Iceni but an ordinary person, avenging her lost freedom and lands, her battered body, and the abused chastity of her daughters done to her family at the order of the Roman army. She said their cause was just, and the deities were on their side; the one legion in Londinium that had dared to face them had been destroyed. She, a woman, and a Celt, was resolved to win or die.

However, the lack of on the field generalship from the Celts became glaringly apparent when General Gaius Suetonius Paulinus held his Roman legions in check at first and waited for the Celts to come. He performed a classic wedge and saw maneuver[2] to combat the large mass of Celts. Positioning the Roman army in a defile with woods behind them and allowing the formation to take care of the oncoming swarm of Celts who in such close quarters quickly lost the ability to swing their long swords they took on Boudicca’s army. At the right he positioned his cavalry to wait for the appropriate signal to charge. The Romans, using their shields to push inexorably forward and their spears, or pila to take out more Celts as they moved forward, decimating their foes. The Romans continued to move forward slowly and as the Celts rushed the Roman troops those caught at the front were quickly killed. The Celts that realized what was happening tried to turn back but the oncoming mass of Celts moving forward from behind made it impossible to stop the forward momentum. On the right the Roman cavalry received the signal to attack. The Celts in the middle saw what was happening they began to turn as well and retreat and were met by the charging Roman cavalry.

The Celts had nowhere to turn, in front was Roman army coming forward like a bristling, implacable death-dealing giant and behind them were their own Celts coming forward still wanting to be part of the fray. The very back of the fields there were the Celtic families who had pulled up to see the glorious win with their carriages ringing the battlefield. These laden wagons prevented further retreat by the Celts who found themselves trapped. The ensuing slaughter was inevitable and massive. Despite being outnumbered ten to one the Romans defeated the Celts in one decisive blow. The ensuing confusion made it easy for the Romans to move in and finish, mopping up the small pockets of resistance.

In one of the pockets of resistance, Quintus with the remaining members of his contubernium Fullo, Bundarus, Faber, Coriaro, Grex, Titus and Rufus fought together. The fighting was fierce but with Roman discipline it was turning the tide inexorably in their favor. The Celts continued to come in with increasingly tired and wild swings of their swords, each yelling bloodcurdling howls but not landing effective blows. The Romans stayed in a tight formation with their interlocked shields up combating the onslaught, letting the Celts tire themselves out first before moving forward as one to take care of the stragglers. Their gladius and pila flashing from between their shields in lightning strikes taking out the boldest of the Celts.

“Let’s finish this, I’m done with this gods-forsaken battle,” Fullo growled from behind his shield, fatigue beginning to tell on his face.

Next to him Faber agreed, “They are at the end of their rebellion and flagging, we should take this last group and make examples of them!”

“They are failing but best to keep with Roman military tactics so we can all survive this day. Let us continue with the iron turtle and win without getting wounded.” Bundarus cautioned restraint. Titus and Rufus agreed with him. The iron turtle or testudo was devastating in close quarters, a small squad or Contubernium of eight soldiers would hold in tight formation, interlocking their shields and move forward as one, just using their short swords and spears to jab at their opponents without giving opening, hence the term iron turtle.

Listening to their grumbling Quintus was feeling also tired of the interminable rebellion, he wanted to destroy these barbarians but realized Bundarus had the correct assessment of the situation. They were all exhausted and at the end of their surge of battle energy, at this time unwise decisions could cost lives. “We stay in formation until this last group is taken care of, no time for short cuts that makes us sloppy.” He continued with the forward press and thrusts of his sword and spear. The others groaned but followed.

Soon the skirmish was dwindling now with only four exhausted and bloody Celts left to fight the battle. They still yelled out curses, but their swords were not swung with as much vigor. After two were dispatched, thanks to Bundarus and Grex’s spears the last two threw their swords done in surrender. The pocket of resistance was over.

In the end the Romans had dealt a massive blow to the Celts, further thoughts of rebellion were no longer entertained. The confederation of Celtic tribes Queen Boudicca had managed to fuse melted way, their lands, goods, and peoples enslaved. The end of the Celtic resistance as well as the end of their Druid priests ensured their resulting compliance to Roman rule. Now all that remained was the slow but methodical Roman nation building. The Romans had to reestablish trading lines and entice more traders to come fill the void left in Londinium and Camulodunum and more was needed to fill out other centers of Roman civilization.

In the ensuing months more traders and land magnates made their way to Britannia to exploit the war-ravaged land. Rich businessmen called knights made their way from Rome to Britannia with their coffers open to ease away the large Celtic farms. Londinium was infused with needed capital again as traders and their agents once again offered Roman luxury items. Wine and olives, damascene silks, glass faience bottles, jewelry and of course all the confiscated Celtic torques once again were found at the market.

In winter, the decision was made by Gaius Suetonius Paulinus to gift the most deserving legionaries with their own farms from the lands confiscated from the rebellious tribes to replace the large colonia at Camulodunum and to establish additional smaller ones in further in Britannia. The best way to subdue Britannia was through colonization with integration into local society made up of retiring military members intermarrying with the local peoples. One of the many deserving military men was Quintus Agricolanus, he along with the with the rest of his contubernium Fullo, Bundarus, Faber, Coriaro, Grex, Titus and Rufus received notice that they would all get land from the Trinovantes tribe, who joined the rebellion with Boudicca and the Iceni. Putting this small fighting group together to colonize and Romanize the area was considered a good move by the Governor to shore up the unsettled area and pay off his troops after their years of service. Gaius Suetonius Paulinus called them up to receive the announcement of their official retirement parcels.

“I am granting you farms confiscated from the Trinovantes in the village of Gosbecks, about one day’s march from Camulodunum. There are several farms you and your men will be granted. It is a very prosperous area with lush farmland, and you should do well settling there.” Gaius Suetonius Paulinus smiled as he told Quintus and his soldiers. “The area had a lot of members who fought in the rebellion but are no longer returning to their farms. The land is now yours. My Legate Marcus Flaccus Antoninus,” the governor turned to the haughty patrician standing next to him, “Will oversee assigning the farms to you. There will be resistance, but I am confident you will be able to overcome it and settle into this new life. Just make sure the flow of taxation goods flows without disruption. You have the authority to implement any means necessary to do so.”

The Legate Marcus Flaccus Antoninus stepped forward to speak next, his arrogant patrician face looking at the soldiers, “We will divide the farms according to rank. Quintus Agricolanus as a retiring Centurion and Princeps Pila, you will get the largest land holding but the others will be doled out based on quality and years of service. Titus and Rufus will get the smallest land plots as they only have the minimum of fifteen years. The other members of the contubernium Fullo, Bundarus, Faber, Coriaro, and Grex have all served seventeen plus years with distinction and will receive bigger farms. I will personally help in portioning out the land plots since this is my job,” he added with a bored smile. The men looked at each other knowing the legate was more interested in determining how much the Trinovantes land would bring the empire in taxation, trade deals, and new land sales.

The Governor continued: “You will be released from the military in the spring to take over your lands in time for the seasonal planting and the management needed for your new farms. Get together with your officers to make the transition seamless, I expect more soldiers will be retiring at the same time so the turnover will be easy. The Roman military is a well-oiled machine after all, so I expect this turnover to go smoothly. I will be by the new Colonia when you have moved down to it, I expect to see a successful new Romanized village. I foresee a very prosperous enclave of Roman civilization,” that he abruptly finished the meeting. Turning with the legate the two departed the meeting for the command tent.

“Well now that the formalities are over, we can get the actual celebrations going forward,” Fullo beamed and rubbed his hands. “I’ve got several ladies waiting for me and whoever wants to join me!”

“I’ll take you up on the offer,” Rufus said. “Now that I’ve earned my retirement, I’ve got the wealth to back up my fun.” Rufus and Titus were the newest members of the contubernium, they joined them in fighting the Nervii in Gaul to shore up the six to the more traditional number of eight as required by military regulations. Whilst they had not fought as long together as the original six, they proved themselves on the battlefield time and again, Titus and Rufus were like Bundarus in their ability with the sword and spear. Their understanding of military formation drills made them solid Roman legionaries They had proven themselves to the Governor at the battle on Mona with their quick work of the battling barbarian Celts without letting the unnerving atmosphere of the island spook them; they laid waste to the grounds without questioning their orders.

“Good, we’ll go enjoy the wonders of rounded Celtic women, any other takers?” Fullo looked to the others. The Bundarus, Faber, and Coriaro looked at each other then agreed to come. “A party it is, what about you Quintus and Grex? Any way we can entice you two?”

“I already have a raven-haired Celtic woman waiting for me outside of camp, I’ve already made the arrangements,” Grex grinned.

“I have paperwork to finish with the legate; all the plots need to be laid out contiguously so we may have a defensible Colonia. I’ll catch up later and join the party.” The grim-faced Quintus turned and moved to follow the governor and legate.

“Sad that, he does all the work and doesn’t have the chance to enjoy himself,” muttered Fullo and turned to join the others already leaving for their night of merriment.



[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/boudicca.shtml [2] http://www.roman-empire.net/army/tactics.htmlThat spring Boudicca’s rebellion was swiftly put down by Roman’s superior military tactics. The Celtic horde was indeed large, almost one hundred thousand Celts and war chariots. Boudicca herself gave a rousing speech from her war chariot[1] with her daughters claiming to be not a Queen of the Iceni but an ordinary person, avenging her lost freedom and lands, her battered body, and the abused chastity of her daughters done to her family at the order of the Roman army. She said their cause was just, and the deities were on their side; the one legion in Londinium that had dared to face them had been destroyed. She, a woman, and a Celt were resolved to win or die.

However, the lack of on the field generalship from the Celts became glaringly apparent when General Gaius Suetonius Paulinus held his Roman legions in check at first and waited for the Celts to come. He performed a classic wedge and saw maneuver[2] to combat the large mass of Celts. Positioning the Roman army in a defile with woods behind them and allowing the formation to take care of the oncoming swarm of Celts who in such close quarters quickly lost the ability to swing their long swords they took on Boudicca’s army. At the right, he positioned his cavalry to wait for the appropriate signal to charge. The Romans, using their shields to push inexorably forward and their spears, or pila to take out more Celts as they moved forward, decimating their foes. The Romans continued to move forward slowly and as the Celts rushed the Roman troops those caught at the front were quickly killed. The Celts that realized what was happening tried to turn back but the oncoming mass of Celts moving forward from behind made it impossible to stop the forward momentum. On the right, the Roman cavalry received the signal to attack. The Celts in the middle saw what was happening they began to turn as well and retreat and were met by the charging Roman cavalry.

The Celts had nowhere to turn, in front was the Roman army coming forward like a bristling, implacable death-dealing giant, and behind them were their own Celts coming forward still wanting to be part of the fray. At the very back of the fields, there were the Celtic families who had pulled up to see the glorious win with their carriages ringing the battlefield. These laden wagons prevented further retreat by the Celts who found themselves trapped. The ensuing slaughter was inevitable and massive. Despite being outnumbered ten to one the Romans defeated the Celts in one decisive blow. The ensuing confusion made it easy for the Romans to move in and finish, mopping up the small pockets of resistance.

In one of the pockets of resistance, Quintus with the remaining members of his contubernium Fullo, Bundarus, Faber, Coriaro, Grex, Titus and Rufus fought together. The fighting was fierce but with Roman discipline, it was turning the tide inexorably in their favor. The Celts continued to come in with increasingly tired and wild swings of their swords, each yelling bloodcurdling howls but not landing effective blows. The Romans stayed in a tight formation with their interlocked shields up combating the onslaught, letting the Celts tire themselves out first before moving forward as one to take care of the stragglers. Their gladius and pila flashing from between their shields in lightning strikes taking out the boldest of the Celts.

“Let’s finish this, I’m done with this gods-forsaken battle,” Fullo growled from behind his shield, fatigue beginning to tell on his face.

Next to him, Faber agreed, “They are at the end of their rebellion and flagging, we should take this last group and make examples of them!”

“They are failing but best to keep with Roman military tactics so we can all survive this day. Let us continue with the iron turtle and win without getting wounded.” Bundarus cautioned restraint. Titus and Rufus agreed with him. The iron turtle or testudo was devastating in close quarters, a small squad or Contubernium of eight soldiers would hold in tight formation, interlocking their shields and move forward as one, just using their short swords and spears to jab at their opponents without giving opening, hence the term iron turtle.

Listening to their grumbling Quintus was feeling also tired of the interminable rebellion, he wanted to destroy these barbarians but realized Bundarus had the correct assessment of the situation. They were all exhausted and at the end of their surge of battle energy, at this time unwise decisions could cost lives. “We stay in formation until this last group is taken care of, no time for short cuts that makes us sloppy.” He continued with the forward press and thrusts of his sword and spear. The others groaned but followed.

Soon the skirmish was dwindling now with only four exhausted and bloody Celts left to fight the battle. They still yelled out curses, but their swords were not swung with as much vigor. After two were dispatched, thanks to Bundarus and Grex’s spears the last two threw their swords done in surrender. The pocket of resistance was over.

In the end the Romans had dealt a massive blow to the Celts, further thoughts of rebellion were no longer entertained. The confederation of Celtic tribes Queen Boudicca had managed to fuse melted way, their lands, goods, and peoples enslaved. The end of the Celtic resistance as well as the end of their Druid priests ensured their resulting compliance to Roman rule. Now all that remained was the slow but methodical Roman nation-building. The Romans had to reestablish trading lines and entice more traders to come to fill the void left in Londinium and Camulodunum and more was needed to fill out other centers of Roman civilization.

In the ensuing months, more traders and land magnates made their way to Britannia to exploit the war-ravaged land. Rich businessmen called knights made their way from Rome to Britannia with their coffers open to ease away the large Celtic farms. Londinium was infused with needed capital again as traders and their agents once again offered Roman luxury items. Wine and olives, damascene silks, glass faience bottles, jewelry, and of course all the confiscated Celtic torques once again were found at the market.

In winter, the decision was made by Gaius Suetonius Paulinus to gift the most deserving legionaries with their own farms from the lands confiscated from the rebellious tribes to replace the large colonia at Camulodunum and to establish additional smaller ones further in Britannia. The best way to subdue Britannia was through colonization with integration into local society made up of retiring military members intermarrying with the local peoples. One of the many deserving military men was Quintus Agricolanus, along with the rest of his contubernium Fullo, Bundarus, Faber, Coriaro, Grex, Titus and Rufus received notice that they would all get land from the Trinovantes tribe, who joined the rebellion with Boudicca and the Iceni. Putting this small fighting group together to colonize and Romanize the area was considered a good move by the Governor to shore up the unsettled area and pay off his troops after their years of service. Gaius Suetonius Paulinus called them up to receive the announcement of their official retirement parcels.

“I am granting you farms confiscated from the Trinovantes in the village of Gosbecks, about one day’s march from Camulodunum. There are several farms you and your men will be granted. It is a very prosperous area with lush farmland, and you should do well settling there.” Gaius Suetonius Paulinus smiled as he told Quintus and his soldiers. “The area had a lot of members who fought in the rebellion but are no longer returning to their farms. The land is now yours. My Legate Marcus Flaccus Antoninus,” the governor turned to the haughty patrician standing next to him, “Will oversee assigning the farms to you. There will be resistance, but I am confident you will be able to overcome it and settle into this new life. Just make sure the flow of taxation goods flows without disruption. You have the authority to implement any means necessary to do so.”

The Legate Marcus Flaccus Antoninus stepped forward to speak next, his arrogant patrician face looking at the soldiers, “We will divide the farms according to rank. Quintus Agricolanus as a retiring Centurion and Princeps Pila, you will get the largest landholding but the others will be doled out based on quality and years of service. Titus and Rufus will get the smallest land plots as they only have a minimum of fifteen years. The other members of the contubernium Fullo, Bundarus, Faber, Coriaro, and Grex have all served seventeen plus years with distinction and will receive bigger farms. I will personally help in portioning out the land plots since this is my job,” he added with a bored smile. The men looked at each other knowing the legate was more interested in determining how much the Trinovantes land would bring the empire in taxation, trade deals, and new land sales.

The Governor continued: “You will be released from the military in the spring to take over your lands in time for the seasonal planting and the management needed for your new farms. Get together with your officers to make the transition seamless, I expect more soldiers will be retiring at the same time so the turnover will be easy. The Roman military is a well-oiled machine after all, so I expect this turnover to go smoothly. I will be by the new Colonia when you have moved down to it, I expect to see a successful new Romanized village. I foresee a very prosperous enclave of Roman civilization,” that he abruptly finished the meeting. Turning with the legate the two departed the meeting for the command tent.

“Well now that the formalities are over, we can get the actual celebrations going forward,” Fullo beamed and rubbed his hands. “I’ve got several ladies waiting for me and whoever wants to join me!”

“I’ll take you up on the offer,” Rufus said. “Now that I’ve earned my retirement, I’ve got the wealth to back up my fun.” Rufus and Titus were the newest members of the contubernium, they joined them in fighting the Nervii in Gaul to shore up the six to the more traditional number of eight as required by military regulations. Whilst they had not fought as long together as the original six, they proved themselves on the battlefield time and again, Titus and Rufus were like Bundarus in their ability with the sword and spear. Their understanding of military formation drills made them solid Roman legionaries They had proven themselves to the Governor at the battle on Mona with their quick work of the battling barbarian Celts without letting the unnerving atmosphere of the island spook them; they laid waste to the grounds without questioning their orders.

“Good, we’ll go enjoy the wonders of rounded Celtic women, any other takers?” Fullo looked to the others. The Bundarus, Faber, and Coriaro looked at each other then agreed to come. “A party it is, what about you Quintus and Grex? Any way we can entice you two?”

“I already have a raven-haired Celtic woman waiting for me outside of camp, I’ve already made the arrangements,” Grex grinned.

“I have paperwork to finish with the legate; all the plots need to be laid out contiguously so we may have a defensible Colonia. I’ll catch up later and join the party.” The grim-faced Quintus turned and moved to follow the governor and legate.

“Sad that, he does all the work and doesn’t have the chance to enjoy himself,” muttered Fullo and turned to join the others already leaving for their night of merriment.



[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/boudicca.shtml [2] http://www.roman-empire.net/army/tactics.htmlThat spring Boudicca’s rebellion was swiftly put down by Roman’s superior military tactics. The Celtic horde was indeed large, almost one hundred thousand Celts and war chariots. Boudicca herself gave a rousing speech from her war chariot[1] with her daughters claiming to be not a Queen of the Iceni but an ordinary person, avenging her lost freedom and lands, her battered body, and the abused chastity of her daughters done to her family at the order of the Roman army. She said their cause was just, and the deities were on their side; the one legion in Londinium that had dared to face them had been destroyed. She, a woman, and a Celt were resolved to win or die.

However, the lack of on the field generalship from the Celts became glaringly apparent when General Gaius Suetonius Paulinus held his Roman legions in check at first and waited for the Celts to come. He performed a classic wedge and saw maneuver[2] to combat the large mass of Celts. Positioning the Roman army in a defile with woods behind them and allowing the formation to take care of the oncoming swarm of Celts who in such close quarters quickly lost the ability to swing their long swords they took on Boudicca’s army. At the right, he positioned his cavalry to wait for the appropriate signal to charge. The Romans, using their shields to push inexorably forward and their spears, or pila to take out more Celts as they moved forward, decimating their foes. The Romans continued to move forward slowly and as the Celts rushed the Roman troops those caught at the front were quickly killed. The Celts that realized what was happening tried to turn back but the oncoming mass of Celts moving forward from behind made it impossible to stop the forward momentum. On the right, the Roman cavalry received the signal to attack. The Celts in the middle saw what was happening they began to turn as well and retreat and were met by the charging Roman cavalry.

The Celts had nowhere to turn, in front was the Roman army coming forward like a bristling, implacable death-dealing giant, and behind them were their own Celts coming forward still wanting to be part of the fray. At the very back of the fields, there were the Celtic families who had pulled up to see the glorious win with their carriages ringing the battlefield. These laden wagons prevented further retreat by the Celts who found themselves trapped. The ensuing slaughter was inevitable and massive. Despite being outnumbered ten to one the Romans defeated the Celts in one decisive blow. The ensuing confusion made it easy for the Romans to move in and finish, mopping up the small pockets of resistance.

In one of the pockets of resistance, Quintus with the remaining members of his contubernium Fullo, Bundarus, Faber, Coriaro, Grex, Titus, and Rufus fought together. The fighting was fierce but with Roman discipline, it was turning the tide inexorably in their favor. The Celts continued to come in with increasingly tired and wild swings of their swords, each yelling bloodcurdling howls but not landing effective blows. The Romans stayed in a tight formation with their interlocked shields up combating the onslaught, letting the Celts tire themselves out first before moving forward as one to take care of the stragglers. Their gladius and pila flashing from between their shields in lightning strikes taking out the boldest of the Celts.

“Let’s finish this, I’m done with this gods-forsaken battle,” Fullo growled from behind his shield, fatigue beginning to tell on his face.

Next to him Faber agreed, “They are at the end of their rebellion and flagging, we should take this last group and make examples of them!”

“They are failing but best to keep with Roman military tactics so we can all survive this day. Let us continue with the iron turtle and win without getting wounded.” Bundarus cautioned restraint. Titus and Rufus agreed with him. The iron turtle or testudo was devastating in close quarters, a small squad or Contubernium of eight soldiers would hold in tight formation, interlocking their shields and move forward as one, just using their short swords and spears to jab at their opponents without giving opening, hence the term iron turtle.

Listening to their grumbling Quintus was feeling also tired of the interminable rebellion, he wanted to destroy these barbarians but realized Bundarus had the correct assessment of the situation. They were all exhausted and at the end of their surge of battle energy, at this time unwise decisions could cost lives. “We stay information until this last group is taken care of, no time for short cuts that makes us sloppy.” He continued with the forward press and thrusts of his sword and spear. The others groaned but followed.

Soon the skirmish was dwindling now with only four exhausted and bloody Celts left to fight the battle. They still yelled out curses, but their swords were not swung with as much vigor. After two were dispatched, thanks to Bundarus and Grex’s spears the last two threw their swords done in surrender. The pocket of resistance was over.

In the end the Romans had dealt a massive blow to the Celts, further thoughts of rebellion were no longer entertained. The confederation of Celtic tribes Queen Boudicca had managed to fuse melted way, their lands, goods, and peoples enslaved. The end of the Celtic resistance as well as the end of their Druid priests ensured their resulting compliance to Roman rule. Now all that remained was the slow but methodical Roman nation-building. The Romans had to reestablish trading lines and entice more traders to come to fill the void left in Londinium and Camulodunum and more was needed to fill out other centers of Roman civilization.

In the ensuing months, more traders and land magnates made their way to Britannia to exploit the war-ravaged land. Rich businessmen called knights made their way from Rome to Britannia with their coffers open to ease away the large Celtic farms. Londinium was infused with needed capital again as traders and their agents once again offered Roman luxury items. Wine and olives, damascene silks, glass faience bottles, jewelry, and of course all the confiscated Celtic torques once again were found at the market.

In winter, the decision was made by Gaius Suetonius Paulinus to gift the most deserving legionaries with their own farms from the lands confiscated from the rebellious tribes to replace the large Colonia at Camulodunum and to establish additional smaller ones in further in Britannia. The best way to subdue Britannia was through colonization with integration into local society made up of retiring military members intermarrying with the local peoples. One of the many deserving military men was Quintus Agricolanus, along with the rest of his contubernium Fullo, Bundarus, Faber, Coriaro, Grex, Titus and Rufus received notice that they would all get land from the Trinovantes tribe, who joined the rebellion with Boudicca and the Iceni. Putting this small fighting group together to colonize and Romanize the area was considered a good move by the Governor to shore up the unsettled area and pay off his troops after their years of service. Gaius Suetonius Paulinus called them up to receive the announcement of their official retirement parcels.

“I am granting you farms confiscated from the Trinovantes in the village of Gosbecks, about one day’s march from Camulodunum. There are several farms you and your men will be granted. It is a very prosperous area with lush farmland, and you should do well settling there.” Gaius Suetonius Paulinus smiled as he told Quintus and his soldiers. “The area had a lot of members who fought in the rebellion but are no longer returning to their farms. The land is now yours. My Legate Marcus Flaccus Antoninus,” the governor turned to the haughty patrician standing next to him, “Will oversee assigning the farms to you. There will be resistance, but I am confident you will be able to overcome it and settle into this new life. Just make sure the flow of taxation goods flows without disruption. You have the authority to implement any means necessary to do so.”

The Legate Marcus Flaccus Antoninus stepped forward to speak next, his arrogant patrician face looking at the soldiers, “We will divide the farms according to rank. Quintus Agricolanus as a retiring Centurion and Princeps Pila, you will get the largest landholding but the others will be doled out based on quality and years of service. Titus and Rufus will get the smallest land plots as they only have a minimum of fifteen years. The other members of the contubernium Fullo, Bundarus, Faber, Coriaro, and Grex have all served seventeen plus years with distinction and will receive bigger farms. I will personally help in portioning out the land plots since this is my job,” he added with a bored smile. The men looked at each other knowing the legate was more interested in determining how much the Trinovantes land would bring the empire in taxation, trade deals and new land sales.

The Governor continued: “You will be released from the military in the spring to take over your lands in time for the seasonal planting and the management needed for your new farms. Get together with your officers to make the transition seamless, I expect more soldiers will be retiring at the same time so the turnover will be easy. The Roman military is a well-oiled machine after all, so I expect this turnover to go smoothly. I will be by the new colonia when you have moved down to it, I expect to see a successful new Romanized village. I foresee a very prosperous enclave of Roman civilization,” that he abruptly finished the meeting. Turning with the legate the two departed the meeting for the command tent.

“Well now that the formalities are over, we can get the actual celebrations going forward,” Fullo beamed and rubbed his hands. “I’ve got several ladies waiting for me and whoever wants to join me!”

“I’ll take you up on the offer,” Rufus said. “Now that I’ve earned my retirement, I’ve got the wealth to back up my fun.” Rufus and Titus were the newest members of the contubernium, they joined them in fighting the Nervii in Gaul to shore up the six to the more traditional number of eight as required by military regulations. Whilst they had not fought as long together as the original six, they proved themselves on the battlefield time and again, Titus and Rufus were like Bundarus in their ability with the sword and spear. Their understanding of military formation drills made them solid Roman legionaries They had proven themselves to the Governor at the battle on Mona with their quick work of the battling barbarian Celts without letting the unnerving atmosphere of the island spook them; they laid waste to the grounds without questioning their orders.

“Good, we’ll go enjoy the wonders of rounded Celtic women, any other takers?” Fullo looked to the others. The Bundarus, Faber and Coriaro looked at each other than agreed to come. “A party it is, what about you Quintus and Grex? Any way we can entice you two?”

“I already have a raven-haired Celtic woman waiting for me outside of camp, I’ve already made the arrangements,” Grex grinned.

“I have paperwork to finish with the legate; all the plots need to be laid out contiguously so we may have a defensible colonia. I’ll catch up later and join the party.” The grim-faced Quintus turned and moved to follow the governor and legate.

“Sad that, he does all the work and doesn’t have the chance to enjoy himself,” muttered Fullo and turned to join the others already leaving for their night of merriment.



[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/boudicca.shtml [2] http://www.roman-empire.net/army/tactics.html

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