Boudica Britannia: Rebel, War-leader and Queen

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Pearson Longman, 2006 - History - 286 pages


"'[This] book is a jolly good read...lively, confident and [filled with] thought-provoking parallels with modern times [...]Professor Aldhouse-Green is well equipped to do justice to the fearsome warrior queen of the Britons who so nearly brought the story of Roman Britain to a premature end. This important study of Boudica not only makes full use of recent archaeological and classical scholarship, it also offers exciting new psychological insights into the first woman to make a significant impact on the history of Britain'."

"Dr Paul R. Sealey, Assistant Curator of Archaeology, Colchester Museums"

When Roman troops threatened to seize the wealth of the Iceni people, their queen, Boudica, retaliated by inciting a major uprising, allying her tribe with the neighbouring Trinovantes. The ensuing clash is one of the most important - and dramatic - events in the history of Britain, standing testament to what can happen when an insensitive colonial power meets determined resistance from a subjugated people head-on.

In this fascinating account of a legendary figure, Miranda Aldhouse-Green raises questions about female power, colonial oppression, and whether Boudica would be seen today as a freedom fighter, terrorist or martyr.


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Several key statements in the book are misleading and inaccurate. For example: (1) "Palestine initially fell to the Ptolemies (whose main region was Egypt) and, in 200 BC, it was transferred to the control of the Seleucids of Syria." (2) "The Hasmoneans, was responsible for Rome's intervention in Palestine, a relationship that would lead ultimately to its inclusion in the empire"
It is a well documented historical fact that the term "Palestina" was first used almost 300 years AFTER those events. The aforementioned sentences fly in the face of historical facts: only after they suppressed the Bar Kokhba rebellion in the 2nd century CE, the Roman authorities renamed "Provincia Judea" (derived from the name "Judah") to "Syria Palaestina".
The book's aforementioned gross inaccuracies reflect negatively on the quality of the book. It begs to ask if its author has not bend the truth to align it with her political views, making a mockery of the scientific method she claims to have used. According to her own biography, the author is an archeologist whose expertise is the Celtic culture. These credentials do not suffice to make her an authority on the entire history of the Roman empire, let alone the near East.

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About the author (2006)

Miranda Aldhouse-Green is Professor of Archaeology at Newport University. She has published fifteen books including Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend (1992), Celtic Goddesses (1995), Exploring the World of the Druids (1997, 2005) Dying for the Gods (2001) and An Archaeology of Images (Routledge, 2004).

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