A Hero of Ancient Britain

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Caractacus. We, in Britannia knew him as Caradoc. He was a great hero to us. You have heard a little of him in my previous tale of Cartimandua, but you should hear his true story.

Caradoc was the son of Cunobellius and he became king after his father died. He was born to the Catuvelauni tribe, but ruled over others too. He ruled most of southern Britannia, in fact.

When Emperor Claudius decided to invade Britannia, Caradoc was none too pleased, as you can imagine. Being in the south of Britannia, his lands were the first the Romans entered. He fought campaigns against Aulus Plautius, but he did not have much success., so he decided to move west where the territory would help him better.

He moved into the lands of the Silures. These lands have hills and mountains. He knew he had fewer men than the Romans and so he conducted battles of the hit and run type. His men could hit the Romans hard and then disappear into the mountains. (This is the kind of battle that Ailbert conducted in his pursuit of revenge.)

Of course, this did not defeat the Romans and so Caradoc decided to move north to find a suitable place for a battle. One where he and his men could defend, attack or retreat from easily, but the Romans would have difficulty. To find such a site he moved north into the lands of the Ordovici.

Our men found a place where the river ran at varying depth. Behind this, on the hills, they built ramparts of stone.

When the Romans arrived, and lined up for battle, our commanders went from position to position encouraging the men. Caradoc, himself, made a speech in which he appealed. buy name, to their forefathers who had driven Julius Caesar back when he had thought to invade our lands. He told them that this battle would be the beginning of freedom or they would be in everlasting bondage, paying tribute to Rome.

The men cheered and whooped at this speech and began to call warcries and insults at the enemy.
When the Romans heard all this, they became a little daunted. The river, hills and ramparts. too gave them thought, but their own leaders did the same thing.

The Romans surveyed the position, the crossing points on the river, the assailable points and the inaccessible before they mounted their attack.

Will Caradoc succeed? Find out next week.

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Cartimandua part 2

Here is a little more about Cartimandua, Qyeen of the Brigantes.

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Cartimandua and her husband fell out over her handing Caratacus to the Romans, of course. But it was not the only bone of contention. For a while, it seems, Cartimandua had been having an affair with Venutius’s armour bearer. After the betrayal of Caratacus, she decided to divorce Venutius and marry her lover, whose name was Vellocatus.

It wasn’t long before Venutius led a rebellion. Only to be expected. He was much more popular than Cartimandua, especially after the betrayal of Caratacus and the divorce of Venutius. He started to make alliances with other of our tribes, and was all ready to invade Brigantia.

Cartimandua went to the Romans then, andthey sent troops to defend her. A battle was fought, and both sides seemed to be evenly matched until the arrival of the IX legion Hispanica from Eberacum.

This was a lucky break for Cartimandua. She very narrowly escaped being captured by the rebels, but the rebels were defeated and Venutius once more had to leave Brigantia.

It seems he hadn’t given up his rebellious ideas, though. He bided his time until Emperor Nero died in Rome. At his death, the Roman Empire fell into chaos. There were several emperors in quick succession, and many of the Roman troops had to go back to defend Rome and the empire. Other groups of people took advantage of this, and so did Venutius.

He attacked Brigantia once again, and this time, the Romans could only send auxilliary troops to defend Cartimandua.

She was forced to flee to Deva and abandoned the Brigantes to Ventuvius. No-one heard any more of her after this.

In spite of his success, once the Romans had settled their problems they attacked him and ousted him form the kingship, thus Brigantia became completely under Roman rule.

That is the end of the tale of Cartimandua and the Brigantes.

This story is not integral to Vengeance of a Slave, but is briefly mentioned, just as Boudicca’s rebellion is mentioned.

If you are interested in reading historical novels, and like this period of history, you can get a copy of Vengeance of a Slave from Amazon, either as a paperback or ebook. Follow this link: http://mybook.to.vengeanceofaslave/

A Queen in Britain in Roman Times

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In Vengeance of a Slave, although she does not appear, there is mention of the Queen of the Brigantes, Cartimandua. Here is her story.

You are certain to have heard of Queen Boudicca. She was the queen of the Iceni who raised a revolt against the Romans. She almost won, too. I don’t suppose so many of you have heard of Queen Cartimandua, though. She is the queen of the Brigantes, the biggest tribe in Brittania Her story is very different from that of Boudicca.

She inherited her throne at around the same time as the Romans came to Brittania. She was married to a man called Venutius, and when the Romans came north, they made a treaty with them in order to retain their power. Of course, this was only nominal. The Romans really held the power. Still, she kept something, which was more than Boudicca did, in the end.

Then the people in the west, the Catuvellauni, rose up under the leadership of a man called Caratacus. They led a hit and run kind of resistance against the Romans and were quite successful for a time. Of course, the inevitable happened and they were defeated. By a man called Osotorius Scapula, I believe. Caratacus managed to escape and came to Cartimandua for refuge.

Of course, our queen was none too pleased. This might affect her relationship with Rome, and thus her position on the throne. What did she do to this man asking for her help? She put him in chains and took him to the Romans in Eberacum. The Romans were delighted and heaped great wealth on her, but her husband was not so pleased, nor were the people.

What will happen to Cartimandua? Will her people revolt and will the Romans protect her?

If you enjoyed this and other tales of Ancient Britain, please leave a comment, and sign up for notification of further book releases and blog posts.

If you like to read about this period, here is a link to my novel, Vengeance of a Slave. http://mybook.to/vengeanceofaslave/