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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