10 – Boudica’s Rebellion, Part One

This episode focuses upon the year 60 and the story of Boudica, queen of the Iceni.

The year was 1907. A young boy swimming in the river Alde spotted something shiny in the water. What he found was the bronze head that clearly had been hacked from the body a statue. He took it home, painted it white, and placed it in his garden. My American listeners likely have their heads spinning upon hearing this, but occurrences like the bronze head in the garden aren’t exactly uncommon. For example, the guy who found Seahenge had earlier found an axe that was thousands of years old and he just kept it on his mantle for a while. Anyway, so the head was kept in the garden… until it was recognized as an artifact by some local experts and it was determined that it was the head of the Roman Emperor Claudius from the first century AD. He ended up selling it for five shillings. …

20 Responses to “10 – Boudica’s Rebellion, Part One”

  1. James New Castle IN USA says:

    Just finished listening to this podcast whilst gardening. We will be taking our first trip out of the USA on July 15th to …. wait for it … England/Wales. Yay!

    I was pleasantly surprised to see the recent mass publishing of some of your podcasts this week. I have been listening to books and lectures all about Greece/Rome and England/GB, etc. I highly suggest anyone reading this check out “The Great Lectures” from the teaching company. They have ones such as a brief history of London. (NOT brief), and other engaging ones. I found mine at the Indy library.

    If you or anyone has any suggestions for what to see in England/Wales, please email me at boilers at geeeeee mail dooooot com. (hope that isn’t too cryptic)

    Keep up the excellent work.

    • Glad to hear you’re enjoying the podcast! I hope you have a great time in England and Wales.

      I’m from North Wales, and consequently I’m rather partial to it. However, there are an abundance of beautiful places you can visit on the island. If you’re interested in historical locations, one place I have yet to be is St. Albans. St. Albans (spoiler!) was sacked by Boudica during her rebellion back when it was known as Verulamium. It was actually a Catuvellauni town back then, the tribe that was once led by Caractacus. It eventually was renamed St. Albans.

      Much later in our history you’ll learn of how St. Albans played a major role in the Wars of the Roses. It was also on the major Roman road (Watling Street) even though the Romans had to make a slight detour when they built it. Which should say something about how the opinion of the Romans changed regarding the Catuvellauni following the fall of Caractacus.

      Anyway, you’ll have a blast! It’s a beautiful country.

  2. Found your podcast a couple of weeks ago and just finished listening to all of them so far. I once taught world history and should you’re doing a great job, in terms of both content and presentation. In fact, I love your presentation; Mike Duncan’s influence is obvious–an excellent model (easily my favorite history podscast). I’ll now be waiting for your podcast as I wait for Mike’s.

    Did you say you were in Portland?

    • Thanks for listening, Al! That’s great to hear that you think I’m doing well. Truth be told, I’m actually considering switching careers and teaching history, so hearing that from a former history teacher means quite a bit.

      And yes, I’m a PDX resident. It seems like many of the history podcasters have some tie to Oregon. It’s an odd coincidence.

      • Teaching at what level?

        My mom lives in Portland; perhaps we can meet up when I visit in December. Actually, I’m thinking of doing a podcast and could use some advice, if you’re willing.

        PS I think Mike Duncan has relocated to Austin.

        • I’m leaning towards the college level. High School would be fun, since it would give me the opportunity to change the minds of young students about history. But I think college would allow me to both teach advance level courses as well as try to change minds in the lower GRE 101 level classes.

          I’d be happy to help on your podcast however I can. Though, I’m not sure how much help I’d be. There’s really no secret to my method, I simply set up a mic and started jabbering about history. ;)

          • I taught World History at community college; best job I every had (plus no disciplinary issues).

            I just have 2 questions really. How long are your scripts/notes (single-spaced or double,written out or bullet points)? And what program do you use to record and edit?

            Thanks.

          • I’m actually heading towards teaching either University or Community College. And being an adjunct at CC might be the way to go. It seems like it would be a lot of fun, and I’ve heard that CC students are generally older and more engaged than their university counterparts.

            Regarding notes… Depends on the episode. Typically my notes are between 6 and 10 pages long, single spaced. The one I’m recording today is about 7 pages. I tend to have short paragraphs of material rather than bullet points, but I podcast immediately after writing it all so it’s fresh in my mind. That seems to keep me from saying “uh” and having awkward pauses. Also, if I lose my train of thought, I can just read what I’ve written down until I get back on track. That last part, btw, has been a huge advantage for me and I recommend you do the same. Because you will come to a point where you think “wait… where was I?” Especially when you’re talking about history, where there are about a million tangents.

            For recording and editing, I use Audacity 1.3.

  3. We downloaded a pile of podcasts before we went on a 3 week camper holiday. We would listen to them while driving along the Oregan coast. We especially enjoyed your podcasts and we are looking forward to more.

    Bern

  4. Michelle says:

    I’ve really been enjoying your podcasts. I have one suggestion that would help me out a lot with following and remembering all of the names. You use a lot of unfamiliar person, place, and group names (e.g., the “I-see-knee”?) in your podcasts, and it would help to have a list somewhere so I can see how they are spelled, and whether I’m even hearing them correctly. Either a master list, or a list for each podcast, perhaps on this website.
    Thanks for putting this together. Keep up the good work!

    • This is something I’ve been hearing quite a lot. So I’m working on putting together both a short glossary/character list, as well as a map section. I’ll add it to the site once I’m done. Thanks for listening!

      Iceni. ;)

  5. Deborah says:

    Also really enjoying your podcast. I’m a Brit, living in London, and it’s good to have a lively, systematic history of the country to listen to on the way to work.

    Btw, you mention the name Bodicea – I’ve always heard it pronounced Bo-da-see-ah, not Bo-di-chay-ah, but maybe that’s just a regional difference (and as you point out, the name’s wrong anyway!)

    You’re right about historical finds cropping up all over the place. I seem to remember some ancient battle artefacts were found in my grandparents’ garden in Kent, and here in London you can scarcely get a building up without discovering stuff (usually skeletons …).

    Anyway, please do keep up the good work, and do become a history teacher – you’re good at it!

    ps to James: for Roman history in the UK, I’d recommend Bath in Somerset, which is is beautiful town and where a lot of the original Roman baths survives to visit. And Hadrian’s Wall, if you get that far north. Also London, where plenty of the Roman wall remains and there’s an excellent museum (Museum of London) that will have a lot to say about the period, as well as the British Museum, to see that head of Claudius! They’re both free.

    • Thanks for listening, Deborah!

      So the Boadicea thing… “Boadicea” is largely a remanent of the early typo. However, it’s held on because that’s how everyone learned of her when they were young. So old habits die hard. Sort of like how Genghis Khan is more properly pronounced Jenghis. Anyway, generally only historians and archaeologists say Boudica but that’s the proper way to say it (at least, as far as we know right now) so I thought it was the best way to pronounce it in the podcast.

      And thanks for the comment regarding teaching history. It’s something I’ve seriously been considering.

  6. nancy g. says:

    I agree with Michelle — for those of us who haven’t taken a Latin class in *mumblemumble* years, some of those Roman names sound like … well, okay, not Greek, exactly, but they sound distinctly foreign and hard to picture in our heads. Seeing them written down here would make it a lot easier for us to look up more about them!

  7. Really enjoying your podcasts. You should be teaching history – you have a way of bringing it to life. Looking forward to more!

    Thanks

    • Thanks for listening! And due to the shockingly positive reaction this project has received, not to mention how much I’ve enjoyed doing it, I’ve been seriously looking into teaching. So that might be something in my future. :)

  8. There is a very interesting book called “The Ravens of Avalon” by Diana L. Paxson that is a fictional first-person account by Boudica. It mentions a lot of the names you mention here, and its a pretty quick read. Of course, it takes many literary liberties (and is rather feminist in its bent), but you might still enjoy it.

  9. Jen Charlesworth says:

    Hey Jamie, I’ve just read the Boudica trilogy by Manda Scott. I really enjoyed the books and it’s an interesting take on the story. It made me feel particularly anti-Roman, something it seems we share. I sought out more information on the Boudica and that’s how I found your podcasts. Have you read the Manda Scott series? I was wondering what you thought of the way she represented the way of life of the tribes and the practice of the Druids? I liked the way it was represented as being very spiritual, based on deep seated beliefs and loyalties. Also, the interpretation of the Boudica’s life was creative, but felt believable. The idea of her being a warrior before the rape of her daughters makes sense of why so many warriors would gather under her banner.

    Anyway, good work on the podcasts. I will keep listening and have recommended them to several friends. If you eventually get to the history of the British Empire I will be interested to hear if you draw parallels with the Roman Empire?

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