Thursday, January 5, 2012

Boudica--the Sarah Palin of Roman Britain...?

Not far from the houses of Parliament near Westminster pier you will find a large bronze statue of Boudica.  Here is what Wikipedia has to say about her....

"Tacitus and Dio agree that Boudica was of royal descent. Id says that she was "possessed of greater intelligence than often belongs to women", that she was tall, had hair described as reddish-brown or tawny hanging below her waist, a harsh voice and a piercing glare, and habitually wore a large golden necklace (perhaps a torc), a many-coloured tunic, and a thick cloak fastened by a brooch.[11]

Boudica, Westminster Bridge (Photo: James Hooper)
Her husband, Prasutagus, was the king of Iceni, people who inhabited roughly what is now Norfolk. They initially were not part of the territory under direct Roman control, having voluntarily allied themselves to Rome following Claudiusconquest of AD 43. They were proud of their independence and had revolted in AD 47 when the then-governorPublius Ostorius Scapula threatened to disarm them.[12] Prasutagus had lived a long life of conspicuous wealth and, hoping to preserve his line, made the Roman emperor co-heir to his kingdom, along with his wife and two daughters. It was normal Roman practice to allow allied kingdoms their independence only for the lifetime of their client king, who would agree to leave his kingdom to Rome in his will — the provinces of Bithynia[13] and Galatia,[14] for example, were incorporated into the Empire in just this way. Roman law also allowed inheritance only through the male line, so when Prasutagus died his attempts to preserve his line were ignored and his kingdom was annexed as if it had been conquered; lands and property were confiscated and nobles treated like slaves. According to Tacitus, Boudica was flogged and her daughters were raped.

Boudica's uprising

In AD 60 or 61, while the current governor, Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, was leading a campaign against the island of Mona (modern Anglesey) in the north of Wales, which was a refuge for British rebels and a stronghold of the druids, the Iceni conspired with their neighbours the Trinovantes, amongst others, to revolt. Boudica was chosen as their leader. According to Tacitus, they drew inspiration from the example of Arminius, the prince of the Cherusci who had driven the Romans out of Germany in AD 9, and their own ancestors who had driven Julius Caesar from Britain.[15] Dio says that at the outset Boudica employed a form of divination, releasing a hare from the folds of her dress and interpreting the direction in which it ran, and invoked Andraste, a British goddess of victory.

Boudica exhorted her troops from her chariot, her daughters beside her. Tacitus gives her a short speech in which she presents herself not as an aristocrat avenging her lost wealth, but as an ordinary person, avenging her lost freedom, her battered body, and the abused chastity of her daughters. She said their cause was just, and the deities were on their side; the one legion that had dared to face them had been destroyed. She, a woman, was resolved to win or die; if the men wanted to live in slavery, that was their choice."  Source:

Boudica was a strong willed woman who had been born in the provincial outback of the Roman Empire.  She was a woman who was done wrong by the central governmental authorities of her day.  She was a warrior Queen who preferred death over slavery.  Her own daughters were raped by the Romans and she exacted a terrible revenge wiping out a whole Roman legion.  

Who does she remind you of in today's contemporary political environment?  To me the answer is clear...

Sarah Palin was the former Governor of Alaska and Republican VP candidate of 2008.  She was a political leader in the men's club of Alaska state politics.  She had a warrior son who served in Iraq.  She was a strong supporter of the surge which proved so effective in Iraq.  She and her family were "gang-raped" by the liberal media during the 2008 campaign. 

Due to the illiteracy of the ancient Britons, almost everything that we know about Boudica comes to us from the prism of the Roman commentators who were her sworn enemies.  Most of what Americans "know" about Sarah Palin comes directly from Tina Fey and the liberal (lamestream) media. 

Sarah Palin was, appropriately enough, a "Vandal" who attended the University of Idaho, far from the elite academies of the Ivy league.  Her Latin is no better than Boudica's. She is a strong advocate of freedom and limited government and has continually resisted the encroaching authority of the federal government.  What was the Roman government if not the prototype for all the corrupt over-reaching central governments of today?

Sarah Palin
Palin and Boudica both engaged in extreme religious practices.  They both had big hair.  They both wore expensive jewellery and clothing. Was Boudica ever criticised for excessive expenditures on her wardrobe?  Tacitus is silent on the matter.  Boudica was clearly a maverick who would also have eaten Joe Biden for breakfast in a debate situation!  Could Boudica have field dressed a moose?--You betcha!

Let's hope that Sarah Palin's ultimate fate is not that Boudica who poisoned herself after her inevitable defeat at the hands of the Romans!

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