Posts Tagged ‘Joseph Atwill’

For nearly two thousand years, both professional historians and the general public have not only believed in the existence of someone who never actually lived, but sometimes been inspired by their example and the ideas that have become associated with them. The historical evidence to prove that Boudicca actually lived is threadbare to the point of non-existence – a few references in a couple of Roman sources whose objectivity is at best highly questionable – but, persuaded by the inherited tradition that she must have been a real person, later archaeologists have desperately seized upon every scrap of material and interpreted it through these preconceptions – so, every trace of destruction in a building of roughly the right date is attributed to Boudicca, every skeleton is identified as one of her victims, and so forth. In fact, careful and critical reading of the sources reveals that not only was she a myth but she was a deliberately created myth, the invention of the Roman ideologues Suetonius and Tacitus, designed to provide a pretext for a full-scale military intervention in Britain, the destruction of indigenous social structures, the slaughter of key individuals who might have formed an alternative to Roman hegemony in the country, and the expropriation of land and other resources. The idea of a gang of rebellious savages led by a woman driven by emotional trauma was in Roman eyes about as monstrous a thing as could be imagined, and justified every action taken by the state; Boudicca was the WMD of Roman Britain.


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