If Boudicea Had Defeated The Romans:

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An alternate history idea that I wanted to check the plausibility of and seek advice for. Essentially, I only have the basic outline at the moment.

Is it plausible that after driving off the Romans the the other tribes would continue to bend knee to her? Given that she would have lead them to victory against what otherwise seemed a nearly unbeatable foe?

Alsohad the idea that after Boudicea dies and one of her daughters "takes the throne", that the Romans try to reclaim their lost colony. Only this time they're facing a unified land who've had some time to develop.

edited 30th Mar '13 9:43:47 AM by PhoenixAct

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2 DeMarquis30th Mar 2013 09:59:09 AM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
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I dont think anyone knows for sure what form of government the pre-Roman celts had at that time, but I seem to recall that they were pretty decentralized, semi-independent tribes and all that. I'm guessing they never really "bent the knee" to her in the first place, and merely acknowledged her as "war leader". If I'm right, her status would have ended the moment the war did. That doesn't mean she (and her daughters) would not have continued to have influence with all the tribes, but I would think it would be in a more informal, advisory capacity.
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3 Night30th Mar 2013 10:07:32 AM from Jaburo , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
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They would have sent in another army and crushed her. That's what the Romans typically did.

edited 30th Mar '13 10:07:43 AM by Night

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4 Wolf106630th Mar 2013 09:15:22 PM from New Zealand , Relationship Status: In my bunk
Strange Kiwi fella
A topic near and dear to my heart.

From what I've read, the Nero was bloody close to giving up Britain as a total loss over that rebellion and most likely would have, if she'd won.

She came very close to crippling the Roman military presence in Britain and would have succeeded if she had won that last battle - there would have been none left to oppose her. No one willing to oppose her, anyway.

My personal thoughts are that if she'd won, then Nero would have pulled out any surviving troops and officials and ceased wasting resources trying to take and hold the place.

I suspect that the tribes would have gone back to life as usual but the alliances formed would have had future ramifications.

I suspect also that the tribes would have learned that there was more to be gained working together than warring amongst themselves.

The tribes already had mechanisms by which they reduced warring between themselves - intermarriage, fostering each other's children (often leading to intermarriage when the children grew up and married someone in their foster tribe), political alliances and trade.

Such mechanisms would continue, but with the knowledge that their previous divisions had enabled the Romans to invade (especially given that the Romans had made use of intertribal rivalry to gain allies amongst the tribes) to reinforce the need to form stronger alliances amongst themselves.

I can imagine that in the aftermath of Boudicca's successful rebellion, demands would be made that Caratacos be returned unharmed to his tribe - and if the Catuvellauni and/or its allies made use of the post-rebellion confusion to grab a few high-ranking Romans, they may well have the leverage to make that work.

Rome may well have sent ambassadors seeking trade deals in the future, but I doubt they would try attacking in force as they would have put the entire area in the "too hard" basket (as was done with Scotland).

It would completely change the course of history as the British tribes would rebuild and strengthen and forge alliances and would be strong when Rome collapsed, so the collapse of the Empire would not affect Britain as it did in our history.

This in turn would affect the outcome of the Anglo-Saxon invasion.

@ Night: The Romans also gave up if the cost was too high.

Damn it all, she should have won.

edited 30th Mar '13 9:16:39 PM by Wolf1066

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5 Night30th Mar 2013 09:41:10 PM from Jaburo , Relationship Status: Drift compatible
The future of warfare in UC.
They gave up in pretty much only one instance, after Teutonburg Forest. Most of the other times they didn't give up; they pulled the Legions to fight something else and the frontier went to seed without the army.

Really, even using a phraseology like "if the cost was too high" betrays unfamiliarity with the way Rome actually thought about these sorts of things. They did not think in those terms on military matters, because they did not need to. Rome was the most populous and most organized state in the world and could always raise another army. That was how they'd won most of their formative wars and was reflected in their mode of thought. To them such things were about nerve. Nero's possession was precarious. He could not afford to be seen as weak. He would send in another army.

edited 30th Mar '13 9:42:12 PM by Night

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6 Minister31st Mar 2013 03:55:32 AM , Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
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Britannia was high in mineral deposits of iron, gold and silver, all hugely necessary things to keep the empire running in the late first century CE. First thing's first, Boadicea was never going to win Watling Street the moment she gave battle - Paulinus knew exactly what he was doing, employed typical Roman tactics and the battle was worn before it even started.

But, as Night pointed out, the Roman Army did not abide failure. It's not so true to say that Nero would've certainly sent in another army, as he was in a rather vicious war with Parthia and the few legions he did have available at this time were on the Rhine and being held on standby in case of revolt, such as the First Jewish Revolt in 66. What would certainly have happened is it would have been reconquered at some point. Britannia was too close and too valuable, and Rome goes through periods of instability and retraction, and stability of conquest. It might have been Vespasian, who was both competent and well-liked. Almost certainly by the time of Domitian, as Agricola was too bloody competent to be wasted on the Rhine Legions.

So, no. No independent Britain to fight the Anglo-Saxons. No predominantly Gaelic culture. Simply put, a less Romanised-Britain, and a more enduring national myth, but that's about it,
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The topic title begs the question of how Boudicea could defeat the Romans. If you're going to do a 'What if X?', explain how X happened in the first place.

edited 31st Mar '13 3:47:40 PM by shiro_okami

Enigma in a riddle with a perplexing center
Uh... woad tattoos would become all the rage?

But seriously folks... As others have pointed out, the Celts were pretty outgunned. Short of going full on Alien Space Bats I'm not sure if there's a probable way for the Celts to conquer Rome... but they could perhaps keep Romans out of Britain. How much history were you planning on showing? Right up to modern times?
As Night notes, there was no chance in Hell of the Romans leaving. The only time the Romans ever gave up on conquering a region was in the Teutoburg Forest, and that was an area that they had never fully controlled, and never entirely subjugated. It also helped that Augustus and his immediate successor, Tiberius, had enough prestige that they could politically survive not conquering Germania.

None of that applies to Britannia. It was a Roman province, conquered by Claudius, and brought into the Empire. Nero could not afford to lose it (would have been a death blow to his already waning prestige), and even if there had been a revolution, and Nero had lost his head over being defeated by the Celts, whichever general succeeded him would have made retaking the island their top priority.

The only real effects would be what one poster noted—a less Romanised Britain, and a more enduring national myth. Now that could still be worth playing around with, but it's certainly not going to be a radically different world.
[up]What is Hadrian's Wall.
11 KillerClowns6th Apr 2015 05:20:41 PM from MN House District 5 , Relationship Status: Healthy, deeply-felt respect for this here Shotgun
Rome was the most populous and most organized state in the world...

Firstly: you should probably replace "world" with "Western world"; I'm not historian enough to take a side on comparing it to China's Han Dynasty at the same time, but I know it's a pretty legit argument with plenty of people smarter than either of us on both sides.

Anyhow. The question is desperately dependent on "how did Boudicea defeat the Romans?" If it was just a bunch of military victories... Night's probably got it. You could throw in some problems on the Roman's side to weaken and/or redirect them beforehand, though, and it'd be a brand new ballgame. A sufficiently brutal plague the Celts had immunity to could do the trick. (This is arguably who am I kidding, very likely a case of Alien Space Bats, though; the Atlantic is a somewhat larger barrier to diseases than the English Channel.)

edited 6th Apr '15 7:22:25 PM by KillerClowns

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[up][up]Hadrian's Wall was erected against the Picts of Scotland, whom the Romans never conquered, and had no interest in conquering. It was put up to defend Roman Britain, which was considered a valuable province, and which is the subject of the discussion here.
13 DeMarquis6th Apr 2015 07:35:51 PM from Hell, USA , Relationship Status: Buried in snow, waiting for spring
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Perhaps Celtic Britain could not have remained long independent of Rome, but that is not what the OP asked. There is nothing inherently implausible in Boudicca getting lucky enough to defeat Seudonius- and then negotiating a favorable peace with Rome. After all, the presumptive cause of the revolt was the terrible treatment the natives were receiving at the hands of the Romans. So some guarantees from Rome concerning their rights and some form of semi-independence in exchange for access to Britain's markets and natural resources might have worked.

How influential would Boudicca and her family have been in that circumstance? That would have depended upon Rome, mostly. If they had demanded her (actually her husband's) replacement as tribal leader of the Iceni, then they might very well have faded from history.

edited 6th Apr '15 7:36:34 PM by DeMarquis

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Total posts: 13