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Agricola by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Chapter 16: Further problems in Britain. Boudicea[AD 61]
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Rousing each other by this and like language, under the leadership of Boudicea, a woman of kingly descent (for they admit no distinction of sex in their royal successions), they all rose in arms. They fell upon our troops, which were scattered on garrison duty, stormed the forts, and burst into the colony itself, the head-quarters, as they thought, of tyranny. In their rage and their triumph, they spared no variety of a barbarian's cruelty. Had not Paullinus on hearing of the outbreak in the province rendered prompt succour, Britain would have been lost. By one successful engagement, he brought it back to its former obedience, though many, troubled by the conscious guilt of rebellion and by particular dread of the legate, still clung to their arms. Excellent as he was in other respects, his policy to the conquered was arrogant, and exhibited the cruelty of one who was avenging private wrongs. Accordingly Petronius Turpilianus was sent out to initiate a milder rule. A stranger to the enemy's misdeeds and so more accessible to their penitence, he put an end to old troubles, and, attempting nothing more, handed the province over to Trebellius Maximus. Trebellius, who was somewhat indolent, and never ventured on a campaign, controlled the province by a certain courtesy in his administration. Even the barbarians now learnt to excuse many attractive vices, and the occurrence of the civil war gave a good pretext for inaction. But we were sorely troubled with mutiny, as troops habituated to service grew demoralised by idleness. Trebellius, who had escaped the soldiers' fury by flying and hiding himself, governed henceforth on sufferance, a disgraced and humbled man. It was a kind of bargain; the soldiers had their license, the general had his life; and so the mutiny cost no bloodshed. Nor did Vettius Bolanus, during the continuance of the civil wars, trouble Britain with discipline. There was the same inaction with respect to the enemy, and similar unruliness in the camp, only Bolanus, an upright man, whom no misdeeds made odious, had secured affection in default of the power of control.

Event: Further problems in Britain

His atque talibus in vicem instincti, Boudicca generis regii femina duce (neque enim sexum in imperiis discernunt) sumpsere universi bellum; ac sparsos per castella milites consectati, expugnatis praesidiis ipsam coloniam invasere ut sedem servitutis, nec ullum in barbaris [ingeniis] saevitiae genus omisit ira et victoria. Quod nisi Paulinus cognito provinciae motu propere subvenisset, amissa Britannia foret; quam unius proelii fortuna veteri patientiae restituit, tenentibus arma plerisque, quos conscientia defectionis et proprius ex legato timor agitabat, ne quamquam egregius cetera adroganter in deditos et ut suae cuiusque iniuriae ultor durius consuleret. Missus igitur Petronius Turpilianus tamquam exorabilior et delictis hostium novus eoque paenitentiae mitior, compositis prioribus nihil ultra ausus Trebellio Maximo provinciam tradidit. Trebellius segnior et nullis castorum experimentis, comitate quadam curandi provinciam tenuit. Didicere iam barbari quoque ignoscere vitiis blandientibus, et interventus civilium armorum praebuit iustam segnitiae excusationem: sed discordia laboratum, cum adsuetus expeditionibus miles otio lasciviret. Trebellius, fuga ac latebris vitata exercitus ira, indecorus atque humilis precario mox praefuit, ac velut pacta exercitus licentia, ducis salute, [et] seditio sine sanguine stetit. Nec Vettius Bolanus, manentibus adhuc civilibus bellis, agitavit Britanniam disciplina: eadem inertia erga hostis, similis petulantia castrorum, nisi quod innocens Bolanus et nullis delictis invisus caritatem paraverat loco auctoritatis.