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Further thoughts on Boudica’s ‘Andred’

by totalgooched

In a previous piece we speculated on the origins of the goddess invoked by the Briton Queen Boudica in her famous last stand against the Roman invaders, in 67 AD.

https://5ocietyx.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/andred-ancient-goddess-of-the-druids/

On page 177 of Richard Carlyon’s excellent book ‘A Guide to the Gods’ we find a description of the Greek goddess Nemesis.

Nemesis

Goddess of destiny; alias Adrasteia, ‘the inevitable’

7

Wikipedia has a listing for ‘Adrestia (Greek: Ἀδρήστεια) in Greek mythology ‘she who cannot be escaped’ was the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite and known to accompany her father Ares to war. She was venerated as a goddess of revolt, just retribution and sublime balance between good and evil. Because of her role in revenge and retribution, she was usually portrayed with Nemesis, and sometimes identical to Nemesis herself, who had the epithet of Adrestia or Adrasteia.’

Were the Greeks known to the Druids, or more importantly, were the Druids known to the Greeks? The answer is, yes. In fact, the Greeks believed that the study of philosophy originated with the barbarian magicians, such as the Druids.

‘The earliest record of the druids comes from two Greek texts of c. 300 BCE: one, a history of philosophy written by Sotion of Alexandria, and the other a study of magic widely attributed to Aristotle. Both texts are now lost, but were quoted in the 2nd century CE work Vitae by Diogenes Laertius.[55]

Some say that the study of philosophy originated with the barbarians. In that among the Persians there existed the Magi, and among the Babylonians or Assyrians the Chaldaei, among the Indians the Gymnosophistae, and among the Celts and Gauls men who were called druids and semnothei, as Aristotle relates in his book on magic, and Sotion in the twenty-third book of his Succession of Philosophers.

— Diogenes Laertius, Vitae, Introduction, Section 1[56]

Subsequent Greek and Roman texts from the third century BCE refer to “barbarian philosophers”,[57] possibly in reference to the Gaulish druids.’

So its quite possible that the Greeks took some of the gods of their pantheon from the Druids, whom they considered philosophically superior, with Adrasteia being just one such goddess.

So in light of this information, wouldn’t it make much more sense that Boudica – who, having been humiliated by the Romans when they raped her daughters and stole her land, was leading a revolt against the invaders – was instead invoking the goddess of revolt, retribution and justice ‘Adrasteia’, rather than ‘Andrasta’, who was merely a mother goddess loosely associated with war? The incident with the hare seems to suggest that an element of redressing balance was present in the ritual performed by Boudica in that field many years ago, a retribution that would eventually befall the Romans, when centuries later it would be the Welsh Briton Queen Helena who effectively brought about the dissolution of their empire, by encouraging her son Constantine to adopt Christianity as the official religion.

queen-druid

Queen Elizabeth II in Druidic costume

taken from –

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druid#Greek_and_Roman_records

https://5ocietyx.wordpress.com/2014/04/22/andred-ancient-goddess-of-the-druids/

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Roman conquest of Britain: The Iceni rebellion

by 5ocietyx

Iceni coin, circa AD61

The Iceni were allies of the occupying Romans, but when Prasutagus the Iceni king and husband of the famous queen Boudica died he left his kingdom jointly to his daughters and the Roman emperor. The Romans, who only believed in paternal inheritance, ignored this and annexed the kingdom. Betrayed, the queen Boudica was flogged, her daughters raped.

In AD 60 or 61, the Roman governor of Britain Gaius Suetonius Paulinus was busy leading a devastating campaign on the Welsh island of Mona (Anglesey), a suspected hide-out for the British rebels. It was during this time, and apparently because of her disrespectful treatment at the hands of the Romans, Boudica led a united army of British tribes to revolt against the Romans.

A passage in Dio Cassius suggests Boudica used divination, and summoned the power of  Andraste, an ancient mystical British goddess:

“Let us, therefore, go against [the Romans], trusting boldly to good fortune. Let us show them that they are hares and foxes trying to rule over dogs and wolves.” When she [Boudica] had finished speaking, she employed a species of divination, letting a hare escape from the fold of her dress; and since it ran on what they considered the auspicious side, the whole multitude shouted with pleasure, and Boudica, raising her hand toward heaven, said: “I thank you, Andraste, and call upon you as woman speaking to woman … I beg you for victory and preservation of liberty.”

The army’s first port of call was the Roman-occupied Camulodunum (Colchester), former capital of the Trinovantes tribe. Boudica’s army overran the Romans, besieging the poorly defended survivors in their temple for two days before the city fell. Archaeology shows it was methodically demolished. The now legendary Legio IX Hispana (the Ninth Legion) were destroyed here, only the commander and some of his cavalry escaped. Still not satiated, Boudica and her army headed towards Londinium, a small Roman settlement barely twenty years old.

Roman Londinium

The Romans evacuated and abandoned Londinium. Archaeology shows that within the bounds of Roman Londinium a thick red layer of burnt debris covering coins and pottery dating before AD 60, whilst Roman-era skulls found in the Walbrook in 2013 were potentially linked to victims of the rebels. Verulamium (St Albans) was next to be destroyed.

In the three settlements destroyed, between seventy and eighty thousand people are said to have been killed. Tacitus says that the Britons had no interest in taking or selling prisoners, only in slaughter by gibbet, fire, or cross. Dio’s account gives more detail; that the noblest women were impaled on spikes and had their breasts cut off and sewn to their mouths, “to the accompaniment of sacrifices, banquets, and wanton behaviour” in sacred places, particularly the groves of Andraste. A lot of the more salacious information should be taken with a pinch of salt, as the Romans had no real way of knowing what happened to the cities after they had abandoned them.

The governor Suetonius regrouped his forces in the West Midlands, and despite being heavily outnumbered, defeated the Britons in the Battle of Watling Street.

The historian Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus tells us the crisis had almost persuaded Nero to abandon Britain when the victorious Suetonius decided to further punish the rebels, but an investigation headed by Nero led to Suetonius being replaced as governor by the more conciliatory Publius Petronius Turpilianus.

Could the traditional view of the Iceni rebellion beginning with a woman betrayed be another Roman invention which has passed over into common acceptance?

The fact is Boudica’s husband Prasutagus died in 50AD, and her ‘rebellion’ was not until eleven years later, eighteen years after the inital Roman ‘invasion’.  Prasutagus hadnt even faced the Roman’s as enemies on the battle field either, preferring to swear loyalty to the Romans in 43AD. Boudica displayed a knowledge of the old religion, summoning the goddess Andrad on the battle field, a goddess of whom virtually nothing is known. And finally, one other decisive event in British history was also happening at exactly the same time as the Iceni rebellion – The destruction of the Druid stronghold of Anglesey in Wales.

Map of Anglesey

Anglesey was the site of the Druidic sacred groves, and was possibly the centre of all Druidic knowledge and training. This was why it was so important for the Romans to completely destroy these ‘barbarian priests’ of the British isles, which was the European centre of the extremely ancient, influential and troublesome religion. As stated by Dio, Boudica also sacrificed prisoners of her rebellion in groves dedicated to the godddess Andraste.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_the_Ninth_Legion

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boudicca

Boudica: Etymology and Profile

by 5ocietyx

Boudica (also known as Boudicca/Boadicea, Welsh Buddug (d. AD 60 or 61) was queen of the Iceni tribe of Britons who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire. As all records of the British people were supposedly destroyed by the Romans, knowledge of Boudica comes only from them.

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

 

Etymology of the name ‘Boudica’

Tacitus the Roman clearly spelled the name Boudicca. other Roman inscriptions spell the name as Boudica(Lusitania), Boudiga (Bordeaux), and Bodicca (Algeria)

Kenneth Jackson concludes the correct spelling of the name in the British language is Boudica, pronounced [bɒʊˈdiːkaː], and that the name derives from the Proto-Celtic feminine adjective *boudīka, meaning “victorious”, that in turn was derived from the Celtic word *bouda, “victory” (cf. Irish bua (Classical Irish buadh), Buaidheach, Welsh buddugoliaeth).

The closest English equivalent to the vowel in the first syllable is the ow in “bow-and-arrow”). The modern English pronunciation is /ˈbdɪkə/, and it has been suggested that the most comparable English name, in meaning only, would be “Victoria”. This led to a revival of Boudica during the reign of Queen Victoria, who was often portrayed as the rebel queen, heading an empire upon which the sun never set.

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