CELTI

Una donna umiliata sfidò le legioni di Roma imperiale con un’orda di Barbari Celti.

Boudica

60 d.C.
Il re degli Iceni, tribù celtica della Britannia orientale, morì lasciando due figlie adolescenti e nessun erede maschio. Gli Iceni, fedeli alleati dei Romani, godevano di diritti e privilegi con una limitata autonomia, che solitamente Roma accordava alle nazioni assoggettate che erano disposte a collaborare. Sembra però che nel suo testamento, il re degli Iceni, avesse lasciato parte del suo regno a Nerone e che il procuratore Deciano Catone, si fosse affrettato ad impadronirsi di questo “lascito”, pretendendo dagli Iceni ancora più tributi e confiscando buona parte del territorio.

La vedova del re, Boudica, protestò con energia contro questi abusi.

Come nuovo capo, si rifiutò di pagare o di permettere che la sua terra venisse saccheggiata. Deciano si infuriò e ordinò di spogliare e frustare pubblicamente la ribelle Boudica. Gli ordini furono eseguiti, i soldati romani inoltre violentarono le sue giovani figlie. Non è dato sapere cosa ne fu delle due giovani, ma Boudica diventò una furia vendicatrice. Da quel giorno, anima e corpo, guidò il suo popolo in una crociata contro l’oppressore. Gli Iceni la seguirono incondizionatamente e nella rivolta parecchie tribù vicine si unirono alla lotta.

Arrivò l’inverno. Era il momento giusto.

Boudica aveva riunito migliaia di uomini, si dice circa 10.000, in un esercito che si mise in marcia contro tre centri dell’Est.: Camulodunum, Verulamium e Londinum (gli odierni Calchester, St. Albans e Londra). Svetonio Paolino, comandante militare della Britannia, era occupato con metà delle sue truppe in una campagna militare nel lontano occidente.

Le tre città furono incendiate e praticamente distrutte dall’esercito di Boudica. Nessuno fu risparmiato.

La sua vendetta contro le donne amiche dei Romani viene descritta da Dione Cassio, storico del II secolo:

”I compagni di Boudica impiccarono nude le donne più nobili e illustri, poi tagliarono loro i seni e li ricucirono alle loro bocche, così che sembrasse che le vittime li stessero mangiando; poi impalarono le donne su pali aguzzi .
Tutto questo avveniva con accompagnamento di sacrifici, banchetti, e atti sfrenati”.

Dione Cassio raccontò minuziosamente la battaglia, una testimonianza romana, forse esagerata, tuttavia nei tre centri furono uccise 70.000 persone.

Deciano Catone fu costretto a fuggire, mentre Svetonio Paolino e i suoi uomini tornarono frettolosamente, decisi a stroncare la rivolta.

E a questo punto Boudica commise un grave errore.

Pensò di poter combattere l’esercito romano e liberare la Britannia in una battaglia a campo aperto. Paolino era un esperto generale al comando di truppe ben addestrate, mentre Boudica non sapeva nulla di tattica militare ed era al comando di un esercito mal equipaggiato.

Nel 61 d.C. lo scontro. Paolino appostò i suoi uomini in una stretta gola, la retroguardia era al riparo in una fitta boscaglia, in file ordinate attendevano l’arrivo dei Britanni.

Subito una folla di uomini seminudi, armati di fionde e proiettili improvvisati, di pesanti lance e lunghe spade si precipitò verso l’esercito romano.

Alla loro testa la regina in persona.

”Era di aspetto imponente, una figura terrificante; urlava con voce rauca “ racconta Dione Cassio”. Una gran massa di capelli rosso fiamma le scendeva fin sulle ginocchia

Portava una grande collana d’oro intrecciata e una tunica dai molti colori, sulla quale aveva uno spesso mantello fermato da una fibbia. Brandiva una spada, per incutere paura in tutti coloro che la vedevano”.

Ma i Romani non avevano paura.

Fecero partire una scarica ordinata di giavellotti, poi un’altra, un’altra ancora, poi ben armati e riparati dagli scudi, sguainate le spade, caricarono.

Non ci volle molto perché i ribelli si dessero ad una fuga disordinata.

I Romani trucidarono uomini, donne e bambini, tuttavia sembra che Boudica sia rimasta viva.

Dione Cassio racconta che morì per una malattia, mentre Tacito, storico più attendibile, afferma che la regina si avvelenò. E forse questa è la fine più adatta per una donna simile.

Una donna che voleva ridare la libertà al suo popolo.

237 pensiero su “BOUDICA”
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