Category Archives: war

The Batavian Revolution. Ancient Roman History.

 

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This took place between the years 69 and 70 CE. The Batavi was a small tribe living in Germania Inferior, near the Rhine delta. They sent some conscripts to Rome, who became what was known as The Germanic Bodyguard and were personal guards of the emperor. When they revolted, they were joined by other tribes in the area as well as some Gallic tribes.

Julius Civilis was a Batavian prince. He was also a Roman citizen and a prefect in the Roman army. He was stationed in Britain, but when his legion returned to Germania, he and his brother were arrested on trumped up charges of treason. His brother was executed and Civilis, being a Roman citizen was taken to Rome to be tried by the emperor himself.

The emperor Nero had been becoming more and more despotic, and so Julius Vindex, the governor of Gaul, decided to try to do something about it. He found what he thought as a worthy successor in a man called Galba. He fomented a revolution, Galba became emperor and Nero committed suicide.

Galba disbanded the Germanic Bodyguard because he mistrusted them as they had been loyal to Nero. The Batavian people took this as an insult.

After the death of Nero, Rome was plunged into civil war. There followed what is known as the Year of the Four Emperors. Galba’s deputy, Otho, overthrew him in a coup, then Vitellius prepared to take the Rhine legions to Rome to overthrow Otho. Once there, Vitellius released Civilis in order to gain his help. This Civilis did, and the Batavi joined the Rhine legions and overthrew Otho at the battle of Bedriacum.

After the battle, the Batavi were ordered to return home, but then Vespasian, commander of the forces in Syria, revolted. He was joined by the legions of the Danube.

Vitellius tried to conscript more than the agreed maximum number of conscripts from the Batavi. This, the brutality of the conscripting centurians and the sexual assaults on Batavian boys brought things to a head.

In the summer of 69, Civilis was commander of the Batavian troops in the Rhine regions. He persuaded the tribe known as Cananefates, to revolt and to attack a number of Roman forts.

This was a good time to do this since most of the troops were off fighting the civil war in Rome. The commander of the Rhine regions then sent troops to put down this rebellion, leaving the rest of the area vulnerable. Civilis and his men defeated the Romans near what is now Arnhem.

To deal with this insurrection, the commander sent two legions, V Alaudae and XV Primigenea to fight them. These legions included some Batavian cavalry, who defected to their countrymen during the battle and so the Romans lost after which the Batavians were promised independence.

Civilis wanted vengeance, however. He wanted to destroy the two legions. He besieged their camp. With the civil war in Rome, the Romans could do little about this. They did not have the troops to spare.

Then came the news of Vitellius’s defeat. This had been helped by Civilis pinning down two legions, but his aim was not to help Vespasian. He launched an attack on Krefeld, sending his eight best cavalry troops. This time, the Roman army was successful, destroying all eight troops, but at great loss to themselves.

Civilis then lifted the siege, saying that the legions could have free passage providing they left everything behind for his men to loot. The two legions left with nothing, but a few kilometers away, they were ambushed and all of them destroyed.

Vespasian, once he had established himself on the throne, sent an enormous army to deal with Civilis and his rebels. On hearing of the approach of the army, one of Civilis’s allies surrendered, but Civilis himself continued to fight.

He made a series of raids from land and from the river, once capturing a Roman flagship. The Romans then invaded Batavia and the revolt was over.

It is against this chaotic part of the Roman Empire that Vengeance of a Slave is set. Adelbehrt’s father and some of the other villagers take the opportunity of a weakened army on the Rhine to raid across the river into the Roman lands. This leads to the terrible punishment of the men at the beginning of the book.

 

If you are interested in reading more about Adelbehrt and his sister Avelina, and how they come to be in Britannia, click on this link. http:/mybook.to/vengeanceofaslave

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A review of A Pimlico Boyhood by L.A.Myers

I read this book this month, having received a copy for Christmas. I loved it. It was well-written, and gave a clear picture of what life was like in the 1940s in Pimlico. London.
At the beginning of the book, the author gives a little of the history of Pimlico and where it is, as so many will not know this. It is interesting to learn of the wages people were earning in those times, too.
He goes on to tell of the games they played as children in those days, and how girls’ games differed from boys’. How people got around was also of interest. Mr Myers describes the Hansom Cabs that people used before cars became something other than the preserve of the rich. The food they ate and the life of children in school. You name it, and it’s there.
There is so much of the rich life led by the working classes in those distant days that I cannot begin to describe it all. You should read this small book for yourselves.
The only thing I would criticise is the price, which seems rather high for such a small book.
I gave it a 5* review on Amazon.

 

A Plea for Peace. A poem,

I have been very concerned by, and, yes, afraid, of the war of words between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump. They both seem to be wanting a fight. This I can’t understand as it would be a war that cannot be won, and could be the end of humanity. Certainly it would be the end of society as we know it.

It would not end with the cessation of attacks. Such a war would leave a legacy of radiation and sickness for those left behind, and without the resources of medicine, millions more, who survived the blast, would die horribly. Think of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those bombs are as children’s toys compared with what is available to the nuclear powers today’

Then there’s the ‘Nuclear Winter’ that would follow. Without the sun, plants would fail and there would be massive starvation. How can world leaders even consider such a dire possibility?

In the 1960s, people were afraid that a nuclear war was a very real possibility. After all, in 1960,it had only been 15 years, since the USA dropped a hydrogen bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was also the era of the ‘cold war’, and everyone was afraid of Russia, or rather the USSR as it was then, a vast empire ruled by Russia. It was in this climate I wrote the following poem.
It is the only poem that exists from that time. It is also the only poem of mine ever to have been published before as a poem and not as part of a novel. It was published in the student magazine of UMIST, in Manchester.

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A Plea for Peace

Now we have created something
That threatens to destroy.
One error, one mistake
And what is left for us
But Death.

I see the ruins of a country
That once was powerful.
Now it is nothing but
Ruins, dust, decay
And Death.

I hear the cries of suffering people
Many people, old and young
They cry in agony to God
Please give us peace
Through Death.

But

The only true peace we can have on Earth
Is through remembrance of our Saviour’s birth.

 

If you liked this poem, and have an opinion on the views it expresses, please add a comment in the comments section.