In Vengeance of a Slave, although she does not appear, there is mention of the Queen of the Brigantes, Cartimandua. Here is her story.
You are certain to have heard of Queen Boudicca. She was the queen of the Iceni who raised a revolt against the Romans. She almost won, too. I don’t suppose so many of you have heard of Queen Cartimandua, though. She is the queen of the Brigantes, the biggest tribe in Brittania Her story is very different from that of Boudicca.
She inherited her throne at around the same time as the Romans came to Brittania. She was married to a man called Venutius, and when the Romans came north, they made a treaty with them in order to retain their power. Of course, this was only nominal. The Romans really held the power. Still, she kept something, which was more than Boudicca did, in the end.
Then the people in the west, the Catuvellauni, rose up under the leadership of a man called Caratacus. They led a hit and run kind of resistance against the Romans and were quite successful for a time. Of course, the inevitable happened and they were defeated. By a man called Osotorius Scapula, I believe. Caratacus managed to escape and came to Cartimandua for refuge.
Of course, our queen was none too pleased. This might affect her relationship with Rome, and thus her position on the throne. What did she do to this man asking for her help? She put him in chains and took him to the Romans in Eberacum. The Romans were delighted and heaped great wealth on her, but her husband was not so pleased, nor were the people.
What will happen to Cartimandua? Will her people revolt and will the Romans protect her?
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Here is a little more about Cartimandua, Qyeen of the Brigantes.
Cartimandua and her husband fell out over this, of course. But it was not the only bone of contention. For a while, it seems, Cartimandua had been having an affair with Venutius’s armour bearer. After the betrayal of Caratacus, she decided to divorce Venutius and marry her lover, whose name is Vellocatus.
It wasn’t long before Venutius led a rebellion. Only to be expected. He was much more popular than Cartimandua, especially after the betrayal of Caratacus and his divorce. He started to make alliances with other of our tribes, and was all ready to invade Brigantia.
Cartimandua went to the Romans then, andthey sent troops to defend her. A battle was fought, and both sides seemed to be evenly matched until the arrival of the IX legion Hispanica from Eberacum.
This was a lucky break for Cartimandua. She very narrowly escaped being captured by the rebels, but the rebels were defeated and Venutius once more had to leave Brigantia.
It seems he hadn’t given up his rebellious ideas, though. He bided his time until Emperor Nero died in Rome. At his death, the Roman Empire fell into chaos. There were several emperors in quick succession, and many of the Roman troops had to go back to defend Rome and the empire. Other groups of people took advantage of this, and so did Venutius.
He attacked Brigantia once again, and this time, the Romans could only send auxilliary troops to defend Cartimandua.
She was forced to flee to Deva and abandoned the Brigantes to Ventuvius. No-one heard any more of her after this.
In spite of his success, once the Romans had settled their problems they attacked him and ousted him form the kingship, thus Brigantia became completely under Roman rule.
That is the end of the tale of Cartimandua and the Brigantes.
This story is not integral to Vengeance of a Slave, but is briefly mentioned, just as Boudicca’s rebellion is mentioned.
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