Page:A short history of social life in England.djvu/37
defends his stronghold of Camalodunum, on the site of our modern Colchester, as some maintain. The defence of the old country was carried on by his son Caractacus, the stirring account of whose defeat and subsequent appearance in Rome are well known. Women, too, sprang up to defend the land against Roman invaders, and amongst them we get a mention of one of the first-named Queens in old British history. A glimpse of her conduct illumines for a moment these barbaric times.
Boadicea, the widowed Queen of Prasutagus, King of the Iceni tribe, inhabiting Norfolk, burned with indignation at the insults offered to herself and her daughters by the Roman governors. Her own fierce courage inspired her people, and she proudly led the tribes, over which she still held sway, against Colchester, the headquarters of the Romans in the east. Her ranks were soon swollen by other discontented Britons, until she found herself at the head of something like 80,000 native warriors. A vivid picture of the Queen before the battle has been handed down by a Roman historian, as, standing up in her war-chariot, where sat her weeping daughters, her bare arms raised on high, her long, yellow