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The Battle of Ynys Mon : Suetonius Paulinus, Governor of Britain, hoped to enhance his reputation.
The Battle of Ynys Mon

Based on ‘Annals’ Book XIV by Cornelius Tacitus, written in about AD 109.

THE Roman Governor of Britain in AD 60 was Gaius Suetonius Paulinus. He relished the task of subduing the natives, as he hoped to surpass the reputation of Corbulo, the man who had just restored order in Armenia.

IN Suetonius’s opinion, the chief threat to Roman rule in Britain came from the Welsh tribes and the Druids. He would discover that this was a mistake, but in the meantime, he bent his attention on the Island of Mona,* just off the Welsh coast, which had become their stronghold.

For a moment after the Governor’s men had crossed the shallow Menai strait, even the mighty Roman army was paralysed by the sight that met its eyes: rank on rank of painted warriors, whose wild-haired and black-robed women ran like Furies among them, brandishing blazing torches, while Druids with upraised hands rained down curses that froze the blood.

The general, however, reminded his soldiers that they were Romans, and they overpowered the enemy without much difficulty. The island was soon organised the Roman way, and the sacred groves of the Druids, still stained with the blood of their captives and human sacrifices, were completely destroyed.

Then Suetonius heard about Boudica.

* In Welsh, Ynys Môn. The English name is Anglesey. See it on a map.

These events continue with Boudica.

Based on ‘Annals’ Book XIV by Cornelius Tacitus, written in about AD 109.

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Cornelius Tacitus (1) Classical History (25) Roman Britain (4) History (406)

Picture: © Hugh Chappell, Geograph. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0. View original
The Menai Strait is now crossed by a historic suspension bridge built by Thomas Telford in 1826. This view shows Anglesey from the mainland, the view that the Romans would have had. Without the bridge, obviously.

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