Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Elizabeth Greene


The legacy of Boudicca is a compelling one. Since the rediscovery of the Tacitean manuscripts during the Renaissance, authors have grappled with how to reconcile the differences between the ancient accounts of Boudicca’s rebellion. This issue has culminated in the tendency to either combine the sources to provide a coherent narrative or discredit and dismiss them. Either way the result is that the ancient sources do not receive the attention they deserve.

Tacitus’ account of Boudicca’s rebellion in the Annals provides the most sympathetic representation. Relevant Tacitean scholarship should be applied to the narrative to explain the discrepancies and oddities. Tacitus also provides the only narrative in which Boudicca is represented as a mother. An analysis of Boudicca as a mother shows that her motherhood affects the narrative at various levels and provides a critical commentary on the principate and the contemporaneous reign of Nero.