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Boudica and King Arthur: Linked?


Android Futureman
Aug 7, 2002
Just watched the pretty cool flick Warrior Queen based on the story of Boudica. It was fun and mostly well done but it fell weak in the conclusion I thought.

But what I thought was interesting is that in the film, Boudica is shown receiving a magic sword from the water of a lake, procurred by the local shaman. It leaves me with a few questions:

1) Is that a pure fiction from the p.o.v. of this production, in that Boudica was never rumored in fact or legend to have a magic sword from a lake?

2) Is magics swords born from lakes a common feature of more than just King Arthur?

3) If a real part of the Boudica legend, could this link together Boudica and King Arthur culturally, in that maybe there was an aspect of ruling at that time that directly related to receiving ritually, symbolicly, or literally, a sword from a lake?

This all leads to my outrageous specualtion of a fourth question:

4) Could King Arthur be a retelling of the story of Boudica, with a wild re-imagining of her real story formated for a male gender?

Here is the website set up by PBS for the Boudica film:

I've never heard any reference whatsoever to the stuff portayed in that programme, so I would think it's all sprung from the mind of the script writer(s). Not much is actually known about Boudica herself, but her deeds are covered by Roman sources (and therefore this is why we know about her today).

The whole lake/sword theme is an addition to the Arthur legend by later sources, AFAIK. In 'Celtic' culture, swords (and other items) were put into lakes and bodies of water (as offerings), not taken out of them.
JerryB said:
I've never heard any reference whatsoever to the stuff portayed in that programme, so I would think it's all sprung from the mind of the script writer(s).
Me neither. Pure literary invention.

Like the decidely un-'PC' macho posturing of some of the male warriors, pouting that, "You'll never catch me serving under a woman!"
It was really bad, I saw it... just about the only things known from history about boudica was that her husband signed a treaty to give the romans his land after his death (weather he was hoodwinked or did this willingly so his family could serve as the local kings with the protection of the romans who would be their overlords is not known) Boudicia was well narked with this and hubby hadn't told her anything about it in all probability and she went to sort it out with the romans the romans didn't like this boudica was whiped for her insulance and her daughters raped.
boudica raised an army to burn down the local roman temple and camp at colchester and marched on to london and st alberns torching them too before meeting the roman army and getting killed themselves.

the major forces of the roman army were off fighting the druids on anglesea (of the Segontiaci tribe) at the time which is the excuse the romans give for the insident.

Not all the Celtic tribes hated the romans, those that accepted roman rule like the Silurians (Where king arther came from) did very well for themselves.

The Icini from which boudica came from were pritty much out on a limb as most of the surounding tribes had accepted roman rule so apart from a few rebels boudica's army were likly to have been nealy all Icni's, although the crappy film made out that it was some britain wide rebellian. :rolleyes:

If anyone wants to learn more about romano-celtic britain this website is a very good place to stat and contains a handy map too ;) http://www.roman-britain.org/tribes.htm (note: the scottish tribes were Caledonian not Celtic and were never part of the roman empire so aren't on this site)
Lord_Flashheart said:
Not all the Celtic tribes hated the romans, those that accepted roman rule like the Silurians (Where king arther came from) did very well for themselves.

but they did hold out against the romans for 50-100yrs :D
Thought I'd revive this ancient thread as I'm quite interested in Boudica. The 2003 film Warrior Queen mentioned above is really good, I would recommend giving it a watch.

Also just saw this interesting recent article,

21 May, 2015 - 14:41 aprilholloway
Is Celtic Birdlip Grave the Final Resting Place of Queen Boudicca?
Over a century ago, a group of workmen stumbled upon three ancient Celtic graves near Birdlip in Gloucestershire, England. The central grave contained the remains of a woman, along with a hoard of treasures, including a bronze mirror described as one of the finest items of Celtic art to survive today. A number of scholars have suggested that the grave may be the long lost resting place of Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni tribe, a Celtic clan which united a number of British tribes in revolt against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire in 60-61 AD.

Just watched Boudica: Queen of War (2023), I certainly enjoyed it though the crowd scenes were a tad compressed, likely due to a relatively low budget, Still, the battle scenes were impressive enough in their gore and savagery. The mystic elements of the Celts/Britons/Iceni are very much stressed as is the role played by the Druids. Boudica herself had visions and was advised by the dead on how best to proceed, she should have paid more attention to them. Kike King Arthur she wields a mighty sword, in her case she retrieves it from a river after it is cast there by a scornful Celtic Chieftain, Wolfgar (Peter Franzen), he is won over to her cause and carries a torch for her until the end. The woad used was more realistic than the face paint we usually see in films portraying Roman Britain. great performances by Olga Kurylenko as Boudica and Lucy Martin as Cartimanda a warrior woman who is constantly at her side. Boudica and Cartimandain their battle chariot charging at the Romans set my Celtic blood racing. Much better than the IMDB rating, maybe it stems from anti-Briton sentiment. Down with Roman Imperialism! Written & Directed by Jesse V. Johnson. On Netflix. 7.5/10.
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