The Iceni went into battle with their skin dyed with war paint, necks clad in gold and helmets adorned with strange animal designs and mystical patterns.
Boudica was born of royal descent in 21 A.D. One record says that she was “possessed of greater intelligence than often belongs to women”. She was tall and had hair described as red or reddish-brown, hanging below her waist.
Boudica’s husband, Prasutagus, was King of the Iceni, a tribe of proud Celtic warriors in the Roman province of Britannia. The Empire made repeated attempts to disarm and defeat the Iceni but was unsuccessful, ultimately deciding to sue for peace rather than continue fighting the rebels. Prasutagus became a favored ally. He made the Roman emperor co-heir to his kingdom, alongside his wife and two daughters. In return, the Iceni received large loans from Rome.
Upon the King’s death, Rome ignored his wish to leave his kingdom to his daughters. His lands were annexed to Rome, as if they had been conquered. When she objected, Boudica was beaten and her daughters violated. Iceni noblemen were stripped of their estates, and relatives of the king were enslaved.