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The Face of Boudica: Rebellion Against Rome by Aubin John

Author:Aubin, John [Aubin, John]

Language: eng

Format: azw

Publisher: John Aubin Books

Published: 2017-07-31T16:00:00+00:00

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The Face of Boudica: Rebellion Against Rome by Aubin John

XIV

The White Way – the Via Alba that for centuries had been the main route into Icenia out of the west – ran across the plain where we rode, its main course principally straight but with many side tracks branching from it, winding a small distance away, then joining again, so that from a distance their routes looked like the twisting, white veins of a massive arm flung out across the green earth. Most roads constructed by the Romans since their first conquest of Britannia ran broadly south to north, or north-west, metalled routes to allow the soldiers and their supplies to reach the fighting fronts as quickly as possible. Icenia, a client kingdom to the east, surrounded by marshland and the sea, had been largely left alone by Rome at that time in the early years of conquest. It was still served by its own local routes, trampled out of the soft white rock by generation after generation of travellers – traders, pedlars, artisans, metal-workers, drovers with their animals, and occasionally a speeding war band of horse and chariot. The most important of those routes was the Via Alba that crossed this flat country, leaving the lands of the Catuvellauni at the border river and passing beneath a swelling sea of low, grey-green hills to enter the Iceni kingdom at a place where many gleaming, white quarry pits scarred the hillsides around, forming a type of gateway, given by Rome the name of Portas Album.

Hadrian was rested and in fine, energetic form this morning. The mansio had been as quiet last night as any place with scores of snoring, waking, quarreling, window-slamming, copulating, defecating human beings – and their animals doing many of the same things – could ever be. The Emperor may have slept well, but I had had a poor night, twisting on my hard low bed until the square window that opened to the roof eaves had changed from black to grey, and then to white, with fat pigeons perched somewhere nearby cooing to welcome the new day. I rose irritatedly and threw a small pottery lamp out through the window, hearing it clatter against the tiles. The cooing ceased.

 

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The Face of Boudica: Rebellion Against Rome by Aubin John

Author:Aubin, John [Aubin, John] , Date: June 6, 2019

,Views: 22

Author:Aubin, John [Aubin, John]

Language: eng

Format: azw

Publisher: John Aubin Books

Published: 2017-07-31T16:00:00+00:00
XIV

The White Way – the Via Alba that for centuries had been the main route into Icenia out of the west – ran across the plain where we rode, its main course principally straight but with many side tracks branching from it, winding a small distance away, then joining again, so that from a distance their routes looked like the twisting, white veins of a massive arm flung out across the green earth. Most roads constructed by the Romans since their first conquest of Britannia ran broadly south to north, or north-west, metalled routes to allow the soldiers and their supplies to reach the fighting fronts as quickly as possible. Icenia, a client kingdom to the east, surrounded by marshland and the sea, had been largely left alone by Rome at that time in the early years of conquest. It was still served by its own local routes, trampled out of the soft white rock by generation after generation of travellers – traders, pedlars, artisans, metal-workers, drovers with their animals, and occasionally a speeding war band of horse and chariot. The most important of those routes was the Via Alba that crossed this flat country, leaving the lands of the Catuvellauni at the border river and passing beneath a swelling sea of low, grey-green hills to enter the Iceni kingdom at a place where many gleaming, white quarry pits scarred the hillsides around, forming a type of gateway, given by Rome the name of Portas Album.

Hadrian was rested and in fine, energetic form this morning. The mansio had been as quiet last night as any place with scores of snoring, waking, quarreling, window-slamming, copulating, defecating human beings – and their animals doing many of the same things – could ever be. The Emperor may have slept well, but I had had a poor night, twisting on my hard low bed until the square window that opened to the roof eaves had changed from black to grey, and then to white, with fat pigeons perched somewhere nearby cooing to welcome the new day. I rose irritatedly and threw a small pottery lamp out through the window, hearing it clatter against the tiles. The cooing ceased.

The noise brought my Germani slaves into me, and so I was washed and shaved, longing for a hot bath to sweat the grime and the tiredness out of me but knowing the bath house was in a wing on the far side of the outer court and that Hadrian had probably appropriated it for himself. I felt sure the Emperor’s slaves would not turn me away if I turned up with my coarse towel and jar of oil and old rusting strigil – indeed Hadrian himself would very likely make me most welcome and give me his best attendants to knead and scrape my parchment skin – but I could not face the effort and the performance. I ordered a first meal of bread and cheese and figs, washed down with a hot bowl of thin chicken broth.

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