A Moot Trial of Boudica: Terrorist or Freedom Fighter?
Live from the Supreme Court
Thursday 14 October | 18:00 BST
Mother, daughter, warrior queen – Boudica stands on trial for terrorism. Her defence is that she is a freedom fighter in a war against foreign invaders. The Roman authorities view her as a criminal. Will justice be served? Watch the proceedings unfold online and discover a historical heroine whose actions raise urgent questions about imperialism, war and resistance to foreign occupation that are still relevant today.
Boudica (also known as Boudicca or Boadicea) was Queen of the Iceni tribe in 60/61 CE when she led a fierce rebellion against Roman rule that sent shockwaves through the empire. Some 18 years after the Roman conquest of Britain, she succeeded in rallying an army of disaffected Britons to her cause and in destroying three major Roman settlements: Colchester, London and St Albans. She was by all accounts a formidable leader – both Tacitus and Cassius Dio attribute to Boudica a stirring pre-battle speech – but were her actions those of a terrorist or freedom fighter?
Her case is listed for hearing at the UK Supreme Court between 6-7:15pm on Thursday 14 October. The prosecution will argue that Boudica was a terrorist, whose rebellion against Roman rule caused massive loss of life. The defence will argue that she was a freedom fighter in a war: the Romans had no right to be in Britain, and her brutality was no worse than theirs. A crucial issue will be whether the Roman authorities were the lawful government of Britain in 60/61 CE.
The trial of Boudica will be presided over by Lord Stephens (Justice of the Supreme Court and former Lord Justice of Appeal in Northern Ireland) with Alison Morgan QC counsel for the prosecution, and Thomas Grant QC counsel for the defence.
Tickets to watch the livestream are £10 standard and £5 concession*. You may also choose to give an additional donation toward Classics for All’s work supporting classics teaching in state schools. *Concessionary tickets are available to anyone who is a pensioner, unemployed or still in full-time education.