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Known, primarily for the uprising against the Romans by Boudica, the Iceni (or Eceni) were a Celtic tribe based in what is now Norfolk, north-western Suffolk and eastern Cambridgeshire. Their likely origin was Belgic but they were in place before the arrival of Julius Caesar in 54 BC. It is likely the same tribe noticed by him as the Cenimagni (Ceni for Iceni and magni for great). They were bordered to the south by the Trinovantes, to the west by the Catuvellauni and by the Coritani to the north.

Known events

AD 20. Coin evidence suggests that a Can- is the first King. His coins are based on those of the Canti possibly suggesting a family link.

c. 30 AD. An Antedios (seen as Anted- on coins). He seems to have been king but their appears to have been a revolt against using his name on coins and these were retracted and new ones bearing Ecen- (the tribe name) were issued.

43 AD. The Iceni were known to favour Roman occupation. Possibly due to the treatment to the Catuvellauni and the Trinovantes. The king at the time was Antedios. There was a tribal revolt however and two other nobles appear at the time; Aesu- (on coins, possibly Aesunos) and Saemu- or Saenu- (on coins, possibly Saenuvax).

47 AD. Publius Ostorius Scapula, Roman Governor, attempts to disarm the Iceni which leads to a revolt. This is put down and the Iceni become a client kingdom. Rome installs Prasutagus, likely after executing other contenders.

47 - 59. Prasutagus. Following his death the Romans move to appropriate all of the Iceni lands and disarm the tribe. His wife, Boadicea leads a revolt.

59 - 61. Boadicea. Boudicca (or Boudica) leads a powerful Celtic uprising in AD 60 involving the Iceni, the Trinovantes and other smaller elements that have suffered under Roman rule. It was a successful revolt which gained much of the lower south east Britain. It resulted in the sacking of Camulodunum (Colchester), the capital of Roman Britain at the time, Londinium (London), and Verulamium (St. Albans). The main Roman Army, at the time, was fighting the Deceangli, a tribe in north east Wales. Governor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus moved quickly to confront the revolt and, somewhere along Watling Street, destroyed the force in the field. The fate of Boudica is unknown in the historical record but it is presumed she took her own life rather than submit to the Romans.

After 61 AD the tribe ceases to exist as a separate entity.

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Categories: Iceni | Pre-Norman Britain