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11
Jan

Fierceness Alone

Written by Krista on Saturday, 11 January 2014 15:09.

Nothing is better than a gift of inspiration. I received such a gift this past holiday season from my dad who introduced me to a two thousand year-old woman named Boudica. We were playing chess and musing about brave leaders who dared to dream BIG. For instance, ancient warriors who dared to believe they could stop the rule of the Roman Empire to preserve their culture and freedom. You can't help but admire guys who charge into battle with no idea of the force they were up against (ironically, not unlike me against my dad in chess).

Dad: "It wasn't just those guys who were brave warriors. There was Boudica after all."

Me: "Who's Boudica?"

We googled Boudica and found a full-length movie online1. I lost the chess match, but scored a tale of greatness. And within this tale an even greater message: fierceness and influence alone cannot beat sound strategy, solid discipline and, in the case of the Roman military, a "killer" team.

But allow me to give the honorable Boudica her due. This woman is a heroine, without doubt. Nobody of either gender can dispute that she was not only incredibly fierce, she knew how to galvanize over 100,000 people around a common vision at a time when phones didn't exist, when languages varied from tribe to tribe, and most of them were warring with each other for one reason or another. Despite these hurdles, Boudica cultivated and grew this unified army in the space of a year without the Romans being the wiser. And when they struck, they were effective. Don't think for a minute that her fame is simply due to her being a woman leading a military force in the days of antiquity (60 A.D.). While that is certainly extraordinary, what's more extraordinary is that when they finally launched their rebellion, Boudica's Celtic force left several crucial Roman-held cities in utter waste and had Roman leadership on the run contemplating full withdrawal from Britain. Go Boudica!

As I watched, I was all about victory for the Celts - even though history foretold a different ending. Indeed, Boudica's army was ultimately defeated by not much more than a single Roman legion led by Suetonious. In this final battle, roughly 8000 Roman soldiers were being chased down by more than 50,000 (some say over 200,000) of Boudica's angry, Celtic warriors. It must have seemed unimaginable that she could lose with such superiority in numbers, but she or her army hadn't yet experienced the full force of Roman strategic planning and tactical might.

 

 

"Plans are not important.
Planning is."

Dwight D. Eisenhower