Iceni

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

Iceni. British tribe and civitas. The tribal coinage, which carries the name ecen or eceni, suggests that the tribe were restricted to Norfolk and parts of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Their first appearance in written history is probably in Caesar's account of his British expeditions, where he refers to a tribe called the Cenimagni. They appear to have been a wealthy and powerful tribe in the 1st and 2nd cents. bc, for from their territory come the finest hoards of gold torcs found in Iron Age Britain. Other hoards of elaborately decorated bronze chariot fittings also point to a love of conspicuous display by the nobles of the Iceni. This wealth may well have continued through the period of the Roman occupation, for some of the finest hoards of Roman gold- and silverware have also been found in or close to Icenian territory. Initially their contacts with the Roman invaders were not unfriendly, and the Icenian king Prasutagus became a client-king of Rome. On his death, however, his kingdom was incorporated into the Roman province and this, and other alleged abuses, led to the Icenian revolt, led by Prasutagus' widow Boudicca. No doubt this set back plans for the Iceni to be given self-governing status as a civitas, but eventually that was accorded the tribe and their capital was established at Caistor St Edmund (Venta Icenorum). Despite the tribe's apparent wealth, the town remained unusually small (under 35 acres) and poorly developed for a civitas-capital.

Keith Branigan

views updated

Iceni Ancient British tribe that occupied the area now known as Norfolk and Suffolk. The territory had been ruled by Prasutagus, a client-king, but on his death (ad 60) the Romans attempted to annex it. This led to a widespread revolt led by Prasutagus' queen, Boadicea. The Iceni sacked Colchester, London and St Albans before they were crushed by the Roman governor, Suetonius Paulinus.

views updated

Iceni a tribe of ancient Britons inhabiting an area of SE England in present-day Norfolk and Suffolk. Their queen, Boudicca, led an unsuccessful rebellion against the Romans in ad 60.

views updated

Iceni •decani • Iceni • Gemini • Anno Domini • termini • acini •personae, tostone •Brunei • alumni • goldeneye