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Cartimandua, British queen of the Brigantes. Cartimandua is said to have come from a long and distinguished ancestry, and was queen in her own right. She made her first appearance in history when in ad 51 she handed over to the Romans Caratacus, the leader of the Welsh resistance. Her treaty relationship with the Romans probably began at this time, providing them with a friendly native state on the northern frontiers of the new province. However both personal and political differences with her consort Venutius led to considerable instability in her kingdom, which was in any case a confederation of tribes spread over most of northern England. Venutius' ambitions were initially thwarted by repeated Roman intervention in support of Cartimandua, but during the civil wars of ad 69 he took his opportunity to seize the kingdom. The queen was rescued by Roman cavalry, but never regained her throne.

Keith Branigan

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