Infobox Celts of England
Name = Iceni
fullname = Iceni

name = Iceni
capital = "Venta Icenorum"
(Caistor St. Edmund)
location = Norfolk
origin = ?
The Iceni or Eceni were a Brythonic tribe who inhabited an area of Britain corresponding roughly to the modern-day county of Norfolk between the 1st century BC and 1st century AD. The Cenimagni, who surrendered to Julius Caesar during his second expedition to Britain in 54 BC, may have been a branch of the Iceni. [Julius Caesar, "Commentarii de Bello Gallico" [ 5.21] ]

Archaeological evidence of the Iceni includes torcs - heavy rings of gold, silver or electrum worn around the neck and shoulders.

The Iceni began producing coins "circa" 10 BC. Their coins were a distinctive adaptation of the Gallo-Belgic "face/horse" design, and in some early issues, most numerous near Norwich, the horse was replaced with a boar. Some coins are inscribed ECENI, making them the only coin-producing group to use their tribal name on coins. The earliest personal name to appear on coins is Antedios (ca. 10 BC), and other abbreviated names like AESU and SAEMU follow. [Graham Webster (1978), "Boudica: the British Revolt Against Rome AD 60", pp. 46-48]

Sir Thomas Browne the first British archaeological writer, said of the Roman occupation, Boudica and Iceni coins:

That "Britain" was notably populous is undeniable, from that expression of "Caesar". That the Romans themselves were early in no small Numbers, Seventy Thousand with their associates slain by "Bouadicea", affords a sure account... And no small number of silver peeces near "Norwich"; with a rude head upon the obverse, an ill-formed horse on the reverse, with the Inscriptions "Ic. Duro.T." whether implying "Iceni, Dutotriges, Tascia," or "Trinobantes", we leave to higher conjecture. The "British" Coyns afford conjecture of early habitation in these parts, though the City of "Norwich" arose from the ruins of "Venta", and though perhaps not without some habitation before, was enlarged, built, and nominated by the "Saxons". [Sir Thomas Browne (1658), "Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial"]
The Icknield Way, an ancient trackway linking East Anglia to the Chilterns may be named after the Iceni.

The Roman Invasion

Tacitus records that the Iceni were not conquered in the Claudian invasion of AD 43, but had come to a voluntary alliance with the Romans. However they rose against them in 47 after the governor, Publius Ostorius Scapula, threatened to disarm them. They were defeated by Ostorius in a fierce battle at a fortified place, but were allowed to retain their independence. [Tacitus, "Annals" [ 12.31] ] The site of the battle may have been Stonea Camp in Cambridgeshire.A second, more serious, uprising took place in 61. Prasutagus, the wealthy, pro-Roman Icenian king, had died. It was common practice for a Roman client king to leave his kingdom to Rome on his death, but Prasutagus had attempted to preserve his line by bequeathing his kingdom jointly to the Emperor and his own daughters. The Romans ignored this, and the procurator Catus Decianus seized his entire estate. Prasutagus's widow, Boudica, was flogged and her daughters raped. At the same time, Roman financiers called in their loans. While the governor, Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, was campaigning in Wales, Boudica led the Iceni and the neighbouring Trinovantes in a large-scale revolt, destroying and looting Camulodunum (Colchester), Londinium (London) and Verulamium (St Albans) before finally being defeated by Suetonius Paulinus and his legions. Although the Britons outnumbered the Romans greatly, they lacked that superior discipline and tactics that won the Romans a decisive victory. [ Cambridge Latin Course Textbook, Unit 2 ] The battle took place at an unknown location, probably in the West Midlands somewhere along Watling Street. [ "Agricola" [ 14-17] ; "Annals" [;query=chapter%3D%23576;layout=;loc=14.30 14:29-39] ; Dio Cassius, "Roman History" [*.html#1 62:1-12] ] Today, a large statue of Boudica wielding a sword and charging upon a chariot can be seen in London on the north bank of the Thames by Westminster Bridge.

The Iceni are recorded as a "civitas" of Roman Britain in Ptolemy's "Geographia" [Ptolemy, "Geography" [*.html 2.2] ] , which names Venta Icenorum as a town of theirs. Venta, which is also mentioned in the "Ravenna Cosmography", [ [ "Ravenna Cosmography" (British section)] ] and the "Antonine Itinerary", [ [ "Antonine Itinerary" (British section)] ] was a settlement near the village of Caister Saint Edmunds, some 5 miles south of present-day Norwich, and a mile or two from the Bronze Age Henge at Arminghall.

After the Romans left Britain, it is thought that some of the Iceni migrated west, away from settling Saxons. Fact|date=September 2008 It is possible that the Girvii (Gwyre) of the Fens were formed by Icenian refugees. The Fens formed a comparitive 'safe zone', surrounded by water and marshes, and were easily defended, as well as being not particularly desirable to invading Saxons with more important places to control. References to a native British population are hinted at in the names of West Walton, Walsoken and Walpole, the 'Wal-' coming from the Old English 'walh', meaning 'foreigner'.Fact|date=June 2008



*Tom Williamson (1993), "The Origins of Norfolk", Manchester University Press

External links

* [ Iceni] at []
* [ Iceni] at [ Romans in Britain]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Icĕni — (n.And. Icēni, Simeni, a. Geogr.), Volk an der Ostküste Britanniens, im j. Suffolk u. Norfolk; Städte: Venta, Camboricum, Duroligons. Sie hielten es Anfangs mit den Römern, empörten sich aber 62 n. Chr. unter ihrer Königin Boadicea, s.u. England… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • ICENI — pop Albionis, in ora mate Germ. Simeni Ptol. Cenimagni Caes. quorum regio Essexia in Anglia, teste Nic. Lloyd. et Caes. de Bell. Gall. l. 5. c. 7 Sed Camd. est Suffolcia, Norfolcia, tractus Cantabrigiensis, et Huntingdonensis, ubi olim East …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Iceni — [ī sē′nī΄] pl.n. [L] an ancient British people that, led by Queen Boadicea, rebelled against the Romans in A.D. 60 Icenian [ī sē΄nē ən] adj …   English World dictionary

  • Iceni — Icenic /uy see nik/, adj. /uy see nuy/, n. (used with a sing. or pl. v.) an ancient Celtic tribe of eastern England, whose queen, Boadicea, headed an insurrection against the Romans in A.D. 61. * * * ▪ people       in ancient Britain, a tribe… …   Universalium

  • Iceni — Die Icener (Iceni) waren ein keltischer Volksstamm, der im Gebiet des heutigen Norfolk und Suffolk in Britannien lebte. Kultur Ihr Siedlungsgebiet grenzte im Nordwesten am Wash an das der Corieltavi, im Osten an das der Catuvellaunen und im Süden …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Iceni — 52° 36′ N 0° 48′ E / 52.6, 0.8 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Iceni — noun plural Etymology: Latin Date: 1658 an ancient British people that under their queen Boudicca revolted against the Romans in A.D. 60 • Icenian or Icenic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Iceni —  British tribe that revolted against Rome under the leadership of Boudicca in the first century ad …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Iceni — n. tribe of ancient Britons occupying an area of southeastern England …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Iceni — [ʌɪ si:ni, nʌɪ] plural noun a tribe of ancient Britons inhabiting an area of SE England in present day East Anglia, whose queen was Boudicca (Boadicea). Origin from L …   English new terms dictionary

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