It is bitter to be recalled to war when the fruits of peace are sweet, but an Emperor will not be denied, much less this new Hadrian. Taking up my old sword, I kissed my brave wife and left the villa, accompanied by the wails of sobbing slaves.
In AD 60, the British queen Boudicca (Boadicea) rebelled against Roman rule and her army of Celts sacked the city of Camulodunum (Colchester). A detachment of the Ninth Legion marched to save the city but was routed and massacred.
This story is set 50 years later, in 117, at the start of the Emperor Hadrian's reign, when a rising in Scotland was put down by the Governor, Falco. Veterans like our narrator would have been called out of comfortable retirement for this campaign. Durovigtum is near modern Huntingdon, a mustering site for Roman forces and a town I once lived in.
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