Gaius Suetonius Paulinus

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Gaius Suetonius Paulinus, also spelled Paullinus, (flourished 1st century) was a Roman general best known as the commander who defeated the rebellion of Boudica.

Contents

Career

Having been praetor, he went to Mauretania in 41 AD as legatus legionis to suppress a revolt. He was the first Roman to cross the Atlas Mountains, and Pliny the Elder quotes his description of the area in his Natural History.

He reached areas near the Niger river (probably actual northern Mali), where he found black tribes.[1].

Gaius Suetonius with his expedition south of the Atlas mountains was one of the first european explorers of Saharan Africa.

Governor of Roman Britain

In 59 he was appointed governor of Britain, replacing Quintus Veranius, who had died in office. He continued Veranius's policy of aggressively subduing the tribes of modern Wales, and was successful for his first two years in the post. His reputation as a general came to rival that of Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo. Two future governors served under him: Quintus Petillius Cerialis as legate of Legio IX Hispana, and Gnaeus Julius Agricola as a military tribune attached to II Augusta, but seconded to Suetonius's staff.

In 61 Suetonius made an assault on the island of Mona (Anglesey), a refuge for British fugitives and a stronghold of the druids. The tribes of the south-east took advantage of his absence and staged a revolt, led by queen Boudica of the Iceni. The colonia of Camulodunum (Colchester) was destroyed, its inhabitants tortured, raped, and slaughtered, and Petillius Cerialis's legion routed. Suetonius brought Mona to terms and marched along the Roman road of Watling Street to Londinium (London), the rebels' next target, but judged he did not have the numbers to defend the city and ordered it evacuated. The Britons duly destroyed it, the citizens of Londinium suffering the same fate as those of Camulodunum, and then did the same to Verulamium (St Albans).

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