According to Tacitus ( a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire), Calgacus (sometimes Calgacos or Galgacus) was a chieftain of the Caledonian Confederacy who fought the Roman army of Gnaeus Julius Agricola at the Battle of Mons Graupius in northern Scotland in AD 83 or 84. His name can be as interpreted as Celtic *calg-ac-os, “possessing a blade” or “possessing a penis”.
Not making fun of Galgacus here, just put him in animated, whimsical form, though enough heart to realise he is one serious dude?
Just a thought also, it was the battle of Mons Grapius, where supposedly 30,000 Caledonians against some 17,000 to 30,000 Roman soldiers fought. It was recorded that the Calendonians (PICTS) suffered a great loss? A tremendous defeat? An estimated 10,000 Picts lay dead upon the battle field, as the remianing 20,000 ran for thier lives, all at the hands of just 360 auxiliary troops, for the rest of the legions were not even engaged in the battle?
Hhmmmmm, can we believe such a report? And where were the weapons of mass destruction? hehehehehe! No i think this is wishful thinking on behalf of a senator and a Roman society moving towards Empirical status, just propaganda!
Following this final battle, it was proclaimed that Agricola had finally subdued all the tribes of Britain and the constructing of we have the building of the Antonine Wall in 142Ad and some 20 years later in 122Ad .C the Hadrian Wall as the lines of the Roman frontier withdrew from a tenacious enemy and hardly defeated or broken people.
And if such a solid and no doubt pyschological defeat took place at Mons Grapius, why build a wall in the first place? Why aren’t these walls littering the whole British isles?
I think Rome needed to hear a good report, just as thier leaders good not hear report of thier own legions defeat!
The wall was not a reminder of a defeated people, but of an outpost that the Rome could not take and a people they could not colonise!
Galgacus’ speech maybe fantasy and lends itself to the creation of a noble savage and the reluctant surrender of a people; for the roman elite to imagine over. But, the words in context of a writer torn between two realities rings true all the same!
|“||Whenever I consider the origin of this war and the necessities of our position, I have a sure confidence that this day, and this union of yours, will be the beginning of freedom to the whole of Britain. To all of us slavery is a thing unknown; there are no lands beyond us, and even the sea is not safe, menaced as we are by a Roman fleet. And thus in war and battle, in which the brave find glory, even the coward will find safety. Former contests, in which, with varying fortune, the Romans were resisted, still left in us a last hope of succour, inasmuch as being the most renowned nation of Britain, dwelling in the very heart of the country, and out of sight of the shores of the conquered, we could keep even our eyes unpolluted by the contagion of slavery. To us who dwell on the uttermost confines of the earth and of freedom, this remote sanctuary of Britain’s glory has up to this time been a defence. Now, however, the furthest limits of Britain are thrown open, and the unknown always passes for the marvellous. But there are no tribes beyond us, nothing indeed but waves and rocks, and the yet more terrible Romans, from whose oppression escape is vainly sought by obedience and submission. Robbers of the world, having by their universal plunder exhausted the land, they rifle the deep. If the enemy be rich, they are rapacious; if he be poor, they lust for dominion; neither the east nor the west has been able to satisfy them. Alone among men they covet with equal eagerness poverty and riches. To robbery, slaughter, plunder, they give the lying name of empire; they make a solitude and call it peace.||”|
Perhaps this is but the mixed conscience of Tacitus writing in a manner that would both offend and slightly please Roman sensibilities; if it indeed blatantly came from one of romes own?
*And you will notice for the sensitive nature of many women folk, an elaborately woven lap lap covers scotlands greatest weapon…………. for……. “Here’s tae us, Wha’s like us, Damn few. And they’re a’ deid, Mair’s the pity!
( I have taken a fair share of whats written here from WIKIPEDIA. Save me going through books for a wee’ blog entry!)