About

“Ludwig H. Dyck’s Historical Writings” features samples of Dyck’s work from magazines and from his book, “The Roman Barbarian Wars.” Images used to enhance the narrative are for non-profit, educational purposes, via Fair Use.

2 thoughts on “About”

  1. Ludwig, I read your article on Queen Boudicca in the November 15 issue of Military History. You put flesh on her body and pumped blood into her veins. You brought her people to life. I dedicate this portion of my epic poem “Twilight of the Celts” to you and my Queen. Of all the Queens of history, she remains my Queen. I would have died for her because I believe she inspired loyalty and even love amongst her followers.

    Ravaged and Humiliated, Queen Boudicca vied for control of her part of Briton;

    The winners in the heat of their self-confidence dictated what was afterwards written.

    A Poet Laureate later told of her bravery and courage with unashamed pen.

    The queen and her daughters in their bronze chariot stand ready to take London.

    Her rampaging ghost has been seen by some simple folk of County Lincolnshire;

    Borne in her chariot to some destination unknown in the country she set ablaze with fire.

    Though in life she razed the city to the ground, protects she now the British Parliament.

    Though of inanimate metal; They stand there as a mute testament

    To all the brave and unnamed who that day fought for control of their destiny and tried

    To end Nero’s tyranny, but in the end simply failed and died.

    Iceni felled so tragically; for their fallen brethren tribe, all of Briton that day cried.

    Chariotry so splendid and fleet smashed and forever broken.

    A mighty race become a shadow of itself, just a token!

    With harsh voice, eyes of fire, and flame red hair down to her waist;

    Her tribesmen followed her with much haste.

    Wildmen from feuding and bickering clans forgot their own private wars

    And resolved to help her settle some scores.

    Aggrieved she was by the heavy hand of greed.

    The Emperor seized what the Emperor did covet,

    Another piece of Britannia, more acres falling under the Roman sun with its harsh light.

    Her vengeful fight they made their very own.

    Her humiliating lashes, as if inflicted on themselves, they could not condone.

    Up Whatling Street they had in ever growing numbers come,

    With white hot flames of anger, torching all that harbored the stamp of imperial Rome.

    A people with a righteous anger and rage so indignant,

    In their patterned and checkered trousers and cloaks and torcs so resplendent.

    More than a tribe yet not quite a nation, all now on the move,

    A people with everything to lose and something final to prove.

    Up that old Roman street they walked, rode, or rolled; all of one mind purposely came,

    Bearing their fearsome Queen to either victorious fame or ignoble shame.

    But to defy with arms so deep rooted an empire

    And to destroy its malignant roots with fire;

    Has always a risky enterprise seemed to me.

    The Gods of War so incredibly fickle they be.

    The host of the Queen grew by the day,

    And gripped the legions of Nero with ghastly anxiety.

    But Nero’s lieutenant, calculating and shrewd,

    Calmly surveyed his future battlefield.

    The Roman soldiers seemingly disciplined and serene knew well the next sun’s birth

    Could be their very last on earth.

    Yet They girded for war efficiently and dispassionately,

    Whilst the Celtic horde screamed and howled like a wild banshee.

    All of their training had forged them to fight.

    Fight and win or fight and die; sinews hardened made the empire’s might.

    The General reminded his troops so loyal,

    That they fought for the honor of faraway Rome so Regal.

    And across that great divide, standing with a well-deserved pride,

    Her place in epic history firmly assured,

    A great Queen with no feelings from her people to hide,

    Exhorted her wolves to undo the yoke; to rise out of the ashes,

    To exact revenge for her daughters’ rape and her humiliating lashes.

    A mighty cry rang out from the Iceni.

    Today the Gods of War so angered must on their side be.

    Surely by the end of the day’s martial work, the Iceni could gloat.

    That sunset would see their destiny; Roman hands off of their throat,

    And free their island to live as it pleased, forever protected by its huge watery moat.

    After all they were the wolves of Briton, not Roman sheep!

    Tonight Roman invaders would forever sleep.

    Arrayed against free men were what they thought mere bleating sheep.

    Beating their shields with swords, making a noise so terrible and deep.

    With a harsh and frantic battle cry borrowed from the dawn of the Celts,

    The Queen signaled attack to her wild exuberant host.

    Tens of thousands of Celtic souls the Queen could boast!

    Whipped into an Absolute Fury,

    By the power of their Queen’s oratory,

    Screaming and Yelling and Cursing,

    Without fear the naked force charging,

    Sense and restraint drowned in a river of blind fury,

    Like lemmings dashing off the cliff, charged a race with no real hope of victory.

    Warriors so magnificent charged and as quickly were felled;

    Celtic manhood so virile on swift and deadly javelins impaled.

    Naked flesh pierced to the vitals, Died most bravely they did.

    Falling back mortal and bruised, the Queen with fire exhorted:

    Don’t flee from these cursed sheep! Put them all to the sword!

    This is Briton your home and they are not your Lord!

    Slashing and Stabbing, The Crimson wall so firmly stood.

    Wave after screaming wave into it harmlessly crashed.

    Gravely Gaius Suetonius cast his stoic gaze

    At the mighty assemblage of Celts the Queen did raise.

    Though fearsome to the sight, no army they ultimately were.

    Against legions hardened by conquest and forged in fire, victory could not occur.

    A river of Roman calm and resolve drowned rudderless and floundering anger.

    But free men rarely go down without a whimper!

    Still all men hold even to the end life most dear.

    Slowly and painfully the mighty horde succumbed to fear.

    Strong voices grew painfully silent as arteries severed sprayed

    The salty lifeblood of a people upon the ground;

    And limbs so strong moments ago become lifeless appendages indeed.

    The blood of Briton’s freemen and freewomen flowed so freely,

    And the Queen in brutal searing anguish could defeat only see.

    Wounded and wailing, her fiery chariot still hurling,

    At the immovable wall so prickly and strong.

    Roman resolve shredded her anger possessed.

    Steel discipline on the march did unravel her best.

    Legions now emboldened struck like thunder,

    And made the Queen pay dearly for her careless blunder.

    Surging forward with shields and swords arrayed so prickly and thick;

    The Roman Elephant with its hide so impenetrable and thick,

    felt their foe as nothing more than some blood filled tick.

    But ground was grudgingly surrendered.

    The awful tribute to Mars was dutifully rendered.

    Young handsome men in their prime so efficiently slaughtered.

    Slammed into those they loved so dear;

    Celtic warriors now panicked and blinded with fear,

    Abandoned the fight, resigned to their slaughter.

    ‘Twas their end, but hardly her final chapter.

    The Queen’s harsh voiced passion was heard even by the dead!

    Her throaty exultations proved not enough to stem the carnage that now came to a head,

    Or push back the locked wall of impenetrable moving shields.

    So the mighty host, exhausted and humbled, began to give up the field.

    In vain, she urged her battered countrymen to wrest their land

    Away from this Mediterranean evil of seemingly one mind, body, and purpose.

    Marching like a machine without human emotion, sans human feelings or remorse.

    Her words were of enormous power, but they fell on dying men with deaf ears.

    The mighty host now transformed into a rabble of half-naked men crazed with fear.

    The best of Briton died that fateful day.

    The plans for Briton, sans Romans, left in disarray.

    And when the din of battle silenced,

    The deadly cost of revolt was accounted.

    Scores and scores piled upon the ground.

    Red stained grass glistening all around.

    The flower of the Celts in Briton forever wilted,

    Scorched to death by an army so reviled and hated.

    The carrion eaters dined well that night,

    As the legions gloated and blew their arrogant trumpet.

    The Queen and her daughters anguished

    Over the age old fate of the vanquished.

    Rather than become objects of Roman derision and curiosity,

    They took their noble lives and faded into history.

    Noble Britons now became slaves to faraway Rome,

    Many snatched and wrenched from hearth and home.

    Ending up in the marketplace to be bought and sold

    Exit the Iceni; Exit stage right the Boudiccan Revolt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you enjoyed my article on Boudicca, Paul. Bringing historical characters and their world to life, along with accuracy, is what I strive for in my writing. Thanks for your epic poem, which captures the spirit of the brave warrior Queen.

      Like

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