© jdamfPUBLISH a wholly owned subsidiary of Snoozing Dogs Productions© jdamfpublish@jdamf.co.uk Made with Xara

Vederius Ligustus

North of Bodotria

North of Bodotria glimpses into dark, cut-throat corruption of the Roman Empire, seen through the eyes of Vederius Ligustus, who loses his family to the Vesuvius eruption of 79 AD and goes on to forge a career in the Roman army, honing his skills as a warrior and making some tough moral choices that teach harsh lessons about loyalty. He is sent to Northern Britannia to train for the final push into ancient Scotland. There he is duped by a power hungry General into believing that two officers lead a gang of bandits hounding the Legion and have murdered a brother in his squad. The General convinces Viederius to swear a sacred oath to kill the two men. He places Vederius in the scouts to help him with this task. They don’t want him at first and it’s only after he displays his fighting skills that a strong bond of brotherhood finally develops. Torn between the bonds of brothers in battle and his sacred oath of vengeance, Vederius finds he can’t recant the latter or ignore the former. The more he tries to fulfil the oath, the stronger the bonds of brothers become and the higher the reward Rome bestows on him. Finally, he discovers the whole premise of his oath was based on deceit. When he is decorated for apparently trying to save men he agreed to kill, the General decides to have him killed whilst making it look like robbery, accident or a tragedy. As Vederius travels to the edge of the barbarian wilderness, he descends into a cesspit of lies, murder and treachery; alternately helping, then confronting the barbarians as he tries to survive the General’s attention. Sent to an outlying fort as bait to trap the Caledonians, Vederius’s past crimes catch up with him when the barbarians launch a violent attack. At the very edge of civilisation, he discovers cowardice lurks in every man and greed for power will turn brother against brother. Faced with a choice to rise above it all and emerge a great Roman hero or sink into the pit and be lost, Vederius realises he is capable of both at the same time. As the General’s climb to high office comes to fruition, he makes a final attempt to kill Vederius. His brothers in arms are forced to come to his defence, doing their best to put him beyond the General's reach.

Background

Historical note in relation to North of Bodotria What is history? Ask a group of friends to describe their holiday together last year - there would be several versions, so how on earth can we know what happened nearly 2,000 years ago? I have sided with the Roman Gask Project’s critical appraisal that Tacitus’s On the Life and Times of Julius Agricola was not a detailed historical account but a document written for other purposes at the end of Domitian’s reign. In essence, it’s a great story, written as an hommage to Julius Caeser’s Commentaries, but the provenance of the document and the archaeology on the ground doesn’t support a notion of historical accuracy and Calgacus was a figment of Tacitus’s imagination. For my story I have used Roman Scotland’s excellent analysis of possible sites for the battle of Mons Graupius and settled for the ‘Dunning alternative’ scenario. However, I have come to the view that Mons Graupius did not actually happen, or if it did, at best it was a minor skirmish, as attested to by the behaviour of Agricola’s army following the battle. The numbers of deaths described are reminiscent of the US ‘body counts’ in Vietnam – hopelessly optimistic, if not a downright fabrication.It is unlikely any guerrilla force familiar with the Roman army would engage them in open battle. It is speculation on my part to infer the tactics of the Caledonii from the battle of Dun Nechtain in 685 but there is some evidence to suggest weapons and tactics didn’t change much over this period. At Dun Nechtain the Picts used their local knowledge to choose an advantageous place to engage with the invading Angles. The Picts, situated on a hill, engaged the enemy in battle, gradually allowing their force to be pushed back before they broke rank and pretended to flee from the battlefield. As they ran they drew the chasing Angles into a swamp where the Picts sprang an ambush. Jonathan Fear
Bibliography 1. Adkins L, Adkins RA. Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome. Oxford University Press, 1998 2. Callander JG. Notes on the Roman Remains at Grassy Walls and Bertha near Perth. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 1919; 5:137–52 3. Cowan R. Roman Battle Tactics 109BC – AD313. Osprey, 2007 4. Goldsworthy A. The Complete Roman Army. Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2003 5. Jones HR. Roman Camps in Britain. Amberley Publishing, 2012 6. Roth JP. The Logistics of the Roman Army at War (264 B.C. – A.D.235). Brill, 2012 7. Townshend K B. The Agricola and Germania of Tacitus. Methuen & Co. London, 1894 (accessed November 2009) 8. Woolliscroft D, Hoffmann B. Rome’s First Frontier: the Flavian Occupation of Northern Scotland. The History Press, 2006.
© OpenStreetMap contributors
JdamfPUBLISH
© jdamfPUBLISH a wholly owned subsidiary of Snoozing Dogs Productions© jdamfpublish@jdamf.co.uk Made with Xara

Vederius Ligustus

North of Bodotria

North of Bodotria glimpses into dark, cut-throat corruption of the Roman Empire, seen through the eyes of Vederius Ligustus, who loses his family to the Vesuvius eruption of 79 AD and goes on to forge a career in the Roman army, honing his skills as a warrior and making some tough moral choices that teach harsh lessons about loyalty. He is sent to Northern Britannia to train for the final push into ancient Scotland. There he is duped by a power hungry General into believing that two officers lead a gang of bandits hounding the Legion and have murdered a brother in his squad. The General convinces Viederius to swear a sacred oath to kill the two men. He places Vederius in the scouts to help him with this task. They don’t want him at first and it’s only after he displays his fighting skills that a strong bond of brotherhood finally develops. Torn between the bonds of brothers in battle and his sacred oath of vengeance, Vederius finds he can’t recant the latter or ignore the former. The more he tries to fulfil the oath, the stronger the bonds of brothers become and the higher the reward Rome bestows on him. Finally, he discovers the whole premise of his oath was based on deceit. When he is decorated for apparently trying to save men he agreed to kill, the General decides to have him killed whilst making it look like robbery, accident or a tragedy. As Vederius travels to the edge of the barbarian wilderness, he descends into a cesspit of lies, murder and treachery; alternately helping, then confronting the barbarians as he tries to survive the General’s attention. Sent to an outlying fort as bait to trap the Caledonians, Vederius’s past crimes catch up with him when the barbarians launch a violent attack. At the very edge of civilisation, he discovers cowardice lurks in every man and greed for power will turn brother against brother. Faced with a choice to rise above it all and emerge a great Roman hero or sink into the pit and be lost, Vederius realises he is capable of both at the same time. As the General’s climb to high office comes to fruition, he makes a final attempt to kill Vederius. His brothers in arms are forced to come to his defence, doing their best to put him beyond the General's reach.

Background

Historical note in relation to North of Bodotria What is history? Ask a group of friends to describe their holiday together last year - there would be several versions, so how on earth can we know what happened nearly 2,000 years ago? I have sided with the Roman Gask Project’s critical appraisal that Tacitus’s On the Life and Times of Julius Agricola was not a detailed historical account but a document written for other purposes at the end of Domitian’s reign. In essence, it’s a great story, written as an hommage to Julius Caeser’s Commentaries, but the provenance of the document and the archaeology on the ground doesn’t support a notion of historical accuracy and Calgacus was a figment of Tacitus’s imagination. For my story I have used Roman Scotland’s excellent analysis of possible sites for the battle of Mons Graupius and settled for the ‘Dunning alternative’ scenario. However, I have come to the view that Mons Graupius did not actually happen, or if it did, at best it was a minor skirmish, as attested to by the behaviour of Agricola’s army following the battle. The numbers of deaths described are reminiscent of the US ‘body counts’ in Vietnam – hopelessly optimistic, if not a downright fabrication.It is unlikely any guerrilla force familiar with the Roman army would engage them in open battle. It is speculation on my part to infer the tactics of the Caledonii from the battle of Dun Nechtain in 685 but there is some evidence to suggest weapons and tactics didn’t change much over this period. At Dun Nechtain the Picts used their local knowledge to choose an advantageous place to engage with the invading Angles. The Picts, situated on a hill, engaged the enemy in battle, gradually allowing their force to be pushed back before they broke rank and pretended to flee from the battlefield. As they ran they drew the chasing Angles into a swamp where the Picts sprang an ambush. Jonathan Fear
Bibliography 1. Adkins L, Adkins RA. Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome. Oxford University Press, 1998 2. Callander JG. Notes on the Roman Remains at Grassy Walls and Bertha near Perth. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 1919; 5:137–52 3. Cowan R. Roman Battle Tactics 109BC – AD313. Osprey, 2007 4. Goldsworthy A. The Complete Roman Army. Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2003 5. Jones HR. Roman Camps in Britain. Amberley Publishing, 2012 6. Roth JP. The Logistics of the Roman Army at War (264 B.C. – A.D.235). Brill, 2012 7. Townshend K B. The Agricola and Germania of Tacitus. Methuen & Co. London, 1894 (accessed November 2009) 8. Woolliscroft D, Hoffmann B. Rome’s First Frontier: the Flavian Occupation of Northern Scotland. The History Press, 2006.