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Suetonius Paullinus

Gaius Suetonius Paullinus (flourished 1st century CE) was a Roman general.

He was appointed to Mauretania to suppress a revolt with the rank of praetor in AD 42 and he was soon promoted to legatus legionis. He was the first Roman to cross the Atlas Mountains. In 59 he was given command of the army in Britain and made Governor General.

He was vigorous in suppressing revolt especially in Wales, but he was campaigning against the druids of Mona when Boudicca razed Camulodunum and he had to race southwards. He could not reach Verulamium or Londinium and both settlements were heavily damaged. Paulinus advanced down Watling Street to choose a battlefield to his advantage. When they did meet, the location is unknown but is believed to have been in the Midlands near Manduessedum[?], the discipline of the 14th legion was enough to rout the numerically superior Britons. According to Tacitus there were 20,000 Roman troops and around 100,000 Britons, the army of Boudicca advanced straight at the waiting Romans but went the forces met the superior weapons and discipline of the legionaries forced them back. Tacitus states that the Britons were then prevented from flight by their own baggage train and were slaughtered. Possibly 80,000 Britons were killed while Roman casualties were under 1,000. (The British casualties included women and children, for the combatants were accompanied by their families.) Soon after his victory Paulinus was recalled from Britain by Nero in 62.

Paulinus was made a consul ordinarius in 66. Following the death of Servius Sulpicius Galba, Paulinus agreed to lead the forces of Marcus Salvius Otho against the supporters of Aulus Vitellius, and won a victory near Cremona against Aulus Caecina Alienus. But Otho was decisively defeated at Bedriacum[?]. Despite being on the losing side, Paulinus was pardoned in 69 and his eventual fate is unknown.



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