These characters appear in William Shakespeare's play Boudicca, which was written between 1597 and 1598, and first performed in October 1598.

Literary Comment[]

Harry Turtledove's version of Boudicca is based primarily on Bonduca, a 1613 play by Shakespeare's occasional co-author John Fletcher. It also incorporates passages from Henry VIII, Titus Andronicus and King John, also by Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe's Tamburlaine the Great, and William Averell's An Exhortacion to all English Subjects. As the latter was written in prose, Turtledove took upon himself the task of setting those passages into iambic pentameter.


See Bonvica.


See Boudicca (Ruled Britannia)


See Caratach


William Shakespeare played the Chorus in the play's first performance.[1]


Decius was a Roman soldier. Edward played him on opening night, after the ill-fated Matthew Quinn had played Decius in rehearsals.[2]


A wordlessly chanting Druid came on stage in Act I Scene 1, accompanying Caratach, Boudicca, Epona, and Bonvica.[3]


See Epona (Ruled Britannia).


Hengo was a nephew of General Caratach. He fought by his uncle's side in the anti-Roman uprising.

When Lord Burghley pointed out that there was no such character in the source material, William Shakespeare admitted this was so, and that he needed to create this character for a dramatic purpose. Peter Baker played Hengo on stage.[4]

Literary comment[]

Hengo was created for Fletcher's play. In that version, he was shot to death by Judas (see "Marcus", below). This novel does not reveal what his fate was in Turtledove's version.


Junius was a Roman captain with designs on Boudicca's daughter.[5]


Marcus was a Roman soldier known for his sense of humour in the face of adversity. He was ultimately killed by Iceni general Caratach.

In the debut of Boudicca, Marcus was played by English clown Will Kemp.

Literary comment[]

Marcus is based on the character Judas from Fletcher's play. Turtledove explains in the Ruled Britannia afterword that Shakespeare in the story would not have used the "unsubtle" name of Judas, so he changed it to Marcus, one of the most common names in the Roman Empire.

Poenius Postumus[]

See: Poenius Postumus

Gaius Suetonius Paulinus[]

See: Gaius Suetonius Paulinus (Ruled Britannia)


  1. Ruled Britannia, p. 364.
  2. Ibid., pg. 307-310, 376.
  3. Ibid., p. 365.
  4. Ibid., p. 202, 280-281.
  5. Ibid., p. 281.