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Greetings! My name is not important, but I'm a Caledonian. I help tend to a flock of sheep for my family. I was young when we conflicted with the Romans. I remember the first day the Romans attacked my village. It was a rather sunny morning, and I woke up to let the flock out to graze. Mother was weaving on her loom. She didn't notice me go down the ladder, she was so intent on finishing. I descended down to the sleeping sheep on the first floor. We Caledonians live in houses with two floors. On the top floor, our families sleep, eat, and do their work. At night, we let our animals in to sleep safely downstairs, as well as store our tools. I began to yell at the sheep, and they slowly came out of their slumber. I opened the door, and they stumbled into the village. I managed to get them into the fields without waking too many people. The air was freezing! As I let the flock graze, I sat down on a rock and looked at my village. I could see my hut easily. It had a very steep roof, while the actual hut was round. Nearby, I could see the grain pits. We stored food and other things in there for later use. I could also see the smoke coming out of the blacksmith's workshop. More people had started waking up now, I could see some of the men outside in soldier's uniforms. The Romans must be becoming a large threat if soldiers are in our village!

    Ugh! Those Romans! We've heard a lot about their culture from rather peaceful trading Romans. They love to fight. You'd think that they didn't know anything but how to cut some guy's head off in a dozen fancy ways! I find it funny that, amognst all this gore and bloodshead, they love to take baths. Ha! Aparently, they have three types of baths in their camps, all under one building called a bathhouse, or balneae. There's a cold bath, then a warm bath, and finally a hot bath. I've heard that they heat the water by putting a furnace under each bath, and it warms the water. Now, I do have to say, that's pretty impressive. Not that I'd want the luxury of taking a bath. Who needs them? My family only cleans off once in a while. The Romans are obsessed with it! As if baths were bad enough, they even have fancy bathrooms! I cannot believe that they sit together and have a social time while they use a thing called a "toliet"! If that isn't enough to make you vomit, they all use the same sponge to clean up! I'm sorry, I must change the topic. Another building in their camps are the commander's quarters. I cannot believe that the commander has servants, while the soldiers have simple bread-making tools and suffer in the cold! Even the commander's family stays with him! Our villages don't have a leader's house, but, then again, I've never been to a Celtic war camp. But I am jelous of their craftsmen! They have blacksmiths, masons, leather makers and people who even make armor for their horses! I am just used to having a blacksmith, with the smoke rising out of their small workhouse. I would never be able to stand being a Roman!

    I must have dozed off a little bit, but the sheep started wailing and began to move away from me and the village. I couldn't figure out what was going on, the sheep never acted like that unless something was scaring them. My attention drew back to the village as I heard someone scream. Instantly, I knew something was wrong. I whipped around to see something on the horizon, past the village. The Romans? Surely they wouldn't attack such a quaint village! But my worry turned to dread as they grew bigger, marched closer. Eventually, I could see the glint of the sun on their spears. At the same moment, Caledonian soldiers began to assemble outside of the village walls. They were equipped with a spear as well, but they pulled their swords out of their sheaths and yelled. I could see the differences in their helmets- some were weak, just leather and metal, but a couple of them had larger, more intimidating ones shaped like animals. Their dull sheild contrasted with the bright clothing they wore. The shield protected their entire body, most of them were made of wood, but I noticed a few that were stronger Roman shields. They must have stolen them in another raid. They were more square than the round Caledonian ones, and had round iron stub in the middle, useful for deflecting blows. I felt confident of our soldiers, until I saw the Romans.

    The Romans used to trade peacefully with us, but that was many years ago. I remember one soldier talking to a younger one, who must be new at fighting. I evesdropped and learned about their weopons. I remembered their spear, or javelin, if I remember correctly. It was built to bend as it found its target, so it was for one-time useage. They also had a short sword called a gladius, much like the Caledonians'. One thing that the Caledonians didn't have was a storage bag called a saccus. The older Roman soldier had some tools in it, I saw a bowl that would be useful for grinding up corn to make flour and bread. They also had boots, or caligae. I saw the bottom of one, it was studded with nails. Nails were rare around here, and I remember checking the ground for them after the Romans left. The biggest advantage the Roman soldiers had over our Caledonians were armor and their helmets. A big chest plate covered the soldiers' weak spots, I believe they referred to it as a lorica, which also covered their back. Their helmets had a type of disc in the back that jutted outward, protecting their necks from any blows. That's useful in battle. The two fighting groups approached each other, and the fighting broke out. The Romans charged forward, and many threw their spears. The Caledonians held up their sheilds, trying to protect themselves. The spears found their targets, but many bent when they hit the shields and damaged them. The Caledonians met the Romans head on, and the real fighting broke out. After hearing screeches of pain and seeing some soldier get his head cut off, I ran for the hills. I found a boulder to hide behind and waited the battle out. I left the sheep behind, they are no worth to us if the Romans conquer us, which I am sure they will. Night fell, and the fighting began to slow. I dared myself to look at the damage. I saw hundreds of dead soldiers, some were Romans, but most were my own people. The Romans were entering the village now. They killed many men, but took all of the girls and women. I cannot bring myself to describe what they actually did. I fled when they came closer. They would probably take the sheep for their own. But that didn't matter now.

    I remember running well into night, resting every so often. Eventually, I saw smoke in the distance, and I knew I was near some camp or village. I realized that it was a Caledonian village after I saw the grain pit inbetween the houses. I made a life for myself there. I bought a lamb and made a flock to live off of. They prospered, and I was able to build a two story home, like the one I used to have. The Romans never appeared again. Everyone wondered what had happened to them, until a passerby one day informed us that they had retreated to their homeland. The Romans were not able to conquer us! This was an excellent feat- the Romans were the best army and had lost very few battles! I was happy about this, but I still missed my family. I later learned that they either murdered all the villagers or took them in as slaves. I grew old in that village, and I was happy to see Rome fail to conquer my land.
Article posted February 18, 2010 at 02:58 PM • comment • Reads 172 • Return to Blog List
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