The Succession


When Tiberius died in 37AD, Caligula became emporer. Caligula was bitterly attacked within Rome itself, but achieved wide acceptance in Gaul, because of his parentage. A delegation of British Kings came to Rome to pay homage to Caligula as High King, a nomination he graciously accepted. Whatever his supposedly depraved private life may have been, and we only have the stories told by his enemies, Caligula was murdered, with the agreement of the senate, for his attempts to  reform the Empire to reduce the power of the senate and of the influence of the political system of Rome itself.


tablet-of-lyon Fig 2 The Tablet of Lyon by which Claudius gave citizenship and power to the GaulsCaligula’s successor in  41AD was his uncle, Drusus younger son,  Claudius, who had been born on the day of the inauguration of the Santuary of the Three Gauls.

As Caligula had no heirs, Claudius was totally acceptable to the Celts.  Claudius immediately took up the need make special recognition of the Gauls position. He made a speech to the senate, (a written version of which is now known as the Tablet of Lyon because a bronze copy was installed in the sanctuary of the three gauls), in which he recommended that wealthy Gauls should be allowed to become patricians and therefore become eligible to enter the senate.

The Conquest

. messalina-and-britannicus Fig 3 Messalina and Britannicus. The statue was a personal possession of Henry IV Of FranceIt was Claudius who extended Roman control to the British Isles, taking care to participate personally in one of the major battles so that his role as High King was clearly identifiable. Mysteriously Claudius promoted his stepson Nero as his successor in preference to his natural son, Britannicus. Britannicus retained support from the Celts but was murdered in AD 55, probably by Nero. This made Nero’s position totally unnacceptable to the Celts. and in 54 BC when Claudius died, again in suspicious circumstances, his place taken by Nero

The Revolt

legion_boudica Fig 4 The Boudica RevoltThere were plots against Nero in Rome itself and in the east where the first jewish revolt took place in AD 66. Nevertheless it was in the celtic lands that his position was undermined.

In AD 60 Boudica led a rebellion in Britain. which was put down with great ferocity. Then in the AD 68 Gaius Julius Vindex governor of Gallia Lugdunensis and himself a Celt from Aquitaine declared his opposition to Nero. The Vindex rising was put down but it lead to the overthrow of Nero.

In one year Galba, governor of Hispania Taraconensis, Ortho, Governor of Hispania Lusitania, Vitellius govenor of Germania Inferior all claimed to be Emporer. They all had celtic support of and Vitellus in particular had support from the entire gallic world. Thus in a space of nine years every province with a celtic tradition had rebelled against Rome.


the-triumph-of-titus In contrast the eastern Part of the empire declared Vespasian, governor of Judea as emperor. Now a separation the separation of East and West was clearly demonstrated.

Having defeated Vitellius in battle, and because he had paid a significant role in Claudius’ invasion of Britain Vespasian was certainly eligable to be considered as High King . However,there was now no hereditary link to Octavian therefore Vespasian had to be challenged.  Vespasian was however from Italy and had no credentials to present to the celtic world. With his appointment in AD 69 there was immediately a rebellion in Gaul headed by Julius Civilis, a batavian but supported throughout Gaul. This time the aim clearly was an independent gallic empire.

Vespasian dealt with rebellion firmly but fairly subsequently went to great lengths to pay attention to the Celtic world.


agricola-in-scotland Fig 6 The battle for scotlandVespasian, his son Titus and younger son Domitian all placed emphasis on strengthening the Rhine frontier,and pushing the frontier in Britain further north.  Under Titus and Domitian however the northward expansion was mainly in the hands of Agricola , who was born in Frejus, Gaul. Agricola had taken part in the suppression of Boudica’s revolt and had been governor of both Aquitania and Britain.

Agricola’s was governor of Britain from 77 to 85 and his activities earned him the grudging admiration of the celtic tribes. Within Britain he may well have been hailed as high king.  After the death of Vespasian and Titus, Domitian campaigned in Gaul and across the Rhine frontier, possibly against “phantom” enemies. In particular his war against the Chatti was “fought” without A single battle.

Agricola was recalled from Britain abruptly.  Aware of Agricola’s profie, Domitian saw him as a potential rival.

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The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.