Decimation and Seaside Resorts
Contributed by David Verne
Last year the emperor sent the 9th Hispania legion to Africa, to help deal with the growing revolt. Instead of keeping them together, the governor, Lucius Apronius, divides them into cohorts, 480 men, and deploys them to forts out in the desert. Tacfarinas seizes the opportunity and continued raiding the countryside. He tried to besiege a fort, and the Roman centurion, Decrius, felt that is was a disgrace for Romans to hide behind walls. He leads his cohort, which happened to be made up of new recruits, out to do battle. They quickly break and retreat to the fort, but Decrius stood his ground and was killed. Tacfarinus' men got tired of trying to besiege the fort and left, but when Apronius learned of it, he ordered the unit to be decimated. This was an old punishment and rarely used, the soldiers would draw lots and every tenth man was killed. Tacfarinas tried besieging another fort, but it was held by veterans who drove off the attackers. By the end of summer, Tacfarinas' army was laden down with loot and set up camp along the Mediterranean coast for some relaxation. When the governor learned of this, he assembled a force and gave command to his son, Caesianus. The Romans drove Tacfarinas south, deep into the desert. For this apparent success, Tiberius awarded Apronius Triumphal Decorations. 
- Dando-Collins, Stephen (2010). Legions of Rome. St. Martin's Press.