The Battle of Tapae
Contributed by David Verne
Early this year, the Praetorian Prefect, Cornelius Fuscus, builds a pontoon bridge across the Danube and marches into Dacia with 4 legions, units of the Praetorian Guard, and numerous auxiliaries. Believing that the Dacians were scattered and feuding, Fuscus advances without proper scouting. As the Romans enter the narrow pass of Tapae, they are ambushed by several thousand Dacian warriors. Fuscus watched in horror as the 5th Alaudae was massacred and their siege artillery captured; the legion was never reformed. Even more humiliating, the standard of the Praetorian Guard was captured, and Fuscus was killed soon after.
Survivors began streaming across the Danube with horrific tales of the Dacian falx, a curved, two-handed sword with the edge on the inner side of the blade that could cut through a helmet and lop off limbs. Now the Triumph Domitian had celebrated last year seemed like a sick joke. The historian Tacitus, who had commanded a legion before becoming a Senator, was in a rage writing, "One after another, armies were lost in Moesia and Dacia, through the rash folly or cowardice of their generals." 
- Dando-Collins, Stephen (2010). Legions of Rome. St. Martin's Press.