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I'm watching this three part series and in it the historian host, Bettany Hughes, talks about a battle early in the Roman occupation where the Silures tribe of southern Wales defeats and possibly even destroys a Roman legion. Tacitus was stated as the source. My books on Tacitus are limited to the paperback Penguin series but I've not found any of his writings about that event. Does anyone know the specific Tacitus passage about this?
The Annals of Tacitus is available on the internet for free, is that more specific than your Penguin source?.
Sorry i dont have a specific answer.
"The army then marched against the Silures, a naturally fierce people and now full of confidence in the might of Caractacus, who by many an indecisive and many a successful battle had raised himself far above all the other generals of the Britons. Inferior in military strength, but deriving an advantage from the deceptiveness of the country, he at once shifted the war by a stratagem into the territory of the Ordovices, where, joined by all who dreaded peace with us, he resolved on a final struggle. He selected a position for the engagement in which advance and retreat alike would be difficult for our men and comparatively easy for his own, and then on some lofty hills, wherever their sides could be approached by a gentle slope, he piled up stones to serve as a rampart. A river too of varying depth was in his front, and his armed bands were drawn up before his defences. "

http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/annals.8.xii.html
Quote:"The army then marched against the Silures, a naturally fierce people and now full of confidence in the might of Caractacus, who by many an indecisive and many a successful battle had raised himself far above all the other generals of the Britons. Inferior in military strength, but deriving an advantage from the deceptiveness of the country, he at once shifted the war by a stratagem into the territory of the Ordovices, where, joined by all who dreaded peace with us, he resolved on a final struggle. He selected a position for the engagement in which advance and retreat alike would be difficult for our men and comparatively easy for his own, and then on some lofty hills, wherever their sides could be approached by a gentle slope, he piled up stones to serve as a rampart. A river too of varying depth was in his front, and his armed bands were drawn up before his defences. "

http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/annals.8.xii.html
This is the wrong passage, as this battle ended in the defeat of the Silures. The correct passage (probably) is Annals 12. 40:

40. The emperor on hearing of the death of his representative appointed Aulus Didius in his place, that the province might not be left without a governor. Didius, though he quickly arrived, found matters far from prosperous, for the legion under the command of Manlius Valens had meanwhile been defeated, and the disaster had been exaggerated by the enemy to alarm the new general, while he again magnified it, that he might win the more glory by quelling the movement or have a fairer excuse if it lasted. This loss too had been inflicted on us by the Silures, and they were scouring the country far and wide, till Didius hurried up and dispersed them. (Church and Brodribb's translation)