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The History of Rome; Books Nine to Twenty-Six by Titus Livius

Part 7 out of 10

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to have committed himself rashly either to fortune or to the enemy. He
had gone out on plundering expeditions, having previously
reconnoitred, planted strong guards, and secured a retreat; the same
caution was observed and the same provisions made, as if Hannibal were
present. At this time, when he perceived the enemy on the approach, he
kept his forces within the walls, ordered the senators of Nola to
patrol the walls, and explore on all hands what was doing among the
enemy. Of these Herennius Bassus and Herius Petrius, having been
invited by Hanno, who had come up to the wall, to a conference, and
gone out with the permission of Marcellus, were thus addressed by him,
through an interpreter. After extolling the valour and good fortune of
Hannibal, and vilifying the majesty of the Roman people, which he
represented as sinking into decrepitude with their strength; he said,
"but though they were on an equality in these respects, as once
perhaps they were, yet they who had experienced how oppressive the
government of Rome was towards its allies, and how great the clemency
of Hannibal, even towards all his prisoners of the Italian name, were
bound to prefer the friendship and alliance of the Carthaginians to
those of the Romans." If both the consuls with their armies were at
Nola, still they would no more be a match for Hannibal than they had
been at Cannae, much less would one praetor with a few raw soldiers be
able to defend it. It was a question which concerned themselves more
than Hannibal whether he should take possession of Nola as captured or
surrendered, for that he would certainly make himself master of it, as
he had done with regard to Capua and Nuceria, and what difference
there was between the fate of Capua and Nuceria, the Nolans
themselves, situated as they were nearly midway between them, were
well aware. He said he was unwilling to presage the evils which would
result to the city if taken by force, but would in preference pledge
himself that if they would deliver up Nola, together with Marcellus
and his garrison, no other person than themselves should dictate the
conditions on which they should come into the friendship and alliance
of Hannibal.

44. To this Herennius Bassus replied, that, "a friendship had
subsisted now for many years between the Romans and the Nolans, which
neither party up to that day regretted; and even had they been
disposed to change their friends upon a change of fortune, it was now
too late to change; had they intended to surrender themselves to
Hannibal, they should not have called a Roman garrison to their aid:
that all fortunes both were now and should to the last be shared with
those who had come to their protection." This conference deprived
Hannibal of the hope of gaining Nola by treachery; he therefore
completely invested the city, in order that he might attack the walls
in every part at once. Marcellus, when he perceived that he had come
near to the walls, having drawn up his troops within the gate, sallied
forth with great impetuosity; several were knocked down and slain on
the first charge: afterwards the troops running up to those who were
engaged, and their forces being thus placed on an equality? the battle
began to be fierce; nor would there have been many actions equally
memorable, had not the combatants been separated by a shower of rain
attended with a tremendous storm. On that day, after having engaged in
a slight contest, and with inflamed minds, they retired, the Romans to
the city, the Carthaginians to their camp. Of the Carthaginians,
however, there fell from the shock of the first sally not more than
thirty, of the Romans not one. The rain continued without intermission
through the whole night, until the third hour of the following day,
and therefore, though both parties were eager for the contest, they
nevertheless kept themselves within their works for that day. On the
third day Hannibal sent a portion of his troops into the lands of the
Nolans to plunder. Marcellus perceiving this, immediately led out his
troops and formed for battle, nor did Hannibal decline fighting. The
interval between the city and the camp was about a mile. In that
space, and all the country round Nola consists of level ground, the
armies met. The shout which was raised on both sides, called back to
the battle, which had now commenced, the nearest of those cohorts
which had gone out into the fields to plunder. The Nolans too joined
the Roman line. Marcellus having highly commended them, desired them
to station themselves in reserve, and to carry the wounded out of the
field but not take part in the battle, unless they should receive a
signal from him.

45. It was a doubtful battle; the generals exerting themselves to the
utmost in exhorting, and the soldiers in fighting Marcellus urged his
troops to press vigorously on men who had been vanquished but three
days before, who had been put to flight at Cumae only a few days ago,
and who had been driven from Nola the preceding year by himself, as
general, though with different troops. He said, "that all the forces
of the enemy were not in the field; that they were rambling about the
country in plundering parties, and that even those who were engaged,
were enfeebled with Campanian luxury, and worn out with drunkenness,
lust, and every kind of debauchery, which they had been indulging in
through the whole winter. That the energy and vigour had left them,
that the strength of mind and body had vanished, by which the Pyrenees
and the tops of the Alps had been passed. That those now engaged were
the remains of those men, with scarcely strength to support their arms
and limbs. That Capua had been a Cannae to Hannibal; that there his
courage in battle, his military discipline, the fame he had already
acquired, and his hopes of future glory, were extinguished." While
Marcellus was raising the spirits of his troops by thus inveighing
against the enemy, Hannibal assailed them with still heavier
reproaches. He said, "he recognised the arms and standards which he
had seen and employed at Trebia and Trasimenus, and lastly at Cannae;
but that he had indeed led one sort of troops into winter quarters at
Capua, and brought another out. Do you, whom two consular armies could
never withstand, with difficulty maintain your ground against a Roman
lieutenant-general, and a single legion with a body of auxiliaries?
Does Marcellus now a second time with impunity assail us with a band
of raw recruits and Nolan auxiliaries? Where is that soldier of mine,
who took off the head of Caius Flaminius, the consul, after dragging
him from his horse? Where is the man who slew Lucius Paulus at Cannae?
Is it that the steel hath lost its edge? or that your right hands are
benumbed? or what other miracle is it? You who, when few, have been
accustomed to conquer numbers, now scarce maintain your ground, the
many against the few. Brave in speech only, you were wont to boast
that you would take Rome by storm if you could find a general to lead
you. Lo! here is a task of less difficulty. I would have you try your
strength and courage here. Take Nola, a town situated on a plain,
protected neither by river nor sea; after that, when you have enriched
yourselves with the plunder and spoils of that wealthy town, I will
either lead or follow you whithersoever you have a mind."

46. Neither praises nor reproaches had any effect in confirming their
courage. Driven from their ground in every quarter, while the Romans
derived fresh spirits, not only from the exhortations of their
general, but from the Nolans, who, by their acclamations in token of
their good wishes, fed the flame of battle, the Carthaginians turned
their backs, and were driven to their camp, which the Roman soldiers
were eager to attack; but Marcellus led them back to Nola, amidst the
great joy and congratulations even from the commons, who hitherto had
been more favourable to the Carthaginians. Of the enemy more than five
thousand were slain on that day, six hundred made prisoners, with
nineteen military standards and two elephants. Four elephants were
killed in the battle. Of the Romans less than a thousand were killed.
The next day was employed by both parties in burying their dead, under
a tacit truce. Marcellus burnt the spoils of the enemy, in fulfilment
of a vow to Vulcan. On the third day after, on account of some pique,
I suppose, or in the hope of more advantageous service, one thousand
two hundred and seventy-two horsemen, Numidians and Spaniards,
deserted to Marcellus. The Romans had frequently availed themselves of
their brave and faithful service in that war. After the conclusion of
the war, portions of land were given to the Spaniards in Spain, to the
Numidians in Africa, in consideration of their valour. Having sent
Hanno back from Nola to the Bruttians with the troops with which he
had come, Hannibal went himself into winter quarters in Apulia, and
took up a position in the neighbourhood of Arpi. Quintus Fabius, as
soon as he heard that Hannibal was set out into Apulia, conveyed corn,
collected from Nola and Naples, into the camp above Suessula; and
having strengthened the fortifications and left a garrison sufficient
for the protection of the place during the winter, moved his camp
nearer to Capua, and laid waste the Campanian lands with fire and
sword; so that at length the Campanians, though not very confident in
their strength, were obliged to go out of their gates and fortify a
camp in the open space before the city. They had six thousand armed
men, the infantry, unfit for action. In their cavalry they had more
strength. They therefore harassed the enemy by attacking them with
these. Among the many distinguished persons who served in the
Campanian cavalry was one Cerrinus Jubellius, surnamed Taurea. Though
of that extraction, he was a Roman citizen, and by far the bravest
horseman of all the Campanians, insomuch that when he served under the
Roman banners, there was but one man, Claudius Asellus, a Roman, who
rivalled him in his reputation as a horseman. Taurea having for a long
time diligently sought for this man, riding up to the squadrons of the
enemy, at length having obtained silence, inquired where Claudius
Asellus was, and asked why, since he had been accustomed to dispute
about their merit in words, he would not decide the matter with the
sword, and if vanquished give him _spolia opima_, or if
victorious take them.

47. Asellus, who was in the camp, having been informed of this, waited
only to ask the consul leave to depart from the ordinary course and
fight an enemy who had challenged him. By his permission, he
immediately put on his arms, and riding out beyond the advanced guards
called on Taurea by name, and bid him come to the encounter when he
pleased. By this time the Romans had gone out in large bodies to
witness the contest, and the Campanians had crowded not only the
rampart of the camp, but the walls of the city to get a view of it.
After a flourish of expressions of mutual defiance, they spurred on
their horses with their spears pointed. Then evading each other's
attacks, for they had free space to move in, they protracted the
battle without a wound. Upon this the Campanian observed to the Roman,
"This will be only a trial of skill between our horses and not between
horsemen, unless we ride them down from the plain into this hollow
way. There, as there will be no room for retiring, we shall come to
close quarters." Almost quicker than the word, Claudius leaped into
the hollow way. Taurea, bold in words more than in reality, said,
"Never be the ass in the ditch;" an expression which from this
circumstance became a common proverb among rustics. Claudius having
rode up and down the way to a considerable distance, and again come up
into the plain without meeting his antagonist, after reflecting in
reproachful terms on the cowardice of the enemy, returned in triumph
to the camp, amidst great rejoicing and congratulation. To the account
of this equestrian contest, some histories add a circumstance which is
certainly astonishing, how true it is, is an open matter of opinion
that Claudius, when in pursuit of Taurea, who fled back to the city,
rode in at one of the gates of the enemy which stood open and made his
escape unhurt through another, the enemy being thunderstruck at the
strangeness of the circumstance.

48. The camps were then undisturbed, the consul even moved his camp
back, that the Campanians might complete their sowing, nor did he do
any injury to the lands till the blades in the corn-fields were grown
sufficiently high to be useful for forage. This he conveyed into the
Claudian camp above Suessula, and there erected winter quarters. He
ordered Marcus Claudius, the proconsul, to retain at Nola a sufficient
force for the protection of the place, and send the rest to Rome, that
they might not be a burthen to their allies nor an expense to the
republic. Tiberius Gracchus also, having led his legions from Cumae to
Luceria in Apulia, sent Marcus Valerius, the praetor, thence to
Brundusium with the troops which he had commanded at Luceria, with
orders to protect the coast of the Sallentine territory, and make
provisions with regard to Philip and the Macedonian war. At the close
of the summer, the events of which I have described, letters arrived
from Publius and Cneius Scipio, stating the magnitude and success of
their operations in Spain, but that the army was in want of money,
clothing, and corn, and that then crews were in want of every thing.
With regard to the pay, they said, that if the treasury was low, they
would adopt some plan by which they might procure it from the
Spaniards, but that the other supplies must certainly be sent from
Rome, for otherwise neither the army could be kept together nor the
province preserved. When the letters were read, all to a man admitted
that the statement was correct, and the request reasonable, but it
occurred to their minds, what great forces they were maintaining by
land and sea, and how large a fleet must soon be equipped if a war
with Macedon should break out, that Sicily and Sardinia, which before
the war had wielded a revenue, were scarcely able to maintain the
troops which protected those provinces, that the expenses were
supplied by a tax, that both the number of the persons who contributed
this tax was diminished by the great havoc made in their armies at the
Trasimenus and Cannae, and the few who survived, if they were
oppressed with multiplied impositions, would perish by a calamity of a
different kind. That, therefore, if the republic could not subsist by
credit, it could not stand by its own resources. It was resolved,
therefore, that Fulvius, the praetor, should present himself to the
public assembly of the people, point out the necessities of the state,
and exhort those persons who had increased their patrimonies by
farming the public revenues, to furnish temporary loans for the
service of that state, from which they had derived their wealth, and
contract to supply what was necessary for the army in Spain, on the
condition of being paid the first when there was money in the
treasury. These things the praetor laid before the assembly, and fixed
a day on which he would let on contract the furnishing the army in
Spain with clothes and corn, and with such other things as were
necessary for the crews.

49. When the day arrived, three companies, of nineteen persons, came
forward to enter into the contract; but they made two requests: one
was, that they should be exempt from military service while employed
in that revenue business; the second was, that the state should bear
all losses of the goods they shipped, which might arise either from
the attacks of the enemy or from storms. Having obtained both their
requests, they entered into the contract, and the affairs of the state
were conducted by private funds. This character and love of country
uniformly pervaded all ranks. As all the engagements were entered into
with magnanimity, so were they fulfilled with the strictest fidelity;
and the supplies were furnished in the same manner as formerly, from
an abundant treasury. At the time when these supplies arrived, the
town of Illiturgi was being besieged by Hasdrubal, Mago, and Hamilcar
the son of Bomilcar, on account of its having gone over to the Romans.
Between these three camps of the enemy, the Scipios effected an
entrance into the town of their allies, after a violent contest and
great slaughter of their opponents, and introduced some corn, of which
there was a scarcity; and after exhorting the townsmen to defend their
walls with the same spirit which they had seen displayed by the Roman
army fighting in their behalf, led on their troops to attack the
largest of the camps, in which Hasdrubal had the command. To this camp
the two other generals of the Carthaginians with their armies came,
seeing that the great business was to be done there. They therefore
sallied from the camp and fought. Of the enemy engaged there were
sixty thousand; of the Romans about sixteen; the victory, however, was
so decisive, that the Romans slew more than their own number of the
enemy, and captured more than three thousand, with nearly a thousand
horses and fifty-nine military standards, five elephants having been
slain in the battle. They made themselves masters of the three camps
on that day. The siege of Illiturgi having been raised, the
Carthaginian armies were led away to the siege of Intibili; the forces
having been recruited out of that province, which was, above all
others, fond of war, provided there was any plunder or pay to be
obtained, and at that time had an abundance of young men. A second
regular engagement took place, attended with the same fortune to both
parties; in which above three thousand of the enemy were slain, more
than two thousand captured, together with forty-two standards and nine
elephants. Then, indeed, almost all the people of Spain came over to
the Romans, and the achievements in Spain during that summer were much
more important than those in Italy.


_Hieronymus, king of Syracuse, whose grandfather Hiero had been a
faithful ally of Rome, revolts to the Carthaginians, and for his
tyranny is put to death by his subjects. Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus,
the proconsul, defeats the Carthaginians under Hanno at Beneventum
chiefly by the services of the slaves in his army, whom he
subsequently liberated. Claudius Marcellus, the consul, besieges
Syracuse. War is declared against Philip, king of Macedon, he is
routed by night at Apollonia and retreats into Macedonia. This war is
intrusted to Valerius the praetor. Operations of the Scipios against
the Carthaginians in Spain. Syphax, king of the Numidians, is received
into alliance by the Romans, and is defeated by Masinissa, king of the
Massillians, who fought on the side of the Carthaginians. The
Celtiberians joined the Romans, and their troops having been taken
into pay, mercenary soldiers for the first time served in a Roman

* * * * *

1. On his return from Campania into Bruttium, Hanno, with the
assistance and under the guidance of the Bruttians, made an attempt
upon the Greek cities; which were the more disposed to continue in
alliance with the Romans, because they perceived that the Bruttians,
whom they feared and hated, had taken part with the Carthaginians. The
first place attempted was Rhegium, where several days were spent
without effect. Meanwhile the Locrians hastily conveyed from the
country into the city, corn, wood, and other things necessary for
their use, as also that no booty might be left for the enemy. The
number of persons which poured out of every gate increased daily, till
at length those only were left in the city whose duty it was to repair
the walls and gates, and to collect weapons in the fortresses. Against
this mixed multitude, composed of persons of all ages and ranks, while
rambling through the country, and for the most part unarmed, Hamilcar,
the Carthaginian, sent out his cavalry, who, having been forbidden to
hurt any one, only interposed their squadrons, so as to cut them off
from the city when dispersed in flight. The general himself, having
posted himself upon an eminence which commanded a view of the country
and the city, ordered a cohort of Bruttians to approach the walls,
call out the leaders of the Locrians to a conference, and promising
them the friendship of Hannibal, exhort them to deliver up the city.
At first the Bruttians were not believed in any thing they stated in
the conference, but afterwards, when the Carthaginian appeared on the
hills, and a few who had fled back to the city brought intelligence
that all the rest of the multitude were in the power of the enemy,
overcome with fear, they said they would consult the people. An
assembly of the people was immediately called, when, as all the most
fickle of the inhabitants were desirous of a change of measures and a
new alliance, and those whose friends were cut off by the enemy
without the city, had their minds bound as if they had given hostages,
while a few rather silently approved of a constant fidelity than
ventured to support the opinion they approved, the city was
surrendered to the Carthaginians, with an appearance of perfect
unanimity. Lucius Atilius, the captain of the garrison, together with
the Roman soldiers who were with him, having been privately led down
to the port, and put on board a ship, that they might be conveyed to
Rhegium, Hamilcar and the Carthaginians were received into the city on
condition that an alliance should be formed on equal terms; which
condition, when they had surrendered, the Carthaginian had very nearly
not performed, as he accused them of having sent away the Roman
fraudulently, while the Locrians alleged that he had spontaneously
fled. A body of cavalry went in pursuit of the fugitives, in case the
tide might happen to detain them in the strait, or might carry the
ships to land. The persons whom they were in pursuit of they did not
overtake, but they descried some ships passing over the strait from
Messana to Rhegium. These contained Roman troops sent by the praetor,
Claudius, to occupy the city with a garrison. The enemy therefore
immediately retired from Rhegium. At the command of Hannibal, peace
was concluded with the Locrians on these terms: that "they should live
free under their own laws; that the city should be open to the
Carthaginians, the harbour in the power of the Locrians. That their
alliance should rest on the principle, that the Carthaginian should
help the Locrian and the Locrian the Carthaginian in peace and war."

2. Thus the Carthaginian troops were led back from the strait, while
the Bruttians loudly complained that Locri and Rhegium, cities which
they had fixed in their minds that they should have the plundering of,
they had left untouched. Having therefore levied and armed fifteen
thousand of their own youth, they set out by themselves to lay siege
to Croto, which was also a Greek city, and on the coast, believing
that they would obtain a great accession to their power, if they could
get possession of a city upon the sea-coast, which had a port and was
strongly defended by walls. This consideration annoyed them, that they
neither could venture on the business without calling in the
Carthaginians to their assistance, lest they should appear to have
done any thing in a manner unbecoming allies, and on the other hand,
lest, if the Carthaginian general should again show himself to have
been rather an umpire of peace than an auxiliary in war, they should
fight in vain against the liberty of Croto, as before in the affair of
the Locrians. The most advisable course, therefore, appeared to be,
that ambassadors should be sent to Hannibal, and that a stipulation
should be obtained from him that Croto, when reduced, should be in
possession of the Bruttians. Hannibal replied, that it was a question
which should be determined by persons on the spot, and referred them
to Hanno, from whom they could obtain no decisive answer. For they
were unwilling that so celebrated and opulent a city should be
plundered, and were in hopes that if the Bruttians should attack it,
while the Carthaginians did not ostensibly approve or assist in the
attack, the inhabitants would the more readily come over to them. The
Crotonians were not united either in their measures or wishes. All the
states of Italy were infected with one disease, as it were, the
commons dissented from the nobles, the senate favouring the Romans,
while the commons endeavoured to draw the states over to the
Carthaginians. A deserter announced to the Bruttii that such a
dissension prevailed in the city, that Aristomachus was the leader of
the commons, and the adviser of the surrender of the city, that the
city was of wide extent and thinly inhabited, that the walls in every
part were in ruins, that it was only here and there that the guards
and watches were kept by senators, and that wherever the commons kept
guard, there an entrance lay open. Under the direction and guidance of
the deserter, the Bruttians completely invested the city, and being
received into it by the commons, got possession of every part, except
the citadel, on the first assault. The nobles held the citadel, which
they had taken care beforehand to have ready as a refuge against such
an event. In the same place Aristomachus took refuge, as though he had
advised the surrender of the city to the Carthaginians, and not to the

3. The wall of the city of Croto in circuit extended through a space
of twelve miles, before the arrival of Pyrrhus in Italy. After the
devastation occasioned by that war, scarcely half the city was
inhabited. The river which had flowed through the middle of the town,
now ran on the outside of the parts which were occupied by buildings,
and the citadel was at a distance from the inhabited parts. Six miles
from this celebrated city stood the temple of Juno Lacinia, more
celebrated even than the city itself, and venerated by all the
surrounding states. Here was a grove fenced with a dense wood and tall
fir trees, with rich pastures in its centre, in which cattle of every
kind, sacred to the goddess, fed without any keeper; the flocks of
every kind going out separately and returning to their folds, never
being injured, either from the lying in wait of wild beasts, or the
dishonesty of men. These flocks were, therefore, a source of great
revenue, from which a column of solid gold was formed and consecrated;
and the temple became distinguished for its wealth also, and not only
for its sanctity. Some miracles are attributed to it, as is generally
the case with regard to such remarkable places. Rumour says that there
is an altar in the vestibule of the temple, the ashes of which are
never moved by any wind. But the citadel of Croto, overhanging the sea
on one side, on the other, which looks towards the land, was protected
formerly by its natural situation only, but was afterwards surrounded
by a wall. It was in this part that Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily,
took it by stratagem, approaching by way of some rocks which faced
from it. This citadel, which was considered sufficiently secure, was
now occupied by the nobles of Croto, the Bruttians, in conjunction
even with their own commons, besieging them. The Bruttians, however,
perceiving at length that it was impossible to take the citadel by
their own efforts, compelled by necessity, implored the aid of Hanno.
He endeavoured to bring the Crotonians to surrender, under an
agreement that they should allow a colony of Bruttians to settle
there; so that their city, desolate and depopulated by wars, might
recover its former populousness: but not a man besides Aristomachus
did he move; they affirmed, that "they would die sooner than, mixing
with Bruttians, be turned to the rites, manners, and laws, and soon
the language also of others." Aristomachus alone, since he was neither
able to persuade them to surrender, nor could obtain an opportunity
for betraying the citadel as he had betrayed the city, deserted to
Hanno. A short time afterwards ambassadors of Locri, entering the
citadel with the permission of Hanno, persuaded them to allow
themselves to be removed to Locri, and not resolve to hazard
extremities. They had already obtained leave from Hannibal to do this,
by ambassadors sent for this purpose. Accordingly, Croto was
evacuated, and the inhabitants were conducted to the sea, where they
embarked; and the whole multitude removed to Locri. In Apulia,
Hannibal and the Romans did not rest even during the winter. The
consul Sempronius wintered at Luceria, Hannibal not far from Arpi.
Slight engagements took place between them, accordingly as either side
had an opportunity or advantage; by which the Roman soldiery were
improved, and became daily more guarded and more secure against

4. In Sicily, the death of Hiero, and the transfer of the government
to his grandson, Hieronymus, had completely altered all things with
regard to the Romans. Hieronymus was but a boy, as yet scarcely able
to bear liberty, still less sovereign power. His guardians and friends
gladly observed in him a disposition which might be easily plunged
into every kind of vice; which Hiero foreseeing, is said to have
formed an intention, in the latter part of his long life, of leaving
Syracuse free, lest the sovereignty which had been acquired and
established by honourable means, should be made a sport of and fall
into ruin, under the administration of a boy. This plan of his his
daughters strenuously opposed, who anticipated that the boy would
enjoy the name of royalty, but that the administration of all affairs
would be conducted by themselves and their husbands, Andranodorus and
Zoippus, for these were left the principal of his guardians. It was
not an easy task for a man in his ninetieth year, beset night and day
by the winning artifices of women, to disenthral his judgment, and to
consult only the good of the state in his domestic affairs.
Accordingly, all he did was to leave fifteen guardians over his son,
whom he entreated, on his death-bed, to preserve inviolate that
alliance with the Romans, which he had himself cultivated for fifty
years, and to take care that the young king should, above all things,
tread in the steps of his father, and in that course of conduct in
which he had been educated. Such were his injunctions. On the death of
the king, the will was brought forward by the guardians, and the young
king, who was now about fifteen, introduced into the public assembly,
where a few persons, who had been placed in different parts on purpose
to raise acclamations, expressed their approbation of the will; while
all the rest were overwhelmed with apprehensions, in the destitute
condition of the state, which had lost as it were its parent. The
funeral of the king was then performed, which was honoured more by the
love and affection of his citizens than the attentions of his kindred.
Andranodorus next effected the removal of the other guardians, giving
out that Hieronymus had now attained the years of manhood, and was
competent to assume the government; and thus, by voluntarily resigning
the guardianship which he shared with several others, united the
powers of all in himself.

5. It would scarcely have been easy even for any good and moderate
king, succeeding one so deeply rooted in their affections as Hiero
was, to obtain the favour of the Syracusans. But Hieronymus, forsooth,
as if he was desirous of exciting regret for the loss of his
grandfather by his own vices, showed, immediately on his first
appearance, how completely every thing was changed. For those who for
so many years had seen Hiero and his son Gelon differing from the rest
of the citizens neither in the fashion of their dress nor any other
mark of distinction, now beheld the purple, the diadem, and armed
guards, and their king sometimes proceeding from his palace in a
chariot drawn by four white horses, according to the custom of the
tyrant Dionysius. This costliness in equipage and appearance was
accompanied by corresponding contempt of everybody, capricious airs,
insulting expressions, difficulty of access, not to strangers only,
but even to his guardians also, unheard of lusts, inhuman cruelty.
Terror so great took possession of every body therefore, that some of
his guardians, either by a voluntary death, or by exile, anticipated
the tenor of his inflictions. Three of those persons to whom alone
belonged a more familiar access to the palace, Andranodorus and
Zoippus, sons-in-law of Hiero, and one Thraso, were not much attended
to upon other subjects, but the two former exerting themselves in
favour of the Carthaginians, while Thraso argued for the Roman
alliance, they sometimes engaged the attention of the young king by
their zeal and earnestness. It was at this time that a conspiracy
formed against the life of the tyrant was discovered by a certain
servant, of the same age as Hieronymus, who from his very childhood
had associated with him on entirely familiar terms. The informer was
able to name one of the conspirators, Theodotus, by whom he himself
had been solicited. He was immediately seized, and delivered to
Andranodorus to be subjected to torture, when, without hesitation, he
confessed as to himself, but concealed his accomplices. At last, when
racked with every species of torture, beyond the power of humanity to
bear, pretending to be overcome by his sufferings, he turned his
accusation from the guilty to the innocent, and feigned that Thraso
was the originator of the plot, without whose able guidance, he said,
they never would have been bold enough to attempt so daring a deed, he
threw the guilt upon such innocent men, near the king's person, as
appeared to him to be the most worthless, while fabricating his story
amid groans and agonies. The naming of Thraso gave the highest degree
of credibility to the story in the mind of the tyrant. Accordingly he
was immediately given up to punishment, and others were added who were
equally innocent. Not one of the conspirators, though their associate
in the plot was for a long time subjected to torture, either concealed
himself or fled, so great was their confidence in the fortitude and
fidelity of Theodotus, and so great was his firmness in concealing
their secret.

6. Thus on the removal of Thraso, who formed the only bond which held
together the alliance with the Romans, immediately affairs clearly
indicated defection. Ambassadors were sent to Hannibal, who sent back
in company with a young man of noble birth named Hannibal, Hippocrates
and Epicydes, natives of Carthage, and of Carthaginian extraction on
their mother's side, but whose grandfather was an exile from Syracuse.
Through their means an alliance was formed between Hannibal and the
tyrant of Syracuse; and, with the consent of Hannibal, they remained
with the tyrant. As soon as Appius Claudius, the praetor, whose
province Sicily was, had received information of these events, he sent
ambassadors to Hieronymus; who, upon stating that the object of their
mission was to renew the alliance which had subsisted between the
Romans and his grandfather, were heard and dismissed in an insulting
manner, Hieronymus asking them sneeringly, "how they had fared at the
battle of Cannae? for that the ambassadors of Hannibal stated what
could hardly be credited." He said, "he wished to know the truth, in
order that before he made up his mind, he might determine which he
should espouse as offering the better prospect." The Romans replied,
that they would return to him when he had learned to receive embassies
with seriousness; and, after having cautioned, rather than requested
him, not rashly to change his alliance, they withdrew. Hieronymus sent
ambassadors to Carthage, to conclude a league in conformity with the
alliance with Hannibal. It was settled in the compact, that after they
had expelled the Romans from Sicily, (which would speedily be effected
if the Carthaginians sent ships and troops,) the river Himera, which
divides the island in nearly equal portions, should be the limit of
the Carthaginian and Syracusan dominions. Afterwards, puffed up by the
flattery of those persons who bid him be mindful, not of Hiero only,
but of king Pyrrhus, his maternal grandfather, he sent another
embassy, in which he expressed his opinion that equity required that
the whole of Sicily should be conceded to him, and that the dominion
of Italy should be acquired as the peculiar possession of the
Carthaginians. This levity and inconstancy of purpose in a hot-headed
youth, did not excite their surprise, nor did they reprove it, anxious
only to detach him from the Romans.

7. But every thing conspired to hurry him into perdition. For having
sent before him Hippocrates and Epicydes with two thousand armed men,
to make an attempt upon those cities which were occupied by Roman
garrisons, he himself also proceeded to Leontium with all the
remaining troops, which amounted to fifteen thousand foot and horse,
when the conspirators (who all happened to be in the army) took
possession of an uninhabited house, which commanded a narrow way, by
which the king was accustomed to go to the forum. The rest stood here
prepared and armed, waiting for the king to pass by. One of them, by
name Dinomenes, as he was one of the body-guards, had the task
assigned him of keeping back the crowd behind in the narrow way, upon
some pretext, when the king approached the door. All was done
according to the arrangement. Dinomenes having delayed the crowd, by
pretending to lift up his foot and loosen a knot which was too tight,
occasioned such an interval, that an attack being made upon the king,
as he passed by unattended by his guards, he was pierced with several
wounds before any assistance could be brought. When the shout and
tumult was heard, some weapons were discharged on Dinomenes, who now
openly opposed them; he escaped from them, however, with only two
wounds. The body-guard, as soon as they saw the king prostrate, betook
themselves to flight. Of the assassins, some proceeded to the forum to
the populace, who were rejoiced at the recovery of their liberty;
others to Syracuse to anticipate the measures of Andranodorus and the
rest of the royal party. Affairs being in this uncertain state, Appius
Claudius perceiving a war commencing in his neighbourhood, informed
the senate by letter, that Sicily had become reconciled to the
Carthaginians and Hannibal. For his own part, in order to frustrate
the designs of the Syracusans, he collected all his forces on the
boundary of the province and the kingdom. At the close of this year,
Quintus Fabius, by the authority of the senate, fortified and
garrisoned Puteoli, which, during the war, had begun to be frequented
as an emporium. Coming thence to Rome to hold the election, he
appointed the first day for it which could be employed for that
purpose, and, while on his march, passed by the city and descended
into the Campus Martius. On that day, the right of voting first having
fallen by lot on the junior century of the Anien tribe, they appointed
Titus Otacilius and Marcus Aemilius Regillus, consuls, when Quintus
Fabius, having obtained silence, delivered the following speech:

8. "If we had either peace in Italy, or had war with such an enemy
that the necessity to be careful was less urgent than it is, I should
consider that man as wanting in respect for your liberty, who would at
all impede that zealous desire which you bring with you into the
Campus Martius, of conferring honours on whom you please. But since
during the present war, and with the enemy we have now to encounter,
none of our generals have ever committed an error which has not been
attended with most disastrous consequences to us, it behoves you to
use the same circumspection in giving your suffrages for the creation
of consuls, which you would exert were you going armed into the field
of battle. Every man ought thus to say to himself I am nominating a
consul who is to cope with the general Hannibal. In the present year,
at Capua, when Jubellius Taurea, the most expert horseman of the
Campanians, gave a challenge, Claudius Asellus, the most expert among
the Roman horsemen, was pitted against him. Against the Gaul who at a
former period gave a challenge on the bridge of the Amo, our ancestors
sent Titus Manlius, a man of resolute courage and great strength. It
was for the same reason, I cannot deny it, that confidence was placed
in Marcus Valerius, not many years ago, when he took arms against a
Gaul who challenged him to combat in a similar manner. In the same
manner as we wish to have our foot and horse more powerful, but if
that is impracticable, equal in strength to the enemy, so let us find
out a commander who is a match for the general of the enemy. Though we
should select the man as general whose abilities are greater than
those of any other in the nation, yet still he is chosen at a moment's
warning, his office is only annual; whereas he will have to cope with
a veteran general who has continued in command without interruption,
unfettered by any restrictions either of duration or of authority,
which might prevent him from executing or planning every thing
according as the exigencies of the war shall require. But with us the
year is gone merely in making preparations, and when we are only
commencing our operations. Having said enough as to what sort of
persons you ought to elect as consuls, it remains that I should
briefly express my opinion of those on whom the choice of the
prerogative century has fallen. Marcus Aemilius Regillus is flamen of
Quirinus, whom we can neither send abroad nor retain at home without
neglecting the gods or the war. Otacilius is married to my sister's
daughter, and has children by her, but the favours you have conferred
upon me and my ancestors, are not such as that I should prefer private
relationship to the public weal. Any sailor or passenger can steer the
vessel in a calm sea, but when a furious storm has arisen, and the
vessel is hurried by the tempest along the troubled deep, then there
is need of a man and pilot We are not sailing on a tranquil sea, but
have already well nigh sunk with repeated storms, you must therefore
employ the utmost caution and foresight in determining who shall sit
at the helm Of you, Titus Otacilius, we have had experience in a
business of less magnitude, and, certainly you have not given us any
proof that we ought to confide to you affairs of greater moment The
fleet which you commanded this year we fitted out for three objects:
to lay waste the coast of Africa, to protect the shores of Italy, but,
above all, to prevent the conveyance of reinforcements with pay and
provisions from Carthage to Hannibal. Now if Titus Otacilius has
performed for the state, I say not all, but any one of these services,
make him consul But if, while you had the command of the fleet
supplies of whatever sort were conveyed safe and untouched to
Hannibal, even as though he had no enemy on the sea, if the coast of
Italy has been more infested this year than that of Africa, what can
you have to urge why you should be preferred before all others as the
antagonist of Hannibal? Were you consul, we should give it as our
opinion that a dictator should be appointed in obedience to the
example of our ancestors Nor could you feel offended that some one in
the Roman nation was deemed superior to you in war It concerns
yourself more than any one else, Titus Otacilius, that there be not
laid upon your shoulders a burthen under which you would fall I
earnestly exhort you, that with the same feelings which would
influence you if standing armed for battle, you were called upon
suddenly to elect two generals, under whose conduct and auspices you
were to fight, you would this day elect your consuls, to whom your
children are to swear allegiance, at whose command they are to
assemble, and under whose protection and care they are to serve. The
Trasimene Lake and Cannae are melancholy precedents to look back upon,
but form useful warnings to guard against similar disasters Crier,
call back the younger century of the Amen tribe to give their votes

9. Titus Otacilius, vociferating in the most furious manner, that his
object was to continue in the consulship, the consul ordered the
lictors to go to him, and as he had not entered the city, but had
proceeded directly without halting from his march to the Campus
Martius, admonished him that the axes were in the fasces which were
carried before him. The prerogative century proceeded to vote a second
time, when Quintus Fabius Maximus for the fourth time, and Marcus
Marcellus for the third time, were created consuls. The other
centuries voted for the same persons without any variation. One
praetor, likewise, Quintus Fulvius Flaccus, was re-elected; the other
new ones who were chosen, were Titus Otacilius Crassus a second time,
Quintus Fabius, son of the consul, who was at that time curule aedile,
and Publius Cornelius Lentulus. The election of the praetors
completed, a decree of the senate was passed, that Quintus Fulvius
should have the city department out of the ordinary course, and that
he in preference to any other should command in the city while the
consuls were absent in the war. Great floods happened twice during
this year, and the Tiber overflowed the fields, with great demolition
of houses and destruction of men and cattle. In the fifth year of the
second Punic war Quintus Fabius Maximus for the fourth time, and
Marcus Claudius Marcellus for the third time, entering upon their
office, drew the attention of the state upon them in a more than
ordinary degree, for there had not been two such consuls now for many
years. The old men observed, that thus Maximus Rullus and Publius
Decius were declared consuls for conducting the Gallic war; that thus
afterwards Papirius and Carvilius were appointed to that office
against the Samnites, the Bruttians, and the Lucanian with the
Tarentine people. Marcellus, who was with the army, was created consul
in his absence; to Fabius, who was present and held the election
himself, the office was continued. The critical state of affairs, the
exigencies of the war, and the danger which threatened the state,
prevented any one from looking narrowly into the precedent, or
suspecting that the consul was actuated by an excessive love of
command; on the contrary, they applauded his magnanimity in that when
he knew the state was in want of a general of the greatest ability,
and that he was himself confessedly such an one, he thought less of
the personal odium which might arise out of the transaction, than of
the good of the state.

10. On the day on which the consuls entered on their office, the
senate was assembled in the Capitol, and in the first place a decree
was passed to the effect that the consuls should draw lots, and settle
between themselves which should hold the election for the creation of
censors, before they proceeded to join the army. Next, all those who
had the command of armies were continued in their offices, and ordered
to remain in their provinces; Tiberius Gracchus at Luceria, where he
was with an army of volunteer slaves; Caius Terentius Varro in the
Picenian, and Manius Pomponius in the Gallic territory. Of the
praetors of the former year, it was settled that Quintus Mucius should
have the government of Sardinia as propraetor, Marcus Valerius the
command of the sea-coast near Brundusium, watchful against all the
movements of Philip, king of the Macedonians. To Publius Cornelius
Lentulus, the praetor, the province of Sicily was assigned. Titus
Otacilius received the same fleet which he had employed the year
before against the Carthaginians. Many prodigies were reported to have
happened this year, which increased in proportion as they were
believed by the credulous and superstitious. That crows had built a
nest within the temple of Juno Sospita at Lanuvium; that a green
palm-tree had taken fire in Apulia; that a pool at Mantua, formed by
the overflowing of the river Mincius, had assumed the appearance of
blood; that it had rained chalk at Cales, and blood at Rome in the
cattle market; that a fountain under ground in the Istrian street had
discharged so violent a stream of water, that rolling along with the
impetuosity of a torrent, it carried away the butts and casks which
were near it; that the public court in the Capitol had been struck by
lightning; also the temple of Vulcan in the Campus Martius, a nut-tree
in the Sabine territory, a wall and gate at Gabii. Now other miracles
were published: that the spear of Mars at Praeneste moved forward of
its own accord; that in Sicily an ox had spoken; that a child in the
womb of its mother cried out Io Triumphe! in the country of the
Marrucinians; at Spoletum, that a woman was transformed into a man; at
Hadria, that an altar, with appearances as of men surrounding it in
white clothing, was seen in the heavens. Nay, even in the city of Rome
itself, after a swarm of bees had been seen in the forum, some persons
roused the citizens to arms, affirming that they saw armed legions on
the Janiculum; but those who were on the Janiculum at the time,
declared that they had seen no person there besides the usual
cultivators of the hill. These prodigies were expiated by victims of
the larger kind, according to the response of the aruspices; and a
supplication was ordered to all the deities who had shrines at Rome.

11. The ceremonies which were intended to propitiate the gods being
completed, the consuls took the sense of the senate on the state of
the nation, the conduct of the war, what troops should be employed,
and where they were severally to act. It was resolved that eighteen
legions should be engaged in the war; that the consuls should take two
each; that two should be employed in each of the provinces of Gaul,
Sicily, and Sardinia; that Quintus Fabius, the praetor, should have
the command of two in Apulia, and Tiberius Gracchus of two legions of
volunteer slaves in the neighbourhood of Luceria; that one each should
be left for Caius Terentius, the proconsul, for Picenum, and to Marcus
Valerius for the fleet off Brundusium, and two for the protection of
the city. To complete this number of legions six fresh ones were to be
enlisted, which the consuls were ordered to raise as soon as possible;
and also to prepare the fleet, so that, together with the ships which
were stationed off the coasts of Calabria, it might amount that year
to one hundred and fifty men of war. The levy completed, and the
hundred new ships launched, Quintus Fabius held the election for the
creation of censors, when Marcus Atilius Regulus and Publius Furius
Philus were chosen. A rumour prevailing that war had broken out in
Sicily, Titus Otacilius was ordered to proceed thither with his fleet;
but as there was a deficiency of sailors, the consuls, in conformity
with a decree of the senate, published an order that those persons who
themselves or whose fathers had been rated in the censorship of Lucius
Aemilius and Caius Flaminius, at from fifty to one hundred thousand
_asses_, or whose property had since reached that amount, should
furnish one sailor and six months' pay; from one to three hundred
thousand, three sailors with a year's pay; from three hundred thousand
to a million, five sailors; above one million, seven sailors; that
senators should furnish eight sailors with a year's pay. The sailors
furnished according to this proclamation being armed and equipped by
their masters, embarked with cooked provisions for thirty days. Then
first it happened that the Roman fleet was manned at the expense of

12. These unusually great preparations alarmed the Campanians
particularly, lest the Romans should commence the year's campaign with
the siege of Capua. They therefore sent ambassadors to Hannibal, to
implore him to bring his army to Capua, and tell him that new armies
were levying at Rome for the purpose of besieging it; and that there
was not any city the defection of which had excited more hostile
feelings. As they announced this with so much fear, Hannibal concluded
he must make haste lest the Romans should get there before him; and
setting out from Arpi, took up his position in his old camp at Tifata,
above Capua. Leaving his Numidians and Spaniards for the protection
both of the camp and Capua, he went down thence with the rest of his
troops to the lake Avernus on the pretence of performing sacrifice,
but in reality to make an attempt upon Puteoli and the garrison in it.
Maximus, on receiving intelligence that Hannibal had set out from
Arpi, and was returning to Campania, went back to his army, pursuing
his journey without intermission by night or by day. He also ordered
Tiberius Gracchus to bring up his troops from Luceria to Beneventum,
and Quintus Fabius the praetor, the son of the consul, to go to
Luceria in the room of Gracchus. At the same time the two praetors set
out for Sicily, Publius Cornelius to join his army, Otacilius to take
the command of the sea-coast and the fleet; the rest also proceeded to
their respective provinces, and those who were continued in command
remained in the same countries as in the former year.

13. While Hannibal was at the lake Avernus, five noble youths came to
him from Tarentum. They had been made prisoners partly at the lake
Trasimenus, and partly at Cannae, and had been sent home by the
Carthaginian with the same civility which he had shown towards all the
Roman allies. They stated to him that, impressed with gratitude for
his favours, they had succeeded in inducing a large portion of the
Tarentine youth to prefer his alliance and friendship to that of the
Romans; and that they were sent by their countrymen as ambassadors to
request Hannibal to bring his forces nearer to Tarentum; that if his
standards and camp were within sight of Tarentum, that city would be
delivered into his hands without delay; that the commons were under
the influence of the youth, and the state of Tarentum in the hands of
the commons. Hannibal after bestowing the highest commendations upon
them, and loading them with immense promises, bid them return home to
mature their plans, saying that he would be there in due time. With
these hopes, the Tarentines were dismissed. Hannibal had himself
conceived the strongest desire of getting possession of Tarentum. He
saw that it was a city opulent and celebrated, on the coast, and lying
conveniently over against Macedonia. And that as the Romans were in
possession of Brundusium, king Philip would make for this port if he
crossed over into Italy. Having completed the sacrifice for which he
came, and during his stay there laid waste the territory of Cumae as
far as the promontory of Misenum, he suddenly marched his troops
thence to Puteoli to surprise the Roman garrison there. It consisted
of six thousand men, and the place was secured not only by its natural
situation, but by works also. The Carthaginian having waited there
three days, and attempted the garrison in every quarter, without any
success, proceeded thence to devastate the territory of Naples,
influenced by resentment more than the hope of getting possession of
the place. The commons of Nola, who had been long disaffected to the
Romans and at enmity with their own senate, moved into the
neighbouring fields on his approach; and in conformity with this
movement ambassadors came to invite Hannibal to join them, bringing
with them a positive assurance that the city would be surrendered to
him. The consul, Marcellus, who had been called in by the nobles,
anticipated their attempt. In one day he had reached Suessula from
Cales, though the river Vulturnus had delayed him crossing; and from
thence the ensuing night introduced into Nola for the protection of
the senate, six thousand foot and three hundred horse. The
dilatoriness of Hannibal was in proportion to the expedition which the
consul used in every thing he did in order to preoccupy Nola. Having
twice already made the attempt unsuccessfully, he was slower to place
confidence in the Nolans.

14. During the same time, the consul, Fabius, came to attempt
Casilinum, which was occupied by a Carthaginian garrison; and, as if
by concert, Hanno approached Beneventum on one side from the
Bruttians, with a large body of foot and horse, while on the other
side Gracchus approached it from Luceria. The latter entered the town
first. Then, hearing that Hanno had pitched his camp three miles from
the city, at the river Calor, and from thence was laying waste the
country, he himself marched without the walls, and pitching his camp
about a mile from the enemy, harangued his soldiers. The legions he
had consisted for the most part of volunteer slaves, who chose rather
to earn their liberty silently by another year's service, than demand
it openly. The general, however, on quitting his winter quarters, had
perceived that the troops murmured, asking when the time would arrive
that they should serve as free citizens. He had written to the senate,
stating not so much what they wanted as what they had deserved; he
said they had served him with fidelity and courage up to that day, and
that they wanted nothing but liberty, to bring them up to the model of
complete soldiers. Permission was given him to act in the business as
he thought for the interest of the state, and, accordingly, before he
engaged with the enemy, he declared that the time was now arrived for
obtaining that liberty which they had so long hoped for; that on the
following day he should fight a pitched battle on a level and open
plain, in which the contest would be decided by valour only, without
any fear of ambuscade. The man who should bring back the head of an
enemy, he would instantly order to be set free; but that he would
punish, in a manner suited to a slave, the man who should quit his
post; that every man's fortune was in his own hands; that not he
himself alone would authorize their enfranchisement, but the consul,
Marcus Marcellus, and the whole body of the fathers, who, on being
consulted by him on the subject, had left the matter to his disposal.
He then read the letter of the consul and the decree of the senate, on
which they raised a general shout of approbation, demanded to be led
to battle, and vehemently urged him to give the signal forthwith.
Gracchus broke up the assembly, after proclaiming the battle for the
following day. The soldiers, highly delighted, particularly those
whose enfranchisement was to be the reward of one day's prowess,
employed the remaining time in getting ready their arms.

15. The next day, as soon as the trumpets began to sound, they were
the first to assemble at the general's tent, armed and ready for
action. When the sun had risen, Gracchus led out his troops to the
field of battle; nor did the enemy delay to engage him. His troops
consisted of seventeen thousand infantry, principally Bruttians and
Lucanians, with twelve hundred horse, among which were very few
Italians, almost all the rest being Numidians and Moors. The contest
was fierce and protracted. For four hours neither side had the
advantage, nor did any other circumstance more impede the Romans, than
that the heads of their enemies were made the price of their liberty.
For when each man had gallantly slain his enemy, first, he lost time
in cutting off his head, which was done with difficulty amid the crowd
and confusion, and secondly, all the bravest troops ceased to be
engaged in fight, as their right hands were employed in holding the
heads; and thus the battle was left to be sustained by the inactive
and cowardly. But when the military tribunes reported to Gracchus that
the soldiers were employed not in wounding any of the enemy who were
standing, but in mangling those who were prostrate, their right hands
being occupied in holding the heads of men instead of their swords, he
promptly ordered a signal to be given that they should throw down the
heads and charge the enemy; that they had given evident and signal
proofs of valour, and that the liberty of such brave men was certain.
Then the fight was revived, and the cavalry also were sent out against
the enemy. The Numidians engaging them with great bravery, and the
contest between the cavalry being carried on with no less spirit than
that between the infantry, the victory again became doubtful; when,
the generals on both sides vilifying their opponents, the Roman
saying, that their enemies were Bruttians and Lucanians, who had been
so often vanquished and subjugated by their ancestors; the
Carthaginian, that the troops opposed to them were Roman slaves,
soldiers taken out of a workhouse; at last Gracchus exclaimed, that
his men had no ground to hope for liberty unless the enemy were routed
and put to flight that day.

16. These words at length kindled their courage so effectually, and
renewing the shout, as if suddenly changed into other men, they bore
down upon the enemy with such impetuosity that they could not longer
be withstood. First, of the Carthaginians who stood before the
standards; then the standards were thrown into disorder; and lastly
the whole line was compelled to give way. They then turned their backs
downright, and fled precipitately to their camp with such terror and
consternation, that not a man made stand in the gates or on the
rampart; while the Romans, who pursued them so close as to form almost
a part of their body commenced the battle anew, enclosed within the
rampart of the enemy. Here the battle was more bloody as the
combatants had less room to move, from the narrowness of the place in
which they fought. The prisoners too assisted; for snatching up swords
in the confusion, and forming themselves into a body, they slew the
Carthaginians in the rear and prevented their flight. Thus less than
two thousand men out of so large an army, and those principally
cavalry, effected their escape with their commander, all the rest were
slain or taken prisoners. Thirty-eight standards were taken. Of the
victors about two thousand fell. All the booty except that of the
prisoners was given up to the soldiery. Such cattle also as the owners
should identify within thirty days was excepted. When they returned to
their camp loaded with spoil, about four thousand of the volunteer
slaves who had fought with less spirit, and had not joined in breaking
into the enemy's camp, through fear of punishment, took possession of
a hill not far from the camp. Being brought down thence the next day
by a military tribune, it happened that they arrived during an
assembly of the soldiers which Gracchus had called. At this assembly
the proconsul, having first rewarded the veteran soldiers with
military presents, according to the valour displayed, and the service
rendered by each man in the engagement, then observed, with respect to
the volunteer slaves, that he would rather that all should be praised
by him whether deserving it or not, than that any one should be
chastised on that day. I bid you, said he, all be free, and may the
event be attended with advantage, happiness, and prosperity to the
state and to yourselves. These words were followed by the most cordial
acclamations, the soldiers sometimes embracing and congratulating one
another, at other times lifting up their hands to heaven, and praying
that every blessing might attend the Roman people, and Gracchus in
particular; when Gracchus addressed them thus: "Before I had placed
you all on an equal footing with respect to the enjoyment of liberty,
I was unwilling to affix any marks by which the brave and dastardly
soldier might be distinguished. But now the pledge given by the state
being redeemed, lest all distinction between courage and cowardice
should disappear, I shall order that the names of those persons be
laid before me, who, conscious of their dastardly conduct in the
battle, have lately seceded. I shall have them cited before me, when I
shall bind them by an oath, that none of them, except such as shall
have the plea of sickness, will, so long as they serve, take either
meat or drink in any other posture than standing. This penalty you
will bear with patience when you reflect that it is impossible your
cowardice could be marked with a slighter stigma." He then gave the
signal for packing up the baggage; and the soldiers, sporting and
jesting as they drove and carried their booty, returned to Beneventum
in so playful a mood, that they appeared to be returning, not from the
field of battle, but from a feast celebrated on some remarkable
holiday. All the Beneventans pouring out in crowds to meet them at the
gate, embraced, congratulated, and invited the troops to
entertainments. They had all prepared banquets in the courts of their
houses, to which they invited the soldiers, and of which they
entreated Gracchus to allow them to partake. Gracchus gave permission,
with the proviso that they should feast in the public street. Each
person brought every thing out before his door. The volunteers feasted
with caps of liberty on their heads, or filletted with white wool;
some reclining at the tables, others standing, who at once partook of
the repast, and waited upon the rest. It even seemed a fitting
occasion that Gracchus, on his return to Rome, should order a picture
representing the festivities of that day to be executed in the temple
of Liberty, which his father caused to be built on the Aventine out of
money arising from fines, and which his father also dedicated.

17. While these events occurred at Beneventum, Hannibal having laid
waste the territory of Naples, moved his camp to Nola. The consul, as
soon as he was aware of his approach, sent for Pemponius the
propraetor, with the troops he had in the camp above Suessula; and
then prepared to meet the enemy and to make no delay in fighting. He
sent out Caius Claudius Nero in the dead of night with the main
strength of the cavalry, through the gate which was farthest removed
from the enemy, with orders to make a circuit so as not to be
observed, and then slowly to follow the enemy as they moved along, and
as soon as he perceived the battle begun, to charge them on the rear.
Whether Nero was prevented from executing these orders by mistaking
the route, or from the shortness of the time, is doubtful. Though he
was absent when the battle was fought, the Romans had unquestionably
the advantage; but as the cavalry did not come up in time, the plan of
the battle which had been agreed upon was disconcerted and Marcellus,
not daring to follow the retiring enemy, gave the signal for retreat
when his soldiers were conquering More than two thousand of the enemy
are said, however, to have fallen on that day; of the Romans, less
than four hundred. Nero, after having fruitlessly wearied both men and
horses, through the day and night, without even having seen the enemy,
returned about sunset; when the consul went so far in reprimanding him
as to assert, that he had been the only obstacle to their retorting on
the enemy the disaster sustained at Cannae. The following day the
Roman came into the field, but the Carthaginian, beaten even by his
own tacit confession, kept within his camp. Giving up all hope of
getting possession of Nola, a thing never attempted without loss,
during the silence of the night of the third day he set out for
Tarentum, which he had better hopes of having betrayed to him.

18. Nor were the Roman affairs administered with less spirit at home
than in the field. The censors being freed from the care of letting
out the erection of public works, from the low state of the treasury,
turned their attention to the regulation of men's morals, and the
chastisement of vices which sprung up during the war, in the same
manner as constitutions broken down by protracted disease, generate
other maladies. In the first place, they cited those persons who,
after the battle of Cannae, were said to have formed a design of
abandoning the commonwealth, and leaving Italy. The chief of these was
Lucius Caecilius Metellus, who happened to be then quaestor. In the
next place, as neither he nor the other persons concerned were able to
exculpate themselves on being ordered to make their defence, they
pronounced them guilty of having used words and discourse prejudicial
to the state, that a conspiracy might be formed for the abandonment of
Italy. After them were cited those persons who showed too much
ingenuity in inventing a method of discharging the obligation of their
oath, namely, such of the prisoners as concluded that the oath which
they had sworn to return, would be fulfilled by their going back
privately to Hannibal's camp, after setting out on their journey. Such
of these and of the above-mentioned as had horses at the public
expense were deprived of them, and all were degraded from their tribes
and disfranchised. Nor was the attention of the censors confined to
the regulation of the senate and the equestrian order. They erased
from the lists of the junior centuries the names of all who had not
served during the last four years, unless they were regularly
exempted, or were prevented by sickness. Those too, amounting to more
than two thousand names, were numbered among the disfranchised, and
were all degraded. To this more gentle stigma affixed by the censors,
a severe decree of the senate was added, to the effect that all those
whom the censor had stigmatized, should serve on foot, and be sent
into Sicily to join the remains of the army of Cannae, a class of
soldiers whose time of service was not to terminate till the enemy was
driven out of Italy. The censors, in consequence of the poverty of the
treasury, having abstained from receiving contracts for the repairs of
the sacred edifices, the furnishing of curule horses, and similar
matters, the persons who had been accustomed to attend auctions of
this description, came to the censors in great numbers, and exhorted
them to "transact all their business and let out the contracts in the
same manner as if there were money in the treasury. That none of them
would ask for money out of the treasury before the war was concluded."
Afterwards the owners of those slaves whom Tiberius Sempronius had
manumitted at Beneventum, came to them, stating that they were sent
for by the public bankers, to receive the price of their slaves, but
that they would not accept of it till the war was concluded. This
disposition on the part of the commons to sustain the impoverished
treasury having manifested itself, the property of minors first, and
then the portions of widows, began to be brought in; the persons who
brought them being persuaded, that their deposit would no where be
more secure and inviolable than under the public faith. If any thing
was bought or laid in for the widows and minors, an order upon the
quaestor was given for it. This liberality in individuals flowed from
the city into the camp also, insomuch that no horseman or centurion
would accept of his pay, and those who would accept it were reproached
with the appellation of mercenary men.

19. Quintus Fabius, the consul, was encamped before Casilinum, which
was occupied by a garrison of two thousand Campanians and seven
hundred of the soldiers of Hannibal. The commander was Statius Metius,
who was sent there by Cneius Magius Atellanus, who was that year
Medixtuticus and was arming the slaves and people without distinction,
in order to assault the Roman camp, while the consul was intently
occupied in the siege of Casilinum. None of these things escaped
Fabius. He therefore sent to his colleague at Nola, "That another army
was requisite, which might be opposed to the Campanians, while the
siege of Casilinum was going on; that either he should come himself,
leaving a force sufficient for the protection of Nola, or if the state
of Nola required him to stay there, in consequence of its not being
yet secure against the attempts of Hannibal, that he should summon
Tiberius Gracchus, the proconsul, from Beneventum." On this message,
Marcellus, leaving two thousand troops in garrison at Nola, came to
Casilinum with the rest of his forces; and at his arrival the
Campanians, who were already in motion, desisted from their
operations. Thus the siege of Casilinum was commenced by the two
consuls. But as the Roman soldiers received many wounds as they rashly
approached the walls, and as they did not succeed satisfactorily in
their attempts. Fabius gave it as his opinion that this, which was a
small matter, though as difficult as more important ones, should be
abandoned, and that they should retire from the place, as affairs of
greater moment were pressing. Marcellus, however, succeeded in
persuading him that they should not go away with their object
unaccomplished, observing that as there were many objects which great
generals should not attempt, so when once attempted they should not be
abandoned, because the mere report in either case would have important
consequences. Upon this the vineae and all kinds of military works and
engines were applied; in consequence of which, the Campanians
entreated Fabius to allow them to retire to Capua in safety; when a
few of them having come out of the town, Marcellus took possession
of the gate through which they passed, and first slew all
indiscriminately who were near the gate, and then rushing in, the
slaughter commenced in the town also. About fifty of the Campanians,
who at first came out of the city, having fled for refuge to Fabius,
arrived safe at Capua under his protection. Thus Casilinum was
captured on an accidental opportunity which occurred during the
conferences and delay of those who were soliciting protection. The
prisoners, both those who were Campanians and those who were
Hannibal's soldiers, were sent to Rome, where they were shut up in a
prison. The crowd of townsmen was distributed among the neighbouring
people to be kept in custody.

20. At the same time that the consuls retired from Casilinum, their
object having been accomplished, Gracchus, who was in Lucania, sent,
under a prefect of the allies, some cohorts which he had levied in
that country to ravage the lands of the enemy. These, as they were
straggling in a careless manner, Hanno surprising, retorted upon his
enemy a defeat not much less disastrous than he had himself received
at Beneventum, and then hastily retired to the territory of the
Bruttians, lest Gracchus should overtake him. Of the consuls,
Marcellus returned to Nola, whence he had come, Fabius proceeded to
Samnium to waste the lands, and recover by force the cities which had
revolted. The Samnites of Caudium suffered the severest devastation;
their fields were laid waste by fire for a wide extent, and both men
and cattle were conveyed away as booty. The towns of Compulteria,
Telesia, Compsa, Melae, Fulfulae, and Orbitanium, were taken by storm.
Blandae, belonging to the Lucanians, and Aecae to the Apulians, were
taken after a siege. Twenty-five thousand of the enemy were captured
or slain in these towns, and three hundred and seventy deserters
recovered; who, being sent to Rome by the consul, were all of them
beaten with rods in the comitium, and thrown down from the rock. Such
were the achievements of Fabius within the space of a few days. Ill
health detained Marcellus from active operations at Nola. The town of
Accua also was taken by storm, during the same period, by the praetor
Quintus Fabius, whose province was the neighbourhood of Luceria; he
also fortified a stationary camp at Ardonea. While the Romans were
thus employed in different quarters, Hannibal had reached Tarentum,
utterly destroying every thing whichsoever way he went. In the
territory of Tarentum, the troops at length began to march in a
peaceable manner. There nothing was violated, nor did they ever go out
of the road; it was evident that this was done not from the moderation
of the soldiery, or their general, but to conciliate the affections of
the Tarentines. However, on advancing almost close to the walls
without perceiving any movement, which he expected would occur on the
sight of his vanguard, he pitched his camp about a mile off the city.
Three days before the arrival of Hannibal, Marcus Livius, who had been
sent by Marcus Valerius, the propraetor, commanding the fleet at
Brundusium, had enlisted the young nobility of Tarentum, and
stationing guards at every gate, and round the walls, wherever
circumstances made it necessary, had kept such a strict watch both by
day and night, as to give no opportunity for making any attempt either
to the enemy or doubtful allies. On this account several days were
consumed there to no purpose, when Hannibal, as none of those who had
come to him at the lake Avernus, either came themselves or sent any
letter or message, perceiving that he had carelessly followed delusive
promises, moved his camp thence. Even after this he did not offer any
violence to the Tarentine territory, not quitting the hope of shaking
their allegiance to the Romans, though his simulated lenity had
hitherto been of no advantage to him; but as soon as he came to
Salapia he collected stores of corn there from the Metapontine and
Heraclean lands; for midsummer was now past, and the situation pleased
him as a place for winter quarters. From hence the Moors and Numidians
were detached to plunder the territory of Sallentum, and the
neighbouring woods of Apulia, from which not much booty of any other
sort was obtained, but principally droves of horses, four thousand of
which were distributed among his horsemen to be broken.

21. The Romans, since a war by no means to be despised was springing
up in Sicily, and the death of the tyrant had furnished the Syracusans
with more enterprising leaders, rather than changed their attachment
to the Carthaginian cause, or the state of their minds, decreed that
province to Marcus Marcellus, one of their consuls. After the
assassination of Hieronymus, at first a tumult had taken place among
the soldiery in the territory of the Leontines. They exclaimed
furiously that the manes of the king should be appeased with the blood
of the conspirators. Afterwards the frequent repetition of the word
liberty, which was restored to them, a word so delightful to the ear,
the hopes they had conceived of largesses from the royal treasury, and
of serving in future under better generals, the relation of the horrid
crimes and more horrid lusts of the tyrant, effected such an
alteration in their sentiments, that they suffered to lie unburied the
corpse of the king, whom a little before they regretted. As the rest
of the conspirators remained behind, in order to keep the army on
their side, Theodotus and Sosis, mounted on the king's horses, rode
off to Syracuse with all possible speed, that they might surprise the
king's party, while unacquainted with all that had occurred. But they
were anticipated not only by report, than which nothing is swifter in
such affairs, but also by a messenger who was one of the royal
servants. In consequence, Andranodorus had occupied with strong
garrisons the Insula and the citadel, and every other convenient part
which he could. After sunset, when it was now growing dark, Theodotus
and Sosis rode in by the Hexapylum, and displayed the royal vest
stained with blood, and the ornament of the king's head; then passing
through the Tycha, and calling the people at once to liberty and arms,
bid them assemble in the Achradina. Some of the multitude ran out into
the streets, some stood in the porches of their houses, while others
looked out from the roofs and windows, and inquired what was the
matter. Every part of the city was filled with lights and noises of
various kinds. Assemblies of armed men were formed in the open spaces.
Those who had no arms tore down from the temple of the Olympian
Jupiter the spoils of the Gauls and Illyrians, which had been
presented to Hiero by the Roman people, and hung up there by him; at
the same time offering up prayers to Jupiter, that he would willingly,
and without feeling offence, lend those consecrated weapons to those
who were arming themselves in defence of their country, of the temples
of their gods, and their liberty. This multitude was also joined by
the watches which were stationed through the principal quarters of the
city. In the island, Andranodorus, among other places, secured the
public granaries by a garrison. This place, which was enclosed by a
wall of stones hewn square, and built up on high, after the manner of
a citadel, was occupied by a body of youth, who had been appointed to
garrison it, and these sent messengers to the Achradina, to give
information that the granaries and the corn were in the power of the

22. At break of day the whole populace, armed and unarmed, assembled
at the senate-house in the Achradina: where from the altar of Concord,
which stood there, one of the nobles, named Polyaenus, delivered a
liberal and temperate address. He said, that "men who had experienced
servitude and contumely, were enraged against an evil which was well
known, but that the Syracusans had rather heard from their fathers
than seen with their own eyes the disasters which civil discord
introduces." He said, "he commended them for the alacrity with which
they had taken arms; but that he should commend them more if they
should abstain from using them unless compelled by extreme necessity.
At present he advised that ambassadors should be sent to Andranodorus,
to charge him to submit to the direction of the senate and the people,
to throw open the gates of the island, and withdraw the garrison. If
he resolved to usurp the sovereignty of which he had been appointed
guardian, that he would recommend that their liberty be recovered more
energetically from Andranodorus than it had been from Hieronymus."
From this assembly ambassadors were despatched. The senate began now
to meet, which though during the reign of Hiero it had continued to be
the public council of the state, from the time of his death up to the
present had never been assembled or consulted upon any subject. When
the ambassadors came to Andranodorus, he was himself moved by the
unanimous opinion of his countrymen, by their having possession of
other parts of the city, and by the fact that the strongest part of
the island was betrayed and placed in the hands of others; but his
wife, Demarata, the daughter of Hiero, still swelling with the pride
of royalty and female presumption, called him out from the presence of
the ambassadors, and reminded him of the expression so often repeated
by the tyrant Dionysius, "that a man ought only to relinquish
sovereign power when dragged by the feet, and not while sitting on
horseback. That it was an easy thing, at any moment one pleased, to
give up possession of grandeur, but that to create and obtain them was
difficult and arduous. That he should obtain from the ambassadors a
little time to deliberate, and to employ it in fetching the soldiers
from the Leontines; to whom, if he promised the royal treasure, every
thing would be at his disposal." This advice, suggested by a woman,
Andranodorus neither entirely rejected nor immediately adopted,
considering it the safer way to the attainment of power to temporize
for the present. Accordingly he told the ambassadors to carry word
back, that he should act subserviently to the senate and the people.
The next day, as soon as it was light, he threw open the gates of the
island, and came into the forum of the Achradina; then mounting the
altar of Concord, from which Polyaenus had delivered his harangue the
day before, he commenced a speech by soliciting pardon for his delay.
"He had kept the gates closed," he said, "not as separating his own
from the public interest, but from fear as to where the carnage would
stop when once the sword was drawn; whether they would be satisfied
with the blood of the tyrant, which was sufficient for their liberty,
or whether all who were connected with the court, by consanguinity,
affinity, or any offices, would, as implicated in another's guilt, be
butchered. After he perceived that those who had liberated their
country were desirous of preserving it when liberated, and that the
counsels of all were directed towards the public good, he had not
hesitated to restore to his country his own person and every thing
else which had been committed to his honour and guardianship, since
the person who had intrusted him with them had fallen a victim to his
own madness." Then turning to the persons who had killed the tyrant,
and calling on Theodotus and Sosis by name, he said, "You have
performed a memorable deed, but believe me, your glory is only
beginning, not yet perfected; and there still remains great danger
lest the enfranchised state should be destroyed, if you do not provide
for its tranquillity and harmony."

23. At the conclusion of this speech, he laid the keys of the gates
and of the royal treasure at their feet; and on that day, retiring
from the assembly in the highest spirits, they made supplication with
their wives and children at all the temples of the gods. On the
following day an assembly was held for the election of praetors.
Andranodorus was created among the first; the rest consisted for the
most part of the destroyers of the tyrant; two of these, Sopater and
Dinomenes, they appointed in their absence. These, on hearing of what
had passed at Syracuse, conveyed thither the royal treasure which was
at Leontini, and put it into the hands of quaestors appointed for that
purpose. The treasure also in the island and the Achradina was
delivered to them, and that part of the wall which formed too strong a
separation between the island and the other parts of the city, was
demolished by general consent. Every thing else which was done was in
conformity with this inclination of their minds to liberty.
Hippocrates and Epicydes, on hearing of the death of the tyrant, which
Hippocrates had wished to conceal even by putting the messenger to
death, being deserted by the soldiery, returned to Syracuse, as that
appeared the safest course under present circumstances; but lest if
they appeared there in common they should become objects of suspicion,
and looked upon as persons who were seeking an opportunity of
effecting some change, they in the first place addressed themselves to
the praetors and then through them to the senate. They declared, that
"they were sent by Hannibal to Hieronymus, as to a friend and ally;
that they had obeyed the orders of that man whom their general wished
them to obey; that they desired to return to Hannibal; but as the
journey would not be safe, as armed Romans were ranging at large
through the whole of Sicily, that they requested to be furnished with
some escort which might convey them in safety to Locri in Italy; and
that thus they would confer a great obligation upon Hannibal, with
little trouble." The request was easily obtained, for they were
desirous of getting rid of these generals of the king, who were
skilled in war, and at once necessitous and enterprising. But they did
not exert themselves so as to effect what they desired with the
requisite speed. Meanwhile these young men, who were of a military
turn and accustomed to the soldiers, employed themselves in
circulating charges against the senate and nobles, sometimes in the
minds of the soldiers themselves, sometimes of the deserters, of which
the greater part were Roman sailors, at other times of men belonging
to the lowest order of the populace, insinuating, that "what they were
secretly labouring and contriving to effect, was to place Syracuse
under the dominion of the Romans with the pretence of a renewed
alliance, and then that faction and the few promoters of the alliance
would be supreme."

24. The crowds of persons disposed to hear and credit these
insinuations which flowed into Syracuse from every quarter increased
daily, and afforded hopes, not only to Epicydes but to Andranodorus
also, of effecting a revolution. The latter, wearied at length by the
importunities of his wife, who warned him, "that now was the
favourable time for seizing the government, while every thing was in
confusion in consequence of liberty being recent and not yet regularly
established; while a soldiery supported by the royal pay was to be met
with, and while generals sent by Hannibal and accustomed to the
soldiery might forward the attempt;" he communicated his design with
Themistus, who had married the daughter of Gelon, and a few days
afterwards incautiously disclosed it to a certain tragic actor, named
Ariston, to whom he was in the habit of committing other secrets. He
was a man of reputable birth and fortune, nor did his profession
disgrace them, for among the Greeks no pursuit of that kind was
considered dishonourable. He therefore discovered the plot to the
praetors, from a conviction that his country had a superior claim upon
his fidelity. These having satisfied themselves that his statement was
not false by indubitable proofs, took the advice of the elder
senators, and with their sanction, having placed a guard at the doors,
slew Themistus and Andranodorus as soon as they had entered the
senate-house. A disturbance arising in consequence of this act, which,
as none but the praetors knew the cause of it, wore an appearance of
atrocity, the praetors, having at length procured silence, introduced
the informer into the senate-house; and after he had in a regular
manner detailed to the senate every particular, showing that the
conspiracy owed its origin to the marriage of Harmonia, the daughter
of Gelon, with Themistus; that the African and Spanish auxiliaries had
been prepared to murder the praetors and others of the nobility; that
it had been given out that their goods were to be the booty of the
assassins; that already a band of mercenaries accustomed to obey the
command of Andranodorus had been procured for the reoccupation of the
island; and having then distinctly represented to them the several
parts which the persons implicated in the transaction were performing,
and having brought under their view the entire plot prepared for
execution with men and arms; it seemed to the senate that they had
fallen as justly as Hieronymus had. A shout was raised before the
senate-house by a crowd of people variously disposed and uncertain of
the facts; but as they were conducting themselves in a furious and
menacing manner, the bodies of the conspirators in the vestibule of
the senate-house restrained them with such alarm, that they silently
followed the more discreet part of the commons to an assembly. Sopater
was the person commissioned by the senate and his colleague to explain
the affair.

25. Treating them as if they stood upon their trial, he began with
their past lives; and insisted that Andranodorus and Themistus were
the authors of every act of iniquity and impiety which had been
perpetrated since the death of Hiero. "For what," said he, "did the
boy Hieronymus ever do of his own accord? What could he do who had
scarce as yet arrived at puberty? His tutors and guardians had ruled,
while the odium rested on another. Therefore they ought to have been
put to death either before Hieronymus or with him. Nevertheless those
men, deservedly marked out for death, had attempted fresh crimes after
the decease of the tyrant; first openly, when, closing the gates of
the island, Andranodorus declared himself heir to the throne, and kept
that as proprietor which he had held only in the capacity of guardian;
afterwards, when betrayed by those who were in the island and
blockaded by the whole body of the citizens who held the Achradina, he
endeavoured to obtain, by secret and artful means, that sovereignty
which he had in vain attempted openly; whom not even benefits and
honorary distinction could move, for even this conspirator against the
liberty of his country was created praetor among her liberators. But
that wives of royal blood had infected them with this thirst for
royalty, one having married the daughter of Hiero, the other the
daughter of Gelon." On hearing these words, a shout arose from every
part of the assembly, that "none of these women ought to live, and
that not one of the royal family should be left alive." Such is the
nature of the populace; they are either cringing slaves or haughty
tyrants. They know not how with moderation to spurn or to enjoy that
liberty which holds the middle place; nor are there generally wanting
ministers, the panders to their resentment, who incite their eager and
intemperate minds to blood and carnage. Thus, on the present occasion,
the praetors instantly proposed the passing of a decree, which was
consented to almost before it was proposed, that all the royal family
should be put to death; and persons despatched for the purpose by the
praetors, put to death Demarata, the daughter of Hiero, and Harmonia,
the daughter of Gelon, the wives of Andranodorus and Themistus.

26. There was a daughter of Hiero, named Heraclea, the wife of
Zoippus, who, having been sent by Hieronymus as ambassador to king
Ptolemy, had become a voluntary exile. As soon as she was apprized
that they were coming to her also, she fled for refuge into the chapel
to the household gods, accompanied by her two virgin daughters, with
dishevelled hair, and other marks of wretchedness. In addition to
this, she had recourse to prayers also; she implored them "by the
memory of her father, Hiero, and her brother, Gelon, that they would
not suffer her, a guiltless person, to be consumed by their hatred of
Hieronymus. That all that she had derived from his reign was the exile
of her husband. That neither did she enjoy the same advantages as her
sister while Hieronymus was alive, nor was her cause the same as hers
now he was dead. What? Though her sister would have shared the throne
with Andranodorus, had he succeeded in his designs, she must have been
in servitude with the rest. Can any one doubt, that if information
should be conveyed to Zoippus that Hieronymus had been put to death,
and that Syracuse was free, he would instantly embark and return to
his native land. But how are all human hopes deceived! His wife and
children are struggling for their lives in his native land, now
blessed with liberty! In what manner standing in the way of liberty or
the laws? What danger could arise to any one from them, from a
solitary, and in a manner, widowed woman and girls living in a state
of orphanage? But perhaps it will be granted that no danger is to be
apprehended from them, but alleged that the whole royal family is
detested. If this were the case, she entreated that they would banish
them far from Syracuse and Sicily, and order them to be conveyed to
Alexandria, the wife to her husband, the daughters to their father."
Seeing that their ears and minds were unimpressed, and that certain of
them were drawing their swords to prevent a fruitless consumption of
time, she gave over entreating for herself, and began to implore them
to "spare, at least, her daughters, at an age which even exasperated
enemies spared." She entreated them "that they would not, in their
revenge on tyrants, themselves imitate the crimes which were odious to
them." While thus employed, they dragged her from the sanctuary and
murdered her; and after that they fell upon the virgins, who were
sprinkled with the blood of their mother; who, distracted alike by
fear and grief, and as if seized with madness, rushed out of the
chapel with such rapidity, that had there been an opening by which
they might have escaped into the street, they would have filled the
city with confusion. As it was, they several times made their escape
through the midst of so many armed men with their persons uninjured in
the contracted space which the house afforded, and extricated
themselves from their grasp, though they had to disengage themselves
from so many and such strong hands; but at length enfeebled by wounds,
and after covering every place with blood, they fell down lifeless.
This murder, piteous as it was in itself, was rendered still more so
by its happening that a short time after it a message arrived that
they should not be killed, as the minds of the people were now turned
to compassion. This compassion then gave rise to a feeling of anger,
because so much haste had been shown in carrying the punishment into
effect, and because no opportunity was left for relenting or retracing
the steps of their passion. The multitude therefore gave vent to their
indignation, and demanded an election to supply the places of
Andranodorus and Themistus, for both of them had been praetors; an
election by no means likely to be agreeable to the praetors.

27. The day was fixed for the election, when, to the surprise of all,
one person from the extremity of the crowd nominated Epicydes, and
then another from the same quarter nominated Hippocrates. Afterwards
the voices in favour of these persons increased with the manifest
approbation of the multitude. The assembly was one of a heterogeneous
character, consisting not only of the commons, but a crowd of
soldiers, with a large admixture even of deserters, who were desirous
of innovation in every thing. The praetors, at first, concealed their
feelings, and were for protracting the business; but at length,
overcome by the general opinion, and apprehensive of a sedition, they
declared them the praetors. These did not, however, immediately openly
avow their sentiments, though they were chagrined that ambassadors had
been sent to Appius Claudius to negotiate a ten days' truce, and that
on obtaining this, others were sent to treat for the renewal of the
old alliance. The Romans, with a fleet of a hundred ships, were then
stationed at Murgantia, waiting the issue of the commotion raised at
Syracuse by the death of the tyrants, and to what their recent
acquisition of liberty would impel the people. Meanwhile, the
Syracusan ambassadors were sent by Appius Claudius to Marcellus on his
coming into Sicily, and Marcellus having heard the conditions of
peace, and being of opinion that matters might be brought to a
settlement, himself also sent ambassadors to Syracuse to treat with
the praetors in person on the renewal of the alliance. But now by no
means the same state of quiet and tranquillity existed there.
Hippocrates and Epicydes, their fears being removed, after that
intelligence had arrived that a Carthaginian fleet had put in at
Pachynum, complained sometimes to the mercenary soldiers, at other
times to the deserters, that Syracuse was being betrayed to the
Romans. And when Appius began to station his ships at the mouth of the
port, in order to inspire the other party with courage, their false
insinuations appeared to receive great corroboration; and on the first
impulse, the populace had even run down in a disorderly manner to
prevent them from disembarking.

28. While affairs were in this unsettled state, it was resolved to
call an assembly; in which, when some leaned to one side and some to
the other, and an insurrection being on the point of breaking out,
Apollonides, one of the nobles, delivered a speech fraught with
salutary advice, considering the critical state of affairs: "Never,"
he said, "had a state a nearer prospect of safety and annihilation.
For if they would all unanimously espouse the cause either of the
Romans or the Carthaginians, there could be no state whose condition
would be more prosperous and happy; but if they pulled different ways,
the war between the Romans and Carthaginians would not be more bloody
than that which would take place between the Syracusans themselves, in
which both the contending parties would have their forces, their
troops, and their generals, within the same walls. Every exertion
ought therefore to be made that all might think alike. Which alliance
would be productive of the greater advantages, was a question of quite
a secondary nature, and of less moment; though the authority of Hiero
ought to be followed in preference to that of Hieronymus in the
selection of allies, and a friendship of which they had had a happy
experience through a space of fifty years, ought to be chosen rather
than one now untried and formerly unfaithful. That it ought also to
have some weight in their deliberations, that peace with the
Carthaginians might be refused in such a manner as not immediately, at
least, to have a war with them, while with the Romans they must
forthwith have either peace or war." The less of party spirit and
warmth appeared in this speech the greater weight it had. A military
council also was united with the praetors and a chosen body of
senators; the commanders of companies also, and the praefects of the
allies, were ordered to consult conjointly. After the question had
been agitated with great warmth, at length, as there appeared to be no
means of carrying on a war with the Romans, it was resolved that a
treaty of peace should be formed, and that ambassadors should be sent
with those from Rome to ratify the same.

29. Not many days intervened before ambassadors came from the
Leontines, requesting troops to protect their frontiers; an embassy
which appeared to afford a very favourable opportunity for
disencumbering the city of a turbulent and disorderly rabble, and for
removing their leaders to a distance. The praetor, Hippocrates, was
ordered to lead the deserters thither. Many of the mercenary
auxiliaries accompanying them made them number four thousand armed
men. This expedition gave great delight both to those who were sent
and those who sent them, for to the former an opportunity was afforded
of change which they had long desired, while the latter were rejoiced
because they considered that a kind of sink of the city had been
drained off. But they had, as it were, only relieved a sick body for a
time, that it might afterwards fall into a more aggravated disease.
For Hippocrates began to ravage the adjoining parts of the Roman
province, at first by stealthy excursions, but afterwards, when Appies
had sent a body of troops to protect the lands of the allies, he made
an attack with all his forces upon the guard posted over against him,
and slew many. Marcellus, when informed of this, immediately sent
ambassadors to Syracuse, who said that the faith of the treaty had
been broken, and that there would never be wanting a cause for
hostilities, unless Hippocrates and Epicydes were removed not only
from Syracuse, but far from all Sicily. Epicydes, lest by being
present he should be arraigned for the offence committed by his absent
brother, or should be wanting on his own part in stirring up a war,
proceeded himself also to the Leontines; and seeing that they were
already sufficiently exasperated against the Romans, he endeavoured to
detach them from the Syracusans also. His argument was, that the terms
on which they had formed a treaty of peace with the Romans were, that
whatever people had been subject to their kings should be placed under
their dominion; and that now they were not satisfied with liberty
unless they could also exercise kingly power and dominion over others.
The answer, therefore, he said, which they ought to send back was,
that the Leontines also considered themselves entitled to liberty,
either on the ground that the tyrant fell in the streets of their
city, or that there the shout was first raised for liberty; and that
they were the persons who, abandoning the king's generals, flocked to
Syracuse. That, therefore, either that article must be expunged from
the treaty, or that that term of it would not be admitted. They easily
persuaded the multitude; and when the ambassadors of Syracuse
complained of the slaughter of the Roman guard, and ordered that
Hippocrates and Epicydes should depart either to Locri or any other
place they pleased, provided they quitted Sicily, a reply was made to
them in a haughty manner, "that they had neither placed themselves at
the disposal of the Syracusans to make a peace for them with the
Romans, nor were they bound by the treaties of other people." This
answer the Syracusans laid before the Romans, declaring at the same
time that "the Leontines were not under their control, and that,
therefore, the Romans might make war on them without violating the
treaty subsisting between them; that they would also not be wanting in
the war, provided that when brought again under subjection, they
should form a part of their dominion, agreeably to the conditions of
the peace."

30. Marcellus marched with his entire forces against Leontini, having
sent for Appius also, in order that he might attack it in another
quarter; when, such was the ardour of the troops in consequence of the
indignation they felt at the Roman guards being put to the sword
during the negotiations for a peace, that they took the town by storm
on the first assault. Hippocrates and Epicydes, perceiving that the
enemy were getting possession of the walls and breaking open the
gates, retired with a few others into the citadel, from which they
fled unobserved during the night to Herbessus. The Syracusans, who had
marched from home with eight thousand troops, were met at the river
Myla by a messenger, who informed them that the city was taken. The
rest which he stated was a mixture of truth and falsehood; he said
that there had been an indiscriminate massacre of the soldiers and the
townsmen, and that he did not think that one person who had arrived at
puberty had survived; that the town had been pillaged, and the
property of the rich men given to the troops. On receiving such
direful news the army halted; and while all were under violent
excitement, the generals, Sosis and Dinomenes, consulted together as
to the course to be taken. The scourging and beheading of two thousand
deserters had given to this false statement a plausibility which
excited alarm; but no violence was offered to any of the Leontine or
other soldiers after the city was taken; and every man's property was
restored to him, with the exception only of such as was destroyed in
the first confusion which attended the capture of the city. The
troops, who complained of their fellow-soldiers having been betrayed
and butchered, could neither be induced to proceed to Leontini, nor
wait where they were for more certain intelligence. The praetors,
perceiving their minds disposed to mutiny, but concluding that their
violence would not be of long continuance, if those who had led them
on to such folly were removed, led the troops to Megara, whence they
themselves with a few horsemen proceeded to Herbessus, under the
expectation of having the city betrayed to them in the general
consternation; but being disappointed in this attempt, they resolved
to resort to force, and moved their camp from Megara on the following
day, in order to attack Herbessus with all their forces. Hippocrates
and Epicydes having formed the design of putting themselves into the
hands of the soldiers, who were for the most part accustomed to them,
and were now incensed at the report of the massacre of their comrades,
not so much as a safe measure on the first view of it as that it was
their only course, now that all hope was cut off, went out to meet the
army. It happened that the troops which marched in the van were six
hundred Cretans, who had been engaged in the service of Hieronymus
under their command, and were under obligation to Hannibal, having
been captured at the Trasimenus among the Roman auxiliaries, and
dismissed by him. Hippocrates and Epicydes, recognising them by their
standards and the fashion of their armour, held out olive branches,
and the fillets usually worn by suppliants, and implored them to
receive them into their ranks, protect them when received, and not
betray them to the Syracusans, by whom they themselves would soon be
delivered up to the Romans to be butchered.

31. But the Cretans with one accord called out to them to be of good
courage; that they would share every fortune with them. During this
conversation, the vanguard had halted, and the march was delayed; nor
had the cause of the delay as yet reached the generals. After the
report had spread that Hippocrates and Epicydes were there, and a
voice was heard through the whole army, which showed evidently that
the troops were pleased at their arrival, the praetors immediately
gallopped to the front, and earnestly asked "what was the meaning of
that violation of discipline, which the Cretans had committed in
holding conference with the enemy, and allowing them to mingle with
their ranks without the authority of the praetors." They ordered
Hippocrates to be seized and thrown into chains. On hearing which such
a clamour was raised, first by the Cretans and then by the rest, that
it was quite evident if they proceeded farther that they would have
cause to fear. In this state of anxiety and perplexity, they gave
orders to march back to Megara, whence they had set out, and sent
messengers to Syracuse, to give information of their present
condition. Hippocrates added a deception, seeing that the minds of the
troops were disposed to entertain every suspicion. Having sent some
Cretans to lie in wait in the roads, he read a letter he pretended had
been intercepted, but which he had written himself. The address was:
"The praetors of Syracuse to the consul Marcellus." After the
customary wishing of health, it stated "that he had acted duly and
properly in sparing none of the Leontines, but that the cause of all
the mercenary troops was the same, and that Syracuse would never be
tranquil while there were any foreign auxiliaries in the city or in
the army. That it was therefore necessary that he should endeavour to
get into his power those who were encamped at Megara, with their
praetors, and by punishing them, at length restore Syracuse to
liberty." After this letter had been read, they ran to seize their
arms in every direction, with so great a clamour, that the praetors,
in the utmost consternation, rode away to Syracuse during the
confusion. The mutiny, however, was not quelled even by their flight,
but an attack was made upon the Syracusan soldiers; nor would any one
have escaped their violence, had not Hippocrates and Epicydes opposed
the resentment of the multitude, not from pity or any humane motive,
but lest they should cut off all hope of effecting their return; and
that they might have the soldiers, both as faithful supporters of
their cause, and as hostages, and conciliate to themselves their
relatives and friends, in the first place by so great an obligation,
and in the next by reason of the pledge. Having also experienced that
the populace could be excited by any cause, however groundless or
trifling, they procured a soldier of the number of those who were
besieged at Leontini, whom they suborned to carry a report to
Syracuse, corresponding with that which had been falsely told at the
Myla; and by vouching for what he stated, and relating as matters
which he had seen, those things of which doubts were entertained, to
kindle the resentment of the people.

32. This man not only obtained credit with the commons, but being
introduced into the senate-house, produced an impression upon the
senate also. Some men of no small authority openly declared, that it
was very fortunate that the rapacity and cruelty of the Romans had
been made apparent in the case of the Leontines; that if they had
entered Syracuse, they would have committed the same or even more
horrible acts, as there the temptations to rapacity would have been
greater. All, therefore, advised that the gates should be closed and
the city guarded, but not the same persons were objects of fear or
hatred to all alike. Among the soldiers of every kind, and a great
part of the people, the Roman name was hated. The praetors, and a few
of the nobles, though enraged by the fictitious intelligence, rather
directed their cautions against a nearer and more immediate evil.
Hippocrates and Epicycles were now at the Hexapylum; and conversations
were taking place, fomented by the relatives of the native soldiers
who were in the army, touching the opening of the gates, and the
allowing their common country to be defended from the violence of the
Romans. One of the doors of the Hexapylum was now thrown open, and the
troops began to be taken in at it, when the praetors interposed; and
first by commands and menaces, then by advice, they endeavoured to
deter them from their purpose, and last of all, every other means
proving ineffectual, forgetful of their dignity, they tried to move
them by prayers, imploring them not to betray their country to men
heretofore the satellites of the tyrant, and now the corrupters of the
army. But the ears of the excited multitude were deaf to all these
arguments, and the exertions made from within to break open the gates,
were not less than those without; the gates were all broken open, and
the whole army received into the Hexapylum. The praetors, with the
youth of the city, fled into the Achradina; the mercenary soldiers and
deserters, with all the soldiers of the late king who were at
Syracuse, joined the forces of the enemy. The Achradina also was
therefore taken on the first assault, and all the praetors, except
such as escaped in the confusion, were put to the sword. Night put an
end to the carnage. On the following day the slaves were invited to
liberty, and those bound in prison were released; after which this
mixed rabble created Hippocrates and Epicydes their praetors, and thus
Syracuse, when for a brief period the light of liberty had shone on
it, relapsed into her former state of servitude.

33. The Romans, on receiving information of these events, immediately
moved their camp from Leontini to Syracuse. It happened at this time
that ambassadors were sent by Appius in a quinquereme, to make their
way through the harbour. A quadrireme was sent in advance, which was
captured as soon as it entered the mouth of the harbour, and the
ambassadors with difficulty made their escape. And now not only the
laws of peace but of war also were not regarded, when the Roman army
pitched their camp at Olympium, a temple of Jupiter, a mile and a half
from the city. From which place also it was thought proper that
ambassadors should be sent forward; these were met by Hippocrates and
Epicydes with their friends without the gate, to prevent their
entering the city. The Roman, who was appointed to speak, said that
"he did not bring war, but aid and assistance to the Syracusans, not
only to such as, escaping from the midst of the carnage, fled to the
Romans for protection, but to those also, who, overpowered by fear,
were submitting to a servitude more shocking, not only than exile, but
than death. Nor would the Romans suffer the horrid murder of their
friends to go unavenged. If, therefore, those who had taken refuge
with them were allowed to return to their country with safety, the
authors of the massacre delivered up, and the Syracusans reinstated in
the enjoyment of their liberty and laws, there would be no necessity
for arms; but if these things were not done, they would direct their
arms unceasingly against those who delayed them, whoever they might
be." Epicydes replied, that "if they had been commissioned with any
message for them, they would have given them an answer; and when the
government of Syracuse was in the hands of those persons to whom they
were come, they might visit Syracuse again. If they should commence
hostilities, they would learn by actual experience that it was by no
means the same thing to besiege Syracuse and Leontini." With this he
left the ambassadors and closed the gate. The siege of Syracuse then
commenced by sea and land at the same time; by land on the side of the
Hexapylum; by sea on the side of the Achradina, the wall of which is
washed by its waves; and as the Romans felt a confidence that as they
had taken Leontini by the terror they occasioned on the first assault,
they should be able in some quarter to effect an entrance into a city
so desert, and diffused over so large an extent of ground, they
brought up to the walls every kind of engine for besieging cities.

34. And an attempt made with so much energy would have succeeded, had
it not been for one person then at Syracuse. That person was
Archimedes, a man of unrivalled skill in observing the heavens and the
stars, but more deserving of admiration as the inventor and
constructor of warlike engines and works, by means of which, with a
very slight effort, he turned to ridicule what the enemy effected with
great difficulty. The wall which ran along unequal eminences, most of
which were high and difficult of access, some low and open to approach
along level vales, he furnished with every kind of warlike engine, as
seemed suitable to each particular place. Marcellus attacked from the
quinqueremes the wall of the Achradina, which, as before stated, was
washed by the sea. From the other ships the archers and slingers and
light infantry, whose weapon is difficult to be thrown back by the
unskilful, allowed scarce any person to remain upon the wall
unwounded. These, as they required room for the discharge of their
missiles, kept their ships at a distance from the wall. Eight more
quinqueremes joined together in pairs, the oars on their inner sides
being removed, so that side might be placed to side, and which forming
as it were ships, were worked by means of the oars on the outer sides,
carried turrets built up in stories, and other engines employed in
battering walls. Against this naval armament, Archimedes placed on
different parts of the walls engines of various dimensions. Against
the ships which were at a distance he discharged stones of immense
weight. Those which were nearer he assailed with lighter, and
therefore more numerous missiles. Lastly, in order that his own men
might heap their weapons upon the enemy, without receiving any wounds
themselves, he perforated the wall from the top to the bottom with a
great number of loop-holes, about a cubit in diameter, through which
some with arrows, others with scorpions of moderate size, assailed the
enemy without being seen. Certain ships which came nearer to the walls
in order to get within the range of the engines, he placed upon their
sterns, raising up their prows by throwing upon them an iron grapple,
attached to a strong chain, by means of a tolleno which projected from
the wall, and overhung them, having a heavy counterpoise of lead which
forced back the lever to the ground; then the grapple being suddenly
disengaged, the ship falling as it were from the wall, was, by these
means, to the utter consternation of the mariners, dashed in such a
manner against the water, that even if it fell back in an erect
position it took in a great quantity of water. Thus the attack by sea
was foiled, and their whole efforts were directed to an attack by land
with all their forces. But on this side also the place was furnished
with a similar array of engines of every kind, procured at the expense
of Hiero, who had given his attention to this object through a course
of many years, and constructed by the unrivalled abilities of
Archimedes. The nature of the place also assisted them; for the rock
which formed the foundation of the wall was for the most part so
steep, that not only materials discharged from engines, but such as
were rolled down by their own gravity, fell upon the enemy with great
force; the same cause rendered the approach to the city difficult, and
the footing unsteady. Wherefore, a council being held, it was
resolved, since every attempt was frustrated, to abstain from
assaulting the place, and keeping up a blockade, only to cut off the
provisions of the enemy by sea and land.

35. Meanwhile, Marcellus, who had set out with about a third part of
the army, to recover the towns which, during the commotion, had gone
over to the Carthaginians, regained Helorus and Herbessus by voluntary
surrender. Megara, which he took by storm, he demolished and
plundered, in order to terrify the rest, but particularly the
Syracusans. Much about the same time, Himilco, who had kept his fleet
for a long time at the promontory of Pachynus, landed twenty-five
thousand infantry, three thousand horse, and twelve elephants, at
Heraclea, which they call Minoa. This force was much greater than that
which he had before on board his fleet at Pachynus. But after Syracuse
was seized by Hippocrates, he proceeded to Carthage, where, being
aided by ambassadors from Hippocrates, and a letter from Hannibal, who
said that now was the time to recover Sicily with the highest honour,
while his own advice given in person had no small influence, he had
prevailed upon the Carthaginians to transport into Sicily as large a
force as possible, both of foot and horse. Immediately on his arrival
he retook Heraclea, and within a few days after Agrigentum; and in the
other states which sided with the Carthaginians, such confident hopes
were kindled of driving the Romans out of Sicily, that at last even
those who were besieged at Syracuse took courage; and thinking that
half their forces would be sufficient for the defence of the city,
they divided the business of the war between them in such a manner,
that Epicydes superintended the defence of the city, while
Hippocrates, in conjunction with Himilco, prosecuted the war against
the Roman consul. The latter, having passed by night through the
intervals between the posts, with ten thousand foot and five hundred
horse, was pitching a camp near the city Acrillae, when Marcellus came
upon them, while engaged in raising the fortifications, on his return
from Agrigentum, which was already occupied by the enemy, having
failed in his attempt to get there before the enemy by expeditious
marching, Marcellus calculated upon any thing rather than meeting with
a Syracusan army at that time and place; but still through fear of
Himilco and the Carthaginians, for whom he was by no means a match
with the forces he had with him, he was marching with all possible
circumspection, and with his troops so arranged, as to be prepared for
any thing which might occur.

36. It happened that the caution he had observed with intent to guard
him against the Carthaginians, proved useful against the Sicilians.
Having caught them in disorder and dispersed, employed in forming
their camp, and for the most part unarmed, he cut off all their
infantry. Their cavalry, having commenced a slight engagement, fled to
Acrae with Hippocrates. This battle having checked the Sicilians in
their purpose of revolting from the Romans, Marcellus returned to
Syracuse, and a few days after Himilco, being joined by Hippocrates,
encamped on the river Anapus, about eight miles distant from that
place. Nearly about the same time, fifty-five ships of war of the
Carthaginians, with Bomilcar as commander of the fleet, put into the
great harbour of Syracuse from the sea, and a Roman fleet of thirty
quinqueremes landed the first legion at Panormus; and so intent were
both the contending powers upon Sicily, that the seat of war might
seem to have been removed from Italy. Himilco, who thought that the
Roman legion which had been landed at Panormus, would doubtless fall a
prey to him on its way to Syracuse, was mistaken in his road; for the
Carthaginian marched through the inland parts of the country, while
the legion, keeping along the coast, and attended by the fleet, came
up with Appius Claudius, who had advanced to Pachynum with a part of
his forces to meet it. Nor did the Carthaginians delay longer at
Syracuse. Bomilcar, who at the same time that he did not feel
sufficient confidence in his naval strength, as the Romans had a fleet
more than double his number, was aware that delay which could be
attended with no good effect, would only increase the scarcity of
provisions among the allies by the presence of his troops, sailed out
into the deep, and crossed over into Africa. Himilco, who had in vain
followed Marcellus to Syracuse, to see if he could get any opportunity
of engaging him before he was joined by larger forces, failing in this
object, and seeing that the enemy were secured at Syracuse, both by
their fortifications and the strength of their forces, to avoid
wasting time in sitting by as an idle spectator of the siege of his
allies, without being able to do any good, marched his troops away, in
order to bring them up wherever the prospect of revolt from the Romans
might invite him, and wherever by his presence he might inspire
additional courage in those who espoused his interest. He first got
possession of Murgantia, the Roman garrison having been betrayed by
the inhabitants themselves. Here a great quantity of corn and
provisions of every kind had been laid up by the Romans.

37. To this revolt the minds of other states also were stimulated; and
the Roman garrisons were now either driven out of the citadels, or
treacherously given up and overpowered. Enna, which stood on an
eminence lofty and of difficult ascent on all sides, was impregnable
on account of its situation, and had besides in its citadel a strong
garrison commanded by one who was very unlikely to be overreached by
treachery, Lucius Pinarius, a man of vigorous mind, who relied more on
the measures he took to prevent treachery, than on the fidelity of the
Sicilians; and at that time particularly the intelligence he had
received of so many cities being betrayed, and revolting, and of the
massacre of the garrisons, had made him solicitous to use every
precaution. Accordingly, by day and night equally, every thing was
kept in readiness, and every place furnished with guards and watches,
the soldiery being continually under arms and at their posts. But when
the principal men in Enna, who had already entered into a covenant
with Himilco to betray the garrison, found that they could get no
opportunity of circumventing the Roman, they resolved to act openly.
They urged, that "the city and the citadel ought to be under their
control, as they had formed an alliance with the Romans on the
understanding that they were to be free, and had not been delivered
into their custody as slaves. That they therefore thought it just that
the keys of the gates should be restored to them. That their honour
formed the strongest tie upon good allies, and that the people and
senate of Rome would entertain feelings of gratitude towards them if
they continued in friendship with them of their own free will, and not
by compulsion." The Roman replied, that "he was placed there by his
general to protect the place; that from him he had received the keys
of the gates and the custody of the citadel, trusts which he held not
subject to his own will, nor that of the inhabitants of Enna, but to
his who committed them to him. That among the Romans, for a man to
quit his post was a capital offence, and that parents had sanctioned
that law by the death even of their own children. That the consul
Marcellus was not far off; that they might send ambassadors to him,
who possessed the right and liberty of deciding." But they said, they
would certainly not send to him, and solemnly declared, that as they
could not obtain their object by argument, they would seek some means
of asserting their liberty. Pinarius upon this observed, "that if they
thought it too much to send to the consul, still they would, at least,
grant him an assembly of the people, that it might be ascertained
whether these denunciations came from a few, or from the whole state."
An assembly of the people was proclaimed for the next day, with the
general consent.

38. After this conference, he returned into the citadel, and
assembling his soldiers, thus addressed them: "Soldiers, I suppose you
have heard in what manner the Roman garrisons have been betrayed and
cut off by the Sicilians of late. You have escaped the same treachery,
first by the kindness of the gods, and secondly by your own good
conduct, in unremittingly standing and watching under arms. I wish the
rest of our time may be passed without suffering or committing
dreadful things. This caution, which we have hitherto employed, has
been directed against covert treachery, but not succeeding in this as
they wished, they now publicly and openly demand back the keys of the
gates; but as soon as we shall have delivered them up, Enna will be
instantly in the hands of the Carthaginians, and we shall be butchered
under circumstances more horrid than those with which the garrison of
Murgantia were massacred. I have with difficulty procured a delay of
one night for deliberation, that I might employ it in acquainting you
with the danger which threatens you. At daybreak they intend holding a
general assembly for the purpose of criminating me, and stirring up
the people against you; to-morrow, therefore, Enna will be inundated
either with your blood, or that of its own inhabitants. If they are
beforehand with you, you will have no hope left, but if you anticipate
their proceedings, you will have no danger. Victory will belong to
that side which shall have drawn the sword first. You shall all,
therefore, full armed, attentively wait the signal. I shall be in the
assembly, and by talking and disputing will spin out the time till
every thing shall be ready. When I shall have given the signal with my
gown, then, mind me raising a shout on all sides rush upon the
multitude, and fell all before you with the sword, taking care that no
one survive from whom either force or fraud can be apprehended. You,
mother Ceres and Proserpine, I entreat, and all ye other gods,
celestial and infernal, who frequent this city and these consecrated
lakes and groves, that you would lend us your friendly and propitious
aid, as we adopt this measure not for the purpose of inflicting, but
averting injury. I should exhort you at greater length my soldiers, if
you were about to fight with armed men, men unarmed and off their
guard, you will slay to satiety. The consul's camp too is near, so
that nothing can be apprehended from Himilco and the Carthaginians'."

39. Being allowed to retire immediately after this exhortation, they
employed themselves in taking refreshment. The next day they stationed
themselves some in one place and others in another, to block up the
streets, and shut up the ways by which the townsmen might escape, the
greater part of them stationing themselves upon and round the theatre,
as they had been accustomed before also to be spectators of the
assemblies. When the Roman praefect, having been brought into the
presence of the people by the magistrates, said, that the power and
authority of deciding the question appertained to the consul, and not
to him, repeating for the most part what he had urged the day before,

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