The gates and walls of the Achradina were occupied principally by deserters, who had no hopes of pardon in case of capitulation. These men would neither suffer those who were sent to approach the walls, nor to address them.
Marcellus, therefore, on the failure of this attempt, gave orders to retire to the Euryalus, which is an eminence at the extremity of the city, at the farthest point from the sea, and commanding the road leading into the fields and the interior of the island, and is conveniently situated for the introduction of supplies.
This fort was commanded by Philodemus, an Argive, who was placed in this situation by Epicydes. Marcellus sent Sosis, one of the regicides, to him. After a long conversation, being put off for the purpose of frustrating him, he brought back word to Marcellus, that Philodemus had taken time to deliberate.
This man postponing his answer day after day, till Hippocrates and Himilco should quit their present position, and come up with their legions; not doubting but that if he should receive them into the fort, the Roman army, shut up as it was within the walls, might be
annihilated, Marcellus, who saw that the Euryalus would neither be delivered up to him, nor could be taken by force, pitched his camp between Neapolis and Tycha, which are names of divisions of the city, and are in themselves like cities; fearful lest if he entered populous parts of the city, he should not be able to restrain his soldiers, greedy of plunder, from running up and down after it.
When three ambassadors came to him from Tycha and Neapolis with fillets and other badges of supplicants, imploring him to abstain from fire and slaughter, Marcellus, having held a
council respecting these entreaties, for so they were, rather than demands, ordered his soldiers, according to the unanimous opinion of the council, not to offer violence to any free person, but told them that every thing [p. 994]
else might be their booty.
The walls of the houses forming a protection for his camp, he posted guards and parties of troops at the gates, which were exposed, as they faced the streets, lest any attack should be made upon his camp while the soldiers were dispersed in pursuit of plunder.
After these arrangements, on a signal given, the soldiers dispersed for that purpose; and though they broke open doors and every place resounded in consequence of the alarm and confusion created, they nevertheless refrained from blood.
They did not desist from plunder till they had gutted the houses of all the property which had been accumulated during a long period of prosperity.
Meanwhile, Philodemus also, who despaired of obtaining assistance, having received a pledge that he might return to Epicydes in safety, withdrew the garrison, and delivered up the fortress to the Romans. While the attention of all was engaged by the tumult occasioned in that part of the city which was captured, Bomilcar, taking advantage of the night, when, from
the violence of the weather the Roman fleet was unable to ride at anchor in the deep, set out from the bay of Syracuse, with thirty-five ships, and sailed away into the main without interruption;
leaving fifty-five ships for Epicydes and the Syracusans; and having informed the Carthaginians in what a critical situation Syracuse was placed, returned, after a few days, with a hundred ships; having, as report says, received many presents from Epicydes out of the treasure of Hiero.