the other consul laid the matter of the Sicilians' demands before the fathers. among them for a long time there was a conflict of opinions, and many senators, with Titus Manlius Torquatus as
spokesman for that opinion, thought that they should have gone to war with the tyrants, enemies both of the Syracusans and of the Roman people, and that the city ought to have been taken over,1
not captured, and once taken over, should have been confirmed in the possession of its former laws and its freedom, not crushed by war when already exhausted by a pitiful slavery.
they said that in the conflicts between the tyrants and the Roman commander the most beautiful and famous of cities, set up in the midst as a prize for the victor, had been destroyed, the granary and treasury formerly of the Roman people, for by its generous gifts on many occasions, and last of all in this very Punic war,2
the republic had been aided and enriched.
if King Hiero, most faithful in his devotion to the Roman empire, should rise from the lower world, with what face could they show him either Syracuse or Rome, when after a backward look at his native city, half —ruined and despoiled, upon entering Rome he was to see in the forecourt of the city, almost at the gate, the spoils of his own city?3
although these words and others to the same effect were spoken in order to arouse hatred against the consul and pity for the Sicilians, the senate nevertheless adopted a milder decree:
that the acts of Marcus Marcellus, during his conduct of the war and as victor, were to be ratified; for the [p. 125]
future the Syracusan state would be cared for by the4
senate, and they would instruct the consul Laevinus to take measures for the property of its citizens, so far as could be done without loss to the republic.
two senators were sent to the consul on the Capitol, that he should return to the Senate House; and after the Sicilians had been brought in, the decree of the senate was read.
and the legates, dismissed with kind words, threw themselves down before the knees of Marcellus, the consul, imploring him to pardon what they had said in lamenting and seeking to mitigate their misfortune, and that he would take them and the city of Syracuse under his protection and patronage. making this promise the consul spoke to them gently and dismissed them.