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87. As for those in the quarries, the Syracusians handled them at first but ungently. For in this hollow place, first the sun and suffocating air (being without roof) annoyed them one way; and on the other side, the nights coming upon that heat, autumnal and cold, put them, by reason of the alteration, into strange diseases; [2] especially doing all things, for want of room, in one and the same place, and the carcasses of such as died of their wounds or change [of air] or other like accident lying together there on heaps. Also the smell was intolerable; besides that they were afflicted with hunger and thirst. For for eight months together, they allowed no more but to every man a cotyle of water by the day and two cotyles of corn. And whatsoever misery is probable that men in such a place may suffer, they suffered. [3] Some seventy days they lived thus thronged. Afterwards, retaining the Athenians, and such Sicilians and Italians as were of the army with them, they sold the rest. [4] How many were taken in all it is hard to say exactly; but they were seven thousand at the fewest. [5] And this was the greatest action that happened in all this war, or at all, that we have heard of amongst the Grecians, being to the victors most glorious and most calamitous to the vanquished. [6] For being wholly overcome in every kind and receiving small loss in nothing, their army and fleet and all [that ever they had] perished (as they use to say) with an universal destruction. Few of many returned home. And thus passed the business concerning Sicily.

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load focus Notes (Charles F. Smith)
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load focus English (Benjamin Jowett, 1881)
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