This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
After he had returned from the interview to the citadel, he called his men together and addressed them as follows: "I think, soldiers, you have heard what has happened lately and how the Roman garrisons have been surprised and overwhelmed by the Sicilians.  That treachery you have escaped, in the first place by the good providence of the gods and next by your own steady courage and by your persistent watchfulness and remaining under arms night and day. I only hope the rest of our time may be spent without suffering or inflicting things too horrible to speak about.  The precautions we have so far taken have been against secret treachery; as that has proved unsuccessful they are now openly demanding the keys of the gates; and no sooner will they be delivered than Henna will be in the power of the Carthaginians, and we here shall be butchered with greater cruelty than the garrison of Murgantia.  I have succeeded with difficulty in getting one night allowed for deliberation so that I could inform you of the impending peril. At daybreak they are going to hold an assembly of the people at which they will fling charges against me and stir up the populace against you.  So tomorrow Henna will run with blood, either yours or that of its own citizens. If you are not beforehand with them, there is no hope for you; if you are, there is no danger. Victory will fall to him who first draws the sword.  So all be on the alert and wait attentively for the signal. I shall be in the assembly and will spin out the time by speaking and arguing till everything is perfectly ready, and when I give the signal [7??] with my toga, raise a loud shout and make an attack on the crowd from all sides and cut everything down with the sword, and take care that nothing survives from which either open violence or treachery is to be feared."  Then he continued, "You, Mother Ceres and Proserpina, and all ye deities, celestial and infernal, who have your dwelling in this city and these sacred lakes and groves-I pray and beseech you to be gracious and merciful to us if we are indeed purposing to do this deed not that we may inflict but that we may escape treachery and murder.  I should say more to you, soldiers, if you were going to fight with an armed foe; it is those who are unarmed and unsuspecting whom you will slay till you are weary of slaughter. The consul's camp, too, is in the neighbourhood, so nothing need be feared from Himilco and the Carthaginians."
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.