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 sol- [p. 921]
diery 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 [p. 922]
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 senate.