Then Quinctius, having, by this repulse, effectually checked the sallies of the enemy, and being fully convinced [p. 1530]
that he had now no alternative, but must besiege the city, sent persons to bring up all the marine forces from Gythium; and, in the mean time, rode himself, with some military tribunes, round the walls, to take a view of the situation of the place.
In former times, Sparta had no wall; of late, the tyrants had built walls in the places where the ground was open and level; but the higher places, and those more difficult of access, they secured by placing guards of soldiers instead of fortifications.
When he had sufficiently examined every circumstance, having resolved on making a general assault, he surrounded the city with all his forces, the number of which, Romans and allies, horse and foot, naval and land forces, all together, amounted to fifty thousand men.
Some brought scaling-ladders, some fire-brands, some other matters, wherewith they might not only assail the enemy, but strike terror. The orders were, that on raising the shout, all should advance at once, in order that the Lacedaemonians, being alarmed at the same time in every quarter, might be at a loss where, first, to make head, or whither to bring aid.
The main force of his army he formed in three divisions, and ordered one to attack on the side of the Phœbeum, another on that of the Dictynneum, and the third near a place called Heptagoniae, all which are open places without walls.
Though surrounded on all sides by such a violent alarm, the tyrant, at first, attentive to every sudden shout and hasty message, either ran up himself, or sent others, wherever the greatest danger pressed;
but, afterwards, he was so stunned by the horror and confusion that prevailed all around, as to become incapable either of giving proper directions, or of hearing what was said, and to lose, not only his judgment, but almost his reason.