after the exchange of provinces the Sicilians were introduced into the senate, and spoke at length on the invariable loyalty of King Hiero towards the Roman people, laying that to the credit of the state.
as for Hieronymus, and later, Hippocrates and Epicydes, the tyrants, they said they had themselves hated them for other reasons and especially because of their desertion from the Romans to Hannibal. on that account Hieronymus had been slain by the foremost of the young men, almost as if by a verdict of the people. and also to bring about the death of Epicydes and Hippocrates a conspiracy of seventy young men of the highest rank had been formed.1
these men, they said, had been left in the lurch by the delay of Marcellus, in that he had not brought up his army to Syracuse at the time named in advance, and when
an informer appeared, they had all been slain by the tyrants.2
that tyranny also of Hippocrates and Epicydes had been provoked by Marcellus' cruel plundering of Leontini.
after that, they said, leading men among the Syracusans had never ceased going over to Marcellus and promising that, whenever he wished it, they would tum the city over to him;
but that at first he had preferred to take it by force; then, when after all his efforts he had proved unable to do so either by land or by sea, he had preferred to have the coppersmith Sosis and the Spaniard Moericus advocating [p. 117]
the surrender of Syracuse, rather than the leading3
Syracusans, although these volunteered again and again to do so, but to no purpose. his motive, of course, was to have the more reasonable excuse for slaughtering and plundering the oldest allies of the Roman people.
if it had been not Hieronymus that went over to Hannibal, but the Syracusan people and senate, if it had been the Syracusans that by an act of the state closed the gates to Marcellus, and not rather their tyrants, Hippocrates and Epicydes, after overpowering the Syracusans, if with the animus of
Carthaginians they had waged war against the Roman people, what hostile deed could Marcellus have done beyond what he did do, unless it be to destroy Syracuse?
certainly apart from the city —walls and the emptied houses and the sanctuaries of the gods, broken open and despoiled by removal of the statues of the gods themselves and their adornments, nothing had been left at Syracuse.
their landed property also had been taken away from many,4
so that they could not support themselves and their families, even on the bare soil, with the help of what was left of their plundered possessions. they implored the conscript fathers, they said, if it was impossible for them to restore everything, to order that at least what was visible and could be identified be returned to the owners.
after they had uttered such complaints and Laevinus had ordered them to leave the temple,5
that the fathers might
be able to deliberate in regard to their demands, “no, no,” said Marcellus, “let them wait, that I may answer them to their faces, since such are the terms on which we wage war in your behalf, conscript fathers, that we have men vanquished by [p. 119]
our arms as accusers, and of the two cities captured6
this year Capua has Fulvius as its defendant, Syracuse has Marcellus.”