And for the time Quinctius, having put a stop to the enemy's raids by reason of the alarm he had given them, and thinking that there was no alternative to the investment of the city, sent messengers to bring up the marines from Gytheum, and himself with the tribunes of the soldiers rode around the walls to reconnoitre the city's position.
Sparta had at one time been without a wall; the tyrants had recently constructed a wall in the open and flat places;1
the higher ground and that difficult to approach was defended by guards of soldiers instead of a fortification.
When he had made a sufficiently complete reconnaissance, thinking that he should attack from an encircling line, he stationed around the city his whole force —there were altogether, Romans and allies, foot and horse, soldiers and marines, about fifty thousand men.
Some bore ladders, others torches, others [p. 519]
other things, with which to attack and likewise to2
The main body of his army he formed in three columns: his order was to attack with one on the side of the Phoebeum, with the second at the Dictynneum, with the third in the quarter which they call Heptagoniae —all these were open places without walls.
The city being thus encircled on every side with terror, the tyrant at first, actively attending to the sudden shouts and the panic-stricken messages, just as each spot was in greatest straits, either went to meet the enemy in person or despatched assistance;
later on, as the confusion increased on all sides, he was so benumbed by terror that he was unable either to order what was appropriate or to hear the reports, and not only lost his power of judgment but was almost bereft of reason.