Those who were imprisoned in the quarries were at the beginning of their captivity harshly1
treated by the Syracusans. There were great numbers of them, and they were crowded in a deep and narrow place. At first the sun by day was still scorching and suffocating, for they had no roof over their heads, while the autumn nights were cold, and the extremes of temperature engendered violent disorders.
Being cramped for room they had to do everything on the same spot.
The corpses of those who died from their wounds, exposure to heat and cold, and the like, lay heaped one upon another. The smells were intolerable; and they were at the same time afflicted by hunger and thirst.During eight months they were allowed only about half a pint of water and a pint of food a day. Every kind of misery which could befall man in such a place befell them.
This was the condition of all the captives for about ten weeks.
At length the Syracusans sold them, with the exception of the Athenians and of any Sicilian or Italian Greeks who had sided with them in the war.
The whole number of the public prisoners is not accurately known, but they were not less than seven thousand.
Of all the Hellenic actions which took place in this war, or indeed, as I think, of all Hellenic2
actions which are on record, this was the greatest-the most glorious to the victors, the most ruinous to the vanquished; for they were utterly and at all points defeated, and their sufferings were prodigious.
Fleet and army perished from the face of the earth; nothing was saved, and of the many who went forth few returned home.
Thus ended the Sicilian expedition.