Being allowed to retire immediately after this exhortation, they employed themselves in taking refreshment. The next day they stationed themselves some in one place and others in another, to block up the streets, and shut up the ways by which the townsmen might escape, the greater part of them stationing themselves upon and round the theatre, as they had been accustomed before also to be spectators of the assemblies.
When the Roman prefect, having been brought into the presence of the people by the magistrates, said, that the power and authority of deciding the question appertained to the consul, and not to him, repeating for the most part what he had urged the day before;
first of all a small number, and then more, desired him to give up the keys, but afterwards all with one consent demanded it; and when he hesitated and delayed, threatened him furiously, and seemed as though they would not further delay violent extremities;
then the prefect gave the signal agreed upon with his gown, and the soldiers, who had been long anxiously waiting the signal, and in readiness, raising a shout, ran down, some of them from the higher ground, upon the rear of the assembly, while others blocked up the passages leading out of the [p. 943]
The people of Enna thus shut up in the pit were put to the sword, being heaped one upon another not only in consequence of the slaughter, but also from their own efforts to escape; for some scrambling over the heads of others, and those that were unhurt falling upon the wounded, and the living upon the dead, they were accumulated together.
Thence they ran in every direction throughout the city, when nothing was any where to be seen but flight and bloodshed, as though the city had been captured; for the rage of the soldiery was not less excited in putting to the sword an unarmed rabble, than it would have been had the heat of battle and an equality of danger stimulated it.
Thus possession of Enna was retained, by an act which was either atrocious or unavoidable. Marcellus did not disapprove of the deed, and gave up the plunder of the place to the soldiery; concluding that the Sicilians, deterred by this example, would refrain from betraying their garrisons.
As this city was situated in the heart of Sicily, and was distinguished both on account of the remarkable strength of its natural situation, and because every part of it was rendered sacred by the traces it contained of the rape of Proserpine of old, the news of its disaster spread through the whole of Sicily in nearly one day;
and as people considered that by this horrid massacre violence had been done not only to the habitations of men, but even of the gods, then indeed those who even before this event were in doubt which side they should take, revolted to the Carthaginians.
Hippocrates and Himilco, who had in vain brought up their troops to Enna at the invitation of the traitors, retired thence, the former to Murgantia, the latter to Agrigentum.
Marcellus retrograded into the territory of Leontium, and after collecting a quantity of corn and other provisions in his camp there, left a small body of troops to protect it, and then went to carry on the siege of Syracuse.
Appius Claudius having been allowed to go from thence to Rome to put up for the consulship, he appointed Titus Quintus Crispinus to command the fleet and the old camp in his room.
He himself fortified his camp, and built huts for his troops at a distance of five miles from Hexapylum, at a place called Leon. These were the transactions in Sicily up to the beginning of the winter.