Such, then, was Archimedes, and, so far as he himself was concerned, he maintained himself and his city unconquered. But during the progress of the siege Marcellus captured Megara, one of the most ancient cities of Sicily; he also captured the camp of Hippocrates at Acrillae and killed more than eight thousand men, having attacked them as they were throwing up entrenchments; furthermore, he overran a great part of Sicily, brought cities over from the Carthaginians, and was everywhere victorious over those who ventured to oppose him.
Some time afterwards he made a prisoner of a certain Damippus, a Spartan who tried to sail away from Syracuse. The Syracusans sought to ransom this man back, and during the frequent meetings and conferences which he held with them about the matter, Marcellus noticed a certain tower that was carelessly guarded, into which men could be secretly introduced, since the wall near it was easy to surmount.
When, therefore, in his frequent approaches to it for holding these conferences, the height of the tower had been carefully estimated, and ladders had been prepared, he seized his opportunity when the Syracusans were celebrating a festival in honour of Artemis and were given over to wine and sport, and before they knew of his attempt not only got possession of the tower, but also filled the wall round about with armed men, before the break of day, and cut his way through the Hexapyla.
When the Syracusans perceived this and began to run about confusedly, he ordered the trumpets to sound on all sides at once and thus put them to flight in great terror, believing as they did that no part of the city remained uncaptured.1
There remained, however, the strongest, most beautiful, and largest part (called Achradina), because it had been fortified on the side towards the outer city, one part of which they call Neapolis, and another Tyche.