Massacre of Romans In Tarentum
He told off two thousand of his Celts: and, having
divided them into three companies, he assigned two of the
young men who had managed the plot to each company; and
sent with them also certain of his own officers, with orders to
close up the several most convenient streets that led to the
market-place. And when he had done this, he bade the
young men of the town pick out and save those of their
fellow-citizens whom they might chance to meet, by shouting
out before they came up with them, "That Tarentines should
remain where they were, as they were in no danger"; but he
ordered both Carthaginian and Celtic officers to kill all the
Romans they met.
So these companies separated and proceeded to carry out
Escape of Livius into the citadel.
their orders. But when the entrance of the
enemy became known to the Tarentines, the
city began to be full of shouting and extraordinary confusion. As for Gaius, when the enemy's entrance was
announced to him, being fully aware that his drunkenness had
incapacitated him, he rushed straight out of the house with his
servants, and having come to the gate leading to the harbour,
and the sentinel having opened the wicket for him, he got
through that way; and having seized one of the boats lying at
anchor there, went on board it with his servants and arrived
safely at the citadel.
Massacre of Roman soldiers.
Meanwhile Philemenus had provided
himself with some Roman bugles, and some
men who were able to blow them, from being
used to do so; and they stood in the theatre and
sounded a call to arms. The Romans promptly rallying in
arms, as was their custom at this sound, and directing their
steps towards the citadel, everything happened exactly as the
Carthaginians intended; for as the Roman soldiers came into
the streets, without any order and in scattered groups, some of
them came upon the Carthaginians and others upon the Celts;
and by their being in this way put to the sword in detail, a
very considerable number of them perished.
But when day began to break, the Tarentines kept quietly
in their houses, not yet being able to comprehend what was
happening. For thanks to the bugle, and the absence of all
outrage or plundering in the town, they thought that the
movement arose from the Romans themselves. But the sight
of many of the latter lying killed in the streets, and the
spectacle of some Gauls openly stripping the Roman corpses,
suggested a suspicion of the presence of the Carthaginians.