The city of Croton had a wall with a circuit of twelve miles before the coming of Pyrrhus to Italy.
Since the desolation caused by that war scarcely half of the city was inhabited.1
The river which had flowed through the middle of the city now flowed past, outside the quarters which had numerous houses, and the citadel was far from the inhabited portions.
Six miles from the famous city was a temple more [p. 183]
famous than the city itself, that of Lacinian Juno,2 3
revered by all the surrounding
peoples. There a sacred grove, which was enclosed by dense woods and tall fir-trees, had in its centre luxuriant pastures, where cattle of all kinds, being sacred to the goddess, used to pasture without any
shepherd. And at night the flocks of each kind would return separately to their stalls, being never harmed by wild beasts lying in wait, nor by the dishonesty of
men. Therefore great profits were made from the cattle, and out of the profits a massive golden column4
was wrought and consecrated. And the temple was famous for its wealth also, not merely for its
sanctity. They give it some pretended marvels also, as generally in places so noted. It is reported that in the space in front of the temple there is an altar whose ashes are never stirred by any
wind. But the citadel of Croton, on one side overhanging the sea, while the other slopes down toward the country, was once protected merely by its natural situation, but later encircled with a wall also, where, along the cliffs on the farther side, it had been taken by ruse of Dionysius,5
Sicily. In that citadel, sufficiently safe, as it seemed, the optimates of Croton were at the time maintaining themselves, besieged even by their own plebs as well as by the
Bruttians. Finally the Bruttians, seeing that the citadel was for their resources impregnable, were of necessity constrained to beg aid of
Hanno. He attempted to compel the Crotonians to surrender on condition that they [p. 185]
permit a colony of Bruttians to be established there,6
and allow the city, desolate and depopulated by wars, to recover its old-time
numbers. But among them all he prevailed upon no one except Aristomachus. They claimed that they would sooner die than mingle with the Bruttians and change to the rites, customs and laws, and presently even the language, of another
people. Aristomachus, since he was unable by persuasion to bring them to surrender and could find no opportunity to betray the citadel, as he had betrayed the city, alone went over to
Hanno. Soon after that the Locrian legates entered the citadel with Hanno's consent and persuaded them to allow themselves to be transferred to Locri, and not to risk desperate
measures. Permission to that effect they had already obtained from Hannibal, having sent legates for that very purpose. So Croton was evacuated, and the Crotonians were led down to the sea and went on
shipboard. They went, the whole number of them,7
In Apulia even the winter was not without conflict between the Romans and Hannibal. Sempronius, the consul, was wintering at Luceria, Hannibal not far from
Arpi. Skirmishes between them kept occurring as opportunity offered, or the favourable moment for one side or the other. And in consequence the Romans were better soldiers, daily more cautious and safer from surprise attacks.