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Mediterranean Hegemon of Ancient Greece – Chapter 487: Fall of Crotone Bahasa Indonesia

“Well, you are the commander, so you have the final say.” Epiphanes shrugged at Philesius. He then turned to Agasias and complained, “Lord Praetor, can you get some wheat flour for our brothers? It’s okay to have no oats, but we should at least cook porridge. Our brothers were only eating dried beef for two days in a row that they are now having a little difficulty to poop.”

“As the legatus of the fourth legion, you should know that half of the soldiers of the fourth legion had come from here, so how could the people here mistreat their loved ones? However, Aprustum is, after all, a small city with a small population and does not produce wheat. Besides, you have already eaten up all the people’s extra food that they have stock, so there is no food left!” Agasias said helplessly.

“Bear with it a little longer. I already asked the reconnaissance team to tell his majesty that we have food shortages because the Syracusan calvaries have cut off our grain transport route. So I believe that it won’t be long before his majesty arrives with a large army and solve the food problem.” Philesius reassured him.

“Wait! Wait! All we do is just wait!!…” Epiphanes became increasingly anxious after Drakos’ death. He then shouted as he no longer wanted to stay in the Praetor’s residence, “I’ll go to the city and see the situation.”

With that, he strode out.

Agasias could only look at Philesius, who was sitting in a dazed. He deeply felt that Drakos’ death greatly impacted both of them, and he himself was no different. Agasias invited Timasion, Cleander, and their former comrades to Theonia years ago, but they attacked Krimisa without approval and triggered the second war with Crotone. Although Davos never blamed him, and they eventually defeated Crotone, resulting in Theonia’s power expanding, he still blamed himself very much. So from then on, Agasias devoted a lot of his energy to political matters to forget his guilt. Thus after several years of hard work, Agasias became the second person in this group of statesmen who were former mercenaries to be appointed as a Praetor because of his good administrative ability (the first one was Hielos).

So with the political experience that he accumulated and his dealing with the Crotonians, he knew how unwilling the people of Crotone were about losing their hegemony in South Italia. Especially after they recovered their strength in the past few years and began singing a different tune than Theonia in the South Italian Alliance, hence he started to have another guess in his mind about Davos’ order of not attacking rashly, ‘His majesty seemed to have the intention of letting Syracuse weaken Crotone. But could Theonia defeat Syracuse on its own?!’

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Siege of Crotone was going on fiercely.

The Syracusans used the archers at the top of the siege tower and the gastraphetes to sweep away the defenders at the top of the city wall as they slowly approached the walls.

The Crotonians, in the past two-three days, also discussed some ways to defend against the siege towers, such as concentrated long-range attacks with ballistae, throwing oil jars and burning them with fire once the siege towers came close, and making a long iron-clad log to push the siege towers and keep it from getting close to the city walls…

However, even with all these efforts, several siege towers came close to the walls and lowered the drawbridge, through which the Syracusan soldiers poured up to the city wall and fiercely fought the defenders.

Lysias hurriedly sent reinforcements and drove the enemy down the city wall one after another after a fierce battle.

But while the Crotonians did their all defending against the siege towers, the Syracusan soldiers climbed up the city wall through the siege ladders and fought fiercely with the defenders.

Crotone defended stubbornly together with Terina and Scylletium’s troops.

By afternoon, Syracuse’s siege shattered Crotone’s gate in the north. Fortunately, the Crotonians had already blocked the entrance with stones and wood.

Yet the combined use of several siege equipment eventually led to the collapse of a section of the city wall, resulting in heavy casualties to the defenders.

The Syracusan soldiers took this opportunity to quickly climb the collapsed wall and rush into the city.

Fortunately, the reserved organised by Lysias arrived in time. This group of freemen, elderly and teenagers, barely resisted the fierce attack of the experienced Syracusan soldiers by relying on their large number and morale to defend their homes.

And when dusk arrived, and the sky started to get darker, the commanders of the allied troops such as Lysias and Siprus looked elated, thinking that the battle that had lasted the whole day was over.

Unfortunately, Dionysius did not intend to return to their camp at all. He ordered the slaves to push the carts filled with wood, bitumen, resin and piles of oiled hemp into the moat and lit them with fire, which suddenly ignited piles of flames, illuminating the entire city wall.

Dionysius immediately ordered, ‘Blow the salpinx! Beat the drums! Continue to attack the city!!’

The defenders, who were struggling and thought that the battle had ended, saw the Syracusans retreat in one wave and attack in another without end, causing the defenders’ morale to plummet.

Finally, the Syracusan’s relentless effort to siege the city has paid off. Under the urging of the soldiers and after sacrificing countless lives, the prisoners had finally made a ramp high enough to reach the top of the city wall.

Then the Syracusan soldiers on standby rushed up to the top of the city wall and fought the defenders who came to intercept. Dionysius had become anxious that he even asked his personal guards to join the battle at the top of the city wall.

The defenders could finally no longer fend off the enemy and began retreating, thus allowing the Syracusans to gain a foothold at the city wall and expand rapidly in other directions.

“Quick! Quickly find Lysias! Tell him to send reinforcements quickly. Otherwise, we won’t be able to defend the north gate!” Ascamas shouted angrily at the herald.

But at this moment, the north, west and south of Crotone are under fierce attack. Yet there were no extra reinforcements to send because the port in the east had to defend itself against the landing of numerous enemy ships cruising in the sea, while Crotone’s only reserve unit was struggling to fend off the enemy troops attacking through the gap in the walls.

Just as the Crotonian strategoi were stretched out to the limit and could only watch the enemy rush to the city wall and wreak havoc, “Boom!…Crush!…” several loud noises sounded as another section of the city wall was destroyed by the siege engines. Amidst the dust and the roaring of the Syracusans, the Crotonians fighting for their homeland finally showed fear and, under cover of the night, began to shout in panic, “Run! The enemy is coming in! They broke through the city!…”

Once the reserve unit with low morale retreated, the defenders in the city began to retreat as well…

After breaking through the city wall, the Syracusans rushed into the city and completely destroyed the defence in the north of the city.

Lysias, Siprus and the other top officials were anguished to witness: the panicked-stricken soldiers ignoring their persuasion and run past them like a tide as they fled into depths of the city; the people on both sides of the street helped the elder and the young as they also fled together; With cries, screams and shrieks resounding throughout the city…

Seeing the enemy clear up the defenders on the city wall and advance towards the city’s centre, Lysias, although anxious, was completely confused and didn’t know what to do.

Suddenly, a long line of torches appeared from the depths of the city, “Go to the Temple of Apollo!!! Go to the Temple of Apollo!!!…”

This neat shouting reminded the panicking Crotonians to stumble towards the Temple of Apollo* with the illumination of the torches. (The Acropolis is located near the centre of the city.)

Then Lysias and his people also rushed over.

“Who told you to do this?!” Lysias asked the soldier holding the torch.

“It was strategos Milo!” Answered the soldier.

Although Milo was not a strategos anymore, and his task of defending the port was due to Ascamas’ request, it still did not prevent the soldiers from respecting him.

Lysias did not care about these at this time. On the contrary, he was inwardly grateful to Milo because the consequences would be unthinkable without his timely measures to guide the people to the Acropolis.

He then turned to look at the burning city wall when he saw some soldiers still trying their best to stop the enemy’s advance.

So Lysias reminded the soldiers beside him, “The enemy will come soon, so you must also rush back to the Acropolis as soon as possible!” After saying that, he and the others merged into the chaotic flow of people as they needed to rush to the Acropolis to appease the panicking people and maintain the order of the Acropolis. At the same time, they must organise the people to defend the Acropolis, the last defence of Crotone.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

“Milord, we won! We broke through Crotone!!” Damocles became excited.

Dionysius was also unable to contain his joy. After receiving his attendants’ congratulations, he immediately piously praised Apollo to express his gratitude.

Amidst the cheerings, Phidias expression was slightly different as he was in deep thought. Today’s siege gave him a great shock, not only those ingenious and powerful siege engines but also the order coordination of the whole huge siege units. However, what alarmed him the most was Dionysius’ ruthlessness.

The act of Dionysius killing the soldiers and troops who failed to storm the city and fled the battlefield was inconceivable! In the traditions of Greek warfare, there was no practice of disposing deserters, not even in Sparta. After all, the whole Spartan society revered the honour in battles, making deserters have nowhere to stay. Yet Dionysius not only did it, but he also did it more than once, forcing the Syracusan soldiers to attack desperately regardless of their survival, which surprisingly created a miracle in a day to break through the city of Crotone, a powerhouse in Magna Graecia.

This made Phidias admire Dionysius, who he previously thought was terrible at field combat. However, such a victory was based on the fact that Dionysius didn’t care about the number of casualties.


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