Sunday, June 8, 2008
I went to Sicily again in pursuit of my Thucydides hobby. I was very happy to have Josephine, a friend of mine, join me. It would just not have been as pleasant and fun without her.
Siracusa (Syracuse) is the location where the Athenians were soundly defeated, after a very poorly considered decision by the Athenians. Perhaps they would have succeeded, but conflict at home led to conflict on the command of the expedition to Syracuse. It was a disaster. There's little to indicate anything happened there--no signs, no mention, not even a copy of Thucydides to be found, though I noticed there were two streets, one named after the Syracusan leader (Hermocrates) and one after Thucydides.
Due to a misunderstanding on opening hours I did not get to the quarry where the Athenian prisoners where held after their defeat. But I have included one from another quarry in the Neopolis. The men were, in the heat of summer, forced by the thousands into the quarry. They died of thirst, hunger, and exposure. Kagan, a scholar who has written his own new history of the Peloponnesian War (excellent), says that some were bought and ultimately freed by locals if they knew lines from the latest plays by Euripedes.
So, a few views of the harbor and of a quarry.