Cicero’s description of the Latomie: “Nothing so hedged in on all sides…”

The Latin poet Cicero was particularly impressed by this gloomy place, which he described in the fifth oration of his work In Verrem (Against Verres), as a stone prison with no way out, a place deep and closed in on itself: “You have all heard of the Syracusan stone-quarries.
Many of you are acquainted with them. It is a vast work and splendid; the work of the old kings and tyrants.
The whole of it is cut out of rock excavated to a marvellous depth, and carved out by the labour of great multitudes of men.
Nothing can either be made or imagined so closed against all escape, so hedged in on all sides, so safe for keeping prisoners in.
Into these quarries men are commanded to be brought even from other cities in Sicily, if they are commanded by the public authorities to be kept in custody.”