In 212 BC, more than five hundred years after its foundation, Syracuse, a colony of Corinth, was conquered by the Consul Marcus Claudius Marcellus during the terrible
Second Punic War
The city of Arethusa had been allied with the Romans during the tyranny of Hiero II, but upon his death, the pro-Carthaginian faction led by Hippocrates and Epicydes, rejected any kind of mediation by the Romans.
Therefore, the city was attacked by land and sea by the Roman army, which in 212 BC managed to overwhelm the population of Syracuse with a war in which the Sicilian scientist also died Archimedes . Syracuse resisted the Roman siege for two years: the first attacks were pushed back thanks to the extraordinary war machines designed by Archimedes, including the famous burning mirrors that, according to history or legend, the scientist used against the Roman ships. An immediate consequence of the Roman conquest was the plunder of all the city’s treasures.
The remains of Syracuse, which testified to the levels of art reached by the Siceliot civilisation, aroused enormous interest and enthusiasm among the Romans. Therefore, the capture of Syracuse was a crucial point in bringing Latin and Greek culture closer together.
The city was brought under the rule of the Roman Republic as the capital city of the Roman province of Sicily, the seat of the praetors and magistrates sent to administer the Mediterranean island.
Numerous buildings belong to the Roman period, particularly those of a practical nature or aimed at the well-being of the population, such as baths, forums, aqueducts, theatres and amphitheatres, as well as necessary structures such as roads and necropolises.