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The Siege of Syracuse (Syracuse in the original) is the third scenario of the The Rise of Rome campaign in Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome. The Romans must take Syracuse without killing Archimedes.

Scenario instructions[]


The second war with Carthage has been underway since Hannibal crossed the Alps into Italy 10 years ago. The arrival and success of Hannibal has encouraged the people of Syracuse to rebel against our Roman rule. You are to lead a force south and recapture the city. Entering the city, however, will prove difficult, as the great mathematician Archimedes has helped Syracuse develop a unique and powerful system of defenses against both land and sea attacks. Although he is a military advisor for our enemies, Archimedes is well-respected by the republic. You are under strict orders not to kill him in the course of the attack. Take Syracuse but preserve the life of Archimedes who might be useful to us.
—In-game section

Starting conditions[]


  • Place 10 Roman Legion units in the Syracuse forum (a raised area marked by two yellow flags). Do not kill Archimedes (an old man).


  • Beware Archimedes' powerful towers. If you must face them, attack them in great numbers.
  • Use catapults only when necessary, for the area of effect of their stones could accidentally kill Archimedes.



  • Player (Romans): The player starts in the eastern corner of the map with a small island base, a military force, and a large fleet.


  • Syracuse (Carthaginians): The red Syracusian army consists a large force Post-Iron Age of elephant units and Heavy Cavalry, and a large fleet of which the Fire Triremes are the most dangerous foes. They own few buildings and have no economy except for Fishing Ships. They train ships, however.
  • Syracuse (Macedonians): The yellow Syracusian army owns almost all buildings of Syracuse - including Mirror Towers - and consists of Post-Iron Age elephant units, Ballistae, and a large fleet. They have no economy except for Fishing Ships. They train ships, however.
  • Olympieum (Assyrians): Olympieum has a small base with a dock and some houses in the southern corner of the map, defended by few Axemen and a Watch Tower. They have no economy.


The Mirror Towers protecting the city from the sea are extremely hard-hitting, and have longer range than any of your siege units. If you can't avoid them, send a large fleet of at least a dozen Catapult Triremes and some Triremes for cannon fodder - extreme force is your only chance.

Destroying the brown player's Docks could be a mistake, as they're lightly defended, and are suited for trading. Sending a few Merchant Ships could guarantee a steady supply of gold.

When you have enough resources, ship some Villagers and soldiers to the open area west of Syracuse, and start building troop-producing buildings. Legions and Catapults can tear the city apart. Once you locate the forum, send your Legions there - but make sure that nothing harms Archimedes, he has very few hit points. Note that even if the player switches diplomatic stance towards the yellow player to neutral, Archimedes will still be targeted automatically since he is a military unit. Hence, it is a good idea to either keep all ranged units away from Archimedes, or simply convert him. However, the player must be alert when converting Archimedes, since his own subjects (yellow) may kill him after his color changes to the player's. It is worth noting that an enemy Catapult is located atop a cliff close to the forum where Archimedes is, whose projectile may accidentally kill Archimedes, so the player may consider dealing with it. It is wise to ensure that yellow has no military units around before attempting to convert Archimedes.


Historical notes[]

The Carthaginians launched the Second Punic War (218- 202 BC) from Spain by marching across southern France and invading Italy from the north across the Alps. The Carthaginians were led by Hannibal, a brilliant commander. After failing to defeat Hannibal and twice suffering tremendous casualties at his hands, the Romans adopted the strategy of avoiding open battle with the great Carthaginian leader. This left the countryside to the mercy of Hannibal and caused many southern cities to defect.

Syracuse, the principal city of Sicily, revolted. An army and navy under Marcellus was sent south to reassert control of the city. The great mathematician Archimedes resided there at the time and aided the defense. Legends tell of hexagonal mirrors that focused the sun's rays and set alight Roman ships and other weapons. Archimedes probably provided plans for some novel and effective machines for Syracuse's defense, such as swinging claws that could drop rocks on attacking ships, or even lift the ships out of the water by their rams. At first, these machines and the natural defenses of the Sicilian shore proved too much for the attacking Romans, and the city was conquered only after a prolonged and plague-ridden siege.

Before his death, which occurred during the Syracuse revolt, Archimedes made important contributions to geometry and fluid dynamics, and discovered the principles of specific gravity.
—In-game section


Rome congratulates you for quelling the rebellion in Syracuse. You have sent a clear message to other cities in the south. Rebellion will not be tolerated. The widespread revolt that Hannibal hoped for will not occur. We hear, however, that he has called for reinforcements.
—In-game section


Your failure to retake Syracuse and the heavy losses you sustained have infuriated the leaders of Rome. More of our old foes have been inspired to join the Carthaginians in this war. Our list of enemies grows daily. The next time you encounter a Carthaginian War Elephant, we suggest you kick it in a sensitive spot and take your medicine.
—In-game section