28PYRRHUS OF EPIRUSCAMPAIGN AGAINSTTHE ROMANS (280–279 BC)
ON THE PYRRHIC VICTORY(OR NOT BUYING REVENUE)
Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair.—PERCY SHELLEY, OZYMANDIAS
King Pyrrhus of Epirus, the famous Greek general, was called to Italy to defend the Greek colony of Tarentum from the Romans in 280 BC. He arrived with a great army, including the Epirot cavalry and fighting elephants. He defeated the Romans at Heraclea in 280 BC and then again at Asculum in 279 BC. After news of the second victory arrived, however, Pyrrhus’ response was, “One more victory like this and we shall be undone.” He has given his name to the Pyrrhic, or too ...
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