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Pyrrhus of Epirus Read Þ 102 Å [Read] ➵ Pyrrhus of Epirus By Jeff Champion – Pyrrhus of Epirus was rated by Hannibal as the second greatest general yet seen placing himself third Indeed Hannibal referred to Pyrrhus as his teacher although the two never met since he learnt so m Pyrrhus of Epirus was rated by Hannibal as the Pyrrhus of Epirus was rated by Hannibal as the second greatest general yet seen placing himself third Indeed Hannibal referred to Pyrrhus as his teacher although the two never met since he learnt so much of the art of war from his writings Pyrrhus was born into the royal house of Epirus northwest Pyrrhus of PDFEPUBGreece and was a second cousin of Alexander the Great His mother was forced to flee into exile to protect his life when he was a mere infant yet he prospered in trouble. It seems that only in military history is it possible to read an academic work that isn't as dry as dust and feels like it was written by a Dalek This is an example of one such book Jeff Champion's 'Pyrrhus of Epirus' is a very good telling of one of the lesser known famous figures of antiuityIf you ever wondered where the phrase 'Pyrrhic victory' comes from it's this man right here Pyrrhus was born in a small backwater of the Greek world known as Epirus in a tumultuous career he started as being an exile in another Greek Kingdom to taking control of Epirus conuering briefly Macedonia making a name for himself as a true Successor King of Alexander who he could claim as a relative through Alexander's mother Olympia if I'm not mistaken enlarged Epirus almost conuered Sicily besieged Sparta and fought the Romans in three horribly bloody battles It is his war with Rome in support of the Greek city state of Tarentum in southern Italy that made him famous He defeated the Romans twice and fought them to a bloody draw once but his losses were so severe despite having the same military system as Alexandr's Macedonians that he was never able to turn any tactical advantage into a lasting strategic or even operational one Though the Roman's did not yet have a professional army at this time 270's BC they still had the overall successful military system when compared to the Greeks Pyrrhus also learned something that Hannibal would learn to his misfortune some sixty years later The Romans don't negotiate terms Period Knock the Romans down and they just keep coming back until they have you on the groundand the you're pretty much guaranteed to die Pyrrhus was so bloodied by fighting the Romans to a strategic draw after the battles of Heraclea and Asculum that he turned to assisting the Greek city states in Sicily though this was for a chance for glory than any love of the Greek people Pyrrhus took uite a few Carthaginian strongholds and cities by storm something that Alexander couldn't even always do against other city's and after abandoning the siege of Llybeaum I know I misspelled that sorry due to the situation behind him amongst the Greeks blowing up in his face a common occurrence in Pyrrhus' life he also defeated the Carthaginians in a couple of battles that the sources say were bloody However the Carthaginian navy trounced Pyrrhus' fleet as he tried to once again take his army and come to the rescue of Tarentum against the Romans also in the process abandoning Sicily with his tail between his legs in essence He fought one battle with Rome at Maleventum and he barely succeeded in fighting them to a draw before withdrawing from Italy entirely The Romans proud of having fought off a Greek King and a famous one at that renamed Maleventum as Beneventum which means good event Pyrrhus desperately needing cash to pay for his wars in Italy and Sicily invaded Macedonia and stripped the countryside causing the Macedonians to abandon his cause Ever the one to seek for glory Pyrrhus then marched south ignoring his loss of Macedonia entirely and took up the dubious cause of assisting the Pelloponessus cities against Antigonus who was encroaching upon them Pyrrhus however stabbed Sparta in the back and placed it under siege Pyrrhus was however clearly beaten here and forced to retire where he then very unwisely marched on Argos where he would fall in battle after an initial night assault on the city His story is one that would make a hell of a Hollywood blockbuster if it had the right director ahem and is a shame that it is not very well known Jeff Champion has written a very good book on a sadly neglected figure of history

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D times and went from a refugee to become king Always an adventurer with an eye for the main chance he was deeply involved in the cut and thrust campaigning coups and subterfuges of the Successor kingdoms At various times he was king of Epirus twice Macedon twice and Sicily as well as overlord of much of southern Italy In BC he was invited by the southern Italian states to defend them against the aggressive expansion of the burgeoning Roman republic His early victories over the Ro. ‘Pyrrhus of Epirus’ by Jeff Champion is infinitely readable and is the first book I have read by this particular author Pyrrhus is certainly one of the better known characters of antiuity known as one of the first eastern potentates to clash with Rome to mixed result Hence the continued use in the modern day of the term ‘Pyrrhic’ to denote a victory that was too costly Therefore I was a trifle surprised to learn in the author’s preface that this is only the second biography to be attempted of Pyrrhus’ life and achievements written in English This is largely due to a dearth of primary source material However Champion use what has been beueathed to us by posterity to good effect The result is a good if at time imaginative re telling of the formative events of Pyrrhus’ career that shaped his development as a generalThe author in his preface states that the biography was not intended to be an academic treatise and was written with a broader audience in mind On this level I think the book delivers It is laid out in chronological order written in accessible language and is furnished with good maps to help orientate the reader The first chapter gives contextual information regarding Epirus’ geography socio political composition and her relationship with her neighbours The second chapter outlines Pyrrhus’ formative years in exile and how the experiences he gained while at the courts of the Diadochi or Successors help him develop as a general The remaining chapters outline his wars in Macedonia Magna Graecia Sicily and the PeloponnesusOverall an enthralling read and well worth picking up for anyone interested in military history in the age of the Diadochi Happy ReadingGavin

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Pyrrhus of EpirusMan armies at Heraclea and Asculum assisted by his use of elephants were won at such a high price in casualties that they gave us the expression 'Pyrrhic victory' These battles were the first clashes between the hitherto dominant Hellenistic way of warfare as developed by Alexander and the Roman legions and so full of tactical interest He failed in Italy and Sicily but when on to further military adventures in Greece eventually being killed in action while storming the city of Arg. Pyrrhus of Epirus profiles the Epirote king whom we know today for lending his name to the term “Pyrrhic Victory” The ancients however ranked Pyrrhus with Alexander and Hannibal as among the greatest generals who ever lived and revered him as the author of the premier texts on the strategy of warfarePyrrhus lived in tumultuous times and created uite a lot of tumult himself Born into the royal family of Epirus his early years were spent as a pawn and protégé of the successors of Alexander Exiled as a child he eventually wiggled his way back into the kingship After being expelled again by Macedonian King Cassander he fought for the Antigonids befriended Ptolemy I and with Ptolemy’s help regained his own kingdom He then conuered half of Macedonia but uickly lost it to Thracian King Lysimachus As his renown as a general spread the Greek cities in Italy invited him to counterbalance the Roman Republic’s aggressiveness He defeated the Romans twice by aweing them with his Greek phalanxes and Indian elephants which shocked their sensibilities But his victories were hollow; as a ruler of a small state fighting a much larger state every casualty placed him at a disadvantage in the long run thus his “Pyrrhic Victories” Before stabilizing the Italian Greek cities he headed to Sicily where he conuered most of the island but failed to timely expel the Carthaginians leaving chaos behind in his wake On returning to Epirus he once again surged into battle defeating the Antigonid king and claiming the Macedonian throne But after intervening unsuccessfully in Sparta he died unbecomingly during a battle in Argos when a soldier’s mother dropped a tile on his head On his death Epirus faded into obscurity the Greek cities fell to Rome Sicily returned to its former state of conflict and the Antigonids regained MacedoniaThe picture that emerges of Pyrrhus is that of a perpetually restless ruler competent in war but incompetent in statesmanship Though he fought with shockingly heroic bravery and strength and used his resources in battle well he never consolidated his gains nor built the alliances and relationships that could have solidified his victories Every win fostered his desire for victories and every loss steeled him for another fightJeff Champion’s biography takes us through Pyrrhus’s eventful life in a thoughtful narrative Champion uses the sources well and places Pyrrhus’ life in the context of his times We understand Pyrrhus’s strengths and his many weaknesses and learn about the politics of the Greek city states and the Roman Republic Though a bit scattered and unedited than Champion’s excellent Antigonus the One Eyed it’s still an eminently readable history