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Pyrrhus of Epirus, king of the Molossians (from ca. 297 BC), Epirus (306-301, 297-272 BC) and Macedon (288-284, 273-272 BC), was one of the strongest opponents of early Rome. Some of his battles, though successful, cost him staggering losses, from which coined the term Pyrrhic victory. While he was a mercurial and often restless leader, and not always a wise king, he was considered one of the greatest military commanders of his time, ranked by Hannibal himself to be the second greatest commander the world had seen after Alexander the Great. Pyrrhus was also known to be very benevolent. As a general Pyrrhus' greatest political weaknesses were the failure to maintain focus and the failure to maintain a strong treasury at home (many of his soldiers were costly mercenaries).

His name is famous for the phrase "Pyrrhic victory" which refers to an exchange at the Battle of Asculum. In response to congratulations for winning a costly victory over the Romans, he is reported to have said: "One more such victory and I shall be lost!" Pyrrhus wrote Memoirs and several books on the art of war. These have since been lost although Hannibal was influenced by them and they received praise from Cicero.

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Pyrrhus of Epirus, king of the Molossians (from ca. 297 BC), Epirus (306-301, 297-272 BC) and Macedon (288-284, 273-272 BC), was one of the strongest opponents of early Rome. Some of his battles, though successful, cost him staggering losses, from which coined the term Pyrrhic victory. While he was a mercurial and often restless leader, and not always a wise king, he was considered one of the greatest military commanders of his time, ranked by Hannibal himself to be the second greatest commander the world had seen after Alexander the Great. Pyrrhus was also known to be very benevolent. As a general Pyrrhus' greatest political weaknesses were the failure to maintain focus and the failure to maintain a strong treasury at home (many of his soldiers were costly mercenaries).

His name is famous for the phrase "Pyrrhic victory" which refers to an exchange at the Battle of Asculum. In response to congratulations for winning a costly victory over the Romans, he is reported to have said: "One more such victory and I shall be lost!" Pyrrhus wrote Memoirs and several books on the art of war. These have since been lost although Hannibal was influenced by them and they received praise from Cicero. More...

 
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