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Thread: The Luck of Pyrrhus

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    Default The Luck of Pyrrhus

    The Luck of Pyrrhus

    Thus Pyrrhus was excluded from his hopes of Italy and Sicily, after squandering six years' time in his wars there, and after being worsted in his undertakings, but he kept his brave spirit unconquered in the midst of his defeats; and men believed that in military experience, personal prowess, and daring, he was by far the first of the kings of his time, but that what he won by his exploits he lost by indulging in vain hopes, since through passionate desire for what he had not he always failed to establish securely what he had. For this reason Antigonus used to liken him to a player with dice who makes many fine throws but does not understand how to use them when they are made.

    He returned to Epeirus with eight thousand foot and five hundred horse, and since he had no money he sought for a war by which he could maintain his army. Some Gauls joined him, and he thereupon made an incursion into Macedonia, where Antigonus the son of Demetrius was reigning, designing to strip and plunder the country. But after he had taken a great number of cities and two thousand Macedonian soldiers had come over to him, he began to hope for greater things, and set out to attack Antigonus, and falling upon him in a narrow pass, threw his whole army into confusion. The Gauls who formed the rearguard of Antigonus, a numerous body, made a sturdy resistance; but after a fierce battle most these were cut to pieces, while those who had charge of the elephants were hemmed in and surrendered themselves and all their animals. Then Pyrrhus, thus greatly strengthened, and consulting his good fortune rather than his judgment, advanced upon the phalanx of the Macedonians, which was filled with confusion and fear because of their previous defeat. For this reason they refrained from engagement or battle with him, whereupon Pyrrhus, stretching out his right hand and calling upon the generals and captains, brought over to him all the infantry of Antigonus in a body. So Antigonus took to flight with a few of his horsemen, and occupied some of the seaboard cities; while Pyrrhus, thinking that amid so many successes his achievement against the Gauls conduced most to his glory, dedicated the most beautiful and splendid of his spoils in the temple of Athena Itonis, with the following elegiac inscription:

    These shields, now suspended here as a gift to Athena Itonis, Pyrrhus the Molossian took from valiant Gauls, after defeating the entire army of Antigonus; which is no great wonder; for now, as well as in olden time, the Aeacidae are brave spearmen."

    - from The Life of Pyrrhus - Plutarch


    "Pyrrhus, my son!" A thundering voice awakened the conquering king of Epirus from his formerly sound sleep. "Look upward and listen well to your ancestors." Pyrrhus, still dumbfounded and with eyes half closed, did so, only to see the unmistakable figure of Achilles, his greatest ancestor, along with many others surrounding him.

    "Yes, it is I, Achilles, greatest of the Hellenes," said the tall, long haired figure, his armour bathed in yellow, glowing light. "Shall all my progeny waste their lives in vain imitation of me? Shall you allow rage and greed be strings to lead you to your fate? You shall die and die in vain, my son. You will be remembered as I am, but not as the great hero. You shall instead be the by-word for overreaching and wanton warmongering, a footnote in the history of the sons of Troy, those lowly Romanoi, instead of a conquer and an Emperor to be loved by those of future ages. I died by the bow shot of an effeminate wife-thief, but you shall die by the roof tile of a house wife! That is, if you heed not my words. We, your noble ancestors, can only guide you if you wish it."

    Pyrrhus only could nod in silent awe. "Speak!" bellowed Achilles. "I shall obey your words, great father," the king meekly replied. The year was 272 before the Incarnation.
    Last edited by americancaesar; 07-14-2007 at 08:03.

    "Such is the pride of the Romans that they would think that citizens of a Greek city would need their protection."
    - an ATL Aristophanes of Byzantium from his work De historía Priteni

  2. #2
    Just your average Senior Member Warmaster Horus's Avatar
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    Besancon, France: a stepping stone to greatness. I hope.

    Default Re: The Luck of Pyrrhus

    It's a beginning. Not too bad a beginning. How soon/often do you think of updating?

    Also, I can't see the image, and I don't know if it's a broken link or not.
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  3. #3
    Member Member marioo!'s Avatar
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    Apr 2007

    Default Re: The Luck of Pyrrhus

    Very Good, can't wait for the update
    always wanted to see an Epeiros AAR


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