Pyrrhus of Epirus

Jeff Champion

* The first biography of Pyrrhus in English for over half a century.

* Pyrrhus was the first Hellenistic king to clash with the Romans, and the only one to defeat them in two major battles.

* Pyrrhus was rated by Hannibal as a greater general than himself.

* From infant refugee to king (several times), Pyrrhus' life is full of epic campaig
Date Published :
March 2017
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781473886643
Pages : 176
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.5 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Pyrrhus was born into the royal house of Epirus, northwest Greece, but his mother was forced to flee into exile to protect his life when he was a mere infant. Yet he prospered in troubled times and rose from a refugee to a king. Always an adventurer 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 281 BC he was invited by the southern Italian states to defend them against the aggressive expansion of the Rome. His early victories at Heraclea and Asculum were so hard-fought that a 'Pyrrhic victory' still means one gained at crippling cost. These were the first fascinating duels between the developing Roman legions and the hitherto-dominant Hellenistic way of war with its pike phalanxes and elephants.

Pyrrhus ultimately failed in Italy and Sicily but went on to further military adventures in Greece, eventually being killed while storming the city of Argos.

About The Author

Jeff Champion is a Customs and Excise officer in Australia. He has written numerous articles on Hellenistic warfare for specialist journals such as Slingshot, the journal of the Society of Ancients.

His first book, Pyrrhus of Epirus, was published by Pen & Sword in 2009 and received very good reviews.


"Mr. Champion does a very good job of showing all of the different accounts of his battles and Pyrrhus's history in general. Where there are conflicting accounts, Mr. Champion makes sure the reader is aware of them... Well-written and stuffed full of history of not only the man, but also his time, this book is very easy to recommend."

- A Wargamers Needful Things

“Quickly accepted as the standard work on the man, fitting him into his times and exploring in considerable detail his campaigns against Romans, Carthaginians, and fellow Greeks, the book has long been hard to find, and this reissue, although not a revision, is very welcome.”

- The NYMAS Review

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