Pyrrhus made his mark by cultivating an almost maniacal focus on winning in battle - he had a lust for combat. In doing so, he won for himself long lasting glory. Pyrrhus’ contemporaries and many generations after, seem to agree that Pyrrhus was the greatest commander of his day. But what was the cost? And was it worth it?
On today’s podcast:
Pyrrhus’ whirlwind Sicilian expedition
Pyrrhus vs Antigonus
The Siege of Sparta
The Battle for Argos
Antigonus was famously once asked, “who is the greatest General of our day?” to which he replied, “Pyrrhus, if he lives to be old.”
This is the third and final installment of The Life of Pyrrhus, King of Epirus.
[Original music score based on Epirot and other Greek folk traditions, by Ilias Markantonis.
Pyrrhus takes opportunity after opportunity, always imagining this will further his cause. It begins with a Sicilian expedition. After this, Pyrrhus returns to Italy to fight the Battle of Beneventum. Then he goes to Macedonia to try and claw back an opportunity he didn’t pursue earlier.
It’s a predictable pattern, according to Plutarch:
“Pyrrhus was always entertaining one hope after another, and since he made one success but the starting point for a new one, while he was determined to make good each disaster by a fresh undertaking, he allowed neither defeat nor victory to put a limit to his causing trouble for himself and for others.”
Pyrrhus made his mark by cultivating an almost maniacal focus on winning in battle - he had a lust for combat. In doing so he won for himself long lasting glory. But we should perhaps ask, together with Plutarch - what was the cost? And was it worth it?
On today’s podcast:
- Pyrrhus’ whirlwind Sicilian expedition
- Fabricius’ revenge
- Pyrrhus vs Antigonus
- The Siege of Sparta
- The Battle for Argos
Some Places Mentioned
Eryx (Erice, Trapani)
What is Cost of Glory?
The most influential biographies ever written, admired by leaders, creators, soldiers, and thinkers for nearly 2,000 years: Plutarch’s Parallel lives. Essential listening for anyone striving after greatness. Alex Petkas, former professor of ancient philosophy and history, revives and dramatically retells these unforgettable stories for modern audiences. The subjects are statesmen, generals, orators, and founders; pious and profane, stoics and hedonists. The stakes bear on the future of Western civilization. The cost of glory is always great. Visit ancientlifecoach.com to find out more.