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 antiquity. If 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, conquering 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 , enlar I found the book very readable and enjoyable Jeff Champion appears to cover the topic reasonably well to my limited knowledge I would recommend this book.
This biography does better service to Pyrrhus then he did to himself on the battlefield. As the giver of his own name to a pithy phrase describing a worthless or counter productive victory, but also someone renown for bravery in the face of adversity Why ancient generals looked up to him has always been beyond me, but he was and is a very interesting figure Also, in a world where the most likely future leader of the worlds most powerful country is someone with lots of experience in foreign affairs but consistently delivering mediocre to negative results before jumping into the next quagmire, Pyrrhus s career offers both parallels and understanding. 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 antiquity, 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 bequeathed 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 general. The author, in his preface, states This is a good book for those readers who enjoy anything to do with ancient history Champion provides a quick yet detailed look into the life of one of the Hellenistic Periods standout figures, Pyrrhus of Epirus This narrative provides an account of the wars and battles that Pyrrhus participated in as well as the context of the settings in an attempt to provide the perspective of this larger than life individual and explain why he did what he did, making for an all theinteresting read. Granted, there are a couple of problems with the book so I will just get them out of the way Firstly, this is a book predominantly about war and battle, little is explained of Pyrrhus personal life and about his rule as king Though, considering the materials available from the period, which ar Pyrrhus of Epirus he of the adjectival victory won at too great a cost Onesuch victory and we are lost or alternative translation of your choice is one of thefascinating figures of antiquity Indeed, he was uniquely positioned to go to war for or against most of the great and emerging Mediterranean powers of his day, including Rome, Carthage, Macedonia, Sparta, the Galatians and the Successor kingdoms. Thus, whilst it s pleasing to see an attempt at an accessible modern text about his life, I can t say I found Jeff Champion s book to be entirely successful Adequate to the purpose perhaps, but a long way short of excellent And that is despite my pleasant surprise to find a local connection to myself, as the author studied at the University of Western Australia. Champion sets the tone in his introduction, wherein he explains his intentio ✓ Pyrrhus of Epirus é Pyrrhus of Epirus was a ruler who went around parts of Italy, Sicily and Greece and the Balkans in the 3rd century BC trying to expand his dominions A capable general, he was not able to hang on to his main conquests This book is very much written from a military account, with some fairly detailed descriptions of battles and battle tactics In places it is a bit repetitive, with the same information being giventhan once There is a lot of attention to the confusing background, with the various successors to Alexander the Great fighting each other, and I doubt many readers will succeed in grasping all the detail it might have been better to have painted a ratherbroad picture. Even in my present state of Hellenistic obsession, I found this book turgid This is only partly because Champion s interest is mostly in military matters The real flaw is the way the book is written so that it s both slow and bombastic I d been looking forward to it, and then I had to force myself through it. Champion has also written a book on Antigonos, which is a pity, as I d love to read a good book about Antigonos and it s unlikely that somebody else will write me one any time soon with Champion s sitting there. 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 Greece, 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 Troubled Times And Went [ Pdf Pyrrhus of Epirus Õ pre-k PDF ] by Jeff Champion ↠´ 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 InBC 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 Roman 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 Argos
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