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Pyrrhic Victory

The Shaping of Destiny

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The central character is Pyrrhus, King of Epirus in the generation after Alexander the Great. He is a central figure in the politics of the day and gave rise to the expression, "A Pyrrhic victory," one that comes at such a cost that it threatens to destroy the victor. This came as a result of his second battle against the Romans at Asculum in 279 BC. Pyrrhus is considered one of the greatest commanders of the ancient world. Hannibal described him as the finest commander the world had seen, after Alexander himself. The story begins in what is now modern Turkey in 301 BC, where great armies are preparing for battle to determine which of Alexander's generals will rule the eastern Mediterranean. Pyrrhus later travels to Greece and then Egypt, where he becomes Ptolemy's protege and son-in-law. He ultimately fails because his visions were greater than his resources.

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