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Pyrrhic victory

Posted by Andrew Horsford on January 24, 2001

The definition of 'Pyrrhic victory' as "The Greek leader Pyrrhus gained such a victory over the Romans in 279BC." - leaves a LOT to be desired!

First of all, he was Italian (but not a Roman) who was made the leader of the Greek forces against the Romans. This was back when the Roman where just another bunch of hoods trying to make a name for themselves - they hadn't even conquered all of the Italian penninsula yet.

He defeated the Romans at Heraclea in 280BC, but lost so many men that he was unable to follow up his victory. Hence the term 'Pyrrhic victory' has come to mean a victory at too great a cost.

Go to for a comprehensive lesson on Roman history.....

Incidentally, I'm not a history teacher, or a teacher at all, or even a history buff - I'm just someone who knew that particular item was wrong and did ONE search on a search engine and found what I wanted. It's not that hard......