Pyrrhus was the King of Epirus, in Greece. He was a brave and clever soldier who dreamt of glory and conquest. In 281 BC the city of Tarentum in Italy declared war on Rome. Tarentum was a Greek colony and so it turned to Greece for help. Pyrrhus was only too happy to oblige and he led his army to Italy. Pyrrhus met the Romans at Heraclea and defeated them. But in the battle, Pyrrhus lost so many men that he declared: "One more such victory and we shall be utterly ruined." Since then, the term "a Pyrrhic victory" has meant a victory won at such a cost that it is useless.

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