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PYRRHUS.

newed on the next day, but with no better success; and the arrival of Areus with 2000 Cretans, as well as of other auxiliary forces, at length com­pelled Pyrrhus to abandon all hopes of taking the city. He did not, however, relinquish his enter­prise altogether, but resolved to winter in Pelopon­nesus, that he might be ready to renew operations at the commencement of the spring. But while making preparations for this object, he received an invitation from Aristeas, one of the leading citizens at Argos, to assist him against his rival Aristippus, whose cause was espoused by Antigonus. Pyrrhus forthwith commenced his march from the neighbour­hood of Sparta, but did not reach Argos without some sharp fighting, as the Spartans under Areus both molested his march and occupied some of the passes through which his road lay. In one of these encounters his eldest son Ptolemy fell, greatly to the grief of his father, who avenged his death by killing with his own hand the leader of the Lacedae­monian detachment which had destroyed his son. On arriving in the neighbourhood of Argos, he found Antigonus encamped on one of the heights near the city, but he could not induce him to risk a battle. There was a party at Argos, which did not belong to either of the contending factions, and which was anxious to get rid both of Pyrrhus and Antigonus. They accordingly sent an embassy to the two kings, begging them to withdraw from the city. Antigonus promised compliance, and sent his son as a hostage ; but though Pyrrhus did not refuse, he would not give any hostage. In the night-time Aristeas admitted Pyrrhus into the city, who marched into the market-place with part of his troops, leaving his son Helenus with the main body of his army on the outside. But the alarm having been given, the citadel was seized by the Argives of the opposite faction. Areus with his Spartans, who had followed close upon Pyrrhus, was ad­mitted within the walls, and Antigonus also sent a portion of his troops into the city, under the command of his son Halcyoneus, while he himself remained without with the bulk of his forces. On the dawn of day Pyrrhus saw that all the strong places were in the possession of the enemy, and that it would be necessary for him to retreat. He accordingly sent orders to his son Helenus to break down part of the walls, in order that his troops might retire with more ease ; but in consequence of some mistake in the delivery of the message, Helenus attempted to enter the city by the same gateway through which Pyrrhus was retreating. The two tides encountered one another, and to add to the confusion one of the elephants fell down in the narrow gateway, while another becoming wild and ungovernable, trod down every one before him. Pyrrhus was in the rear, in a more open part of the city, attempting to keep off the enemy. While thus engaged, he was slightly wounded through the breast-plate with a javelin ; and, as he turned to take vengeance on the Argive who had attacked him, the mother of the man, seeing the danger of her son, hurled down from the house-roof where she was standing a ponderous tile, which struck Pyrrhus on the back of his neck. He fell from his horse stunned with the blow, and being recognised by some of the soldiers of Anti­gonus, was quickly despatched. His head was cut off and given to Halc^yoneus, who carried the bloody trophy with exultation to his father Antigonus. But the latter turned away from the sight, and

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PYRRHUS.

ordered the body to be interred with becoming honours. Plis remains were deposited by the Ar­gives in the temple of Demeter. (Paus. i. 13. § 8.)

Pyrrhus perished in b. c. 272, in the forty-sixth year of his age, and in the twenty-third of his reign. He was the greatest warrior and one of the best princes of his time. If judged by a righteous standard of public morality, he will appear as a mo­narch intent only upon his personal aggrandisement, and ready to sacrifice the rights of other nations to the advancement of his glory and the gratifi­cation of his ambition. But if judged by the morality of the profligate times in which he lived, when every Greek prince thought he had a right to whatever dominions his sword could win, we shall see more to admire than to censure in his conduct. His government of his native dominions seems to have been just and lenient, for his Epei-rots always remained faithful to him even during his long absence in Italy.and Sicily. His foreign wars were carried on with no unnecessary cruelty and oppression, and he is accused of fewer crimes than any of his contemporaries. The greatest testimony to the excellence of his private life is, that in an age of treachery and corruption he ever retained the affection of his personal attend­ants ; and hence, wit h the solitary exception of the physician who offered to poison him, we read of no instance in which he was deserted or betrayed by any of his officers or friends. With his daring courage, his military skill, his affable deportment, and his kingly bearing, he might have become the most powerful monarch of his day, if he had steadily and perseveringly pursued the immediate object before him. But he never rested satisfied with any acquisition, and was ever grasping at some fresh object: hence Antigonus compared him to a gambler, who made many good throws with the dice, but was unable to make the proper use of the game. Pyrrhus was regarded in subsequent times as one of the greatest generals that had ever lived. Procles, the Carthaginian, thought him superior even to Alexander in the military art (Paus. iv. 35. § 4) ; and Hannibal said that of all generals Pyrrhus was the first, Scipio the second, and himself the third (Plut. Pyrrli. 8), or, accord­ing to another version of the story, Alexander was the first, Pyrrhus the second, and himself the third (Plut. Flamin. 21). Pyrrhus wrote a work on the art of war, which was read in the time of Cicero (ad Fam. ix. 25, comp. Fabric. Bibl Graeo. vol. iv. p. 343) ; and his commentaries are quoted both by Dionysius and Plutarch.

Pyrrhus married four wives. 1. Antigone, the daughter of Berenice. 2. A daughter of Audoleon, king of the Paeonians. 3. Bircenna, a daughter of Bardylis, king of the Illyrians. 4. Lanassa, a daughter of Agathocles of Syracuse. His children were:—1. Ptolemy, born b.c. 295; killed in battle, b. c. 272. [Vol. III. p. 566, No. 9.] 2. Alexander, who succeeded his father as king of Epeirus. [Vol. I. p. 116.] 3. Helenus, [hele­nus, No. 1.] 4. Nereis, who married Gelon of Syracuse. [nereis.] 5. Olympias, who married her own brother Alexander. [olympias, No. 2.] 6. Deidameia or Laodameia.

(Plutarch's biography is the principal ancient authority for the Life of Pyrrhus ; and the subject has been ably-treated by the following modern writers : — Droysen, Gesckichte des Hellenismus, vol. i. pp. 249, 496, 535, 554—626, vol. ii. pp.89,

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