Story of Rome - Mary Macgregor

Pyrrhus Is Defeated

Pyrrhus found it no easy task to return to Italy, for the Romans had made a league with the Carthaginians, whose fleet was now watching the shore, to prevent him from landing.

But the soldier-king was not easily daunted, and although in a battle with the Carthaginian fleet he lost a number of his ships, he succeeded in reaching Italy.

When the king now marched for the second time into Tarentum, it was at the head of as large an army as he had brought with him from Epirus.

But although in numbers his army was as strong as before, in real strength it had lost much. For the king's own faithful veterans had perished on the battlefields of Heraclea and Asculum, and their place was taken by hired soldiers. And of true courage and devotion to their leader, what did these hired fighters know?

The king himself, too, had lost hope of achieving great things in Italy, and Cineas was no longer living to cheer him with his outbursts of eloquence. Yet his name alone, had he but known it, still awoke terror among the legions of Rome, and made them shrink from meeting him again in battle.

Meanwhile the Consul Dentatus, with his army, had already left Rome, and was marching along the Appian Way toward Maleventum. Here he took up a strong position on the hills, hoping to fight as soon as his colleague joined him.

Pyrrhus knew that his cavalry and elephants could be of little use on the hilly ground on which the Romans had taken up their position, yet, rather than wait until Dentatus was strengthened by the arrival of his colleague, he at once offered battle.

All might have gone well for the king had not one of his young elephants been wounded. In its pain and fright it rushed wildly hither and thither among the other elephants, seeking its mother.

The beasts were soon thrown into utter confusion, while the hired soldiers were seized with panic, and proved useless in quelling the disorder.

Two of the elephants were at length killed by the Romans, while four were captured and led in the triumph of Dentatus, when he returned victorious to Rome.

For the king was utterly defeated and forced to escape, with only a few followers, to Tarentum. In 274 B.C. he sailed back to Epirus, having lost all hope of gaining a kingdom in Italy. But he left a garrison in Tarentum, under one of his officers.

The town, however, was blockaded by the Carthaginian fleet and besieged by the Consul Papirius, and soon, being in a sorry strait for want of food, it was forced to surrender.

Latin colonies were then sent to settle in many towns that had until now been held by the Greeks, and soon Rome was mistress from the river Rubicon to the extreme south of Italy.


Front Matter

The Lady Roma
The She-Wolf
The Twin Boys
Numitor's Grandson
The Sacred Birds
The Founding of Rome
The Sabine Maidens
The Tarpeian Rock
The Mysterious Gate
The King Disappears
The Peace-Loving King
Horatius Slays His Sister
Pride of Tullus Hostilius
King Who Fought and Prayed
The Faithless Friend
A Slave Becomes a King
Cruel Deed of Tullia
Fate of the Town of Gabii
Books of the Sibyl
Industry of Lucretia
Death of Lucretia
Sons of Brutus
Horatius Cocles
Mucius Burns Right Hand
The Divine Twins
The Tribunes
Coriolanus and His Mother
The Roman Army in a Trap
The Hated Decemvirs
The Death of Verginia
The Friend of the People
Camillus Captures Veii
The Statue of the Goddess
Schoolmaster Traitor
Battle of Allia
The Sacred Geese
The City Is Rebuilt
Volscians on Fire
Battle on the Anio
The Curtian Lake
Dream of the Two Consuls
The Caudine Forks
Caudine Forks Avenged
Fabius among the Hills
Battle of Sentinum
Son of Fabius Loses Battle
Pyrrhus King of the Epirots
Elephants at Heraclea
Pyrrthus and Fabricius
Pyrrhus is Defeated
Romans Build a Fleet
Battle of Ecnomus
Roman Legions in Africa
Regulus Taken Prisoner
Romans Conquer the Gauls
The Boy Hannibal
Hannibal Invades Italy
Hannibal Crosses the Alps
Battle of Trebia
Battle of Lake Trasimenus
Hannibal Outwits Fabius
Fabius Wins Two Victories
Battle of Cannae
Despair of Rome
Defeat of Hasdrubal
Claudius Enjoy a Triumph
Capture of New Carthage
Scipio Sails to Africa
Romans Set Fire to Camp
Hannibal Leaves Italy
The Battle of Zama
Scipio Receives a Triumph
Flamininus in Garlands
Death of Hannibal
Hatred of Cato for Carthage
The Stern Decree
Carthaginians Defend City
Destruction of Carthage
Cornelia, Mother of Gracchi
Tiberius and Octavius
Death of Tiberius Gracchus
Death of Gaius Gracchus
The Gold of Jugurtha
Marius Wins Notice of Scipio
Marius Becomes Commander
Capture of Treasure Towns
Capture of Jugurtha
Jugurtha Brought to Rome
Marius Conquers Teutones
Marius Mocks the Ambassadors
Metellus Driven from Rome
Sulla Enters Rome
The Flight of Marius
Gaul Dares Not Kill Marius
Marius Returns to Rome
The Orator Aristion
Sulla Besieges Athens
Sulla Fights the Samnites
The Proscriptions of Sulla
The Gladiators' Revolt
The Pirates
Pompey Defeats Mithridates
Cicero Discovers Conspiracy
Death of the Conspirators
Caesar Captured by Pirates
Caesar Gives up Triumph
Caesar Praises Tenth Legion
Caesar Wins a Great Victory
Caesar Invades Britain
Caesar Crosses Rubicon
Caesar and the Pilot
The Flight of Pompey
Cato Dies Rather than Yieldr
Caesar is Loaded with Honours
Nobles Plot against Caesar
The Assassination of Caesar
Brutus Speaks to Citizens
Antony Speaks to Citizens
The Second Triumvirate
Battle of Philippi
Death of Brutus
Antony and Cleopatra
Battle of Actium
Antony and Cleopatra Die
Emperor Augustus