Life of Pyrrhus

Timeline created by Julian Fiorito
In History
  • -334 BCE

    Alexander of Molossis Supports Greek Tribes Against Samnites

    Alexander of Molossis was a relative of Pyrrhus, and the Samnites were a coalition of mountian tribes.
  • -330 BCE

    Aeacides succedes Molossis

  • -318 BCE

    Pyrrhus born

    Pyrrhus born
    Born to Aeacides and Phthia
    "He married Phthia, the daughter of Menon the Thessalian, a man who won high repute at the time of the Lamian war and acquired the highest authority among the confederates after Leosthenes. Phthia bore to Aeacides two daughters, Deïdameia and Troas, and a son, Pyrrhus."-Plutarch
  • -317 BCE

    Molossian Coup

    Cassander orchestrates a coup christening Neoptolimus II and removing Aeachides from the throne. Aeachides finds refuge with a local king Glaucias the Taulantian.
    "Having thus outstripped their pursuers and reached a place of safety, the fugitives betook themselves to Glaucias the king of the Illyrians; ... He was in fear of Cassander, who was an enemy of Aeacides, and held his peace a long time as he took counsel with himself."-Plutarch
  • -307 BCE

    Start of Fourth Diadoch War

    Start of Fourth Diadoch War
    Glaucias allied with Demetrius through the marriage of Pyrrhus's sister Deidamia to Demetrius.
    "...Demetrius the son of Antigonus, who had his sister Deïdameia to wife." - Plutarch
  • -306 BCE

    Pyrrhus made King

    Pyrrhus made King
    after growing up in the Taulantian court, Pyrrhus was made king by Glaucias, though it seemed to the Macedonians he was some form of puppet
    "...after he had reached the age of twelve years, actually conducted him back into Epeirus with an armed force and set him upon the throne there."-Plutarch
  • -302 BCE

    Revolt of Macedonians

    Revolt of Macedonians
    The Macedonians revolted against Pyrrhus, as he visited his adoptive father to attend a wedding, and reinstated Neptolemus II.
    "...he went on a journey, when one of the sons of Glaucias, with whom he had been reared, was married. Once more, then, the Molossians banded together, drove out his friends, plundered his property, and put themselves under Neoptolemus." - Plutarch
  • -301 BCE

    Battle at Ipsus

    Battle at Ipsus
    Demetrius and Antigonus fight a decisive battle against the coalition, however Seleucus of Babylonia won with 500 war elephants. Antigonus was killed.
    "In the great battle which all the kings fought at Ipsus, Pyrrhus was present ... He routed the enemy opposed to him, and made a brilliant display of valor among the combatants. Moreover, though Demetrius lost the day, Pyrrhus did not abandon him, but kept guard over his cities in Greece which were entrusted to him," -Plutarch
  • -300 BCE

    Pyrrhus arrives in Alexandria

    Pyrrhus arrives in Alexandria
    Demitrius gave Pyrrhus as a hostage to Ptolemy to ensure a recent diplomatic agreement after the loss at Ipsus. Ptolemy I, impressed by Pyrrhus allows the marriage of Pyrrhus and Antigone (Ptolemy's step-daughter).
    "...when Demetrius made peace with Ptolemy, sailed to Egypt as hostage for him...he was selected from among many young princes as a husband for Antigone..." - Plutarch
  • -298 BCE

    Cassander Died

    Macedonia was left to his son Phillip IV who died in two months and Macedonia was split between his brothers, Antipater in the west, and Alexander V in the east.
  • -297 BCE

    Epeirian Coup

    Epeirian Coup
    Funded by Ptolemy, instating Pyrrhus as co-leader with Nepotolemus, such that Pyrrhus could watch Egyptian interests in Europe
    "After this marriage he was held in still greater esteem, and since Antigone was an excellent wife to him, he brought it to pass that he was sent into Epeirus with money and an army to regain his kingdom...he came to terms and made friendship with him on the basis of a joint exercise of the royal power."
    - Plutarch
  • -295 BCE

    Ptolemy Kills Neoptolemus

    Ptolemy Kills Neoptolemus
    Pyrrhus killed Neoptolemus at a banquet and convinced others his colleague was unfaithful
    "When Pyrrhus learned of it, he kept quiet for a time, but on a day of sacrifice invited Neoptolemus to supper and killed him. 7 For he was aware that the chief men among the Epeirots were devoted to himself and were eager to see him rid himself of Neoptolemus;..."
    -Plutarch
  • -295 BCE

    Battle of Senetum

    Battle of Senetum
    Rome defeated the Samnites and Etruscans to unify Italy. This was the beginning of Roman expansion, which put pressures on those in other parts of Italy.
  • -294 BCE

    Pyrrhus Invaded Macedonia

    Pyrrhus Invaded Macedonia
    This invasion restored the balance between the two warring brothers and Pyrrhus was given part of Molossis and the city of Ambracia
    "...Pyrrhus came, and demanded as a reward for his alliance Stymphaea and Parauaea in Macedonia, and, of the countries won by the allies, Ambracia, Acarnania, and Amphilochia. 3 The youthful Alexander gave way to his demands, and Pyrrhus took possession of these countries and held them for himself with garrisons..." -Plutarch
  • -294 BCE

    Demetrius Becomes King of Macedonia

    Demetrius Becomes King of Macedonia
    Demetrius kills Alexander at a banquet and went to attack Antipater who flees immediately
    "Thus Alexander's affairs were already settled with the help of Pyrrhus, but nevertheless Demetrius came to him...taking advantage of his opportunity, got beforehand with the young prince and slew him, and was proclaimed king of Macedonia..."
  • -294 BCE

    Antigone Died

    Antigone Died
    Pyrrhus remarries first to Lanassa, then to Audoleon of Paeonia, and Bircenna of the Illyrians.
    "...after the death of Antigone. He took to wife, namely, a daughter of Autoleon, king of the Paeonians; Bircenna, the daughter of Bardyllis the Illyrian; and Lanassa, the daughter of Agathocles of Syracuse, who brought him as her dowry the city of Corcyra, which had been captured by Agathocles." - Plutarch
  • -293 BCE

    Demetrius Controlls Much of Greece

    Demetrius Controlls Much of Greece
    Aside from Aetolia and Sparta, and some insurrections in Thessaly and Boeotia (possibly spurred by Pyrrhus).
  • -290 BCE

    Lanassa Leaves Pyrrhus for Demetrius

    Lanassa Leaves Pyrrhus for Demetrius
    This personal conflict leads to open war
    "she desired a royal marriage, she invited Demetrius, understanding that he, of all the kings, was most readily disposed to marry wives. So Demetrius sailed thither, married Lanassa, and left a garrison in the city...they assailed Demetrius while he was still waiting to complete his preparations..." - Plutarch
  • -290 BCE

    Pyrrhus's Sister Deidamia Dies

    Pyrrhus's Sister Deidamia Dies
    "and greed for power, the natural disease of dynasties, made them formidable and suspicious neighbours, and all the more after the death of Deïdameia." -Plutarch
  • -289 BCE

    Pyrrhus and Demetrius Renew Alliance

    Pyrrhus and Demetrius Renew Alliance
    "After this, he actually made peace with Demetrius" - Plutarch
  • -288 BCE

    Macedonian Revolt and the Attack of Demetrius

    Macedonian Revolt and the Attack of Demetrius
    Demetrius was attacked by Lysimachus and Ptolemy. At the same time the Macedonians revolted
  • -288 BCE

    Pyrrhus Invades Macedonia

    Pyrrhus Invades Macedonia
    Recognized as king
    "So Pyrrhus came up, took the camp without a blow, and was proclaimed king of Macedonia." - Plutarch
  • -288 BCE

    Lysimachus Takes Macedonia

    Lysimachus Takes Macedonia
    "Lysimachus, who now felt himself secure, and had nothing on his hands, at once set out against Pyrrhus. Pyrrhus was in camp at Edessa, where Lysimachus fell upon his provision trains and mastered them, thus bringing him to straits" - Plutarch
  • -286 BCE

    Pyrrhus Invades Thessaly

    Pyrrhus Invades Thessaly
    Potentially in coordination with the Athenians, who fought in Pireaus against a garrison of Gonatas.
    "Pyrrhus, and Pyrrhus had overrun Thessaly" - Plutarch
  • -285 BCE

    Thessaly Ceded to Pyrrhus by Gonatas

    Thessaly Ceded to Pyrrhus by Gonatas
  • -285 BCE

    Demetrius Captured by Seleucus

    Demetrius Captured by Seleucus
    He later drank himself to death
  • -285 BCE

    Lysimachus Bought the Macedonian Commanders

    Lysimachus Bought the Macedonian Commanders
    Pyrrhus forced to return to Epeirius
  • -285 BCE

    Lucanians and Other Greek Towns Appeal to Pyrrhus

  • -282 BCE

    Roman Fleet Attacked by Tarentines

    Roman Fleet Attacked by Tarentines
    Titus Livius Wrote, "Cum a Tarentinis classis Romana direpta esset, IIuiro, qui praeerat classi, occiso, legati ad eos a senatu, ut de his iniuriis quererentur, missi pulsati sunt. Ob id bellum his indictum est." 'Since a fleet was destroyed by the Tarrentines and they killed Iiurio, who waspresiding the fleet, a representative sent to them by the Senate, as they might complain of their mistreatment, are beat and sent off. War is declared against them.
  • -281 BCE

    Invite to Tarrentum

    Invite to Tarrentum
    "The Romans were at war with the people of Tarentum, who, being able neither to carry on the war, nor yet, owing to the rashness and villainy of their popular leaders, to put an end to it, wished to make Pyrrhus their leader and summon him to the war, believing him to be most at leisure of all the kings, and a most formidable general." -Plutarch
  • -281 BCE

    Seleucus Won at Corupendium

    Seleucus Won at Corupendium
    Overthrowing Lysimachus.
  • -281 BCE

    Seleucus killed by Ptolemy Keraunos

    Seleucus killed by Ptolemy Keraunos
  • -280 BCE

    Entry into Tarrentum

    Entry into Tarrentum
    3000 cavalry, 20 elephants, 2000 archers 500 slingers, 20000 foot-soldiers, and 3000 others
    " Entering the city, he did nothing that was against the wishes of the Tarentines, nor did he put any compulsion upon them, until his ships came back in safety from the sea and the greater part of his forces were assembled." - Plutarch
  • -280 BCE

    Rome Sends Consul Publius Valerius Laevinus

    Rome Sends Consul Publius Valerius Laevinus
    He had 2 roman legions of 4200, 2 legions of 4200, and 1200 cavalry
  • -280 BCE

    Pyrrhus' First Battle with Rome

    Pyrrhus' First Battle with Rome
    Rome lost 7000 and retreated
    Pyrrhus lost 4000 who were irreplaceable
    "Dionysius states that nearly fifteen thousand of the Romans fell, but Hieronymus says only seven thousand; on the side of Pyrrhus, thirteen thousand fell, according to Dionysius, but according to Hieronymus less than four thousand. These, however, were his best troops; and besides, Pyrrhus lost the friends and generals whom he always used and trusted most." - Plutarch
  • -280 BCE

    Negotiations with Rome

    Negotiations with Rome
    Pyrrhus enters negotiations to exchange POWs
    Cineas sent to negotiate with Rome, offering peace for independence, and bearing gifts as per Greek tradition. The gifts were misinterpreted as bribery and peace negotiations were ended.
    "After this, an embassy came from the Romans to treat about the prisoners that had been taken. .... him to accept gold, not for any base purpose, indeed, but calling it a mark of friendship and hospitality." -Plutarch
  • -279 BCE

    Pyrrhus Attacks Luceria and Venusia

    Pyrrhus Attacks Luceria and Venusia
    Luceria and Venusia were roman colonies
  • -279 BCE

    Rome Mints Silver Coins

    Rome Mints Silver Coins
    In order to deal with any potential Greek allies.
  • -279 BCE

    Rome Sends Two Consular Armies

    Rome Sends Two Consular Armies
    The consular armies, led by Publius Sulpicius Saverrio and Publius Decius Mus, are sent to between Luceria and Venusia.
  • -279 BCE

    Pyrrhus' Second battle with Rome

    Pyrrhus' Second battle with Rome
    The consular armies (40000 troops) engaged in an indecisive battle with Pyrrhus, until the next day when Pyrrhus pushed back the Romans but was incapable of capturing their camp. The Romans lost at least 6000 and Pyrrhus's army 3505. Upon returning Pyrrhus said,
    "...we are told that Pyrrhus said to one who was congratulating him on his victory, 'if we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined.'" - Plutarch
  • -278 BCE

    Armastice with Rome

    Armastice with Rome
    Consuls Gaius Fabricius Luscinus and Quintus Aemilius Papus, sent a letter to Pyrrhus informing him of a plot by Pyrrhus' physician to poison him saying, "It would appear that thou art a good judge neither of friends nor of enemies."(Plutarch) Seeing the honor of his enemies Pyrrhus exchanged POW's such that Rome might leave Tarentum alone, and called armistice.
  • -278 BCE

    Pyrrhus' Other Offers

    Pyrrhus' Other Offers
    He was offered to help the Syracusians to help free them from Carthage, and an offer by the Macedonians who were being attacked by Celts.
    "Syracuse, and Leontini, and begged him to help them to drive out the Carthaginians and rid the island of its tyrants; and from Greece, men with tidings that Ptolemy Ceraunus29 with his army had perished at the hands of the Gauls, and that now was the time of all times for him to be in Macedonia, where they wanted a king." -Plutarch
  • -278 BCE

    Pyrrhus Leaves for Syracuse

    Pyrrhus Leaves for Syracuse
    "while he himself threw a garrison into Tarentum. The Tarentines were much displeased at this, and demanded that he either apply himself to the task for which he had come, namely to help them in their war with Rome, or else abandon their territory and leave them their city as he had found it."-Plutarch
  • -278 BCE

    Pyrrhus Bulids a Sycilian Army

    Pyrrhus Bulids a Sycilian Army
    Possibly 2,500 cavalry and 30,000 infantry supported by a fleet of 200 galleys
    "On reaching Sicily, his hopes were at once realized securely; the cities readily gave themselves up to him, and wherever force and conflict were necessary nothing held out against him at first, but advancing with thirty thousand foot, twenty-five hundred horse, and two hundred ships, he put the Phoenicians to rout and subdued the territory under their control." -Plutarch
  • -278 BCE

    Pyrrhus defeats the Carthaginians and Mamerines

    Pyrrhus defeats the Carthaginians and Mamerines
    Then he determined to storm the walls of Eryx, which was the strongest of their fortresses and had numerous defenders...After the capture of the city, he sacrificed to the god in magnificent fashion and furnished spectacles of all sorts of contests. The Barbarians about Messana, called Mamertines, were giving much annoyance to the Greeks, and had even laid some of them under contribution... then conquered the people themselves in battle and destroyed many of their strongholds." -Plutarch
  • -277 BCE

    Carthaginans Deminished

    Carthaginans Deminished
    Lilybaeum was Carthage's only remaining stronghold
  • -276 BCE

    Pyrrhus Prepared to Sac Carthage

    Pyrrhus Prepared to Sac Carthage
    However Pyrrhus was Called-Off by the Syracusians
  • -275 BCE

    The Syracusian Fleet was Defeated by Carthage

    The Syracusian Fleet was Defeated by Carthage
    Marking the last battle in the war
    "But the Barbarians combined against him as he was setting sail. With the Carthaginians he fought a sea-fight in the strait and lost many of his ships, but escaped with the rest to Italy;"
  • -275 BCE

    Pyrrhus Attacks Roman Armies

    Pyrrhus Attacks Roman Armies
    "Pyrrhus, however, divided his army into two parts, sent one of them into Lucania to attack the other consul, that he might not come to the help of his colleague, 2 and led the other part himself against Manius Curius...his [Pyrrhus'] lights did not hold out, and his soldiers lost their way and straggled... This gave the victory to the Romans"
    -Plutarch
  • -275 BCE

    Pyrrhus Returns to Epeirius

    Pyrrhus Returns to Epeirius
    "Thus Pyrrhus was excluded from his hopes of Italy and Sicily, after squandering six years' time in his wars there...He returned to Epeirus." -Plutarch
  • -273 BCE

    Pyrrhus and Ptolemy Expel Antigonus II Gonatas from Macedonia

    Pyrrhus and Ptolemy Expel Antigonus II Gonatas from Macedonia
    Pyrrhus allies with his son to expel Antigonus II Gonatas from Macedonia.
    " Some Gauls joined him, and he thereupon made an incursion into Macedonia, where Antigonus the son of Demetrius was reigning, designing to strip and plunder the country...Pyrrhus, thinking that amid so many successes his achievement against the Gauls conduced most to his glory...After the battle, however, he at once proceeded to occupy the cities." -Plutarch
  • -273 BCE

    Pyrrhus Conquers Sparta and Argos

    Pyrrhus Conquers Sparta and Argos
    He captures these cities from Antigonus II Gonatas.
    "Pyrrhus against Sparta. Pyrrhus had twenty-five thousand foot and two thousand horse, besides twenty-four elephants...So Pyrrhus, after accomplishing as it were an expiation for his son and celebrating his obsequies with a brilliant contest, having also vented much of his grief in his fury against the enemy, led his army on towards Argos..."
  • -272 BCE

    Pyrrhus's death

    Pyrrhus's death
    During a street fight in Argos, Pyrrhus is knocked from horse with roof tile and parallelized or killed and then decapitated.
    "It fell upon his head below his helmet and crushed the vertebrae at the base of his neck, so that his sight was blurred and his hands dropped the reins...a certain Zopyrus, who was serving under Antigonus, and two or three others, ran up to him, saw who he was, and dragged him into a door-way...he severed the head." -Plutarch
  • Period:
    -344 BCE
    to
    -337 BCE

    Corinthian Timoleon Liberated Syracuse from Carthaginian Threat

  • Period:
    -344 BCE
    to
    -337 BCE

    Archidamus III Campaingning in the "Heel" of Italy

  • Period:
    -290 BCE
    to
    -289 BCE

    Pyrrus at War with Demetrius

    Pyrrhus supported Aetolia who Demetrius was attacking. When Demetrius attacked Aetolia Pyrrhus also invaded, though the armies did not meet. Demetrius attacked some of Epeirius and Pyrrhus won against Pantauchus the Macedonian vice-commander.