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In the year 280 BC King Pyrrhos of Epirus received a request for help from the city of Taranto in southern Italy. He was asked by the residents to assist them against the attacks of Rome. Pyrrhos was widely known as a general and was considered the second Alexander the Great. Since he was always the leader of a mercenary army thankful for a war that employed his soldiers, he liked the request. With a grand gesture, he even declared his war to be a repeat of the Trojan War. He, the Greek, wanted to fight against the descendants of the Trojans who were once the founders of Rome. His effort corresponded to this requirement. Among other things, 20 war elephants crossed with him from Greece to southern Italy. This was the first encounter of the Romans with the dreaded animals, decades before Hannibal's move across the Alps (217 BC). In October 279 BC Chr. Ausculum in southern Italy went to battle. Pyrrhos won a victory, but his losses were so heavy that he could not use it. On the contrary, he had to retire to Syracuse. In 275 he returned again with victory hopes to lower Italy, but at Benevento he suffered a significant defeat against the Romans. The debacle was perfect. Since he finally ran out of financial resources, he had to finally withdraw from Italy and return to Greece. His campaign against the descendants of the Trojans had failed. His victory, however, which initiated the subsequent defeat, has become proverbial as Pyrrhos victory.


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