This was a good idea for the subject of an Osprey book. While he’s remembered today for costly defeats thanks to the phrase ‘Pyrrhic victory’, in his time he was considered one of the best generals there was. And it should be remembered he did beat Rome at a time when other Hellenistic states were largely suffering catastrophic defeats by them.

Sadly, the coverage of his campaigns is very sparse. They are discussed, but only the Battle Asculum gets a diagram (some ways away from the history bit on it), and that’s just a basic look at the dispositions of allied contingents. The section on his army is similarly long on looks at the various types of troops, and less so on detailed looks at equipment.

There is the usual good map near the front of the region, but it could be better marked for which part is more properly Epirus. As it is, it takes some reading of the description and hunting on the map to piece it together.

Peter Dennis’ illustrations are nothing special (the cover piece is the best of the lot), but do illustrate the kind of equipment and symbols used. They do all at least some decent backgrounds to them, and attempt to show men doing more than standing around for a fashion plate (which I’ve noted an occasional tendency to go back to, so I’m very happy to note the absence of it here). The bulk of the photos are black-and-white, but there are some color ones scattered about. Mostly, they’re nothing extra-special, especially if you have other books on related subjects, but they are all reproduced quite clearly.

So, if you have an interest in early-Roman/late-Diadochoi military history, this is a good short look at the subject. But, it is more of an extended essay, without some of the crunch that other similar Osprey books have had, so it is not as useful to, say, a miniatures wargamer.