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A victory gained at too great a cost: like that of the Greek leader Pyrrhus over the Romans in 279BC.
In 281 he went to Italy and defeated the Romans at Heraclea and Asculum,
but suffered bitterly heavy losses. The devastation led to his famous statement,
"One more such victory and I am lost" -- hence the term "Pyrrhic victory"
for any victory so costly as to be ruinous.