So Pyrrhus was the first to cross the Ionian Sea
to attack the Romans.1
And even he crossed on the invitation of the Tarentines. For they were already involved in a war with the Romans, but were no match for them unaided. Pyrrhus was already in their debt, because they had sent a fleet to help him in his war with Corcyra
, but the most cogent arguments of the Tarentine envoys were their accounts of Italy
, how its prosperity was equal to that of the whole of Greece
, and their plea that it was wicked to dismiss them when they had come as friends and suppliants in their hour of need. When the envoys urged these considerations, Pyrrhus remembered the capture of Troy
, which he took to be an omen of his success in the war, as he was a descendant of Achilles making war upon a colony of Trojans.