Thus Alexander's affairs were already settled with the help of Pyrrhus, but nevertheless Demetrius came to him; and as soon as he arrived it was plain that he was not wanted, and he inspired only fear; and after they had been together a few days their mutual distrust led them to plot against each other. But Demetrius, taking advantage of his opportunity, got beforehand with the young prince and slew him, and was proclaimed king of Macedonia.1
Now, even before this there had been differences between him and Pyrrhus, and Pyrrhus had overrun Thessaly;2
and greed for power, the natural disease of dynasties, made them formidable and suspicious neighbours, and all the more after the death of Deïdameia. And now that both of them had occupied part of Macedonia, they came into collision, and their quarrel was furnished with stronger grounds.
Demetrius therefore made an expedition against the Aetolians and conquered them, and then, leaving Pantauchus there with a large force, he himself moved against Pyrrhus, and Pyrrhus, when he heard of it, against him. Owing to a mistake in the way, however, they passed by one another, and Demetrius, throwing his forces into Epeirus, plundered the country, while Pyrrhus, encountering Pantauchus, joined battle with him.3
There was a sharp and terrible conflict between the soldiers who engaged, and especially also between the leaders. For Pantauchus, who was confessedly the best of the generals of Demetrius for bravery, dexterity, and vigour of body, and had both courage and a lofty spirit, challenged Pyrrhus to a hand-to-hand combat; and Pyrrhus, who yielded to none of the kings in daring and prowess, and wished that the glory of Achilles should belong to him by right of valour rather than of blood alone, advanced through the foremost fighters to confront Pantauchus.
At first they hurled their spears, then, coming to close quarters, they plied their swords with might and skill. Pyrrhus got one wound, but gave Pantauchus two, one in the thigh, and one along the neck, and put him to flight and overthrew him; he did not kill him, however, for his friends haled him away. Then the Epeirots, exalted by tile victory of their king and admiring his valour, overwhelmed and cut to pieces tile phalanx of the Macedonians, pursued them as they fled, slew many of them, and took five thousand of them alive.4