from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • An ancient Roman town of southeast Italy south of present-day Foggia. Pyrrhus of Epirus defeated a Roman force here in 279 BC but suffered a heavy loss of troops.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Both bring to mind the Greek general Pyhrrus' statement about his victory over the Romans at Asculum in 279 BCE, "another victory like that and we're done for."

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  • Set in a valley between the foothills and the high peaks of the Apennines, well protected by its towering walls from raids by the Marrucini and the Paeligni, the neighboring Italian tribes, Asculum was the center of a prosperous area of apple, pear, and almond orchards, which meant it also sold excellent honey, as well as jam made from what fruit was not suitable to be sent fresh to the Forum Holitorium in Rome.

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  • Publius Ventidius was a Picentine from Asculum Picentum, a big walled city on the Via Salaria, the old salt road that connected Firmum Picenum with Rome.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • But Asculum became notorious for quite a different reason: it was here that the first atrocity of the Italian War was committed when the inhabitants, fed up with being discriminated against by a small number of resident Roman citizens, slaughtered two hundred resident Romans and a visiting Roman praetor at a performance of a Plautus play.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • Be that as it may, when Ventidius was born into a wealthy and aristocratic Asculan family the year before Marcus Livius Drusus was assassinated, Asculum Picentum had become the hub of southern Picenum.

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  • You remember King Pyrrhus of Epirus defeated the Romans at Heraclea, and, then, the next year, defeated them again at Asculum.

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  • Wikipedia's description includes: The phrase is a reference to King Pyrrhus of Epirus, who during the Pyrrhic War defeated the Romans at Heraclea and Asculum in 279 BC, but suffered severe and irreplaceable casualties in the process.

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  • Asculum, Stephen said, glancing at the name and date in the gorescarred book. —


  • Dionysius, however, neither gives any account of two engagements at Asculum, nor allows the Romans to have been certainly beaten, stating that once only, after they had fought till sunset, both armies were unwillingly separated by the night, Pyrrhus being wounded by a javelin in the arm, and his baggage plundered by the Samnites, that in all there died of

    The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans

  • Romans about the city Asculum, where, however, he was much incommoded by a woody country unfit for his horse, and a swift river, so that the elephants, for want of sure treading, could not get up with the infantry.

    The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans


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