In 282, the Tarentines ejected a Roman garrison from the Greek city of Thurii and attacked a Roman fleet. This event became a pivotal moment in the Roman narrative when Tarentine foolishness resulted in the invitation of Pyrrhus to come to Italy to aid them. But this portrayal is a simplification of the complex geopolitical environment of Italy and Sicily in the 280s. Before the arrival of Pyrrhus, both Italy and Sicily were lands divided between multiple polities that were divided and intertwined within overlapping political, economic, and social environments. Agathocles’ attempt to unite the Greeks of Sicily and southern Italy against the Carthaginians had failed, bringing turmoil to Syracuse. For the people of Taras Agathocles’ death created a vacuum of leadership they hoped to fill, but such ambitions were threatened by Rome’s growth. The Romans had been slowly expanding southward after defeating the Samnites, and looked to establish their own alliances amongst the Italiote Greeks. The Pyrrhic War, despite its name, was rooted not in the arrival of Pyrrhus of Epirus but in long-standing conflicts between multiple groups looking to advance their own interests.