The Battle of Marathon

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The Battle of Marathon and Its Relation to the Modern Marathon The Battle of Marathon was dramatic turning point for the Greek city-states against the invading Persians. The Battle of Marathon also spawned a famous legend that's influence can be seen a variety of areas from the Modern Olympics to one of the most internationally recognized sneaker companies. The Battle of Marathon also illustrated the importance of strong military leadership and strategy, especially when facing overwhelming odds. The vast majority of information about the battle comes from writing of Herodotus. Although, he does provide valuable insight into the actual battle one also has to consider his biases when analyzing specifics details. This is particularly true because Herodotus was born after the battle and certainly could have added embellishments to promote his own agendas. It does appear that his basic facts agree with other historical and physical evidence. The battle probably took place in September of 490 B.C., although, according to other secondary sources in could have been August. (Sowerby 83) The majority of the battle took place outside the village of marathon near the bay. According to Herodotus there were 10,000 Athenians and 1,000 Plateans led by Miltades fighting a much larger group of Persians. Later ancient sources place the numbers between 100,000 and 600,000, while other more modern estimates place the Persian numbers closer to 20,000 to 60,000. (Green 35 -37) Before the actual fighting began there was five days of peace where the two opposing forces faced off without any violence. This was certainly to the advantage of Athens. Herodotus suggests that they sent of a young foot soldier to ask for help from the neighboring Spartans. Herodotus identifies the soldier as Pheidippides. This journey would have been a little more than 140 miles and supposedly done in slightly over two days. (Green 111, 113) After looking at other sources that discuss the physical training of...
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