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Transcript
BATTLE OF
MARATHON
THE ATTACK ON ATHENS: 490 BC
ANTHONY ENRIQUEZ
INTRODUCTION
Greek city states such as Athens and Sparta had often fought
among themselves, though the Greek’s great, potential and
dangerous foreign enemy was Persia. During the 5th century
BC, Greek city states and the Persian Empire clashed in a
series of wars. These wars between Greece and Persia were
known as the Greco-Persian Wars and lasted until 448 BC.
Historically, the Greek armies were quite small in comparison
to the Persian army. Though considered underdogs
throughout the course of the war, the Greeks were relentless
and never gave in to the Persians. Of importance of all battles
fought between the Greeks and Persian, the Battle at
Marathon was deemed one of the significant battles fought in
antiquity.
DARIUS I AND ATHENS
Persia had several reasons
for their attack on Athens
at Marathon:
 Eretria was to be
punished.
 Capture of Athens foothold on central
Greece.
 Persian influence extended over the whole
of Greece
THE BATTLE OF MARATHON, 490
BC
 Darius I - land his army at Marathon (march on to
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Athens).
Athens - dire need of help; Sparta for forces to join in
the battle.
Sparta sent 600 hoplites to join Athens’s 9000
hoplites.
Greek army - led by War Archon Callimachus and
Miltiades.
Persian army - 20 000 infantry, 5000 cavalry, 200
triremes and 40 000 sailors.
Greeks lined up and advanced across the plain of
Marathon – towards Persian army.
THE BATTLE OF MARATHON, 490
BC
 Callimachus - right flank; Plateans – left flank.
 Tactic – (Greek) More hoplites on the flanks than in the

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centre.
Flanks - Persians overpowered by Greeks; the centre,
Persians had broken through Greek defence.
Strong tactics and leadership led to the collapse of the
Persian offence and therefore a defeat for the Persian
Empire.
March on to Athens (Greeks) – to prevent another invasion.
Causalities - 6400 dead (Persians) to only 192 men
(Greeks).
IMAGES
WHY THE ATHENIANS AND
PLATAEANS WON AT MARATHON?
No #1: Leadership and Strategy
 Miltiades had first-hand knowledge and
experience of Persian methods
 Choice – Marathon proving suitable for the
Athenians (strategic)
 Time – right time to engage the Persians
 Absence of Persian cavalry
 Persians – confined to sea and the hills
(chance of escape to N) - Escape
WHY THE ATHENIANS AND
PLATAEANS WON AT MARATHON?
No #2: Skill, discipline
and arms of the Athenian
and Plataean hoplites
 Greek hoplites – more
disciplined
 Bronze-visored helmets,
solid bronze
breastplates, shields
and javelins
WHY THE ATHENIANS AND
PLATAEANS WON AT MARATHON?
No #3: Greeks’
defence of their
freedom
 Desire for freedom
WHY THE ATHENIANS AND
PLATAEANS WON AT MARATHON?
No #4: Fear of Sparta’s
arrival
 Spartans – ‘real’
influence on the
campaign
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF
MARATHON
For the Persians:
 ‘Reality check’ - Persia’s plans for Western
Expansion.
 Left Persia weakened for the moment.
 Darius I - Determined
 Realization - the mistake in their strategy. In
any future invasion they would return to the
plan of Mardonius in 942; that is, a
combined military and naval advance
around the northern Aegean.
 Preparation - more careful preparations
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF
MARATHON
For the Greeks;
 ‘Moral victory’ for Athens.
 Belief – Persians were unbeatable (UNTRUE).
 Spartans learnt of the conditions under which the
Persian infantry could be defeated.
 Greeks underestimate danger - However, in their
optimism the Greeks underestimated the future
danger to them. Plutarch says, believed that
Marathon ‘was only the prelude to a far greater
struggle’.
 Victory for democracy.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF
MARATHON
 Athens gained in prestige.
 Marathon - the image of the ‘men of
Marathon’ took on heroic proportions.
 Victory was almost unbelievable.
 The overwhelming might of the Persian
Empire could be defeated.
 The victory for the rest of Greece.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF
MARATHON
 Honour and glory, praise and prestige for this defeat
of the barbarian - becoming the first city in Greece.
 The most obvious example of this is the Marathon
race.
 The poet Pindar lauded Athens as ‘Bulwark of Hellas
… city of doglike men.’ Marathon loomed large in the
Athenian psyche; the men of Marathon were
regarded as heroes.
 Athenians and the rest of Greece honoured the
Marathon fighters.
Mound of
Marathon
Bronze
helmet
THE ‘PROCESS’
Essay:
 Structure: Introduction, Body,
Conclusion
 Day by day adding information to the
essay
 Essay count: Approx. 2000-2500
DIFFICULTIES
Difficulties:
 Time Management
 No ‘Internet’
 Essaying – structure; making it right;
‘great’
 Sources – books and Internet
 Wasting time during class
IMPROVEMENTS
 Time Management
 Affiliation of Keywords – outline,
evaluate
 Proper use of sources
 Essay – ‘good’ standards
 Completion – not doing it before the day
its due
 Speech
BIBLIOGRAPHY
 http://boards.historychannel.com/thread.jspa?threadI
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D=100009096&messageID=300418309
http://raf.heavengames.com/history/civilization/greek/
page4
http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A10083395
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Marathon#Conc
lusion
http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/marathon.htm
http://www.thenagain.info/Classes/Sources/Herodotu
s-Marathon.html
http://www.essortment.com/all/thebattleofma_rwnl.ht
m
BIBLIOGRAPHY
 http://joseph_berrigan.tripod.com/ancientbabylon/id2

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7.html
http://www.historynet.com/battle-of-marathon-greeksversus-the-persians.htm/2#high_4
http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/histn/histn021.pdf
http://www.heritagehistory.com/www/heritage.php?Dir=eras&FileName=
greece_4.php
http://unitedcats.wordpress.com/2007/07/21/thebattle-of-marathon/
http://www.caissoas.com/CAIS/History/hakhamaneshian/marathon.h
tm
BIBLIOGRAPHY
 Ancient Greece: Using Evidence, Pamela
Bradley
 Your Ancient Greece, John D. Clare
 The Greeks, Roy Burrell