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The Battle of Marathon

By Edited May 11, 2016 1 0

 

The Battle of Marathon was a decisive battle in preventing a Persian invasion, in ancient Greece. This battle has been discussed by many historians and is believed to be one of the most important battles in history. On the morning of September 17, 490 B.C.E, more than 10,000 Greeks stood on the plain of Marathon, Outnumbered almost 2:1 the Greeks(which were made up of mostly Athenians) defended the Greek homeland and forced over 15,000 Persian soldiers to flee back to Persia.

On that cold bitter morning in September, the Persian army had set sail for Greece. They had never attacked Greece and this was the first time an army of this size was making its way to Greece. The Athenians decided to meet their enemy at Marathon and to show them that the Greeks could not be defeated.


Over 10,000 Athenians and 1,000 Plataeans met on the plains of Marathon. The Athenians with  no cavalry, no archers, and no military engines trekked  22 miles to face almost certain death. Yet not one solider backed down; every single solider was prepared to die to save Greece. The Athenians knew that they were outnumbered and asked the Spartans for help. unfortunately there was a huge festival going on in Sparta and the Spartans could not get to Marathon in time for the battle, so the Athenians had to fight on there own.


When the Persians got to the Greek shore, the Athenians were already waiting. Thousands of Persians died before they even got to touch dry land. The Greeks showed no mercy. Blood sprayed the battle field.  The Persians had much  going for them: they outnumbered the Greeks, they had horses, they had siege weapons and they were under the protection of the largest empire the world had ever seen. Despite these odds,  the Greeks fought courageously. Using  amazing war tactics, they  pushed through and before the day was over, Datis the Satrap, was sailing away from Greece, in retreat. This epic battle  showed the rest of Greece that they could and did win against the not so mighty Persians. The Persians outnumbered the Greeks in almost every single way but the Greeks had courage and superior military knowledge.  In the end of the battle the Persians suffered a loss of more then half their men. Over 7,000 Persians soldiers died. Only 100 Greeks died. Of the men dead not one would have regretted there decision to go into battle despite the odds. Two Athenian commanders, Callimachus and Miltiades are credited with using their spectacular military tactics to win the battle. The two men used their knowledge of Persian battle tactics to attack the Persians with great efficiency and effectiveness. Later on in time these men participated in defeating the Persians at many other battles. The Battle of Marathon will always be remembered in history as the battle the proved, that the Greeks were strong,powerful, and wise. Never again after the battle did the Persians or any other empire, underestimate the Greeks ability to fight!

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