Who won? Battle of Marathon short summary

Image like the Battle of Marathon

The Battle of Marathon was fought in 490 B.C. at Marathon, Greece, where the Athenians defeated the Persian expeditionary force of the Achaemenid dynasty.

What exactly was the battle like?

Background of the Battle of Marathon

The Achaemenid Persians, after suppressing the Ionian Revolt, entered the Persian War.

People image

The Kingdom of Persia invades Greece...!

It was obvious to everyone.

However, the Greek city-states were helpless in the face of this situation.

  • Sparta, a military state, had an internal conflict over the succession to the throne.
  • The maritime states of Athens and Aegina were repeatedly fighting for each other's rights.

And the prediction came true.

By the order of Darius I, king of Achaemenid Persians, he approached Athens while attacking with a fleet of 600 ships.

Ancient Male image

The land of Marathon, where it is easy to use cavalry troops, is a good place for warfare!

Thus, it is said that the Persian army landed at Marathon on the advice of the ancient Athenian tyrant Hippias.

However, the cavalry did not play any part in the battle.

Scholarly image

Perhaps Hippias was hoping that the Athenians would succeed?

There is the theory like that.

Another theory is that the Athenians chose Marathon as their landing site.

After all, Athens was aware of the Persian army's movement and selected 10 generals to be sent to Marathon along with Plataea's reinforcements.

They also sent a messenger of reinforcements to Sparta.

The war was started by Miltiades

A brief summary of the difference in their respective troop strength is as follows:

  • Persian soldiers: less than 20,000
  • Athenians: 9,000 + Plataeans: 600

It seems that there was quite a large difference in the number of soldiers.

They must have thought they were in trouble if they did not have a strategy.

The 10 generals who were in command of the Athenian-Plataian allied forces held a meeting.

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Waiting for reinforcements from Sparta?

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Do we engage in battle?

The opinion was divided between these two opinions.

Then one bloodthirsty general spoke up.

His name was Miltiades.

Brown-haired male image

Heyhhhh, let's fight the Persian army already! If we have the spirit, we can win!

How he persuaded Kallimakos, the military chief, to go through with his main argument.

The overall command of the entire army was assumed by 10 generals on a daily basis.

When it came to Miltiades' turn,

Brown-haired male image

Now, off to the Persian army~♪♪

and the war began.

The Course of the Battle of Marathon

Most of the Greeks were heavily armed infantrymen.

  • Right: Kallimakos, Military Secretary
  • Left: Plataea

Like these, they put the main force of the Greek army.

Finally, they launched a total attack on the Persian army.

The Greek army, the Athenian-Plataea allied army, had a line as long as the enemy's line.

However, the Athenian army had only about half the strength of the Persian army.

Therefore, the central part of the line was only a few rows thick, which was the greatest weakness of the Greek army.

With such the weakness, Miltiades attacked with an unexpected strategy.

He rushed into the Persian army.

The Persian army made fun of this.

Soldier image

Hey, hey, the Greeks have finally lost their minds, wahaha! They jumped in with suicidal actions lol

But the battle went on for a long time.

The Greek army's front line was extended to both ends, so the central army, which could only form a few columns, was pushed in by the Persian infantry.

Perhaps Miltiades realized that the Persians did not pay much attention to the edges and tended to focus on the center.

The Greek army had enough men at both ends.

And those soldiers surrounded the Persian army and drove it to defeat.

  • Greek dead: 192
  • Persian dead: 6,400

In addition, seven Persian naval vessels were captured, a complete defeat for the Persian army.

It is said that about 2,000 Spartan reinforcements arrived in Athens only two days after their departure.

By that time, however, everything had come to an end.

Impact of the Battle of Marathon

The victory at Marathon gave the Athenians great confidence.

As evidence, the civilian army that fought at Marathon became the ideal of the Athenian warrior image and was often used as a motif in ceramic art.

Also, one soldier, fully armed, ran from the battlefield at Marathon to Athens,

Soldier image

We have won!

The legend has it that the soldier told people the good news and his life ended.

Although this may have been a later creation, the running competition between Athens and Marathon in the first modern Olympic Games was held on the basis of this legend.

The impact of this repulse of the Persian expeditionary force did not stop there.

Among other things, there was no longer any need to adopt a friendly attitude toward Persia.

It was also able to expel those who had been close to Achaemenid Persia.

This policy is called "Ostracism".

To learn more about Ostracism,

What was the expulsion of the potteries? The Reforms of Claisthenes explained in simple terms!

Please read this article as well.

Also, Miltiades, who was very successful at the Battle of Marathon, may have gained confidence from this victory.

Brown-haired male image

I will not be defeated! I will win the next expedition, too!

He came back defeated, despite saying so.

Although he was not banned from the Ostracism, he was fined a hefty sum for striking a blow to the treasury for his personal greed.

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Why should I, a hero, be treated like this...!

Miltiades is believed to have died of the shock as his battlefield wounds worsened.

The Athenians saw Marathon's victory as the end of the Persian War, but only one man, Themistocles, who led the Persian War to victory, knew that it was the beginning of a new struggle.

Marathon is the origin of the term "Battle of Marathon," which I have been introducing.

Such the battle of Marathon is a part of the Persian Wars.

To learn more about the Persian War,

What is the Persian War? I've put together a quick and easy summary of the order of the battles.

Please read this article.

There are many more histories of Mesopotamian civilization.

If you would like to know more about the history of Mesopotamian civilization,

What is the Mesopotamian civilization? I explain in detail what kind of civilization it is!

Please read this article as well.

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