Scouting and Intelligence in the Battle of the Marathon

  Battle of Marathon Battle of Thermopylae Battle of Salamis
Time August/September490 BCE August 7 or September 8-10, 480 BCE September, 480 BCE
Where it was fought Marathon Greece Thermopylae, Greece The Straits of Salamis
 Who’s fighting who AtheniansAnd Plateans Greek City- States Persian Empire Persians Greek City-states Achaemenid Empire
  Led By Miltiades the younger, Callimachus Themistocles, Leonidas I and Demophilus Xerxes I of Persia, Mardonius, and Hydarnes Datis,  Artaphernes Eurybiades, Themistocles Xerxes I of Persia, Artemisia I of Caria, and Ariabignes
Result Greek victory Persian Victory Greek Victory

The Battle of the Marathon took place in 490 BC, between the Athenians, aided by their allies the Paletean hoplites (estimated to be between 600-1000 men), and the Persians (Doenges, 1988).  This battle was important for the Greeks they proved that they could defeat the Persians.  In spite of the fact that the Persians solders out-numbered the Greeks by two to one, the Greeks won the battle using a strategic plan to block the road to Athens. This allowed them the strategic advantage of physically blocking the Persians from entering city, thus illuminating the need for an army as large as the Persians (Battle of the Marathon, 2012).  Their strategy was to stand close together and in a tight line and align their shields so that it was hard for the Persians to get through.

Modern drawing of the Phalanx formation employed by Greek hoplites (File:Greek Phalanx.jpg, 2007)

Isolated Figure from a Panathenaic Black-figure amphora, Berlin Painter, 480-470 BC, showing a middle-distance race “hippios”

(File:Greek Phalanx.jpg, 2007)

When the Greeks determined the size of the Persian army they would be facing it was determined that reinforcements would be needed.  The blocked the road to Athens and at the same time sent a messenger named Phiedippides to ask the Spartans to join them in the battle.  Phiedippides was known for his ability to run great distances in a short time. He made the trip to Sparta and back to the front in three days.  He brought the message that the Spartans were going to send reinforcements (Battle of Marathon, 2010).

Works Cited

File:Greek Phalanx.jpg. (2007, August 21). Retrieved from

Battle of Marathon. (2010, September 12). Retrieved Jan 31, 2012, from

Battle of the Marathon. (2012, January 9). Retrieved January 31, 2012, from

Doenges, N. A. (1988, 1st Qtr.). The Campain of the Battle of the Marathon. Retrieved Jan 31, 2012, from

Painter, B. Phidippides. Retrieved from

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