The Battle of Marathon was fought on the plain of Marathon around the 10 of September or 12 of August 490 according to the full moon. The Persians sailed to the bay of Marathon (25 miles from Athens). The Athenian general Miltiades quickly formed a small army of hoplites or infrantrymen. There were about 10,000 heavily armed Athenians and 1,000 Plataeans (Livius) that went to fight against the numerous army of Persia at the Battle of Marathon. The great runner Pheidippides was sent to Sparta to request reinforcements but the Spartans could not respond due to the religious festival of Carneia which prevented the Spartans from any military operation until the full moon. The 11,000 hoplites were divided into ten tribes with a Strategoi (generals) over each “tribe.”(Tucker). Miltiades, Aristides and Themistocles were some of the generals over the tribes. Callimachus was elected by the tribes to be the polemarch.
Callimachus was in command of the right wing which consisted of the Athenians while the left wing was commanded by the Plataeans. The wings surrounded the numerous Persians in what modern sources call a “double envelopment” (Tucker). The Persians deemed the endeavor to be “Suicidal Madness” as written by Herodotus of Halicarnassus. However the Greeks were able to defeat the Persians and save Athens as well as capture seven of their ships. Afterwards, the Greeks left a detachment to make sure the Persians did not return. The Persians had already set course for Athens but when they arrived they found that the rest of small but successful Greek Army ready for them. The Persians Retreated and thus ended the Battle of Marathon.
Figure 1: the way the Greeks(Red) surrounded the Persians(Blue); source: en.wikipedia.org/Double_envelopment
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“Battle of the Marathon.” en.wikipedia.org. [Online] January 9, 2012. [Cited: January 31, 2012.] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_marathon.
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Tucker, Spencer. “Battles That Changed History: An Encyclopedia of World Conflict.” Greenwood Publishing Group. ABC-CLIO Nov. 11, 2010. [Cited Jan 31, 2012] Print.
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