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This Week In History

The Battle of Marathon – September 12, 490 BC.

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The Battle of Marathon defined the end of the first of the Greco-Persian Wars. The battle took place in the bay near the town of Marathon, not far from Athens, in the Attica coast. On one side, the Persian king Darius I wanted to invade and conquer Athens for supporting the cities of Ionia in their attempt to bring down Persian rule. On the other side, Athenians and their allies, the Plataeans. It was in this battle where Philippedes ran from Athens to Sparta to ask the Spartan army for help, as the Persian army wouldn´t stop once Athens was conquered. Sparta was engaged in a religious festivity at that moment, and gave this as an excuse for not coming in Athen´s aid.

After five days of fighting, the Athenian and Plataean army crushed the Persian infantry, which fled with a huge loss. This victory put an end to the First Greco-Persian War, and the Battle of Marathon played an important political role due to the statement of the Athenian democracy as a model for the future.

 

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