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battle of Marathon


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Fought at Marathon in 490 bc, probably near the surviving mound covering the cremated remains of the Athenian dead. The Athenians and their allies from Plataea had c.10,000 men, the Persians perhaps twice as many. After some delay, probably while the Greeks waited for the Spartans, the battle eventually took place before their arrival, probably because the Persians began to move on Athens. After lengthening their line by thinning their centre, the Greeks advanced, probably breaking into a run when within bowshot. Their stronger wings won easily and then perhaps turned inwards to envelop the victorious Persian centre as it returned from pursuing the broken Greek centre. The Greeks then pursued the Persian remnants to their ships, capturing seven. In all, 6,400 Persians were allegedly killed for only 192 Athenians. See persian wars, various entries.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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