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Marathon: The 2500 th Anniversary of an Ancient Battle and its Modern Legacy

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  1. Marathon:The 2500th Anniversary of an Ancient Battle and its Modern Legacy Professor Katherine Panagakos Richard Stockton College October 14, 2010

  2. Marathon: The 2500th Anniversary of an Ancient Battle and its Modern Legacy Sponsored by: The Federation of Hellenic American Organizations of NJ (http://hellenicfederationnj.com/) Co-sponsored by: • The Hellenic Club of Philadelphia • The Friends of Hellenic Studies at Stockton (www.stockton.edu/ichs) • The Stockton History Club • OGRE (The Order of Greco-Roman Enthusiasts)

  3. Other Events of Interest

  4. Three “Runs” associated with The Battle of Marathon • Run from Athens to Sparta ~150 miles • “Run” during the battle ~.9 miles • Run after the battle from Marathon to Athens ~26 miles

  5. Ancient Panhellenic Games • Pythian/Delphic Games • Nemean Games • Isthmian Games • Olympic Games • Every 2-4 years • 776 BC-324 AD

  6. Reconstruction of Painting in Agora in Athens

  7. The Battle of Marathon • September, 490 BC • 9,000 Athens + 1,000 Plateans face ~25,000 Persians on the plain of Marathon

  8. Darius, King of Persians

  9. Ionian Revolt • Main source: Herodotus’ Histories • Born in 484 BC in Halicarnassus, Asia Minor • Called “The Father of History” by Cicero

  10. Darius’ Revenge

  11. The Plain of Marathon

  12. Philippides (Phidippides) runs to Sparta • 150 miles in 2 days • Sparta was celebrating the Carnea; must wait until the first full moon • Spartathlon • ἄθλος = prize (athletics)

  13. Battle of Marathon • Athenians = 9,000 hoplites • Plataeans = 1,000 hoplites • Persians = ~25,000 (20,000-100,000)

  14. Miltiades • One of 10 Athenian Generals • Tactics used • Strengthening of right and left wings, leaving center weaker • Persian cavalry and the Run of Eight Stadia

  15. The Great Debates • Persian Cavalry • Run of 8 stades (.9 miles) • Weight of arms/armor & Persian arrow range (.09-.1 mile)

  16. Soros: Burial Mound at Marathon (σορός)

  17. “The Marathon to Athens Run” • Most famous yet least historically accurate and, therefore, probably not likely. 

  18. Lord Byron • 1788-1824 • Philhellene • Fought for Greeks in the Greek War of Independence • Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage: The Plain of Marathon (1821-1818) • The Isles of Greece (1821)

  19. Modern Olympics • Pierre Frédy, Baron de Coubertin • 1894-IOC formed • April 1896, Games of I Olympiad • Held in Athens; 14 countries • Michel Breal suggested a long-distance race • 17 runners • Began at bridge in Marathon and ended at the Panathanaiko Stadium -24.8 miles • Winner was Spyridon “Spiros” Louis (2:58:50)

  20. Modern Marathon • 1896: 24.85 • 1900: 25.02 • 1904: 24.85 • 1908: 26.22 • Boston Marathon-oldest annual (1897) • 1967 Boston Marathon* • 1984 Los Angeles XXIII Olympiad

  21. Atlantic City Marathon

  22. Aeschylus • Father of Greek tragedy • c. 525-456/5 BC • 7/70 or 90 plays • Oresteia (only trilogy) • The Persians • Αἰσχύλον Εὐφορίωνος Ἀθηναῖον τόδε κεύθει μνῆμα καταφθίμενον πυροφόροιο Γέλας· ἀλκὴν δ' εὐδόκιμον Μαραθώνιον ἄλσος ἂν εἴποι καὶ βαθυχαιτήεις Μῆδος ἐπιστάμενος • Beneath this stone lies Aeschylus, son of Euphorion, the Athenian, who perished in the wheat-bearing land of Gela; of his noble prowess the grove of Marathon can speak, or the long-haired Persian who knows it well.