Battle of Marathon 490 BCE


Map Code: Ax01574

The Greek victory against the Persians at Marathon in Attica in September 490 BCE was a defining moment in the formation of a confident and powerful Greece. The Persians outnumbered the Greeks by more than 2:1, but the 10,000 Greeks refused to be daunted. The Persians, determined to crush the Greek states, which had supported the Ionians in their revolt against Persian rule, arrived in a flotilla of 600 ships and landed in a bay close to Marathon town. The Greeks met the Persians on the nearby plains (26 miles [42 km] north of Athens). Inspired by their charismatic leader, General Miltiades, the Greek warriors adopted a risky battle tactic. They formed a line and marched on the Persians, with the centre making a direct attack, while the left and right flanks lunged forward and encircled the Persians. Although now disputed by modern historians, it is recorded that 6,400 Persians died and just 192 Greeks.

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