Battle of Marathon

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Definition

The Battle on the plain of Marathon in September 490 BCE between Greeks and the invading forces of Persian king Darius I (r. 522-486 BCE) was a victory that would go down in folklore as the moment the Greek city-states showed the world their courage and excellence and won their liberty. Although in reality the battle only delayed the Persians in their imperialistic ambitions and greater battles would follow, Marathon was the first time that mighty Persian Achaemenid Empire had been shown beatable and the battle would be represented in Greek art - literature, sculpture, architecture, and pottery - as a crucial and defining moment in the history of Greece.

More about: Battle of Marathon

Timeline

  • c. 650 BCE - c. 350 BCE
    Hoplites are the major protagonists in Greek land warfare.
  • c. 546 BCE
    Pisistratus lands his Argive mercenary force at Marathon and with victory at Pallene establishes himself once again as tyrant of Athens.
  • 492 BCE
    Darius I of Persia invades Greece.
  • 490 BCE - 480 BCE
    A 1.4 m (4 ft 7 in) tall Iris or Nike sculpture is erected on the Acropolis of Athens in memory of the general Kallimachos, killed in the Battle of Marathon.
  • 490 BCE
    Athens builds a treasury at Delphi following their victory at Marathon against Persia.
  • 11 Sep 490 BCE
    A combined force of Greek hoplites defeat the Persians at Marathon.
  • c. 430 BCE - 415 BCE
    The Histories of Herodotus is published. The work is divided into nine chapters, each dedicated to one of the Muses.
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