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It is most improbable that Athens had no understanding with Sparta before the mission of Philippides. Indeed, his hasty dispatch by the generals seems an appeal to an existing ally to fulfil her obligations. But if, as Busolt (ii. 580) suggests, Sparta had concluded only an ἐπιμαχία with Athens, the casus foederis would only arise when the Persians directly attacked Attica (Thuc. i. 44; v. 47, 48, &c.). Nor could the Athenians reasonably demand aid until they had resolved to risk a battle in the field (Hauvette, 250).

Φιλιππίδης, though only found in the second family of MSS., is supported by the other authorities (Paus. i. 28. 4, viii. 54-6; Plut. Herod. Malign. 26, &c.), and almost certainly right. It is a common Athenian name (C. I. A.), whereas Pheidippides is a witticism of Aristophanes (Nub. 67), which he would hardly have dared to make had the name been consecrated in the tale of Marathon.

Mount Parthenion divides the little plain of Hysiae from that of Tegea. It is crossed directly by the ‘ladder of the Bey’, a path paved in Turkish style with large unhewn blocks, and one of the wildest and most desolate tracks in Greece (Paus. viii. 54. 6; cf. Frazer, iv. 446). Here we may believe Philippides saw the vision of Pan, though the sanctuary is placed by M. Bérard on the circuitous carriage-road, where he found an inscription on bronze.

Πανὸς ἱρόν. The grottos of Pan and of Apollo have been excavated by M. Cavvadias (1897). There are two caves with narrow entrances, partly blocked by natural pillars of rock, so that they offer complete seclusion, though but narrow space within. These would be suitable for the secret meetings of Apollo and Creusa (Ion 10 f., 492 f., 936 f.), which Pausanias (i. 28. 4) places in the cave of Apollo, but Euripides in that of Pan, as does Aristophanes that of Cinesias and Myrrhina (Lys. 911 f.). Subsequently the worship of Apollo seems to have been transferred to the more open cave where votive tablets were found (Gardner, Athens, p. 93 f.; for a full discussion with plan cf. D'Ooge, Acropolis, pp. 6-9), the more secret caves being now the shrine of Pan. In the grotto was a statue of Pan (Anthol. Plan. 232; cf. 259) with an inscription ascribed to Simonides, fr. 136 τὸν τραγόπουν ἐμὲ Πᾶνα, τὸν Ἀρκάδα, τὸν κατὰ Μήδων, | τὸν μετ᾽ Ἀθηναίων στήσατο Μιλτιάδης. Such a statue, now at Cambridge, was discovered in a garden at the foot of the Acropolis, but it appears to have decorated a column or balustrade like the similar statue found in Peiraeus (Michaelis, Ancient Marbles in Great Britain, p. 248). The representations of the cave of Pan on Attic coins of Antonine date, giving views of the Acropolis, appear to be too inaccurate to be of service (J. H. S. viii, pp. 24-5). His worship may have been established or revived by Cimon (καταστάντων σφι εὖ ἤδη τῶν πρηγμάτων). (Cf. Macan, ii. 153, 181.)

λαμπάδι = a torch-race (cf. viii. 98. 2 n.).

Browning in his Pheidippides (ii. 582, ed. 1896) accepts Lucian's addition to the story that Pheidippides ran back to fight at Marathon, and died after bringing the news of the victory to Athens, a feat commemorated by the Marathon races of to-day.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (3):
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.28.4
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.54.6
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.44
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