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The ancient Marathon must be placed not at the modern Marathona, which is far too near Oenoe (Ninoi) and contains no ancient remains, but, with most topographers from Leake (Top. of Athens, ii. 89-92) to Milchöfer (Karten von Attika, text, iii, p. 52), at or near Vrana, a commanding site with abundant ancient remains. The camp of the Athenians was probably not at the Μάνδρα τῆς Γραίας (Lolling, M. A. I. i, p. 67 f.), since that enclosure seems to be the work of Herodes Atticus in later days and not the precinct of Heracles. Again, if the Athenian camp was in the side valley of Avlona the Persians would be hidden from the Athenians by the intervening ridge of Kotroni; this position too might be threatened in rear by a Persian advance up the Charadra past Oenoe, and would not have guarded the coast road to Athens by Pallene. Further this site, like that under Mount Agrieliki, preferred by Leake and Milchöfer (l. c.), is waterless. Hence the most suitable position for the Heracleum and the Athenian camp seems to be the convent of St. George on the spur of Mount Aphorismos above Vrana. This contains ancient remains, which may well be those of the Heracleum, the Christian champion having naturally replaced the heathen hero. Cf. Caspari, J. H. S. xxxi. 100 f. (See note, p. 415.)

ἐδεδώκεσαν. According to Thucydides (iii. 68) this took place ninety-two years before the destruction of Plataea in 427 B. C., i. e. in 519-518 B. C., a date accepted by Curtius and E. Meyer (ii, § 478) and defended by Wells (J. H. S. xxv. 193 f.). But Herodotus (cf. v. 76) seems to know nothing of any Spartan expedition against Attica at that date, nor does he mention the presence (παρατυχοῦσι) of Cleomenes in central Greece before his intervention in Attica after the fall of Hippias (509-508 B. C.). Again, an attempt to embroil Athens and Thebes is unlikely when Hippias was on good terms with Sparta (v. 91), but probable enough when Athens had asserted her independence. Busolt (ii. 399) and Macan (ad loc.) adopt Gutschmid's suggestion of an error of Δ ( = 10) in an uncial MS. of Thucydides. Cf. further Grote (iv. 94), who first advocated the date 509 B. C., and, per contra, his editors (Abridgement, p. 82).

Cf. the speech of the Plataean orator in Thuc. iii. 55.

This altar, like that in the Pythium (cf. Hicks, 10), was set up by Pisistratus, son of Hippias, as archon in the Agora, and was afterwards enlarged (Thuc. vi. 54). It was the ‘miliarium aureum’ of Athens, whence roads in all directions started and distances were measured (ii. 7. 1; Arist. Av. 1005; C. I. A. ii. 1078). It was specially honoured with offerings and processions (Xen. Hipp. iii. 2; Pind. fr. 45). For its use as an asylum for suppliants cf. Diod. xii. 39; Plut. Per. 31.

The twelve gods (ii. 4. 2) at Athens were Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Apollo, Artemis, Hephaestus, Athene, Ares, Aphrodite, Hermes, Hestia. Cf. the Borghese altar in the Louvre and Baumeister (s. v. Zwölfgötter).

For the policy of Corinth cf. ch. 89; v. 75, 92.

ἐς Βοιωτοὺς τελέειν (cf. 53. 1), ‘to belong to the Boeotian league under Theban hegemony.’

τῇ μάχῃ: not the victory recorded in v. 77, for the battle here mentioned precedes the annexation of Hysiae by Athens. In v. 74 Hysiae is Athenian, but it is lost again to the Boeotians, in whose possession it was in 479 B. C. (ix. 15. 3, 25. 3).

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hide References (5 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (5):
    • Aristophanes, Birds, 1005
    • Diodorus, Historical Library, 12.39
    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.55
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.54
    • Plutarch, Pericles, 31
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