previous next


Μαραθών). A deme of Attica, belonging to the tribe Leontis, was situated near a bay on the east coast of Attica, twenty-two miles from Athens by one road, and twenty-six miles by another. It originally belonged to the Attic tetrapolis, and is said to have derived its name from the hero Marathon. This hero, according to one account, was the son of Epopeus, king of Sicyon, who having been expelled from Peloponnesus by the violence of his father, settled in Attica; while, according to another account, he was an Arcadian who took part in the expedition of the Tyndaridae against Attica, and devoted himself to death before the battle.

The site of the ancient town of Marathon was probably not at the modern village of Marathon, but at a place called Vraná, a little to the south of Marathon. Marathon was situated in a plain, which extends along the sea-shore, about six miles in length, and from three miles to one mile and a half in breadth. It is surrounded on the other three sides by rocky hills and rugged mountains. Two marshes bound the extremity of the plain; the northern is more than a square mile in extent, but the southern is much smaller, and is almost dry at the conclusion of the great heats. Through the centre of the plain runs a small brook. In this plain was fought the celebrated battle between the Persians and Athenians, August 12th, B.C. 490. The Persians, numbering some 100,000 men, were drawn up on the plain, and the Athenians, 10,000 strong, under Miltiades, on some portion of the high ground above the plain; but the exact ground occupied by the two armies cannot be identified, notwithstanding the investigations of modern travellers. The Athenians lost 192 men, the Persians 6400. The tumulus or mound, raised over the Athenians who fell in the battle, is still to be seen. It is an isolated knoll in the plain, about 40 feet in height and 600 feet in circumference. Excavations made by Schliemann and others yielded nothing until 1890, when, under the direction of the Greek Archaeological Society, a number of vases of the fifth century B.C. and burned bones were found, undoubtedly those of the Athenians slain in the battle. The mound is now called the Sorós. On the battle, see 106, 107; and Schauer, Die Schlacht bei Marathon (1893).

hide References (1 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (1):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 6.106
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: