The Battle of Marathon

The Battle of Marathon

4.3 3
by Peter Krentz
     
 

How did the city-state of Athens defeat the invaders from Persia, the first world empire, on the plain of Marathon in 490 BCE? Clever scholars skeptical of our earliest surviving source, Herodotus, have produced one ingenious theory after another. In this stimulating new book, bound to provoke controversy, Peter Krentz argues that Herodotus was right after

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Overview

How did the city-state of Athens defeat the invaders from Persia, the first world empire, on the plain of Marathon in 490 BCE? Clever scholars skeptical of our earliest surviving source, Herodotus, have produced one ingenious theory after another. In this stimulating new book, bound to provoke controversy, Peter Krentz argues that Herodotus was right after all.

Beginning his analysis with the Athenians’ first formal contact with the Persians in 507 BCE, Krentz weaves together ancient evidence with travelers’ descriptions, archaeological discoveries, geological surveys, and the experiences of modern reenactors and soldiers to tell his story.

Krentz argues that before Marathon the Athenian army fought in a much less organized way than the standard view of the hoplite phalanx suggests: as an irregularly armed mob rather than a disciplined formation of identically equipped infantry. At Marathon the Athenians equipped all their fighters, including archers and horsemen, as hoplites for the first time. Because their equipment weighed only half as much as is usually thought, the Athenians and their Plataean allies could charge almost a mile at a run, as Herodotus says they did. Krentz improves on this account in Herodotus by showing why the Athenians wanted to do such a risky thing.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300177664
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
09/06/2011
Series:
Yale Library of Military History
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
636,709
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Contents

Foreword by Donald Kagan and Dennis Showalter....................     xi     

List of Illustrations....................     xv     

Acknowledgments....................     xvii     

Chronology....................     xix     

Introduction....................     1     

CHAPTER 1. Athens' Alliance with Darius....................     19     

CHAPTER 2. Athens' Victories over the Boeotians and Chalcidians............     40     

CHAPTER 3. The Ionian Revolt....................     66     

CHAPTER 4. Darius and the Greeks of Europe....................     83     

CHAPTER 5. The Armies Arrive at Marathon....................     101     

CHAPTER 6. The Plain of Marathon....................     111     

CHAPTER 7. When Marathon Became a Magic Word....................     137     

CHAPTER 8. After the Fighting....................     161     

CHAPTER 9. What If?....................     172     

Appendix A. Important Ancient Sources on Marathon....................     177     

Appendix B. The Date of the Battle....................     180     

Notes....................     183     

Bibliographical Notes....................     195     

Index....................     225     


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