In the year 490 B.C.E.
, The Battle of Marathon was an important war between the greek city-states and the persian empire that has affected the future of western civilization. The war was caused due to the Greek cities of Ionian revolting against the persian, assisting the revolt was its neighbor, Athens. This made king darius target Athens in seek of revenge and control over all of the greek city-states. The result of the Battle of Marathon had unforeseen effects on greece, the greeks ‘ Golden Age’, centred in Athens brought new forms of art, the foundation of philosophy and future philosophy, and the birth of democracy.
It is hard to show how this particular event change the course of western civilization in one day but, if greeks wouldn’t have won, the western civilization may have not been what it is today.Long before the battle of the marathon, the Persian empire grew rapidly and started conquering many parts of Europe. As they gain ground and are unable to control their land, conquered states start to rebel due to lack of leadership. One of the rebelling region was Ionia in the year 499-493 BC. What truly sparked the Battle of Marathonwas not due to the people of Ionian rebelling against the Persian, but was due to Athens assisting the Ionian. Although Athens helped out the people of Ionian, the Persian empire with its massive army soon put down the rebellion.
However this angried King Darius and now in seek of revenge towards Athens and wanting all of Greece. In 490 B.C.E. Darius advanced towards Greek and on his way he captured Eretria and with his confidence he advanced towards Athens. The Persian army sailed to Attica under the advice of Hippias (overthrown tyrant of Athens ) sailed to the marathon bay 26 km north of Athens.
When Athens received news about King Darius coming to invade, they sent a runner to Sparta seeking for help but, they knew that help couldn’t reach them in time. They made a fateful decision and decided to engage the Persian army in battle instead of defending the city. This was due to a few reasons, they were highly outnumbered and could not stand ground against the Persian army. Also for the past years during the Ionian Revolt, they have been defending the city instead of fighting in open ground, for that reasons Persians would not think that the Greeks would come and attack them straight on. When Athens reach their base camp, their allies the Plataea.
( about a thousand men) Although the Athens requested help from the Sparta, Sparta however did not come assist the battle due to a religious festival that was taking place during the Time of the battle, they sent words that they would come aid when the festival was over. The Athens ended up in having about 10,000 men’s in total which is highly outnumbered by the persian army with up to 80,000troops. For the 10,000 troops that Athens have, 1,000 of each troops were controlled by 1 general making it a total of 10 generals controlling accumulative of 10,000 men’s, and the main general of all the troops were a general called Miltiades. For five days neither army attacked or advancing because the longer Athens wait, the better chances they would get due to knowing that Sparta will come to aid when their festival is over. On the fifth day Athens finally attacked the Persian army. Although they were highly outnumbered by the Persians, at the battle of marathon, the Athens chose a location of marshes and mountainous terrain to attack the persian army so that the Persians calvary wouldn’t be able to join together with the Persians main army.
They also attacked because it was observed that the Cavalry was loaded onto ship to be sailed to Athens and attack Athen. They have to attack the persian in order to stop persian from going to Athens and attacking Athens. The Athenians swept into the enemy, sending many disoriented Persian soldiers fleeing to die in the marsh.
The Persians are getting massascared and are now retreating back into the ships. At the beginning of the battle, Athens were separated into lines of battle, although the Persians are losing and retreating, it was clear that the Athens have lost their center line and had to retreat. Athens then converge into a group and turned their attentions towards the remaining Persians as they flee towards the ships.
At the boats the struggle continued, and here is where many of the Greeks lost their lives. The persian soon then flee towards and island where they have left their prisoners. According to Herodotus about 192 Athenians and 11 Plataea died during the Battle of Marathonwhich wasn’t a huge lost compare to the persian army losing about 6400 men’s and 7 ships destroyed.The immediate aftermath of the Battle of Marathon: the Persians didn’t want to go back empty handed and didn’t panic at all as they still have troops and strong enough to fight against Athens even though they have lost the battle of marathon. At this point the Persian commanders give the signal to set sail towards Athens hoping that the Athenians would be occupied by Datis or atleast arrived there before the Athenian army get back to Athens.
Although the Battle of Marathonwas a tiring battle and an unexpected victory, the Athens need to marched back to their town, Athens, which was about 25 km. When they got back to Athens it was just in time for them to defend and prevent any major damage that would have been caused in their city. The Persians then went back to Asia. The Sparta showed up at where the Battle of Marathon took place but, it was already over. The Sparta then toured the place and said it was a great victory of the Athenians.
Darius soon began to raise another army in order to try and conquer the Greeks once again but, parts of Egypt that has been conquered started rebelling and while preparing the march to Egypt, Darius died. Darius then passed the throne done to his son Xerxes 1.Although this significant battle only lasted one day in history, it plays an important key on how modern civilization is shaped up until today and so on.
This battle may have seem not so important due to it being short and old, with little information about it, it still caused the Greeks to start uniting and forming a form of government that we still use today. With the victory of the battle, new forms of art, philosophy, and history to be developed. If Athenians didn’t win the war, government and history and philosophy would have not been what it is today.
If Athens lost, the government might have been a government ruled by tyrants. If Athens lost the battle the god father of history might of not have a chance to be a historian in the first place due to persian conquering them and most likely making them slaves and lowlife civilians.