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[personal profile] lesbiassparrow
To make the below make a bit of sense, here's a few random facts about the Battle of Marathon. (If one can be said to have a favourite battle this might be mine, though I am also very fond of Salamis and Teutoburg Forest.)

1. The Spartans didn't turn up for Marathon. They said they were busy celebrating the Carneia. They did show up after the battle and say that the Athenians hadn't done a bad job, which I am sure was very useful and much appreciated. Later on they and the Thebans did burn Plataea to the ground and turn the place into a giant inn.

2. Aeschylus' brother died at Marathon when he grabbed a Persian ship and had his arm chopped off for his troubles. This may or may not be the reason why Aeschylus went on to write long tragedies that make you cry when you read them in Greek. And that's not because they're so sad.

3. Miltiades, the Athenian general, did actually have tactics for this battle. This is surprising because usually everyone argues that only the Spartans had the training to manage anything more than running at people and hoping for the best.

4. According to Herodotus the Persians suffered 6,400 losses, while the Athenians and the Plataeans suffered...192. That's a 30:1 ratio. Take that, Spartans!

And here's some pictures of Miltiades' helmet from Olympia and the tumulus of the Athenians at the site of the Battle. According to legend you can hear horses neigh and the clash of armour at night there.

Sadly, they won't let you take pictures in the museum of Marathon, so I don't have a shot of the pillar they put up at the site or the grave goods recovered from the burial of the Greek dead.

Miltiades' helmet dedicated at the temple of Zeus at Olympia. I am not really a romantic person but it gives me a chill to think that he put this on not knowing whether he would live to see his city again or die seeing the Persians triumph.

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The tumulus of the Athenians at Marathon

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Another shot of the same tumulus. It is a lovely site, even if was as hot as Hades on the day we visited:

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Date: 2007-03-20 04:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dangermousie.livejournal.com
wow. Thanks for the pics. And you are right: looking at the helmet does give me chills.

Date: 2007-03-20 04:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Isn't it amazing? Maybe it's not the one he wore but I don't care; it was still a huge thrill to actually see something linked to him. (They also have Pheidias' cup, which is pretty amazing.)

History Rocks!!

Date: 2007-03-20 04:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] annous.livejournal.com
there is nothing, absolutely nothing that is as thrilling as seeing such artifacts, Thank you for putting up the pictures.

I am originally from Jerusalem, and walking through that city always and still gives a thrill that is unmatched, all through out the ME, Roman ruins, Byzantine churches, Islamic monuments...all give a history buff like me such joy.

Re: History Rocks!!

Date: 2007-03-22 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Oh wow...living in Jerusalem must have been a cornupcopia for anyone at all interested in history.

Date: 2007-03-20 07:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] baleanoptera.livejournal.com
Ooo! That helmet is amazing, especially given the historical context.

Take that, Spartans!

Hee! I'm with you there - because even though I like the battle of Thermopylea, the battle at Marathon is even more impressing.

Date: 2007-03-22 04:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Seeing that helmet was one of the highlights of Olympia even thought there was so much else that was amazing in the museum.

Date: 2007-03-20 12:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] astropoet.livejournal.com
I dunno about the helmet but the hill gives me the willies...

Date: 2007-03-22 04:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
The whole site is quite astonishing - it's off the road so there's little traffic and it's just you and the hill (there's hardly any visitors also, I think, which is sad.). But it was so incredibly hot I thought I would melt.

Date: 2007-03-25 04:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lage-nom-ai.livejournal.com
Hello! I'm here in a round about way from [livejournal.com profile] queenofthorns, I think? Anyway, great posts about 300 and Marathon, and I'm friending as you seem very fun.

Date: 2007-03-26 05:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Hello! I always like meeting new people. :)

And that's an awesome Knut icon.

Date: 2007-03-26 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lage-nom-ai.livejournal.com
Knut has brought me much glee in the last two weeks! :D


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