Battle of Marathon
Despite of the disadvantaged altitude of Athenians, according to the annal of Herodotus, their achievement was still accomplished through acceptable aggressive activity by the arch of Miltiades, and by demography advantage over the breadth and acclimate during war. Introduction From the actual alpha of the war preparation, the smile of achievement was not alike a glimpse bright to Athenians.
The Athenians abstruse the Persian army were anon sailing from Eretria to Marathon, and with this knowledge, they commenced their alertness for activity (6. 1023).
The Athenians were absolutely alpha their activity in a disadvantaged state. During their preparation, alien and centralized conflicts occurred that captivated them clumsy to anatomy accord with alternative Greek nations. From Herodotus accounts, the centralized problems occurred mainly due to the analysis in the ten Athenian generals (6. 109).
They were arguing the best acceptable aggressive strategy, but the aggressive had doubts as to whether they should accord coffer adjoin the adversary alfresco the burghal or abroad acquiesce the bearings to beforehand out a annoy (Grote 2001 304).
By quantity, the annal of Persians and Sacaes’ army surpassed the abutment of Athenians and Plataeans (6. 113).
Therefore, the celebration of Persians was initially added believable due to their immense aggressive ability and the disadvantaged activity of Athens. Discussion Disadvantages of Athens Over Persians During the Activity With the actual accounts on Athenian adjoin Persian’s military, Athens suffered the best in acceding of aggressive abundance and adverse aggressive strategy. The Persian army came beyond the Aegean Sea on a ample fleet. Their fleet’s aboriginal activity destroyed the baby burghal of Eretria on Euboea, and again beyond over to Attica.
Considering this illustration, the Athenians were awfully outnumbered by the Persian fleets. The alone aggressive advantage of Athenians was to accommodated the Persian army in acreage (Dandamaev 1989 178). However, alike by land, the Athenians were in a difficult position and they initially had no acumen to achievement for abetment alfresco their realm. An appraisal of the Persian army in 490 B. C. —at about 4,000 to 6,000 warriors, including 500 to 800 army men- baffled Athenian’s fleet. Meanwhile, as with the Greeks, there were ample numbers of unarmored men but still abate in abundance compared with the Persians.
In accession to this, the adjoining districts, such as Bocotia, could accept airish as Greek allies, but angry adjoin them by aboveboard affable the appearance of the Persians (Creasy 1863 50; Grote 2001 304). Fortunately, the Athenians were able to acquisition accord with the Plataeans to activity the Persians (6. 111).
In acceding of centralized problems of Athens, political disagreements were occurring during the time of their war preparation, which acutely placed Athens in a disadvantage position over the Persians. The aftermost tyrant of Athens who was beggared of his ability and adopted from Athens was Hippias. However, He was accustomed a position by the Persians as governor of the boondocks of Sigeum on the Hellespont in adjustment to allegorize the apparition of their political generosity to Greeks (Creasy 1863 52).
The political affray connected amid the aristocrats and the autonomous party. In particular, there was the blue-blooded ancestors of the Alcmeonids (who had been beggared of their ability by their political adversary Miltiades) affiliated itself with the adherents of Hippias and hoped to acknowledgment Hippias ability with their political strife. Some of the Athenians were able to advice the Persian and afterwards about acclaiming so, hoped for their victory. Now, at an avant-garde age, he alternate with the Persian army to Attica breadth his abstruse adherents accessible him (Grote 2001 305).
Many Greek Elites were adjoin to the chancy war with the Persians, aback the defeat from war would lose their abundance and access (Dandamaev 1989 177).
Some were tempted to abandonment the burghal to the Persian and to booty all accessible advantage from this autonomous submission. The Strategies of War by Persians Beneath the advice of Hippias, the aloft adjudicator of Athens, the Persians chose the apparent of Marathon for their accession breadth (Creasy 1863 53).
The mission of the Persian commanders Datis and Artaphernes were the aboriginal to alight the army at some point on the Athenian coast, and again to beforehand and beat the burghal of Athens itself. Arguing, if an Athenian army should arise in the accessible countryside, again it would aboriginal had to be defeated and apprenticed aback (Grote 2001 304).
Unfortunately, the Athenians were clumsy to actuate the landing point of the Persians. It was at a ambit of about nineteen afar from Athens and their landing point was accessible by Athens. As for these statements, the Athenians were absolutely disadvantaged in their positions of war appear the Persians.
However, the altercation still lies on how Athenians were able to activity the Persians and attain victor. Back the Persian army disembarked at Marathon, there was ample altercation in the Athenian accumulation apropos the approach for the approaching activity with the Persians. Miltiades, the baton of the bourgeois farmers who was already Athenian strategoi (the accomplished aggressive commanders), feared betrayal from the ancillary of the pro-Persian band and accordingly insisted on an actual beforehand aloft the Persians (Dandamaev 1989 179).
In accession from Herodotus accounts, the ten aggressive generals of Athens were disconnected with the opinions on how to strategize the war (6. 109).
Athenians were confronted with political division, aggressive chaotic tactics, and an army with mostly unarmored peasants. The Acts of Miltiades and the About-face to Athenian Champ From the discussed portions of this abstraction depicting the weakness of Athens both evidently and internally, their ancillary was still able to celebration the war. From the accounts of historian Gillis, the Athenian army consisted of about 10,000 men who marched to the apparent of Marathon.
There were additionally about 1,000 men from the affiliated Boeotian boondocks of Plataea, amid at the bound of Attica (44). The Athenians did not apprehend advice from the alternative Greeks because the adjoining Greeks were already aloof appear the fate of Athens, which had the aggressiveness to allowance war adjoin “the Great Kin”’. Moreover, alternative adjoining Greeks advised the accord to Persian army adjoin Athens, such as the adjoining island of Aegina, which for continued had been a battling of Athens.
Athens was accursed in loosing the activity unless formations of accessory were to be made. Fortunately, it was Miltiades, who bound the issues of alliance, with his acceding with Callimachus (Herodotus, 6. 110).
In addition, Miltiades bound the action of the ten generals apprehension their centralized aggressive armament unified. At the aforementioned time, from the accounts of Gillis, the acclaimed agent Pheidippides was beatific to Sparta in adjustment to present the Athenian appeal for advice (44).
The Spartans promised abetment but they did not accelerate to accelerate out their soldiers as there was an old acceptance that it was absurd to alpha a advance afore a abounding moon (MacGregor 2005 194). Sparta was abashed that the Persians, afterwards acquisition Attica, would beforehand appear the Peloponnesus and set up a argosy barricade of the peninsula (Gillis 1831 44).
Many from the Athenian Elites and civilians were adjoin to actual activity of war; however, Miltiades and his adherents assuredly managed to actuate the Athenians to beforehand and defeat the Persians. It should be acclaimed that the Persian army was encamped in the accessible apparent breadth it was accessible for them to arrange their cavalry. The Athenians, who were afterwards cavalry, had accumulated in a attenuated allotment of the plain.
The breadth was an advantage for Athenians as it offered no advantages to the Persian horsemen. In the meantime, the bearings of the Persian army had deteriorated, and the Persian administrator Datis, apprehension in arrogant some assurance from his accompany in Athens, was affected to rake a accommodation as to the all-important advance of activity (Gillis 1831 44).
He allegedly knew about the Spartan accommodation to advance appear Attica afterwards the abutting abounding moon, and capital to adjudge the war afore their accession (Mure 1853 130).
At the aforementioned time, he was clumsy to move his army appear the abuse breadth the Athenians were entrenched. Datis anxiously followed contest at Athens, beginning he accepted the arresting (a absorber aerial up aloft the burghal walls) that would announce the burghal had appear beneath the ascendancy of the adherents of the dethroned tyrant, Hippias (Mure 1853 132).
In Athens, the supporters of the Persians were accessible to act, but they could not adjudge on whether to booty the accident or not. Thus, in their turn, they waited for the Persian army to defeat the Athenians (Gillis 1831 45). The activity commenced on the morning of the 12th of August, 490 B. C. (for the chronology, see Burn 1970:257). The Athenians bound lined up, larboard their arresting position in the anchorage and in a quick advance descended bottomward the abuse to the adversary (Mure 1853 132).
The advanced band of the Athenians was as advanced as that of the Persians, although in the centre the Athenian ranks were not as deep. The disposition of both armies was in accordance with the traditions of both sides: the Persians positioned the best troops in the centre, while the Greeks usually attempted at all amount to action a achievement on the flanks and after to about-face aloft the centre of the adversary ranks. Back abounding moon had come, Sparta beatific 2,000 soldiers to the abetment of the Athenians. However, Spartan force accustomed back the activity had already been decided. The Spartans looked with absorption at the corpses of the collapsed Persians, as best of them had never apparent Persians afore (Mure 1853 132).
The achievement at Marathon was the aboriginal success of the Greeks in the wars with the Persians who had ahead seemed bulletproof (MacGregor 2005 194).
The defeat of the Persians was acquired by a aggregate of factors. First, although their army to a assertive amount surpassed in cardinal that of the Athenians, alone allotment of the Persian troops could booty allotment in the battle, while the army could not accompany in at all and had to abide idle. Second, the Persians were advancement in an alien country and had been affected to accomplish a continued adventure to access at Marathon.
Third, the heavily armed Greek bottom soldiers, the hoplites, were adequate by adamant armour, and as a result, the agilely armed Persian aristocratic troops could not aperture their ranks. Fourth and of ample significance, is the actuality that the Athenian army was allowable by the accomplished accepted Miltiades, who was able-bodied acquainted with Persian aggressive tactics.
Primary Resources: Rawlinson, George, and Herodotus. The Persian Wars by Herodotus: Book 6 - ERATO. 1942.
Secondary Resources: Creasy, Edward S. The Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World, from Marathon to Waterloo. Harper, 1863.
Dandamaev, D A. A Political History of the Achaemenid Empire. BRILL, 1989.
George, Grote S. A History of Greece: From the Time of Solon to 403 Bc. Routledge, 2001.
Gillis, John S. The History of Ancient Greece: Its Colonies and Conquests. Thomas Wardle, 1831.
MacGregor, MacGregor. The Story of Greece. Yesterday's Classics, 2006.
Mure, William S. A analytical history of the accent and abstract of antient Greece. Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1853.
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