|The Battle of Marathon took place in 490 BC, during the first Persian invasion of Greece. It was fought between the citizens of Athens, aided by Plataea, and a Persian force commanded by Datis and Artaphernes. The battle was the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to subjugate Greece. The Greek army decisively defeated the more numerous Persians, marking a turning point in the Greco-Persian Wars. The Greeks marched to Marathon and blocked the two exits from the plain of Marathon. With marshes and mountains, the Persian cavalry couldn't join the Persian infantry. Miltiades ordered an attack. He reinforced his flanks, luring the Persians' best fighters into his center. The inward wheeling flanks enveloped the Persians, routing them.|
|The Persian army broke in panic towards their ships, and huge numbers were slaughtered. The defeat at Marathon marked the end of the first Persian invasion of Greece.|
The next two hundred years saw the rise of the Classical Greek civilization.
|Corinthian Helmet and Skull from the Battle of Marathon 490 BCE – Royal Ontario Museum, Canada. A pivotal moment in Ancient Greek history, the battle of Marathon saw a smaller Greek force, mainly made up of Athenian troops, defeat an invading Persian army. A fierce and bloody battle, with numerous casualties, it appears that this helmet (with skull inside) belonged to a Greek hoplite (soldier) who died during the fighting.|
The story of the man who ran back to Athens with the news of the victory became synonymous with the long distance running event in the Olympics.